Jakob Stainer

Jakob Stainer, from Absam in Tyrol, ubiquitously acknowledged to be the greatest luthier of all times, set the standard for European violin-making until 1800; his violin would command a price six or seven times greater than those of Antonio Stradivari.

It is only towards the very end of the 18th Century that the fashion for that Cremonese master superceded that of Stainer and his followers. Heinrich Biber ordered instruments from Stainer for the Salzburg Court;  Johann Sebastian Bach played on a Stainer Viola;
Pietro Antonio Locatelli performed his bold concerti on a Stainer violin; Leopold Mozart played throughout his life on one of his excellent instruments and decried the decline of quality of contemporary (1750) violin making. Stainer’s instruments have been copied more frequently that any other maker in history. 

All the bass viols by Jakob Stainer were made on exactly the same pattern: their contours can be superimposed on one another. He invariably used bird's eye maple for the back and sides although some were made of several stripes of different species of woods.

Francesco Maria Veracini, a violin virtuoso, affectionately named his two Stainer violins “Petrus & Paulus”

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