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What are Some Facts About the Stradivarius Violins?

Dr. Kenneth Slowik

Kenneth Slowik, curator of Musical Instrument Collection at National Museum of American History and artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, tells us about the Stradivarius Violin.

Collection Object: 
Stradivari Violin, the "Ole Bull"
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
maker
Stradivari, Antonio
Credit Line
Gift of Evelyn and Herbert R. Axelrod
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
Measurements
overall: 23 5/8 in x 8 1/4 in x 3 7/8 in; 60.0075 cm x 20.955 cm x 9.8425 cm
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Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Violins
Description (Brief)
This violin was made by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy in 1687. This violin is named after its 19th century owner, Ole Bull (1810-1880), a celebrated violinist and seminal figure in Norwegian music. The violin is made of a one-piece table of spruce with even medium fine grain broadening toward the treble side, one-piece back of maple with a beautiful broad descending figure slanting from treble to bass side, ribs of similar maple, with a modern maple neck terminating in the original pegbox and scroll of similar maple, and a golden brown varnish.
Location
Currently not on view
Place Made
Italia: Lombardia, Cremona
Date made
1687
Object Name
violin
ID Number
2000.0013.02
accession number
2000.0013
catalog number
2000.0013.02
Related Publication
Luigi Boccherini. Boccherini: String Quintets, op.11, Nos. 4-6
Friedrich Dotzauer. Dotzauer: Quintet in D Minor, Op. 134; Six Pieces for 3 Violoncelli, Op. 104; Three Etudes for Violoncello Solo; Quartet for Violoncello Obbligato, 2 Violins, and Viola, Op. 64
Auguste Franchomme & Frédéric Chopin. Franchomme & Chopin: Grand Duo Concertant; Caprices Op. 7, Nos. 2, 4, & 7; Two Nocturnes; Grande Valse, Op. 34.
Felix Mendelssohn and Neils Gade. Mendelssohn & Gade: String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20; String Octet in F Major, Op. 17.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Complete String Quartets
Georges Onslow. Georges Onslow: String Quintets Opp. 38, 39 & 40.
Shinichi Yokoyama. The Decorated Instruments of Antonio Stradivari
Schubert, Franz. Franz Schubert: Quintet in C Major D. 956, Rondo in A Major D. 438
Louis Spohr: Octet in D Minor, Op. 65; Sextet in C Major, Op. 140, Quintet in G Major, Op. 33, No. 2.