While flame maple (also known as figured maple, curly maple or fiddleback maple) had long been used to the backs and necks of guitars and other stringed instruments such as the violin, it was the use of this striking timber in 1958 to 1960 Gibson Les Pauls that really made it desirable when used to create the two-piece, book-matched carved tops on these guitars. Flame maple is found only in a small percentage of maple trees and the really eye-popping examples come from less than one percent. Most people do not realize that the flame is not the actual grain pattern of the wood. It actually runs perpendicular to the grain direction, which is why some maple tops appear to have patterns running front-to-back and side-to-side. The rippled, 3-D look to flame maple is caused by a phenomenon known as chatoyancy.