||Just out of curiosity,
here you have a brief list (1) of luthiers that used the bending technique
for belly or back:
John Rose 1560 - 1600, Henry Jaye 1615 -1667
Richard Meares 1676 - 1736, Barak Norman 1688 - 1740
Michel Colichon 1666 - 1693, Noel Cheron 1658 - 1691
Guillaume Barbay 1717 - 1742, Charles Francois Gand 1787 - 1845
Gregorius Karpp (worked in the end of 17th century)
Joachim Tielke 1641 - 1719
Some experiences in reconstructing have shown differences which were clearly discernible in timbre, projection, and response in two replicas which were built exactly alike from the very same original, but with the two bellies built following the two different methods. In my opinion, a prominent role among the reasons behind the different sound of the bent belly is played by its superior elasticity: there are in fact a far lesser number of interrupted fibers, both longitudinally and transversally.
Moreover, it behaves like a "spring", so you have to force it down when gluing it to the ribs.
(1) Tilmann Muthesius
Die Gebogene Gambendecke
Eine andere historische Deckenkonstruktion
Im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert
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