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The Messiah


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44 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Most varnishes will eventually develop some porosity, (even if they didn't start out that way), which incorporates air voids. Applying almost anything with a refractive index close to that of the varnish can fill these voids, rendering the varnish more transparent and more intense in color, whether it be Hill polish or Lemon Pledge. French polishing can fill some of these voids too.

But I wouldn't recommend modifying the varnish on the Messiah Strad this way, even if some people thought that it would improve the appearance.

An extreme example of how this porosity alters the color perception is a "water ring" on a piece of furniture. All the color in the varnish and the wood underneath is still there, but is occluded by the multiple changes in the refractive index, making the color look much more pale, even white..

The art of Dichroism in varnishing?


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On 1/20/2021 at 8:30 PM, Michael_Molnar said:

Not meaning to throw fuel on any fires, but I too have suggested that The Messiah is a shop reject. Not because it has a crack or some other mechanical issue, but that it’s colored varnish is not in the red color style of its siblings. Compared to its contemporary violins it stands out as being more orange than red. The difference is not due to The Messiah’s excellent state of preservation. My theory is that Maestro Strad did not approve its sale.

Well, in my opinion, the Messiah looked perfectly at home beside its siblings in the 2013 Oxford exhibition. One of my many abiding memories of that momentous occasion.

Will we ever have such an opportunity again?....I may become emotional......:(

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