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Pterocarpus Santalinus
RENSON / 2012-05-13

Pterocarpus santalinus breif indroduction

 
Pterocarpus santalinus is belong to Papiliononideae, and Pterocarpus. It is also known as pterocarpus santalinus L.F., pterocarpus indicus wild, red sanders, narra, lobular red sandalwood,  rosewood, P.santalinus.
 
Pterocarpus santalinus is the best of pterocarpus with two remarkable features which is high density tiny brown eyes. And the wood is very stable, not easy to deform and crack. Sandalwood rosewood grows in tropical and subtropical forests. The best purple sandalwood is located in Indian State of Mysore region and  Myanmar.
Rosewood has stiff texture. After maintenance, the color will change from reddish-brown to purple-black. changing can be diverse and with a fine-graine.
Pterocarpus santalinus grows very slow and 5 year a round. over 800 years to be matured. Hardrdness is the head of the wood and is also called emperor's wood. No other wood can compete.

According to records, the Queen of Sheba gave King Solomon Pterocarpus santalinus wood as the token gifts. The wood was made for their cabinet and bed. Ancestor of the Israelites Manny Rick I was born on the bed. So rosewood was a sacred wood for Jewish rosewood. In Mishi code called the divine wood full of positive energy.
 
Latin names: Pterocarpus santalinus, Leguminosae, papilionoideae, pterocarpus. English name: rosewood, red sandalwood, red sanders.
Distribution area: Indian State of Mysore and Andhra Pradesh border of Cuddapah and Chittoor

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Historical origin

 
Ancient Chinese understanding and use rosewood began in the East end of the Jin. Cui Bao Gu Jin Zhu" called "rosewood, Funan , color purple, also called red sandalwood."
 

The Ming dynasty (ad 1368--1644), rosewood for the Royal attention. The development of sea transport and Zheng He's seven voyages . But the ruling could hardly meet the need of China's huge needs.The early Qing dynasty , red sandalwood furniture is almost as a royal monopoly, native places specially in South Asia and Southeast Asia to set up purchase point for the Court purchase rosewood.After the reform and opening up, revenues is improved a lot. The classic traditional pterocarpus stantalinus furniture became fashionable.
 
Collection of red sandalwood furniture is the favorite of middle-class.Market growing day and day, sandalwood will be included in environmental protection. Such as, prohibit logging into ivory and horn . Rosewood rapidly rising prices, five-year prices rose by more than 10 times in 2013, market prices have been more than million yuan per ton.
 
In determining the Redwood trees, Pterocarpus santalinus is the best one.Solid rosewood thick, fine wood, dense, tiny brown-eyed, high stability, beautiful texture, toughness, durable to polish, found in tropical and subtropical forests. Rosewood in India is the best, and we call it P. indicus or India Pterocarpus Santalinus. Other types of sandalwood was summed up in the grass rosewood class. Rosewood color is deep purple has always been for the Royal family and nobles special timber for furniture, expensive, ranks first in the wood, known as "emperior;s wood".
 
18th century French Royal Louis 18's furniture is made by the finest rosewood. Biggest rosewood currently on the market can reach around 50 cm in diameter, the normal diameter more than 10 centimeters.
 
Growth of rosewood is extremely slow. Timber of red sandalwood tree grows for hundreds of years or even thousands of years. Due to extremely low output, resources are scarce. Thre is an saying "An inch of red sandalwood is worth an inch of gold".
 
Ming dynasty, rosewood in only for the royal use. The development of sea transport by Zheng He's voyages increases communication, trade and cultural exchanges with countries in Southeast Asia.
 
States in the regular and irregular trade exchanges with China, and often has a number of valuable timber, including rosewood 
 
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But it is hardly meet the hugue demands of China's ruler. Then the Ming Government sent officials to Southeast Asia to buy.Subsequently, dealers trafficking came into being. To the end of the Ming dynasty, Nanyang quality wood, especially rosewood, almost all tied to for the royal group.By the late Ming dynasty and early Qing dynasty, the vast majority of produced rosewood in the world is collected by Chinese.The Qing dynasty rosewood all adopted in the Ming dynasty. Historical records told the government sent officer to Southeast Asia during the Qing dynasty, but most of the crude is not full, and tortuosity is not straight, it simply will not work.
 
This is because the rosewood grows slowly. Overlogging in the Ming dynasty which rosewood has been cherished an important reason for the world.
 
