This instrument embodies a typical case in which an original Stradivari label has been tampered with, thereby causing several problems in identifying the instrument as well as in determining its exact production date. The label of the violin reads ‘Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1710’ but several experts believe that the date has been changed from 1703. Alfred Phillips Hill, in particular, confirmed the alteration in a letter to Mr. George Schlieps: ‘The label I think is authentic, though the last three figures have undoubtedly been tampered with, but I can see no reason for this as the original figures would have given the actual date only a few years earlier.’ Florian Leonhard is of the opinion that the violin was made around 1703, as its features correspond exactly to this time. The arching is widely channelled, and the long elegant corners’ lengths are typical of this period in Stradivari’s production. Moreover, the wood is finely grained, whereas in the years leading up to 1710, the grain gradually changed to stronger and broader configurations.
More information: Antonio Stradivari Set 1, Volume 2, Page 232