This is a sister of #18. Same tree soundboard, only very minor voicing modifications, but with a body of rare “red” Indian rosewood. Indian rosewood usually comes in the classic brown tones, while fewer sets are purplish. This one is very intensely purplish and under finish looks quite beautiful, as I have seen on a previous build. I remember reading this might be a subspecies and growing in northern India. The Chinese had a similar wood “Suan Zhi redwood” which has has been a staple of their luxury furniture. Some research has showed a lead towards dalbergia cochinensis rather than dalbergia latifolia but I’m not certain. In any case my Chinese wooden planes are made from exactly this sort of rosewood and they are labeled suan zhi but I don’t know where the wood is logged and if it’s simply the red variety of latifolia relabeled because of the classical (for them) color. Yes I am as confused as you are now.
October 28, 2012