Jacob Stainer is the earliest and most important Austrian violin maker whose model influenced violin making, notably in Venice and Florence, but also widespread in England, Germany and of course Austria.
It is not known where he learned his trade, but his elegant craftsmanship indicates that he may have had an association with the great makers of Cremona, particularly the Amati family.
This violin, made in c. 1668, is a unique and beautiful example of Jacob Stainer’s craftmanship. The front is of two matched pieces of fine grained spruce and the back is particularly distinctive as he uses one piece of ‘bird’s eye’ figure maple. The use of bird’s eye maple is an innovation credited to Jacob Stainer who departed from the use of the Dalmatian maple with its regular long flame, commonly used in Italy.
The varnish, comparable in brilliance to Cremonese varnish, is an exquisite golden brown.
His instruments, highly arched with a delicate sweet sound were in demand all over Europe but were eventually replaced by the powerful tone of the flat arched Stradivari model. Nowadays, they are valued once again for the authentic performance of baroque music.