Guarneri del Gesu violin in the white Bernard o'Leary violin maker repairer

Hand made

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5 John St, Willowtown,
Ebbw Vale,
Blaenau Gwent
NP23 6NL

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Guarneri del Gesu violin del Gesù front 'f' holes

Guarneri del Gesù 1733 model

There are two great makers whose patterns are most often copied. Antonio Stradivari (1644−1737) and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (1698−1744), even today people are in dispute over who was the greater maker and which created the violins with the greatest tone.
The violin pictured here has been made using the pattern of a del Gesù c.1733 model from what is often referered as his 'middle' period.
del Gesù corner detail
7/8ths Fiddle front 7/8ths fiddle 'f' hole detail 7/8ths fiddle back 7/8th Fiddle
This project was fun, carving the Birdseye maple back was very interesting. Especially cutting the double purfling, as the inside purfling channel is cut where the back is only a couple of millimetres thick. For the difference between violins and fiddles click here
7/8ths fiddle corner detail
 Back of del Gesù early stages of varnishing del Gesù violin in the sun to get natural UV light del Gesù scroll early stages of varnishing Initial drawing for Gasparo da Salo scroll
Initial drawing for purfling clover leaf pattern
Above are pictures of a violin in the early stages of varnishing
and two preliminary drawings for a Gasparo da Salo viola
The first three pictures above are of another Guarneri del Gesù c.1733 model in the early stages of varnishing. Above from the left: 1&3, The violin has not received any colour yet, just the primer, sealer and plenty of light from the sun and on wet and cloudy days my UV light box. 2, Shows the front outside in the sun after a coat of coloured varnish. 4&5, When embarking on a new project I have to translate measurements made from the original instrument to create a symmetrical plan from which to make the mould and templates. These old instruments have gone through a lot over time and even some of the early makers were not slaves to symmetry. At first I did have some difficulty in drawing up these plans of a 15.5" (395mm) Gasparo da Salo c.1580 (Gasparo Bertolotti 1542-1609) viola and yet still keep the character of the instrument. 4, My tracings of the clover pattern for the purfling design for the back: on the left taken from the original design and a first attempt at giving the design greater symmetry. 5, My drawing for the viola scroll.

Click on any photo to enlarge