This illustration of a violin by Michael Platner was published in The Strad, June1984. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
Michael Platner of Rome is an important violin maker whose work is recognised and sought after, yet little is actually known about the man and his career.
His name is usually associated with David Tecchler, who is acknowledged as the greatest master of the Roman School. It is hard to know if they were master and pupil or just colleagues at the bench. We have no birth date for Michael, but he was probably young when Tecchler arrived, since the body of his work dates from the 1730s, but while Tecchler's work took on a more Cremonese character, Platner remained solidly in the Tyrolean tradition. Although he was among the very best disciples of Stainer, and his achievements as a craftsman cannot be doubted, his loyalty to this model relegates him to the shadow of Tecchler, who quickly embraced the Amati style of work.
The instrument we are looking at this month is a fine example with a rare original label dated 1728, the earliest whose authenticity can be completely trusted. The outline has a long, narrow appearance, quite rounded at the top and bottom, and long open looking C-bouts. The corners are characteristically small and short, contrasting with those of Tecchler, which are usually large and long.
The f-holes are charming, the best manifestation of the Stainer school, short, upright and set close to the edge. The scroll is a pretty piece of carving with a very Italian flair, petite and delicate with a typically long slender pegbox leading to the deeply cut and narrow throat. The back is made of two pieces of beautifully figured maple with the finest grain, while the pine of the front is strong, even, and fine also.
The varnish is a beautiful golden brown, unmistakably Italian, typically Roman and in good condition, only missing from the centre of the back, where it has flaked away in a classical manner.