"The Gould" Violin

Maker: Antonio Stradivari (Italian, Cremona 1644–1737 Cremona)

Date: 1693

Geography: Cremona, Italy

Culture: Italian (Cremona)

Medium: Maple, spruce, ebony

Dimensions: Height: 23 1/4 in. (59 cm)
Width: 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)

Classification: Chordophone-Lute-bowed-unfretted

Credit Line: Gift of George Gould, 1955

Accession Number: 55.86 a-c

Description

"The Gould" violin has a two-piece maple back with a tight flame and a two-piece spruce top with an orange-brown varnish. Although modern performers continue to use seventeenth- and eighteenth-century stringed instruments by great makers, nearly all of the instruments have been modified in order to remain useful as performance spaces grew larger and repertoire pushed instruments to create louder sound over an extended range.

In 1975, The Metropolitan Museum had the luthier Frederick J. Lindeman of Amsterdam modify "The Gould" so that it would be in a Baroque configuration. He based his alterations on what was known of historical setups from the late seventeenth century, specifically he patterned the fingerboard and tailpiece after surviving original examples on the 1690 "Tuscan-Medici" Strad housed at the Accademia in Florence. Lindeman also fashioned a shorter neck and bassbar and fitted the instrument with a new soundpost, bridge, and pegs, as well as stringing it in gut. "The Gould" is the only violin by the famed master that has been returned to a Baroque setup and that is regularly used for performance of period repertoire.

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