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Old December 18th, 2014, 08:01 AM   #10
Pierre Galafassi
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 87

Originally Posted by Paul Smith View Post
My luthier friends were pretty amused about several features of "The Red Violin." Apparently blood added to varnish would make it brown, not red, and it would destroy the transparency of the varnish..

Hi Paul,

Your luthier friends are right: the mix of blood and madder/alizarin would turn the violin lacquer brown, or even black after a while.
For at least two reasons, one being the fact that hemoglobin is an iron complex of less than perfect stability. Thus, some iron will eventually shift allegiance and form a more stable brown-black metal-complex with the hydroxy-anthraquinones of madder.

As Steve indicated, hemoglobin and alizarin do not belong to the same chemical families.

Hemoglobine is, structurally speaking, related to another natural pigment, of vital importance too, the green chlorophyll magnesium-complex.
Another interesting cousin of hemoglobin is a group of stable modern synthetic dyes (and pigments) called phtalocyanines: Copper- or nickel complexes which color wool and cotton in beautiful bright turquoise- or green shades. (These synthetic dyes are from time to time utilized in modern Persian rugs, IMHO a not-so-bright idea).

Pierre Galafassi is offline   Reply With Quote