Compared with other Westerners, China attached more importance to rosewood because they had never seen rosewood aniseed, that can only give small objects.
 
According to Napoleon's Tomb had five inches of rosewood coffin model, visitors were surprised to admire, that rare.
 
Until the late Ming dynasty and early Qing dynasty, when Western missionaries came to China. They saw a lot of red sandalwood instruments to know rosewood elite in China. So buy for home.

The spread of sandalwood in Europe mostly imported from China. Due to transportation difficulties, they generally do not buy the whole finished pieces. They only buying doors, boxes with patterns. After brought back to sacking an wooden frame for decoration.
 
The mid-Qing dynasty, due to the shortage of rosewood, Royal bought rosewood from the trespasses on hand from time to time.
 
Palace built department in household workshops has document to record rosewood buying almost every year.
 
This time, gradually forming a unwritten rules that regardless of the level at which Government officials , the sight of rosewood, and never let go, buy and hand to  Royal or institutions.
After the middle of the Qing dynasty, all dealeras who had hoarded of wood have been bought battered to pieces. Most of the wood to be decorated for  old Summer Palace and Palace above the Palace After Tongzhi reign , and Emperor Guangxu 's wedding and Empress Dowager Cixi's 60 birthday party to Yuan Shi-kai 's time,  rosewood all used up.
 
 

Morphological features

 
Various wood species of the genus pterocarpus, but rosewood has only one recognized in botany circles that is " sandalwood rosewood" commonly known as " pterocarpus santalinus". Which is produced mainly in India and Malaya, the Philippines and other places. Yunnan, Hunan, Guangdong of China also produced in small amounts.
 
Pterocarpus santalinus characteristics: trees, straight trunk, bark dark brown, deeply divided into rectangular slices. Liquid deep red trunk tree.
 
Leaflets 3-5, generally oval or ovate, long 9-15cm, flowers with yellow or yellow stripes, flowering in November-December, oval fruit, fruit 4-5 month.
 
Wild Pterocarpus Santalinus Wild Froest    Purple-red Pterocarpus Santalinus Wood Heart      Short Pterocarpus Santalinus timber    Pterocarpus Santalinus Pieces
 
 

Sandalwood categories

 
Sandalwood. Sanskrit is giving meaning, because the wood is hard, aroma fragrance lasting, colorful and changeable, the poison is not invade, eternal immortality, and to be ward off evil spirits. It is also called holy sandalwood.

 

 

Rosewood

In a variety of hardwoods texture, rosewood has the strongest and heaviest weight. 

Since the Han dynasty of China, red sandalwood is regarded as  the most valuable timber is deemed more use it as a car axle shaft, musical instruments, furniture and other fine materials of crafts and be recorded in Eastern Han dynasty. During the Ming dynasty, due to the nobility and Royal alike, Ming rosewood furniture, works like thick, fine carved, mind imposing.
 

Identification of rosewood: Lightly wipe with alcohol cotton ball on the surface of wood, if cotton ball is mauve and that is rosewood. You can also scrape a bit from the wood and soak it in alcohol, if the crumbs appear a blood-red silk road is rosewood. The old red sandalwood to be watered and does not fade. If you paint some color on it, it will be easily wipe off. The new rosewood fade easily after immerse with water, and it is hard to wipe

Pterocarpus Santalinus

 

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Pterocarpus santalinus's scientific name "sandalwood Rosewood". Pterocarpus santalinus is the only true meaning of red sandalwood and other so-called "pterocarpus" is not pterocarpus santalinus.

 

Pterocarpus santalinus: In a variety of hardwood, pterocarpus santalinus has the most dense in texture and heaviest weight. Wood texture is not obvious.

 

If we put some pterocarpus santalinus flowers in white alcohol, the yellow flowers will immediately break down into pink, and from a sticky glue-like substance with white alcohol. When you dumped into a cup it will looks like a thickness line. This is an effective way to identify pterocarpus santalinus wood.

 

The pterocarpus santalinus's main production origin in India. So we also call it pterocarpus indicus. It also has production in Yunnan, Guangxi and other places of China. It is one of the leguminosae. Thre are about 15 species, normaly in tropical or subtropical area. There are two kinds of pterocarpus santalinus. One is leaflet pterocarpus with small leaves. Other one is Dalbergia Louvelii.
 
