Also known as: Leopardwood, Letterwood

Botanical Name: Piratinera guianensis

Description: Aptly named in view of its general resemblance to snake skin, this veneer is only available in very small quantities and is usually sawn as opposed to being knife cut. The colour is a rich, dark reddish brown, with almost black markings which may be speckled or in small rings. Traditionally the solid was used for walking sticks, violin bows and cutlery handles etc. and the veneer as a detail or inlay on fine furniture. Sizes are small at no more than around one metre in length and up to, perhaps, 130 mm wide. In view of its rarity, Snakewood veneer is very expensive.