The Odyssey of Rosewood

Memories going Green!

Brazilian Rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) produces a very hard and heavy wood, characteristically varied in color from brick red through various shades of light chocolate brown to very dark violet brown with veins of black creating random lines and a highly prized figure called 'spider webbing' or 'landscape'. The odor of Brazilian rosewood is unmistakable, having a floral fragrance reminiscent of roses with a distinctive sweetness and at its strongest in very colorful old growth wood. Another distinguishing feature is its outstanding resonance. When tapped it emits a bright metallic ring that sustains. This property combined with its beauty has made Brazilian rosewood a favorite of musical instrument makers for centuries.(

The Brazilian rosewood is protected by strict environmental laws these days, and it cannot be legally obtained since 1992. No cutting of trees, no export or import. For this reason it is almost impossible to get your hands on this beauty, and also extremely expensive.

CITES is the acronym for the international treaty governing trade and transport of endangered species. The acronym stands for: Convention International on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.This organization with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), are responsible and authorized to seize and confiscate instruments and wood sets made by Brazilian rosewood without legal certifications.

In my effort to reproduce a bouzouki instrument with the exact same specifications as the ones A. Stathopoulos was making back in 1900s, I came across the obstacle of finding and purchasing an old piece of Brazilian rosewood.
Even though Ebay power sellers are still selling legally certified pieces of beautiful Brazilian rosewood inside US, the requirements, permits, and process I needed to follow until the purchased wood could reached its final destination at luthier's workshop, would have been a big headache.

Finally , the luthier and I decided to cut a small corner in this development process of instrument making, and use instead a Master Grade AAA, old growth, Indian rosewood.

I would like to thank all the friends who offered to help me find and possess a piece of Brazilian rosewood !

Thinking that over the past 400 years, unregulated international trade in plants and animals has extinguished more than 700 species, I am happy that Memories at the end decided to go Green!

Tight Grain

Old growth

Indian rosewood Master AAA quality

Luthier has started the A/I Stathopoulos mold


  1. Δεν πειράζει Σπύρο. Κι έτσι άψογο θα είναι το όργανο.

    1. Akoma eimai sto psaksimo Vaggeli mou

      Isws pallisandros Ondouras pou moiazei katapliktika me to Brazilianiko Kai exei peripou tis idies idiotites

      Tha doume


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