Stradivari’s varnish: a chemical analysis

Five Strads

Jean-PhilIppe Echard and Balthazar Soulier reveal the results of their seven-year research into Stradivari’s varnish, using five of the master’s instruments from Paris’s Musée de la Musique. From April 2010

The exact composition of Cremonese varnish – and that used by Stradivari in particular – has been discussed many times, often in these pages. But despite the increasing fondness of scientists for the subject, and the publication of a small number of analytical surveys in the past 60 years, no clarification has been achieved; if anything, the reverse is true.

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