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    « All good things - made in Oregon | Main | Thin table on a Postiglione violin »
    Wednesday
    Sep072011

    Under the fingerboard secret - Guarneri del Gesú.

    Last June I was teaching varnishing at the North Bennet Street School, struggling I have to admit, to meet the comfort level of Roman Barnas, the course director.

    Each student had diligently removed the fingerboard from their violins, when it struck me that all the antique violins I have looked at are not varnished under the fingerboard.  Could this affect the sound?  Probably.  Under the fingerboard the end grain of the top is exposed and if the wood is not properly isolated the varnish will penetrate deep into the fibers.  This could make the top heavier and less flexible.

    Back in my shop I was replacing the fingerboard on this pristine Guarneri del Gesú, I thought you might like to see what the top looks like underneath.

    This Guarneri has a very Stradivari like arching.  That is towards the flat.  Particularly interesting to the modern maker is how the f hole wings have set in, this is a very mild deformation, an expected one.  It is beautiful.

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