Stradivari Post-1700 Pattern Baroque Violin (U.S. and Germany)
Stradivari Post-1700 Pattern Baroque Violin (U.S. and Germany)
Partially made in Germany (Hagenau, Bavaria). Completed in Hiawasse, Georgia, USA by D. Rickert Musical Instruments.
This is a meticulously authentic replica of an early 1700s Stradivarius violin in Baroque configuration. There are no known existing Strads from the post-1700 period that have not been converted to modern configuration; however, because Stradivari was quite meticulous in keeping good workshop notes, we have all of the necessary data for producing this fine replica. This instrument is based on the pattern used by Stradivari starting in about 1700. This is the shape most commonly associated with Stradivarius violins. During the period from 1690 to 1700, Strad used primarily what is often called the “long pattern”—a slightly longer and slightly narrower body. The only playable Stradivarius violin in 100% Baroque configuration, a 1693 “long pattern” instrument, is the “Gould Stradivarius” (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) (see our “1693 Gould Stradivarius Baroque Violin Replica”). The only other Stradivarius instruments still in Baroque configuration, the best of our knowledge is the 1690 "Tuscan-Medici" tenor viola (a very large viola tuned an octave lower than a violin).
Besides the partially finished German body (called the "box"), this instrument is made entirely in our workshop, which is located near Hiawassee, GA, USA (The North Georgia Mountains, part of the Appalachian mountain chain).
Hear it: Listen, its a genuine Baroque! (Short clip of Elizabeth Blumenstock, a highly respected baroque violinist trying out an earlier post-1700 Stradivarius Baroque violin replica by Dr. Donald Rickert. Courtesy of Gary Payne)
Body (Partially made in Germany)
- The partially completed un-graduated body for this instrument is expertly made for us in Germany (Hagenau, Bavaria) from the finest materials.
- The top is close grain old European Spruce.
- Ribs and back are highly-flamed maple.
- They are shipped to us unmortised, un-graduated and without necks.
It is a surprise to many that the thickness of the top and back of a violin are not even close to being uniform. While the outside of the instrument looks uniform, the inside is a complex topology of various thicknesses. The difference in graduation patterns is one of the main factors that explain the difference in sound between violins from different makers.
There are reliable “graduation maps” available for the violins of the top Baroque period makers. These maps, and the use of extremely accurate thickness gauges, allow us to chisel, gouge, plane and scrape the insides of the tops and backs to within about .5mm of the final graduation. The final half millimeter in graduation is based on “plate tuning” techniques (by ear, computer assisted tap tuning, Chladni patterns, etc.).
A Baroque bass bar’s dimensions, as well as the way in which it is glued into the instrument, is VERY different from a modern bass bar.
- The bass bar for this instrument:
- Baroque dimensions and installation (i.e. small by modern standards, parallel rather than modern transverse mounting)
- Made and installed by us according to known Stradivari 1719 specs: 241mm long; 6.6mm high; 4.7mm thick; mounted parallel to the centerline under the bass foot of the bridge.
- Affords a truly Baroque sound (“sharp”, rich in harmonic overtones, warm)
Neck (authentic period shape and attachment method
- The neck is hand-carved and shaped into the appropriate Baroque period form (more wood left in the heel and scroll angles) by us in our workshop.
- The neck heel is set and surface-mounted (glued and nailed from the inside) in the proper Baroque period manner.
Contrary to popular myth, a baroque neck is not necessarily shorter than a modern neck (about 13 mm, from nut edge to body). There is reliable evidence (e.g. Stradivari’s shop notes) that there were “short” and “long” baroque necks. We like the 13 mm length the best (for sound and playability); however, 12mm and 12.5mm options are available at NO additional charge.
- Neck heel angle: 86 degrees +/- 1, depending on neck length
- Playable string length (nut to bridge): 320mm to 330mm (depending on specified neck length)
Fingerboard (authentic spruce core veneered “wedged” Baroque fingerboard)
The fingerboard for this instrument has a spruce core, and is clad with thick veneers (about 2.5mm to 3mm), generally, combinations of maple and ebony. Purfling is used with some veneer motifs.
We offer the following four fingerboard/tailpiece motifs:
Note: All have figured maple edges.
- Ebony with figured maple border
- Dark maple with light maple border
- Dark maple with light maple border and fancy purfling
- Light maple with dark maple boder
Refer to the last four images above.
The degree of rise for the “wedge” part of the fingerboard is carefully adjusted according to the neck angle, the desired playable string length (nut to bridge) and desired string height over the fingerboard, while affording a fairly high bridge height (for optimum sonority).
- Fingerboard rise: from 4 to 6 degrees, depending on neck length and desired bridge height
- Antiqued Italian oil, hand-applied
- Aubert “low heart” Baroque Bridge
Nut and Saddle
- Micarta™ synthetic ivory
- We DO NOT use real ivory or bone, so-called “fossil” or otherwise! The Micarta™ synthetic ivory, long used for Martin guitars, is far superior to real ivory or bone anyway.
- Set up in our North Georgia Mountain (U.S.) workshop with Gamut historic replica gut strings (Pistoy-gimped gut D-string; silver wound gut G-string). These wonderful strings are, in our opinion, the best-sounding and durable authentic Baroque gut strings available. Keep in mind, however, that they are gut strings and will break. For this reason, we give you an extra A and E string.
- Authentic Baroque type with decorative veneer and purfling, if appropriate, to match the fingerboard
- Attached with 2mm gut chord and tied using a “Stradivari Stitch”
Negri Classic model case is included.
- 45-90 days
- Bow is NOT included. If you want us to obtain a nice Baroque bow for you, please tell us. We can generally obtain a good quality authentic Baroque bow to suite your preference in the $300 - $400 price range. We can also obtain high-end Baroque bows ($2000 - $3500 range) from top historic replica bow makers.
- Our email is don@DonRickertDesign.com and phone number is (404) 828-0136.