When the Stradivari shop in Cremona Italy came to an end with the death of Francesco, the last of the Stradivari family violin makers, the tools and patterns of the workshop remained with the family. The tools and patterns were eventually purchased by the famous violin collector Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue from Casale in Piedmont. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_Ignazio_Alessandro_Cozio_di_Salabue The tools and patterns then passed by inheritance to the Marquis Alessandro Dalla Valle. From there they passed by purchase to the Italian violin maker Giuseppe Fiorini http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Fiorini. Fiorini donated the relics to the city of Cremona where the collection is now housed in the new Museum of the Violin. (More on Giuseppe Fiorini in the next posting).
The patterns that Stradivari left contain models for instruments other than the violin, which were made in the workshop. Amongst those are a set of patterns for an octave guitar. In 2000 I decided to recreate this instrument from the patterns in order to study the Stradivari method in greater detail. The two guitars pictured here are the result. The instrument with its table visible was made under my direction by my apprentice Lipo Cole and the other with the back visible was made by me. Lipo’s instrument was made after the style of Francesco Stradivari and my instrument was made in the style of his father Antonio. The main differences between the models were wood choice, varnish, and decorative style.