Discoveries

 

Stewart Pollens discovered the source of the inlaid design for the ribs of Stradivari's "Greffuhle" violin, ca. 1698--a sewing-pattern book published by Giovanni Ostaus in Venice in 1567.  This discovery was published in The Strad in October, 2007 and in his book Stradivari (Cambridge, 2010).

Below is a detail of a rib of the "Greffuhle", the design as it originally appeared in La vera perfettione del disegno, followed by Stradivari's rubbing of the engraved rib preserved in the Museo Stradivariano in Cremona.

In 2007, Pollens collaborated with fellow conservators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and McCrone Associates and analyzed the chemical composition of several samples of Stradivari's varnish. The results were reported in the May, 2009 issue of The Strad and in Pollens' Stradivari (Cambridge, 2010). Below is Pollens' uv-fluorescence photomicrograph of a cross section of a rib fragment from the 1736 Stradivari cello showing two distinct layers of varnish. The primary components of his varnish are linseed oil and pine resin.  

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