A 1693 Stradivari violin.

Posted on | November 22, 2009 | 4 Comments|

On a recent trip  I visited the National Music Museum in South Dakota to study and measure the 1693 Stradivari. Over the winter I’ll be making a copy of  this violin for a client.

To copy an instrument I begin by taking as much information from the instrument as possible. Below are various  tools laid out on my bench before I set off.  All the tools are in plastic not metal, to avoid marking the instrument in anyway.  The red gauges shown are for taking the shape of the arching.       I also brought spare tools as well in case a tool gave a problem.


The National Music Museum Shrine is in the small town of Vermillion and I stayed at the friendly ‘Prairie Inn’ close to the Museum. (below on the left)

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It took a full day to measure, take notes and photograph the Stradivari. The next day I also measured an Andrea Amati violin made about the year 1560 in Cremona. Now that I’m back in Ottawa, I’m completing some other instruments and then I’ll begin making the Stradivari 1693 copy.


(Photograph by Bill Willroth Sr)

For information on our workshop go to : Guy Harrison Violin Maker

Below is one of the beautifully cut f’holes by Antonio Stradivari from 1693.



4 Responses to “A 1693 Stradivari violin.”

  1. Ron Mylrea
    December 11th, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

    Hi Guy, did you get a chance to play it? If so, how did it sound? Is there a large variance in the measurments from other instruments that he made?

    In Cologne, next year, March 5-21 there will be an exhibition of over 50 Strads, it’s only 2 hours away from me.


  2. paul smith
    March 18th, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

    Hi,Guy.could you tell me what the two v notches are for in the middle of the F hole.


  3. admin
    March 19th, 2011 @ 5:58 am

    Hello Paul,

    The inner f’holes nicks gives the position of the bridge that the original maker wanted. (the centre of the bridge to be precise) The outer nicks are decorative as far I know.

    In the photo you can see the bridge feet are placed a little higher than the inner nicks. This ‘long pattern’ Stradivari is overall quite long, so someone decided to place the bridge up higher for a more standard bridge position and string length. This is quite common on many violins and cellos.

  4. Opus Concerts - Sandy Hill, Ottawa. : Guy Harrison - Violin Maker Blog
    November 24th, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    […] three piano trios written in 1793. Christian Vachon performs on a violin I made, copied after the 1693 Stradivari from the National Music Museum in South Dakota. I look forward to hear these three fine musicians in […]

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    Guy Harrison Violin Maker
    792 Gladstone Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1R 6X9
    Tel: 613 569 4803

    1997 Silver medal for viola in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2010 Bronze medal for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2014 Workmanship award for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2016 Silver Workmanship medal for cello in the VSA Violin Making Competition, USA.

    Member of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers and Violin Society of America.

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