two-piece tops

Edited: September 25, 2020, 4:34 AM · I looked at some violins yesterday. The nicest was a Breton breveté, but it has a two-piece top (one-piece back!), and I need reassurance that won't be a problem.

Replies (11)

September 25, 2020, 3:13 AM · aren't they all two piece top?
Edited: September 25, 2020, 10:50 AM · Generally all violins have a two-piece belly with narrower grain in the centre opening to a little wider in the flanks.

I did once own a Testore with a one-piece front. It had narrow grain on the treble side opening to wide on the bass. Scratched on purfling too!

Cheers Carlo

Edited: September 25, 2020, 5:02 AM · I'm surprised. This does seem to be the case. If I look very closely at my humble Gewa factory job, it's the same, although it's nearly invisible.
September 25, 2020, 4:58 AM · It was quite a while ago but one of our members called Captain Hook posted a picture of a three piece violin top which he had made.
Edited: September 25, 2020, 7:28 AM · A one-piece top would be kinda janky (not symmetrical across the neck line). Plus, it's just cheaper to use a smaller slab and bookmatch it.
September 25, 2020, 7:49 AM · Two piece top is standard, but many fine violins use one piece top as well
Edited: September 25, 2020, 10:12 AM · The bottom line, two-piece top is pretty much the norm, therefore nothing for the OP to worry about.
September 25, 2020, 5:55 PM · A one-piece top is not uncommon on Mirecourt instruments like the Bretons and JTL instruments. Not a problem.
September 25, 2020, 6:26 PM · A book by an eccentric maker, whose name I forget, recommended a 3-piece top (!) with the joins being right on the bass-bar and sound-post lines. I have never seen an instrument like that.
September 26, 2020, 11:46 AM · Joel,
I have a violin that has a top that looks like it was made by someone who installed hardwood floors!His name was Ulbrich Tatter, in Chicago, around the turn of the 20th c. Also consider that Gamba tops were and are still often 3 piece and more.I once saw a lovely small Ruggeri bass that had a 4 piece back and a 5 piece top.
September 26, 2020, 8:36 PM · My former violin , a Johannes Cuypers had a one piece top.I was told that was a common feature with Cuypers senior.

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