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.
aren't they all two piece top?
Generally all violins have a two-piece belly with narrower grain in the centre opening to a little wider in the flanks.
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.
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.
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.
Two piece top is standard, but many fine violins use one piece top as well
The bottom line, two-piece top is pretty much the norm, therefore nothing for the OP to worry about.
A one-piece top is not uncommon on Mirecourt instruments like the Bretons and JTL instruments. Not a problem.
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.
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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