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Violin, the 'Cipriani Potter'

This small violin is unusually ornate. The purfling is inlaid with little ivory lozenges, separated by ivory circles, there is an eight-pointed star of mother-of-pearl in the button, and the scroll is inlaid with a tendril ornament, completed with a little paint. A similar design, cut into the wood and filled with black mastic, runs along the ribs in short, scrolling sections. A paper pattern for the decoration on the scroll and similar patterns for rib designs survive in the Museo del Violino in Cremona. The ebony fingerboard and tailpiece, inlaid in the same style, are not old, but the neck is original, with two later separate insertions between the neck and upper block. The nail holes, exposed when the heel was recut, have been plugged. This violin belonged at one time to the Este family, who may have commissioned it. It was bought from the Este by Cipriani Potter (1792-1871), who sold it to W.E. Hill shortly before his death.

  • Maker:
    Stradivari, Antonio [Person]
  • Collection:
    Ashmolean Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Cremona (Timezone: Europe/Rome)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:maple, ivory, mother-of-pearl
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:inscription/mark: Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis / Faciebat Anno 1683 (Printed label (the last 2 digits of date added in ink))
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Ashmolean Museum
  • Measurements:339 mm of back length; 153 mm upper bout (back) width; 103 mm middle bout (back) width; 192 mm lower bout (back) width; 319.5 mm string length