Dating Stradivari’s “Antonius” Violin

Just imagine if the Wright brothers had it right first time around — if the planes that took us around the globe today were identical to those flown in Imagine if you had invented something centuries ago whose form and function nobody had ever been able to improve? It is the first time an exhibition like this has ever been mounted and, unsurprisingly, has proved an irresistible draw for violin aficionados and music geeks from all over the world — including me. But even if you have never picked up a violin and have less than a passing interest in the history of musical instruments, the story of Stradivari is a compelling one. How did this one man, who emerged out of nowhere, figure out how to create from a lifeless, silent block of wood the most remarkable sound machine we have ever known? And why is it that, over years since he was born, we still have not grasped how he did what he did? And given that the history of human development is generally one of progress and improvement, why on earth have we not worked out how to do it any better?

Don’t be fiddled by the label inside a violin

Dendrochronology has been used for many years in scientific research like geography and archeology. Dendrochronology can also be used to determine when a wooden instrument was made. Historians, auction houses and even high-end violin appraisers utilize dendrochronology to determine the quality and age of fine violins , violas, and cellos. The process of dendrochronology begins by analyzing spruce top of the violin in question or high-resolution digital photos of the instruments. The prominence of each layer varies depending on the light, rain, and soil that the tree was exposed to during that year.

The wood used to craft violins must be sawn from a tree or split from the center like cutting a piece of pie.

Violins that meet the highest performance standards: Corilon violins presents its full size violins feature a wide range of different characteristics and date back.

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Violins | Antique violins

Antonio Stradivari , Latin Stradivarius , born ? In Stradivari began to produce larger models, using a deeper-coloured varnish and experimenting with minute details in the form of the instrument. He also made some fine cellos and violas. The Stradivari method of violin making created a standard for subsequent times; he devised the modern form of the violin bridge and set the proportions of the modern violin, with its shallower body that yields a more powerful and penetrating tone than earlier violins.

Among these are the thickness and, hence, the vibrational properties of its wooden top and back plates, the condition of the microscopic pores within the wood of the violin, and lastly the formula of the varnish.

A second violin bearing the same label was made by John Lott, perhaps And then there are dealer labels, another practice dating at least to.

Curator’s Corner. History Perfected in the very late 17th century, the violin is the most ubiquitous antique object form in our daily lives. It is the principal melody instrument in symphony orchestras and mountain string bands. It has not been improved since the s when Stradivari, Guarnieri, Amati and a dozen others worked in Cremona, Italy. Fine violins were also made in England, France and Germany. Value: As everyone knows, the instruments made in Cremona fetch fabulous prices at auction.

Everyone who finds an old violin thinks that he has a fortune in his hands because it generally has a Stradivarius label in it. It stands to reason.

Who Made My Violin?

There are 3 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information. Huggins, Margaret L. Cozio holds copies of many certificates and other documents, some of which are available to view on request. Please contact us if you wish to view a particular document. Note that we do not always have permission to share documents.

Curator Jayson Dobney investigates the date Antonio Stradivari produced “The Antonius” violin, one of the famed luthier’s instruments in The.

Dendrochronology, which may be defined as the dating of the year-rings of wood, has only recently been employed in the dating of violins. In , Lottermoser and Meyer attempted a relative dating of Italian stringed instruments by comparing the year-ring patterns of three violins, though actual dating was not achieved until the s by Corona, Schweingruber, and Klein [1]. I met Dr. Klein many years before the Guarneri exhibition, for in the s and s, he was often invited to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to date panel paintings and other wooden objects.

In dating musical instruments for the Department of Musical Instruments including violins, viols, lutes, guitars, and harpsichords , I never had any reason to question his findings, which were always in agreement with my assessments regarding age and attribution. However, because of a dispute that developed during that session, he was unable to leave the Ashmolean with his measurements.

Klein now declines to date violins, which is a great loss to those of us who formerly relied upon his expertise and objectivity. John Topham, and subsequently, Dr. Unfortunately, their floating chronology only extended to , and as dendrochronologists Angelo Mondino and Matteo Avalle later pointed out, this did not permit Topham and Grissino-Mayer to discover a more compelling statistical match further along in time [3].

Synchro Search is a graphing and statistical program for comparing year-ring data with established master spruce chronologies. In using the Synchro Search program, the graphed year-ring dimensions of the violin in question can be advanced with the click of a computer key against graphs of any of the master chronologies until a match is found. The program can also be set so that the computer will locate the best matches, which is very convenient when master chronologies are hundreds of years in length.

First violins imitated human voices: study

Music historians have long suspected that the inventors of the violin wanted to imitate the human voice, and a study out Monday shows how 16th to 18th century luthiers in Italy did it. Researchers at National Taiwan University asked a professional violinist to play 15 antique instruments, including one from by Andrea Amati, the early 16th-century luthier from Cremony, Italy who is considered to be the father of the modern four-string violin.

