Trade Secrets: Decorating a copy of a historical violin

TS1

Gold and silver leaf, glass powder and ink are all necessary in this detailed and complex process

In the past, decorated instruments were extremely popular among the nobility of many European countries, but the pictorial decoration was often entrusted to artists other than the luthier who had built the instrument. Professional decorators and artisans were given the task of expressing their skills on the instruments, which above all paid homage to kings and their kingdoms.

About ten years ago my curiosity and passion for this work led me to study how bowed stringed instruments used to be decorated. I then reproduced some of Andrea Amati’s instruments, and built and decorated the Amati ‘King’ cello for the first time in 2017…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe - online subscriptions from £4.50/month

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.

 

* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.