List of references useful for violins

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The top of instruments in the violin family are usually made of Picea abies wood and the wood structure is visible. It is therefore possible to measure the rings and match them towards available spruce (and fir) references. Useful references from central European mountains are listed below. But often the best matches are found towards other instruments, but unfortunately only quite a few ring series from instruments are published yet. Those we are aware of are listed below.

References potentially useful for dating violins

Picea abies (PCAB) if not other stated. The timespan may be according to a truncated version in order to avoid ends with two small sample depth.

The Alps

Bayerischer Wald

Rest of Germany

Sudety Mountains

Carpathian Mountains


Appenine Mountains

Scandinavian PCAB-references

Measurements from single instruments

Alpine region

  • GuA23, Cello, probably French 18'th cent, 1557-1717, Wood from the Alps, T. Axelson. (Measurements from a very low resolution image.)
  • Archinto Viola, ITRDB: brit051.rwl info, 1527-1685, Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, Paul R. Sheppard, Malcolm K. Cleaveland
  • Messiah Violin, ITRDB: brit050.rwl info, 1587-1686, Henri D. Grissino-Mayer, Paul R. Sheppard, Malcolm K. Cleaveland

Central Europe

  • Eost01, Violin by Erik Östberg, Svärdsjö, Sweden. Wood from Germany (best towards germ14, Bayerischer Wald), 1870-1961, B. Israels
  • cel9, Cello, probably Hungary 20'th cent. 1813-1934, (label states: Genua 1775), Bohemia area?, T. Axelson (dating report)

"Der Musikwinkel" (Markneukirchen and around)

50°18′39″N 12°19′45″E. In the late 19'th and to the WW2 aproximately 80% of all violins were produced in this area. Especially as we do not have any regional chronologies from this are it is of great value if we can gather and publish measurements from many instruments from this area. So far only a few are available.

  • Ekeb10, violin, likely from the Markneukirchen area, (pattern is disturbed with a growth decrease after 1877. 1775-1890 (mean of the two "butterflied" sides), T. Axelson
  • Ekeb14, violin, label: "Stjärnan, Osby" (Obviously a Swedish reseller), possibly Schönbach, Böhmen[4]. Old imitation. The instrument is skillfully made. 1842-1905 (mean of the two "butterflied" sides), T. Axelson
  • Fi010, violin Label: "Nach Straduarius" and a signature. Measurements from a photo taken at Dan Andersson Museum, Ludvika (Late rings a bit uncertain according to a bit low resolution). 1841-1916 (mean of the two "butterflied" sides), T. Axelson
  • SfFHM1, pucket string instrument (Mandola/Guitar hybrid?) without labels, wood probably from Bayerischer Wald or around. (It is likely that also this instrument is from the "Musikwinkel" or around), 1814-1911 (mean of the two "butterflied" sides), T. Axelson
  • ViJA1, violin, measured from photo, unfortunately with a bit too low resolution), 1831-1895 (mean of the two "butterflied" sides), T. Axelson


  • Marn01, Violin used in Dalarna, Sweden. Rather local wood, no label, 1831-1924, B. Israels


  1. The tucson format of this file is special
  2. The latitude seems not to be correct. Beatenberg would rather be something like 46°41′N 7°46′E
  3. Syntax error: the end marks should be -9999 and not 999 in this rwl-file.
  4. Sören Ekebjörns, oral