 

Dalbergia Louvelii

Lushi Dalbergia, which belongs to the dark rosewood. Diffuse porous wood . Growth ring is not obvious. New sections of heartwood is nacarat/orange. After long time, it will change to deep purple or dark purple andscratch is obvious.
 
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Identification methods

 
Authentic Indian pterocarpus santalinus with red color when it is new. After palying it will getting darker in color. Compare to African rosewood, it has patterns in purple color and natural oil lubrication is not dry. African padauk/rosewood is died black, dull, coarse fibers. After drying and shrinkage, it has many(ox hair line) . This sort of line is actually a different blcok caused by the contraction of different clearnce. So, we called the young rosewood as the Dalbergia Louvelii and the old rosewood as the pterocarpus santalinus.

 This is the leaves and fruit seeds of ptercarpus indicus in India.    Pterocarpus indicus has small yellow flowers.

           leaves and fruit seeds in India               Pterocarpus indicus has small yellow flowers

Young rosewood's import is more and more restricted. Prices' rising yearby year. Aprreication of the potential is enormous.
 

Identification methods

Immersion for 5 hrs produce fluorescence
 
Immersion for 5 hrs produce fluorescence
 
1. Take a piece of wood and write like a pen with certain pressure. A purple-red scratche will appear if it is pterocarpus santalinus. And scratch with same pressure second time and third time... until the color is disapear.

2. Put a little piece of wood in a glass of clean water(the proportion of wood piece and water is 1:3-1:10). After 12 hours immersing, you will the top level of the water has blue organic oil fluorescence appear(the top level of the water between glass wall is the most obvious). 24 hours later, the fluorescent is much more obvious. This step is primarily used to exclude other rosewood-Dalbergia Lushi wood and non-rosewood of the genus pterocarpus if the fluorescence phenomenon continue to the next step.
 
3. On the observation of last step immersed water color of wood chips, sandalwood rosewood is a purple-red color (The shade of the color depends on the location of the wood piece, water amount  and the length of immersed time are closely related.  You can move to the next step to do the further confirmation.
 
4. Tube holes on the transverse section of the distribution: Equally distributed of the inner tube diameter on the growth ring and that is sandalwood rosewood. Use a sharp knife to cut into a cross section quickly and one time. And watch with a 10 times manification or more precision glasses to oberserve whether the distribution is uniform or not.  If you want, continue to the next step.
 
5.Growth ring: Observe the growth rings in the cross section, sandalwood rosewood is not obvious.
 
6. Material color: sandalwood rosedwood is orange-red color. It will be dark purple or balck purple with the time increased.  It is also often with light and dark stripes.
 
7. Smell the aroma: sandalwood rosewood has a faint scent when friction with the object. (smells like sandalwood fragrance, but different like the daily use smell of burning incense). Blank files, saw planer with large smell.
 
8. Texture: Texture of sandalwood rosewood is staggered and local curling. Ox hair line and spun gold are the typical characteristics of pterocarpus santalinus.  Do not mistake the venus as the ox hair line. 
 
9. Oil texture.
 
10. Cross section 30 times magnification: This is the last step of personally identifiable.
 
Project
Sandalwood rosewood
Lushi Dalbergia
Comparison
Transverse section
1.0 x 1.0 mm x mm
1.0 mm x 1.0 mm
1.0 x 0.9 mm x mm
1.0 mm x 0.9 mm
Lushi Dalbergia axial parenchyma, with concentric layers of thin line (1~2 cells wide), arranged and structured.
Sandalwood rosewood axial parenchyma, with concentric layers or slightly wavy line (1~2 cells wide), bundles of thin ring-shaped.
Radial section
1.0 x 1.0 mm x mm
1.0 mm x 1.0 mm
1.0 x 0.9 mm x mm
1.0 mm x 0.9 mm
Lushi Dalbergia wall thickness of the wood fibers and wood ray height 6-9
Sandalwood rosewood fibre wall thickness, full of red gum and red pterocarpine, and wood ray height 4-7
Tangential
1.0 x 1.0 mm x mm
1.0 mm x 1.0 mm
1.0 x 0.9 mm x mm
1.0 mm x 0.9 mm
Fibers of Lushi Dalbergia is thicker and coarse than sandalwood rosewood
In 1mm height, Lushi Dalbergia arranged ray has a complete paragraph 2, sandalwood rosewood 4 full of them.
 
