About this instrument
300th Anniversary Strad Series
Antonio Stradivari looms large in the life of any violinmaker working with traditional design and process. How does one deal creatively with this 800-pound gorilla in the room? In order to study, learn from, and react to all his work has to offer in an orderly way, I have undertaken a series of 300th anniversary instruments; copies of Strad violins made 300 years before, i.e. in 2013 making copies of Strads from 1713. An added bonus is that Strad’s birth year is almost exactly 300 year before mine, so I can imagine how we was looking at the world and his work at a similar stage of life.
The Strad on which my #838 violin is modeled came into the possession of Joseph Joachim in 1880. He sold it to his student, American violinist Leonora Jackson McKim in 1904. She concertized with the violin until 1915, and sold it in 1919. It was privately held until 1983 when it was acquired by Bill and Judy Sloan, who have made it available to many wonderful players since then for concerts and recordings.
I used the form from my “Rosenblith” Strads, very similar in size to the Jackson and a form which I have found very successful. The dimensions, graduations and styling were inspired by the wonderful collection of Stradivarius books available from Editor Jost Thöne and Photographer Jan Roehrmann in Germany.
The violin bears the facsimile label “Antonio Stradivarius Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 1714”. It also bears on the treble side the label “Douglas C. Cox, Brattleboro, Vermont, 2014, #838” and is branded and initialed on the inside. It is patterned after the “Jackson” violin by Antonio Stradivari. It is built of well aged New England grown wood. The back is cut on the quarter from two pieces of maple with medium broad flames descending from the center joint. The ribs and neck are of maple similar to that of the back. The table is of two pieces of spruce of even, medium narrow growth. The varnish is of a red-brown color over a golden ground and is shaded and imitated. The fittings are of carved boxwood.
The principal dimensions are:
Body Length: 359 mm
Upper Bout: 168 mm
Middle Bout: 114 mm
Lower Bout: 208 mm
Rib Heighth: 30-31 mm
String Length: 329 mm
Click here to see more photos of this instrument on my website. You will also find information about #836, my latest violin modeled after Strad’s 1713 “Gibson,” technically not a 300th Anniversary Strad (since the original was made in 1713 and my copy in 2014) but part of the series in spirit.