Antonio Stradivari 1719 VL Wieniawski, Bower
This charming violin belonging to Stradivari’s ‘Golden Period’ bears an original label dated 1719, and it is named after the renowned Polish violinist and composer Henri Wieniawski (1835–1880). William Henley also recorded it under the name ‘Bower’, in tribute to the dealer and collector Robert A. Bower of Minehead, Somerset, England, who owned the instrument in the first half of the 20th century. The back of the violin is made of one piece of maple wood cut on the quarter and intensely marked by broad curls, which slant downwards from the treble to the bass side. Its former owner, the English collector Gerald Segelman, described the ribs’ flames as ‘being somewhat varied’, while those on the head are smaller and vivid in nature. The two-piece belly is made of spruce that is finely grained in the centre and opens towards the flanks where the grain is of medium width. The f-holes are set quite straight, while for the arching of the ‘Wieniawski’ Stradivari combined the elegance of the Cremonese school and the broader forms of the Brescian makers. The varnish is of a red-brown colour over a golden ground.
Antonio Stradivari Set 1, Volume 3, Page 240