Antonio Stradivari (Italian, Cremona 1644–1737 Cremona)
Maple, spruce, ebony
Height: 23 1/4 in. (59 cm)
Width: 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm)
Gift of George Gould, 1955
Not on view
"The Gould" violin has a two-piece maple back with a tight flame and a two-piece spruce top with an orange-brown varnish. Although modern performers continue to use seventeenth- and eighteenth-century stringed instruments by great makers, nearly all of the instruments have been modified in order to remain useful as performance spaces grew larger and repertoire pushed instruments to create louder sound over an extended range.
In 1975, The Metropolitan Museum had the luthier Frederick J. Lindeman of Amsterdam modify "The Gould" so that it would be in a Baroque configuration. He based his alterations on what was known of historical setups from the late seventeenth century, specifically he patterned the fingerboard and tailpiece after surviving original examples on the 1690 "Tuscan-Medici" Strad housed at the Accademia in Florence. Lindeman also fashioned a shorter neck and bassbar and fitted the instrument with a new soundpost, bridge, and pegs, as well as stringing it in gut. "The Gould" is the only violin by the famed master that has been returned to a Baroque setup and that is regularly used for performance of period repertoire.
Marking: (label pasted inside body) Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis/Faciebat Anno 1693.
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing. @2015 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2015, pp. 76-77, ill.
"Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (2011), pg. 43, ill.
"Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 36, ill.
Malcolm Bilson , piano, Sonya Monosoff , violin inHistoric Instruments in Performance. LP. Recording., Pleiades Records M1807. 1977.