Violin makers have long had maker's marks integrated into their labels, the two most famous being Antonio Stradivari's initials flanking a cross and Giuseppe Guarneri's "IHS" initials which earned him the moniker "del Gesu."

Many labels incorporate a symbol of the area the maker comes from. Most makers before the mid-twentieth century lived in the same place their entire lives. Today, we can expect to live in many places over our lifetimes. I now live in Birmingham, but I was raised on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, a barrier island forming the north mouth of Charleston Harbor on the east coast of the US. Birmingham bears little relation to who I am, so my label is designed to reflect my origins.

My maker's mark is a palmetto tree flanked by my initials. The palmetto tree is native to Sullivan's Island and is attributed as instrumental to Colonel Moultrie's defense of Sullivan's Island against an attempt by British warships to enter Charleston Harbor and lay siege to Charleston in June, 1776. During the artillery duel, cannonballs fired at the fort from the British ships simply sank into the soft, tough palmetto wood. The fleet was repulsed and the British did not return to capture Charleston until 1780, using a land-based siege.

South Carolina Militia Civil War  Button- 1863