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Woodworm chemical 'made Stradivarius violins great'

A chemical used to protect objects from woodworm is the secret to the success of the Stradivarius violin, a scientist has claimed.

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Professor Joseph Nagyvary of Texas A&M University, who has studied the famous instruments for several decades, said he believes preservative borax was used on the violins, which helped to create their unique tonal quality.

He stated that borax was also potentially used on violins made by the Guarneri family, which were produced at the same time as the Stradivarius and are held in similarly high esteem.

Guarneri and Stradivarius violins are very rare and their designs are often copied by modern instrument manufacturers.

In 2008, Sotheby's sold a Guarneri once owned by Henri Vieuxtemps to multi-millionaire Maxim Viktorov for what it claimed was a world record amount.

The exact price was not revealed, but Sotheby's suggested it was a significantly larger sum than the previous record of $3.54 million (£2.45 million).

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Posted on 4 Feb 2009 11:45 to category : Instruments News

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