This illustration of a violin by Antonio Stradivari was published in The Strad, May 1976. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
Our first information on this instrument traces it back to the time last century when it was given by the Czar of Russia to his court violinist, Eugene Maria Albrecht, a pupil of Ferdinand David, a distinguished solo violinist also a noted musicologist who contributed many articles to the periodicals of his time.
In 1905 the violin arrived in this country and was sold by Hill's to Mrs Fleetwood-Hesketh, a very good violinist who as a student had won a high award at the Royal Academy. In 1935 the violin was handed over by Mrs Hesketh to her daughter Joan. Following this last owner's death in 1975, the violin is now to be sold by order of the executors.
Although the instrument was made during the period of the 'long' Strad it was precisely in 1692, the date of this violin, when Stradivari was now turning away from the influence of Maggini with his overall large dimensions and reverting back to a design of orthodox size yet slightly larger than his early Amatise type. This example is of normal size throughout, 14' exactly in body length, a fairly flat model and is clearly Strad looking forward to the mature products of his later years.
It is a superb demonstration of Stradivari's craftsmanship, if it lacks the almost regal distinction of the great 1690 Tuscan it can still stand comparison with many of the renowned post 1700 instruments and one notes that Strad is already favouring the deeper hued golden brown varnish he adopted for those later works. Yet the illustration shows Stradivari still retaining something of the Amati like elegance of the early period with graceful outline, exquisitely cut f-holes and delicately wrought details.
The violin is largely in original state and its tone has been much praised for a bell like clarity you are only likely to get with a Strad like this that seemingly has never been overworked during its long life.