This illustration of the ‘General Kyd’ Stradivarius was published in The Strad, January 1962. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
During the ten years from 1710 to 1720, Stradivarius constructed many of his finest instruments, for it will be found that more outstanding examples of his genius date from this period than from any other decade of his long life.
Although Stradivarius had reached his 70th year in 1714, over 20 more productive years still lay ahead. Indeed, at 70 he is considered by many to have been at the zenith of his skill. His outstanding masterpiece, the ‘Messie’ dates from two years later, and the ‘Alard’, ‘Emperor’ and ‘Cessol’ from 1715.
The ‘General Kyd’ Stradivarius of 1714 is one of two violins bearing that name. The other is dated 1720. These were once part of the collection of General Kyd, a talented amateur musician and an enthusiastic collector of Cremonese instruments.
The ‘General Kyd’ is one of the few Stradivaris which still has its original neck. This has been lengthened by the insertion of a wedge at the base of the neck to meet the requirements of the present day.
It has its original label and is authentic in all its parts. The two-piece back is of maple cut on the quarter with a broad, handsome figure extending downwards from the centre joint. The sides are of wood with a somewhat smaller flame than the back. The scroll and the original neck are cut from plainer maple. The table, in two pieces, is from a choice piece of pine, narrow grained in the centre and of medium width at the flanks. The varnish is rose-red in colour.
The principal measurements are: Length of Body, 14 1/8 inches; Upper Bouts, 8 3/16 inches; Middle Bouts, 4 ½ inches; Lower Bouts, 6 9/16 inches.