All Varnish articles

  • Robson violin
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    Stradivari varnish: Scarlet fever


    How did Antonio Stradivari achieve the special deep red varnish colour that makes his later instruments so attractive? Joe Robson believes he has discovered both the composition and method for making it – and cracked one of the most enduring mysteries of the master maker. From the September 2018 issue

  • Cremonese varnish sample Stradavari
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    Cremonese varnish: Shining example


    A close look into the history and chemistry of varnish making can shed new light on the mysteries of classic Cremonese varnish, as Joe Robson explains, in this lutherie feature from November 2007

  • Violotti Stradavari
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    A fresh look at Sacconi’s varnish research


    Simone Sacconi’s ideas about Stradivari’s varnish relied as much on hypothesis as hard evidence, and led to recipes that were largely impractical. But as Koen Padding explains in this feature from July 2011, Sacconi’s concept stacks up well against the latest scientific analysis

  • Alard Strad
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    Recipe for success: Stradivari’s varnish


    The search for Stradivari’s varnish formula has continued since the 18th century, but there have been few scientific analyses of the varnish itself. Stewart Pollens reveals the results of his recent study of the varnish on five of Stradivari’s instruments, in this feature from May 2009

  • Five Strads
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    Stradivari’s varnish: a chemical analysis


    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

  • Antoine Nédélec

    9 views on antiquing a modern violin


    Tips and opinions from The Strad's archive on capturing a classic look in new instruments – or not