 

Distinguish types

 

Differentiate pterocarpus santalinus between young and old materials

 
young:
1. Young timber growth period is short but the old wood has better quality.
2. Lightweight, big brown eyes, loose material. For example, in 20mmx12pieces+2pieces pagodas beads bracelet weigh about 63-65g. (density of pterocarpus santalinus: 1.05-1.26G/cm3).
 
 
Old:
1.  Over 800 years growth.
2.  High oil, density and heavy weight. It has wax feeling when you polish it.
3. Some of the old wood has obvious falme pattern. But not every part has a flame patter absolutely. When you see flames in the wood, you can almost conclude that is old wood.
 
 

Value analysis

 

1. Red sandalwood is a generic term. Like redwood( includes white and red rosewood) is same.  It is also known as red sandalwood in many countries. It includes peterocarpus indicus. It is only supplied for the royal family and government officers in Ming dynasty.

2. The red sandalwood we talked about is pterocarpus indicus and Phillippines narra. It is also known as chicken blood rosewood. It is the best known of the wood and the highest level of rosewood.

3. 90% are African sandalwood Erhu of Suzhou, Shanghai often carved "Blood Boutique Pterocarpus" . It is not pterocarpus santalinus wood.

4. There are big differences between African rosewood and chicken blood pterocarpus santalinus in quality.  And the cost is a quarter of chicken blood pterocarpus santalinus. The quality of the musical instrument is equally to redwood(Red rosewood/Dalbergia). Can to compare with peterocarpus santalinus.

Pterocarpus santalinus is evergreen sub trees. five or six feet high. Compund leaves, papilionoideae, fruit is winged. Very hard and sinking in the water.  In supply of lack sources, peterocarpus santalinus wood has been used for officer home collection in Ming Qing dynasty.  Erhu used of pertocarpus indicus is appeared in 2003.

There are more than 15 species of sandalwood. And the best is located in Southeast Asia. And India's pterocarpus indicus is the finest.


Wood maintenance

 
Peterocarpus santalinus became one of the favorite wood. It can be used to produce not only gorgeous rich furniture, but also can be used to produce different types of jewelry such as bead Bracelets, beads and other crafts.
It is very versatile, and maintenance methods of rosewood jewelry and handicraft:
1. Playing with a towel glove until the amber color appear.
2. After the machining process and the finished product comes out with no oil and wax.
3. Do not rush to get started. Use the cotton cloth or the soft cotton gloves to play it until the beads are no longer fade(purple red color).
 

Unique fragrance

 

There is a big difference on rosewood fragrance. In fact, authorities claim there is no fragrance. And itself is not fragant wood.

Any plant has a unique smell itself. But that does not mean rosewood scent itself. It only has very pale sandalwood smell. Only can smell it when just sawed. No fragrance over a long period.

To confirm this problem, I checked the relevant information. There is no fragrance. If we smelled the aroma, that because the other reagents may be added in the production process.

 

Quality overview

 

1. Wonderful texture.

We usually talk about rosewood texture and grain, the texture here is sandalwood pattern which is black and red intertwined veins. Pattern we speaks of is the veins between brown eyes and browon lines.
 
 

2. Ox hair line is one of the important features of rosewood

For the "best" pterocarpus santalinus, ox hair lines coexistence of spun gold can be seen occasionally. But not only the peterocarpus indicus has the brown eyes and ox hair lines. But pterocarpus santalinus has the most riched clouds of ox hair lines.So, features of densed ox hair lines is the point of indentifying the pattern known as the pterocarpus santalinus.
 
 

3. Wild growth and years long.

The best must be old pterocarpus santalinus that is to say the best means the old material. So the best is wild growth without artificial fertilization and was grown under natural conditions. There is another comparison is over 800 years wild pterocarpus santalinus can be called the best.
 
 

4. It should be the whole piece of heartwood with no cracking and fill.

Ten sandalwood with nine hollow hearwood. An Inch pterocarpus santalinus worths an inch gold. Most of the wood is hollow. Big diameter is few, normally it is 20cm in diameter. So, you can fined the big diameter in new pterocarpus santalinus but few in old wood. So, the need of rosewood should be no hollow, no cracks, no white skin, no fill patch.
 

