This illustration of a 1669 Jacob Stainer violin was published in The Strad, August 1934. The following text is extracted from an article accompanying the photographs:
Jacobus Stainer’s instruments were always German in style, although the master was immeasurably in advance of his countrymen. That he was acquainted with the best work of the Italian makers is evident by the improved style of his later work but as the late George Hart states in his notice of Stainer in ‘The Violin and its History’ – ‘I am satisfied that Stainer was assisted by neither Brothers Amati nor Niccolo Amati and I am strengthened in this opinion by the steadfastly German character of the model which no pupil of Amati could have persisted in using, even though based on his earliest traditions’.
The varnish on the example which we are able to illustrate this month through the courtesy of Messrs. Hart & Son is a rich golden brown. This example is considered one of the maker’s best and was made in 1669 when Stainer was at the height of his powers. It bears the original label, which is in manuscript as is usually the case.
The arching of this example are quite moderate, little if any higher than an average Amati. Stainer’s arching have been much exaggerated by copyists and many have an altogether wrong idea of their proportions.
The usual size of his violins correspond with the ordinary Amati instruments, but some are rather larger and measure a full 14 inches or slightly over in length. The following are the principal measurements of the example illustrated. Length 13 15/16ins., Top bouts 6 9/16ins., Lower bouts 8 1/8ins.