What is actually original to very old instruments?
I know it varies from instrument to instrument, but generally, what remains intact for most 300 or 400 year old violins?
With the exception of repaired sections added, usually the only things changed are the bassbar and the neck, The scroll and the entire body are preserved. Also the top block on the inside might be replaced when the neck was changed.
These are Szeryng's words:
The air inside f - holes.
The dust inside could be original as well ...
The oldest violins made around 1600 are still being played and considered concert quality, reports of their so called demise is premature IMHO
"but I'm convinced that the Stradivaris, the Guarneris, the Amatis, the Grancinos, the Ruggeris, the Gaglianos and the Stainers will not be "playable" much longer"
I play on a 1610 Amati. The neck is unchanged, but is extended at the root and is still attached with nails through the block. The finger board, bridge and other external fittings are not original. Internally it has a new bass-bar. The front is half-edged, and cracks to the front have new material added in the form of small studs to hold them together. It has had touch ups to the varnish when needed. It had an (possibly original) ivory nut when I bought it, but I had it changed for ebony as I was worried about American Customs and their possible over-reaction when on tour.
My 1626 Brothers Amati is still going strong.It has great projection.
Aye, did I tell ye about me great-great-great-great grandfather's axe that we have still have in the family? It's had 6 new handles and 3 new heads, but it is as good as it ever was!
evidence????? I was refering to Andrea Amati, anyway. and yes they had corner blocks!!
Interesting discussion, thanks for the replies.
Of course Amatis have blocks. The inside mould is the cornerstone of the Cremonese method.