A step forward in disclosing the secret of stradivari's varnish by NMR spectroscopy

Maria Luisa Saladino, Eugenio Caponetti, Marco Malagodi, Maduka L. Weththimuni, Maurizio Licchelli, Alberto Spinella

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

8 Citazioni (Scopus)


It is commonly thought that the varnishes used by the great violin-maker Antonio Stradivari may have a role in determining not only the esthetical features but also the acoustic properties of his instruments, and the idea of a "lost secret" is still widespread among musicians and violin-makers. Previous scientific researches on varnish samples of Stradivari's instruments revealed that they were generally made by a mix of linseed oil with and colophony or metal rosinates in different ratios ranging between 75/25 (oil/resin) and 60/40 (oil/rosinate). However, it is still not clear whether the mixture composition can be related to any structural and/or functional feature of the resulting varnish. To investigate this aspect, we prepared varnishes with different linseed oil/colophony (w/w) ratios and applied NMR techniques to achieve information about their chemical-physical characteristics. Here, we show that the two components strongly interact in the solid state and that only the varnish prepared from 75/25 (w/w) linseed oil/colophony mixture displays unique properties in terms of dynamic homogeneity unlike coatings with other compositions. Our results suggest that the so-called "secret" of Stradivari's finish could not be related to unknown ingredient(s) but to a specific oil/resin composition that provides the best performance.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)3949-3954
Numero di pagine6
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1600.1605???
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