Dating old violins

It bears a very old label stating simply 'Santo Serafino, in Venetia' and date is barely legible, but seems to be 1698.Since the majority of reference photos of that maker's instruments date from the 1730s and 40s when he had reached and advanced age (he lived from 1665 to 1748) the fact remains that not much is known of his work from the late 17th century, or how his instruments were labelled at that time.He is renowned for his superb violins and his “violin formula” has become the ideal design model for violin makers for more than 250 years.Famous violinists such as Itzak Perlman, Joshua Bell and Issac Stern play on Stradivarius violins which are loaned to them by rich benefactors or museum societies.The body is larger than an acoustic guitar, with an arched fingerboard and bridge for bowing or picking.The bow shown is a modern bow and does not belong with this instrument Judging from the fact that it has a scroll (and not a finial or stylized head, human or animal) means that the dating is likely late 18th century HARDANGER FIDDLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA The national instrument of Norway.Most would agree that a comparison of this violin with Santo Serafino's known work shows large divergences in general shape, f-hole style and character of the instrument.

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If you have an instrument that is dated outside the timeline of Antonius Stradivarius's life, it is not a Stradivarius.

This kind of discovery can only be met by stumbling upon a winning lotto ticket. Antonio Stradivari was a violin, viola, cello, harp and guitar maker in Cremona, Italy.

He was born in 1644 and died in 1737 and made over 1,100 instruments during his lifetime.

The Modern -Arpeggione is a string instrument built by Osamu Okumura.

It is an acoustic, upright -fretted, seven string instrument tuned from a bass G up to E (half-step below the high E on a guitar).

At this stage no-one feels this is the work of Santo Serafino, but we await the ruling of some big international authorities.

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