Shifrin Violins, 114 Mansfield Hollow Road, Mansfield Center, Ct.
Phone 860 -207-3842 e-mail email@example.com
Copyright 2019. Shifrin Violins. All rights reserved.
The finish used on a violin serves two primary purposes; to protect the wood surfaces, and to enhance the beauty of the instrument. A violin that has not yet been finished is referred to as “in the white”. Most experts agree that violins sound their best “in the white” and that the finish does not actually improve the sound of the violin. It does however protect the wood, and therefore the sound, from potential damage caused during normal use (oil, dirt, sweat, dust, rosin, moisture etc.).
Even though the finish does not improve the sound of the violin, poor finish, or poorly applied finish can harm the sound of the instrument. Therefore, it is vital that the materials and methods of application are those that will not have a detrimental effect on the sound and performance of the instrument (this is often the case with imported instruments).
Anyone that has had the opportunity to see the finish used by the great Italian violin making masters of the 17th and 18th centuries would agree that it accomplished both tasks; enhancement of the beauty and protection of the wood (and therefore the sound of the instrument) in an extraordinary manner. Although it is interesting to imagine that this material has some mystical or other magical properties, and that the masters had secret recipes (now long lost), it is most likely, and accepted by many that they used the wood finishing materials that were available to them at that time from local suppliers. These finishes (or the base materials from which they were made) were likely also used by other woodworking and other trades at the time (similar finished have been identified in Cathedrals from the same period in northern Italy).
As with the other methods used by Shifrin Family Violins, we have spent extensive resources, time and effort to identify and develop finishes that both protect the violins sound (wood), and provide extraordinary beauty. These have been developed using a combination of old world, current and proprietary techniques and materials. The resulting process is very similar to that used by the masters of Cremona, including proprietary ground coat(s), varnish (colored and non- colored) and hand polishing. The final result is a beautiful hand rubbed finish that is durable and has been determined through significant testing to meet the objectives of a very high quilaity violin finish. We are very proud of the finish and aesthetic beauty of our instruments, and are confident that you will be as well.
"You should be certain that the type of finish and methods of application will not have a detrimental affect on the instrument"
During varnish process