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Violin by Omobono Stradivari, c. 1740

Tags: Omobono Stradivari | violin

Omobono Stradivari was the son of Antonio Stradivari. He was engaged in the making of violins intermittently from 1700 onwards, but was also very active in the social circle. From 1722 to 1740, he was an active member of various religious and civic organizations, spending much of his time away from Cremona. On the death of Antonio Stradivari, Omobono and his brother Francesco Stradivari (1671-1743) inherited their father’s inventory of instruments and tools. Little information has survived regarding their operation of the family workshop, yet it is known that by 1740, Omobono had begun signing his name on his self-made violins.

Omobono’s violin-making style is characterized by the well-proportionate carving of the violin head; when viewed from the side, the violin head appears to be a direct attempt to imitate the work of his father. The backs of his violins are made from local maple wood, which was a typical wood material used by the Stradivari family, while the elegant dark-orange lacquer conforms to the finest traditions of the Cremonan violin-making industry. Although Omobono’s violins are not quite on a par with those of his father or elder brother, their excellent sound quality is still highly appreciated.

The instrument used in this recording is one of Omobono Stradivari’s most outstanding violins. Made in 1740, it is 35.7 cm long, with theback made from two pieces of fine-grained maple wood that bears delicate horizontal patterns throughout. The sides of the instrument also used the same wood material, but the c-peg appears to have been fitted by a different maker. The front is made from two pieces of spruce, with a medium grain that becomes coarser further out. The violin head is made from wood with a less pronounced grain. An orange-brown lacquer was used over a base of a lighter colored lacquer. This violin was exhibited at the Montpellier Fabre Museum in July 2008.



Text and images are provided by Music Digital Archives Center, National Taiwan Normal University (Digital Violin Archive Project of Chi Mei Museum)