Forms of mystery

Figure 7. Smith_MS_21_PG (4.19 cmyk)

Andrea Zanrè and Philip Ihle conclude their examination of Stradivari’s moulds, with the aid of micro-CT imaging by Rudolf Hopfner, by exploring whether the Cremonese master may have used more than the twelve forms that survive in the Museo del Violino

The first part of this article (‘Variations on a theme’, May 2019) provided readers with new interpretations of the twelve violin moulds attributed to Antonio Stradivari now housed in Cremona’s Museo del Violino. The study of these artefacts has been an ongoing process for the past 250 years: it became a real obsession for collectors such as Count Cozio di Salabue, who acquired the moulds through the descendants of Antonio Stradivari in 1776; for makers such as Giuseppe Fiorini, who purchased the relics from the heirs of Cozio in 1920, later donating them to the town of Cremona; and more recently some of the most knowledgeable scholars active during the past decades.

What all of us thought we knew about these items (which has been thoroughly explained by Simone Fernando Sacconi in his 1972 work I ‘Segreti’ di Stradivari) now requires some rethinking…

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