A fine German violin by Gabriel David Buchstetter, Regensburg, 1744

Gabriel David Buchstetter is important as the principle German maker of the eighteenth century to work on a Stradivari-derived model. He originated from the Salzkammergut regions of modern day Austria before settling in Regensberg, and his work reveals various elements that are familiar to the regional Salzkammergut school which he managed to blend with his observations of Stradivari’s work. Like Daniel Parker in England, he fixated on the Stradivari ‘long pattern’ and this violin is derived from an early 1690s example at the time that Stradivari made his longest violins, measuring 363mm. However, Buchstetter cannot be called a literal copyist and there is very little that directly corresponds to Stradivari violins of the time. As likely by accident as by design the arching rises straight off the purfling in a manner that relates directly to the same Brescian work – principally by Maggini – that is thought to have inspired Stradivari’s early experiments in design, but it achieves a more literal interpretation of the bold Brescian arching than Stradivari ever dared to achieve. The result is an incredibly powerful and rich violin with a very direct tone that can be moulded and used with subtlety, and that retains the dark character of the lower strings that is so characteristic of both long-pattern Strads and great Brescian violins. As a result the violin fits somewhere outside of normal expectations for German violins. For a musician happy to contend with a few extra millimetres of length, the violin represents outstanding tone for its price.