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The Stainer Model


kessi
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quote:


Originally posted by:
fiddlecollector

I wish people wouldnt describe Stainers as tubby!

Some maybe highly arched but the arching is very subtle. Boxiness isnt a word to describe real Stainers.Even Henley sounds like he had never seen a real one going by his description of his violins.

Most Strad models arent too far apart from a Strad look but Stainer models and copies are like chalk and cheese! I cant really think of many later makers from any countries whose Stainer models looked even close to Stainer.

I think Stainers should be seen on their own merits without this kind of contest of which is best or who was most popular in the past.

The few ive heard played in small recitals sounded exquisite to my ears and perfectly suited to the venues.

I would very much like to see more examples of Stainer models (chalk and cheese). It's just that it is so difficult for my untrained eye to see the arching in the books i have.

For a start some pictures of my (comissioned) cello "after Jacobus Stainer, Absam 1680", finished in 2001. (Note that I like high arching and explicitly asked for it)!

Frontsdsc008810uo.th.jpg

Backsdsc008858km.th.jpg

Side view C-boutssdsc008933ku.th.jpg

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The Strad has at least one good poster of a real Stainer violin. Unfortunately, most of the ones that people are familiar with are the copies that are branded Stainer. Those resemble an actual instrument about as much a hand drawn caricature of Jay Leno or some other celeb. The quicker arch is grossly exaggerated in those.

Many of the Klotz or Schweitzer violins are more Stainer-like in the arching.

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Kessi the trouble with photos is that variations in lighting and angle of view can make it difficult to differentiate subtleties of arching. For instance, although I am sure this is not actually the case, the photos make it appear that your cello has the sort of 'factory Stainer' arching that people decry as a caricature.

I don't know whether anyone caught the link I posted to this picture in the other thread, but here again is a COMPARISON of the top c-bout arching of the Stainer from the Strad poster to some Cremonese archings. HERE is the lower bout.

Many factory 'Stainers' look as though the channel was simply routed all the way around at one width, and then the flat middle area was quite casually blended with that channel. (In many cases the back arching is done the same way.) The Stainer illustrated is subtler than that.

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I know nothing about Stainer cellos, but the arching of Stainer violins isn't high. As far as I know the arching heights rarely exceed 16mm, whereas this is often - and sometimes substantially - exceeded by classical Italians.

But as we all know, the designation "flat" or "high" are often used indiscrimitately. We all "know" that the Cannone is "low and flat", right? That's with an arching height of 15mm. We all "know" that Stradivari is the master of "low and flat" - with arching heights of 16mm (equal to the average Stainer) being common.

Do follow the links provided by Andres in the post above.

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This violin on the link is the famous one in virtually unaltered condition. But from the pictures I cannot see the shape of the arching, Andres links are much easier. There I can also imagine why the subjective impression is so different but the tecnical "height over edge" is not, as Jacob described.

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I am amazed how beautiful the real Stainer violin was. Historicaly, it only went out of fasion because of it's was surpassed by AS Golden age violins, but in his day Stainer was the man. Too bad so many bad factory copies and bad "originals" left it with a stigma in some circles. I would imagine there are many similarities to Amati in their better examples. I have never seen or heard one in person, be interesting to hear a comparison to earlier Strad or Amati.

Mike

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Kessi, do you have any photos of the 1680 Stainer on which your cello was modeled? Do you know the dimensions of the original? I assume it was large (over 30 inches) and that yours is scaled down somewhat. Weren't you tempted to ask for a lionshead scroll?

BTW, it's a nice looking cello. Does that tailpiece indicate that it's set up as a baroque cello?

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No, I havent seen any photos of the original, which is in private posession. It is said to have been a small 5 string cello which has later been converted to 4 strings. My instrument was modeled to be like the original, in a baroque setup with 5 strings ( an additional e).

I was indeed tempted by a lionhead, but decided against it, also because the original had a scroll.

I find that the outline and the arching are in a subtle harmony. I was a little dissappointed by the cut down outline of the 2 cellos pictured in the 2003 exhibition book.

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Kessi, the f holes on your new cello don't seem to have that standard Stainer cut, with the wings wrapping slightly past the top and bottom of the holes. See attached -- although not as elegant as Stainer's. (Amatis wrap just short, and Strads peak at the top, right?) I wonder if Stainer used that pattern on his cellos. It's there on the multitude of Stainer-inspired violins, but not very common on modern cellos, I think. Or have I just not seen enough cellos.

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I' m not sure if I understand what you mean. I never paied attention, but now I realised that the upper/lower edge of the f-wing is beyond the inner side of the round part in Stainer's instruments. But not so on mostly on the upper part of the bass side f-hole!? That's what I see from the pictures I have.

My cello is more a personal interpretation than a copy, also the slightly concave endings of the wing:

Detail

dsc008845kl.th.jpg

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  • 9 months later...

In your 5-string Stainer model, is the neck wider than a standard 4-string model to accommodate the 5th string? Are the strings spaced the same distance (string to string) as the individual strings of a 4-string model (i.e., taking 20% more room across than just packing 5 strings in the space of 4)? Is the peg box wider to accommodate 5 strings coming out so they do not bind againsty the side of the peg box for the C2 and E4 strings, and also so that the C2 and E4 strings do not have to make a sharp horizonal bend at the nut, but enter the nut stright-on and continue straight-on to the bridge? I ask this because many of the 5-string violins and violas being offered on eBay in a recent whirlwind of production are just 4-stringers with a fifth hole drilled in the peg box. The strings are all so close together, it is very hard to finger a single string without mashing down its neighbor as well.

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This is slightly OT to the thread, but I hadn't visited that Austrian site since they put up those examples. I was very surprised to look at those lionheads on those 'Armviolen' -- they not only don't look up to his standard, they don't even look 17th-c.! They look more like those horrible 19th-c. chip-carved ones rather than his work and so I'm wondering how solid the attributions for those violas are, or whether he maybe for some reason had to farm out the necks and heads, possibly even to different people since the heads don't look anything like one another either.

The head shown in the Strad calendar, and the one I have in my av, are both classic 17th-c. lionheads, completely up to his standard. Those viola ones could hardly be less Stainer-looking if a cat had carved them.

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