Others played in the study were from the Stradivarius family, conceived by Antonio Stradivari, who improved upon Amati’s design. First, researchers recorded scales played on the 15 antique instruments played by a professional violinist and recorded at Taiwan’s Chimei Museum. Then, they recorded the voices of eight men and eight women, ranging in age from 16 to 30 years, who sang common English vowels.

The choice of models is based on the instruments of the Cremonese School, dating back to the 16th and 17th century (Amati, Andrea Guarneri, Guarneri del.

So why do musicians keep getting separated from their precious, often priceless instruments? The answer could be simply that they are mere mortals. But if that is the case, why does it not happen even more often, given that musicians travel constantly and haul everything along except the Steinway grand? Maybe the answer there lies in the extraordinary, even paranoid behavior that musicians display toward the tools of their trade.

The latest case of separation anxiety was highlighted last week at a taxi lot at Newark Liberty International Airport. Such incidents pop up regularly. The explanations include fatigue from long travels, preoccupation, a simple mistake, the mere fact of being human. In truth, Mr.

How are old unlabled violins appraised?

Over the years, I have found myself holding interviews in state-of-the-art anechoic test chambers at Ford in Detroit, talking tech while robots and AGVs build Electrolux dishwashers in Solaro, Italy , and just recently, I found myself cruising along at 75 km per hour in a Zodiac powered by a COX Marine engine. More about that one later…. What I love about Simcenter storytelling is that every story is unique and filled with passionate people, creative and innovative solutions, and healthy portions of we-can-change-the-world aspiration, but this story about the Associazione Liutaria Italiana ALI is especially close to my heart.

Hello, I have a violin that does not have a label and would like determine the time period that it was made. Is this possible? I have attached.

Music historians have long suspected that the inventors of the violin wanted to imitate the human voice, and a study out Monday shows how 16th to 18th century luthiers in Italy did it. Researchers at National Taiwan University asked a professional violinist to play 15 antique instruments, including one from by Andrea Amati, the early 16th-century luthier from Cremony, Italy who is considered to be the father of the modern four-string violin.

Others played in the study were from the Stradivarius family, conceived by Antonio Stradivari, who improved upon Amati’s design. First, researchers recorded scales played on the 15 antique instruments played by a professional violinist and recorded at Taiwan’s Chimei Museum. Then, they recorded the voices of eight men and eight women, ranging in age from 16 to 30 years, who sang common English vowels. Performing a thorough acoustic analysis, they found that an Amati violin dating to and a Gasparo da Salo violin dating to mimicked the basses and baritones of male singers, “raising the possibility that master violinmakers from this period may have designed violins to emulate male voices,” said the report.

Violin makers and the expanding industry

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Stradivari burst onto the scene with his first violin, dating from , when he was 22, now known as the ‘Serdet’. I had the extraordinary.

Sadly, this iPhone app for instantly discovering the age of a violin by visual analysis of the wood was an April Fool, but the principle of Dendrochronology is sound. Specialists use dendrochronology to find out the when the wood used in an instrument was grown. The history of a tree can be read in its rings, as year by year they reflect the climatic conditions. In a good year the tree will grow healthily and there will be a wide ring, in a colder or unusually dry year the ring will be narrower.

Trees of the same species growing in similar areas all have the exact same pattern. Precise measurements and computer analysis mean that the patterns in the spruce on the table of a violin of unknown age can now be compared with data from a wide range of other instruments. If you want a dendrochronological analysis to find out how old your violin is, contact Peter Ratcliff. Cello bows.

Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute

The Met Fifth Ave opens August The Met Cloisters opens September Your health is our top priority. Antonio Stradivari Italian, —

date supports the attribution of the violin to Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, a prolific French instrument reside 11 exercises on tree-ring dating techniques applied.

Just the other day another Strings reader wrote inquiring about the value and authenticity of his violin. Even if the little tag inside your instrument is original, the information printed on it might be accurate but obscure, genuine but inaccurate, misleading, or downright false. A cursory investigation of the aforementioned Rocca label provides an illustration. Using a few key words to search the Internet turned up several instruments bearing the same label.

Among them, a genuine Joseph Rocca, certified by a famous dealer and sold by a reputable auction house. A second violin bearing the same label was made by John Lott, perhaps the best of the English makers. Whether or not to call them forgeries, rather than copies, is debatable, as forgery implies intent to deceive. It was all over New York and had several attributions to Enrico Rocca Genoa , some from good people, to which I have no comment. In the end, it had just enough quality going for it that it sold to a dealer on spec that it was Enrico.

As this one example illustrates, labels are hardly a reliable guide to identifying an instrument. Mislabeling of instruments goes back nearly as far as the violin family itself, as chronicled by the legendary Hill family dealers in their book Antonio Stradivari, His Life and Work London, In a court violinist petitioned his employer, the Duke of Modena, for relief as a victim of label fraud.

According to the Hills, it was common for a maker to insert the label of his master into his own violins. On the one hand, they defend the practice, saying there was no intent to deceive, since the follower usually included his own label or mark—just not in the usual, easily visible place.

Posh violinist Lettice Rowbotham gives the Judges something new


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