A Martin M-38 acoustic guitar, 1979, American made, serial number 419710, uncommon 0000-14 fret sizing, natural gloss finish, solid spruce top, solid Indian rosewood back and sides, ebony fretboard, mahogany neck, rosewood bridge, tortoiseshell pickguard, style '45' abalone rosette inlay, bound headstock, six sealed machine heads, black Tolex hard case, acquired on 7 December 1994, I used this instrument on the 'Full Moon Dirty Hearts' album recordings .' Kirk Pengilly. Provenance: Private Collection of Mr Kirk Pengilly, Sydney, acquired 7 December 1994
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- Rosette - A stylised circular-shaped disk with turned or carved decoration decoration applied to a surface, or carved into the surface, especially used in ceramics, jewellery, furniture, sculpture and textiles. Also known as a boss or a paterae or patera.
- Tortoiseshell - Tortoiseshell is a translucent material that comes from the horny carapace of a certain types of turtles, including the hawksbill turtle. It is often therefore mounted on a colour underground - often red - or inlaid with gold or silver thread, as seen in Boulle furniture.
The texture and colour nuances of the material are extremely important. Heated tortoiseshell can easily be formed into various shapes. Like other natural materials, tortoiseshell becomes more beautiful with use. In a time before plastic, tortoiseshell was widely used for small objects such as combs and powder compacts.
In 1973, the trade of tortoiseshell worldwide was banned under CITES (The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). Prior to importing or exporting items containing tortoiseshell a CITES permit must be obtained. Tortoiseshell items cannot be traded on Ebay.
"Faux tortoiseshell", another case of man initiating nature, is made from old-style plastics such as celluloid and cellulos and is coloured with red, yellow and brown spots to imitate the genuine article. It is commonly used in glasses frames, musical instruments and costume jewellery.
- Ebony - Ebony is a close grained timber, black in colour. It has a fine texture which can be polished to a high gloss, making it suitable for venereering, inlay and stringing and its use as solid timber is resticted to small decorative items and ornamental decoration, such as chess pieces and musical instrument parts. The term "ebonised" means "faux ebony", timber that has been darkened during the polishing process to resemble ebony.
- Rosewood - A dense timber that varies in shade to very light brown to almost black. When rosewood is cut and sanded the colour of the timber will turn black, and after polishing and exposure to daylight, the surface will gradually lighten over time to light brown with black streaks.
The name comes from the odour emanating from the timber when it is planed, sanded or cut.
Rosewood was very popular for use in Victorian furniture in the second half of the 19th century, and at that time most of the rosewood was imported from Brazil. However it also grows in India and Indonesia.
It is used in the sold for chairs and table legs, but for carcase furniture such as side cabinets and bookcases, and for table tops it is always used as a veneer.
- Mahogany - Mahogany is a dense, close grained red-coloured timber from the West Indies and Central America. It was first imported into Europe in the the early 18th century and its use continued through the 19th century. It was popular for furniture making because of its strength, the wide boards available, the distinctive grain on some boards, termed flame mahogany and the rich warm colour of the timber when it was polished.. The "flame" was produced where a limb grew out from the trunk of the tree, and this timber was usually sliced into veneers for feature panels on doors, backs and cornices.
Some terms used to describe mahogany relate to the country from which it originally came, such as "Cuban" mahogany, "Honduras" mahogany etc. However unless the wood has been tested the names assigned are more a selling feature, rather than a true indication of the timber's origin.
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