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Found 1 result

  1. Original Baroque Fingerboards

    Hi all, I've been reviewing what I can about the original set-ups of Cremonese and Brescian instruments (although I'm always interested in other traditions as well if anyone wants to share). I noticed a couple of the fingerboards had a centerline joint visible at the tailpiece end - 1664 Andrea Guarneri Tenor viola, and the 1690 Stradivari Tenor viola in Florence. I started wondering if it was common practice in cremona to use cut-offs from the top and back to build the fingerboard. Reading up on Hargrave's 1987 article concerning a relatively unaltered 1679 Jacob Stainer violin, he says "The top curve of the board is very flat, and it has a very tiny saw or file cut in the center at the end (see drawing). This "notch" is about the size that a string would fit into. I have no idea as to its originality or use". Centerline joints can be just as useful as a scribe line or notch, so I started wondering if these joints had a function. However, the original Strad fingerboard MS 129 isn't joined down the center at all - it's just a willow core with maple edges on either side (bass and treble). I think I can see joint lines indicating that the 1613 Girolamo Amati pochette fingerboard is of this variety as well. I don't see any centerline scribe line or notches on these two. The 1669 Andrea Guarneri viola seems to have a different variation of border edging as the fingerboard end face doesn't seem to correspond with the grain along the underside of the board. The 1721 Stradivarius 'Lady Blunt' fingerboard seems to have a single core with no edge border. Just was wondering if anyone else could add a little more concerning original baroque fingerboard variations, or about any tool marks they might display which could shed light on method or process. I'm assuming that the pinhole at the nut end of the 'Lady Blunt' fingerboard was added later for display purposes. Also, if anyone can offer some more definitive answers concerning which fittings might or might not be original in the Ashmoleon's collection, I'd really appreciate it. I haven't been able to purchase the new text yet, and I'm seeing contrasting opinions in the older sources I own. Thanks, Joel