The 'Cabriac' made in the late 1690s in Cremona around the time that Stradivari was developing a new model of violin. This violin was made on the cusp of what is known as the 'golden' period when Stradivari started to make the longer violins that he is known for today.
The form of the violin is beautiful and harmonious - very typical of Stradivari. It is very individual in itself, but still very recognizable as a work of its maker. The crest on the bottom of the violin suggests that the violin at one stage was in the same social sphere as the Medici family in Italy.
The Violin is made from Willow which is a very strong wood. This made it possible to thin out the wood, making it more flexible without risk of it breaking.
The wood would have arrived the free port of Venice and then been taken to Cremona where the violins were made. The quality of the wood is evident from the length and tightness of the grain in the spruce.
The Cremonese school invented the internal mould. This allowed for much more precise construction and flexibility in terms of how violin makers could experiment whilst the internal structure stayed exactly the same.
Antonio Stradivari was an Italian luthier and a crafter of string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, violas, and harps. Stradivari is generally considered the most significant and greatest artisan in this field. It is estimated that he made 1,000 to 1,100 instruments and that around 650 of these instruments survive, including 450 to 512 violins.
In the early 1690s, Stradivari made a pronounced departure from his earlier style of instrument-making, changing two key elements of his instruments. First, he began to make violins with a larger pattern than previous instruments, which are usually dubbed "Long Strads". He also switched to using a darker, richer varnish, as opposed to a yellower varnish similar to that used by Amati. He continued to use this pattern until 1698, the same year he created the 'Cabriac'.
Simon Morris of Beares discusses the famous secret of the Stradivarius instruments which has garnered discussion the world over for hundreds of years.
Mark Robinson, Restorer at Beares, on the wood used to build the 'Cabriac' and its unique and beautiful construction.
Beares Managing Director, Simon Morris, discusses the Cabriac as a work of art: being very individual in itself, yet very recognisable as the work of its creator.
Beares restorer Mark Robinson discusses the individual nature of the Cabriac as a result of Stradivari's inclination to experiment and innovate.
International soloist Nigel Kennedy discusses the unique sound of the Cabriac, its 'aristocratic' delicacy that rewards the player for use of bow speed.