The Conservation, Restoration, and Repair of Stringed Instruments and Their Bows

Edited by Tom Wilder
Alligatoring with jagged island edges in thick varnish on the scroll of a ca. 1800 viola. Varnish detail Producing ultra-thin latex film for making plaster casts Pernambuco flower Removing the plate in making a plaster mould for crack repair
Pernambuco foliage Completed protective soundpost veneer, showing angle of rotated grain. Portrait of Johann Schenk (detail), ca. 1700. Attributed to Peter Schenk (1645-1715), Château de Blois, France. Binding the bow for drilling. Using a jig to glue back a forward-warped fingerboard
Cambering a bow Making a patch well on a top plate to fit a soundpost patch Patinated varnish surface Preparing the pegbox walls for a neck graft while leaving the upper edge intact Repairing the underslide area of a frog.
May 2011
Price: $1,395.00
ISBN 978-1-904982-41-8
Co-published by IPCI-Canada and Archetype Publications

This book’s 150 articles, 1,600 pages, and over 1,300 illustrations will be an invaluable resource for both craftspeople and scholars. The outcome of a rigorous selection process by an editorial board of prominent experts, it emphasizes conservation-minded techniques, presents alternative approaches for the same repair, and is groundbreaking in the extensive attention that it gives to the bow. The work’s innovative combination of theory and practice, with extensive cross-referencing, is intended to foster a stimulating dialogue between scholars, conservators, and craftspeople.

In the general issues volume, conservators and scholars examine important issues concerning connoisseurship, collections, documentation, materials, surfaces, safety, and the environment. The more practical articles that follow in the other two volumes are meant to be considered in light of the ideas raised in these articles.

Making a jig for shaping replacement pearl button facets.

In the restoration and repair volumes, craftspeople and editors have collaborated to produce detailed technical articles that are generously illustrated with photographs and drawings. Complex processes are broken down into simple steps, and all of the tools and materials required are listed in order of appearance. Terminology and systems of measurement are standardized throughout the work to ensure clarity and precise meaning.

This book is guided by a conservationist approach that aims to safeguard our cultural heritage of instruments and bows for future generations, while its sale will help ensure the renewal of this heritage by raising funds for the protection of pernambuco trees. The heartwood of these trees, whose survival in the Brazilian Atlantic forest is under threat, has been used to make violin bows for over 250 years.

The Editor

Tom Wilder is a violin maker and restorer and a historian of stringed instruments. After attending the Chicago School of Violin Making and apprenticing in Seoul, Los Angeles, and Paris, he started his own workshop, Wilder & Davis Luthiers Inc., in Montreal, Canada, in 1991, expanding to Banff, Alberta, in 2002. He also holds an MA in communications and art history from McGill University. He is a past president of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, the Canadian delegate to the Entente International des Luthiers et Archetiers, a member of Violin Society of America, and the founder and president of IPCI-Canada.

Archetype Publications

The Conservation, Restoration, and Repair of Stringed Instruments and Their Bows is co-published with Archetype Publications, London, UK. Archetype is an academic press recognized internationally as the leading publisher in the field of the conservation of works of art and antiquities.

Visit Archetype's website.