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How consistent were the early masters?


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In their basic choices, I mean, such as one-piece vs multi-piece backs, shape of f-holes, and so forth?

Part of the reason I'm asking is that we always hear about 1-pc vs 2-pc backs (like the thread here just now), but there was a Strad calendar a few years ago that showed at least two violins with *4*-pc backs. And I don't think they were done that way for any reason of looks, either, because the wood didn't seem attractive or particularly well-matched. I'm wondering why they would have done that, if not because they needed to make something to pay the rent and that's the wood they had on hand.

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