5. Oily texture, high density are the features of good pterocarpus santalinus.

 
First of all, oily show the  oil fat interior the rosewood contains a long-term growth. Such oil is more obvious when polish. Can see the places where grainded is oil black color and accompanied by the smell of wood Polish, the oil is more obvious, can see the places I went just a little grinding oil black, and accompanied by the smell of aroma.
 
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Play method

 
Play the beads bracelet is kinda of since. Good playing will let the  beads icing on the cake. The playing step is below:
 
1. Before playing with the beads, it should be wax-free and oil-free. If you know well about how to play the beads bracelet, you can buy a wax-free and oil-free to play it by your self and get a better beads bracelet.
 
2.  With 2-3 hours play per day just for rub the dirty and polish the surface.
 
3. After a week of playing with gloves, the soft cloth will have red some red marks on it. This is normal phenomenon. It will be faded after a week.
 
4.  If you want to play it with your hands. It must be freshly washed and dried.
     Please do not directly play the beads with your sweaty hands. Better to wear cotton gloves. Do not forget to play the place around the beads hole.
     30 minutes a day for the playing. A week or two weeks later, you can feel the have a sense of rough feeling. In fact, the beads had formed a thin patina.
 
5. Now, you need to place it aside for a week and natural dry to let the patina/slurry to form some degree of hardening.
 
6.  You will see the beads with smart gloss after 3 months. Played good beads are sometimes rendered more strongly reflective. Somewhat like a shiny glass.
 
7.  Pay attention that the beads to not contact with water any time. If the beads are dirty just use the moist cloth to wipe it severalt imes and then place it aside to dry.  As much as possile to play the full surface of the beads.  Just be patience to play the beads slowly and enjoy it.  Rush can help nothing.
 
Matters needing attention

 

• Oil will make the wood color to deepen. Unless you have a special preference for dark, otherwise please do not oil, human face's oil, oil on hand will make the wood colors become darker.
• Waxed is not good. Good wood is oily, natural oil. Wax can clog the "pores".
• Pterocarpus santalinus is easy to  soluble in alcohol, so please stay away from.
 

Frequently asked questions

 

Why shold we play it?(After palying it will be oily and shiny).

Pterocarpus santalinus Bracelets is generally played by hands with wearing golves. People's hand or pure cotton gloves are equivalent to high number of sandpaper. The play methods is for grinding/polished the beds to be lubricated. On the other hand, people's hand is warm and shoft play will cause a certain temperature. And this stimulates the oil inside the beads to extravasation.  You can clearly felt it seeping oil after 10 minutes.
 

Kept wrapped, slurry can be formed?

Pterocarpus santalinus' oil density is the first of the wood. In the case of packaging condition, its oil will always seep out. It is still able to form a certain patina when you place with six months or a year. And then play a little more with hand, dust off  and the shiny and oil immediately will appear on the beads. With the hands playing just speed up the process and make it more uniform and beautiful sulrry. Note: Release of the sulrry ultimately depends on the oil itself.
 

Online tutorials has stressed the need to use gloves play. Is it okay if I occasionally with sweating hands?

Do not contact with beads for a very long time if your hands are sweaty. But there's no need to do so carefully. In the production process of beads, there would be many sweaty hands to fetch it and finally to be the beads bracelet.  Is that matter if your hands are sweaty?  Just play as you want and do not led by the tutorials.
 

Why do not play it all the time?

Deep oil of pterocarpus santalinus beads will seep out slowly after the oil of the surface come out. If we play it all the time, we just wipe off the oil from the surface to our gloves. After four or fiver hours, the beads is very dry and bleak.
 

We should place when we play some time per day?

We can play it every day with some certain time. If the oil is seeped out. Just place and cool it to form the slurry/patina. Lont time place is for seeping out the oil deeply from the beads.  This is good for the oil seeping out next time. Just have some rest after you playing. Rember the beads bracelet also need this.
 
 

Pseudo material

 
Laos  rosewood, 《Red Wood International》defined as red rosewood. Mainly in Laos, hunders of years before they can be use.
1. Flavors: A spicy, octyl smell.
2. Color: Usually red or dark red. After oxidation in the air it will be ark red.
3. Material: Firm and heavy, fine structure. Highly oil, ca be immersed in water.
4. Brown eyes: samll and dense.
5. Texture: Wood texture plain but beautiful, elegant and fresh, with dark brown or balck straight silky stripe.

 

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