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Review: The Strad Facsimile — An Illustrated Guide to Violin Making

Review: The Strad Facsimile — An Illustrated Guide to Violin Making

Edwin John Ward

S.E. Ward, Kaneohe, Hawaii, 1984
Out of print (1999)

Originally published in American Lutherie #2, 1985 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2001

Reviewing any book can be a formidable task. Reviewing a book about violin construction can be downright hazardous! Consider for a moment the possible dangers: irreversible brain damage from attempting to understand the logic of the author; hearing loss from attempts by the reviewer at duplicating the electronic plate-tuning tricks so beloved of some contemporary makers; and last, but certainly not least, near blindness from trying to read the incredibly small type of some of these books. Fortunately, the work of a book reviewer isn’t always this bad. Every now and then, a book is written that appears to be a serious attempt at communicating basic knowledge about a subject to its reader. The Strad Facsimile — An Illustrated Guide To Violin Making by Edwin John Ward is just such a book.

The Strad Facsimile is a straightforward, but somewhat concise attempt at describing exactly how Edwin John Ward goes about constructing a Strad pattern violin. This book does have some limitations. It assumes the reader has a good grasp of basic hand-woodworking skills. It does not provide the reader with any information on comparative methods of violin making. The reader is left to do his/her own research into the alternative schools of violin-making technique.

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