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Christian Ferras - violin with painted flames?


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I was reading the December 2020 Strad, and noticed the violin that Christian Ferras was playing circa 1957 (page 53).

The flames look artificial.  However, one would think that he wouldn't be playing a violin with painted flames...or would he?

I didn't find the exact same photo on-line, but this is close.

But it's also an old photograph...so maybe one can't tell.



1957 Christian Ferras violin fake flames.jpg

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That's some pretty extreme mood lighting and likely some push processing of the original film, and then the printing, likely with some burning in in places and dodging in others. Look at the density of the shadow under the rib and the burned out lack of detail in the scroll. Lets just say photographic evidence is almost as unreliable as eye witness evidence.

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The flames in the picture in The Strad are much more pronounced. They don't look real.

But the photo I posted must be the same violin, from the same photo shoot/concert.

Was there a brief period where painted flames was a trend on expensive instruments? 

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Thanks! Your Googling is much better than my Googling! :)

Now we need a picture of the back of that Strad!

Topher is no 1721 violin listed on Wikipedia either. Hmm.

BTW...did Tony ever paint flames...like Gagliano did? (Thanks Duane!  Pictures?).

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1 hour ago, scordatura said:

Had the pleasure of studying with him one summer. He had a really nice Strad. Did not notice any painted on flames. What I did notice was that he was not in that great of health. Sadly he passed away shortly after. Fantastic player.

So cool that you got to study with him!

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12 hours ago, Rue said:

Here's the photo from The Strad:

...and I was wrong...not the same day/concert/whatever...


Sorry to say that it's not even Ferras. That's (a young) Nathan Milstein!


Here's a later photo of him with a similar angle. His Strad sure has strong flaming!


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Lol! Well! Serves me right for not reading carefully! But the two of them sure look very much the same, when they were young! At least in the old photos.

Off to unconfuse myself...^_^

I still think the flames look painted, even if they're not! 

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Now that I have the violinists straight in my head...I'm hunting down violins again.

Although I don't understand why Christian Ferras' 1721 Strad "Le President" isn't listed with the other Strads, the one I was actually wondering about is this one (I think):

Milstein acquired the 1716 "Goldman" Stradivarius in 1945 which he used for the remainder of his life. He then renamed it the "Maria Teresa" (in honour of his daughter Maria and his wife Therese). He also played on the 1710 ex-"Dancla" Stradivarius for a bit (paraphrased from Wikipedia).

More info: http://www.archiviodellaliuteriacremonese.it/en/strumenti/1761_violino_milstein_maria_teresa_goldman.aspx?f=457975

It does have very broad stripes!!!




1716 Strad Milstein.jpg

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