Menu

Jacob Stainer

Jacob Stainer was the leading violin maker of the Austro-German school. For many years Stainer was thought to have been a pupil of Nicolò Amati, due to the strong similarity in their work. This theory was subsequently questioned, on the basis that Stainer was never listed as an apprentice in the Amati household, but recent research has shown that the parish lists were not introduced until 1641, by which time Stainer would have left the shop.

Stainer’s earliest work dates from the late 1630s, and he seems to have travelled a great deal over the next two decades before finally settling in the town of his birth in 1656. His early work is relatively highly arched (see the violin circa 1660) but from about 1665 he built a flatter, more successful model that seems to have been inspired by Amati’s Grand Pattern. The two violins dated 1668 and circa 1670 are representative of this model, and show Stainer at his best.

Stainer was undoubtedly one of the great craftsmen of the 17th century, and for well over a century his instruments ranked alongside, if not above, the best Cremona had to offer. His great legacy is the influence he had over subsequent makers, notably in Venice and Florence, but also in England, Germany and of course Austria. Stainer’s model was considered ideal and was industriously copied until the latter years of the 18th century, when the vogue for Stradivari finally took over. Sadly many of these copyists exaggerated the Stainer-esque features, such that the copies are not a fair reflection of the delicacy and elegance of the original.

Jacob Stainer

(Absam, b c1617; d 1683)

Jacob Stainer was the leading violin maker of the Austro-German school. For many years Stainer was thought to have been a pupil of Nicolò Amati, due to the strong similarity in their work. This theory was subsequently questioned, on the basis that Stainer was never listed as an apprentice in the Amati household, but recent research has shown that the parish lists were not introduced until 1641, by which time Stainer would have left the shop.

Stainer’s earliest work dates from the late 1630s, and he seems to have travelled a great deal over the next two decades before finally... Read more

Instruments for sale in our Private Sales

A violin by Jacob Stainer

Absam, 1669

This superb baroque violin showcases the genius of Jacob Stainer. It is built on his grand pattern using particularly handsome materials which are complemented by the beautiful honey-coloured varnish. This... read more

A violin by Jacob Stainer

Absam, 1669

This superb baroque violin showcases the genius of Jacob Stainer. It is built on his grand pattern using particularly handsome materials which are complemented by the beautiful honey-coloured varnish. This instrument sounds powerful, focused and clear, and its response is very quick. It was the chosen instrument of a professional musician who has played it in concert and on multiple recordings in recent years.

This violin is illustrated in Jakob Stainer: Leben und Werk des Tiroler Meisters by Walter Senn & Karl Roy, Verlag E. Bochinsky, Frankfurt.

Ex-William Corbett

A violin by Jacob Stainer

Absam, 1670

This spectacular violin was made at the height of Jacob Stainer’s abilities as a craftsman. Built on his most desirable grand pattern with very attractive materials, it is no surprise... read more

Ex-William Corbett

A violin by Jacob Stainer

Absam, 1670

This spectacular violin was made at the height of Jacob Stainer’s abilities as a craftsman. Built on his most desirable grand pattern with very attractive materials, it is no surprise that it found its way into the collection of renowned violinist and collector William Corbett whose brand it bears on the bottom rib. Currently set up as a baroque violin, its sound is earthy and rich. The clarity of its overtones - which help the sound carry - is one of the reasons why Stainer violins are highly sought after amongst period players.

Corbett came to prominence as a violinist and composer at the end of the 1690s, predominantly working at the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where he composed incidental music in 1700 for Betterton’s “Love Betrayed” and various other dramatic works, including a succession of adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. His particular importance as a composer rests largely on his success as an Englishman writing in the most modern Italian styles, and in 1700 he sent his XII Sonate a Tre to Amsterdam to be published as a response to the popular success of Corelli’s sonatas that had been widely disseminated in the preceding decade, forming the backbone of musical taste for the violin throughout Europe. As such, Corbett seems to have been something of a phenomenon, with concerts in the early years of the 18th century where celebrated Italian violinists would play his works, and his own acceptance as one of very few English musicians who were seen on equal terms to his Italian peers both in London and in his later tours in Italy. He was thoroughly integrated into the Italian musical community in London and in 1703 he married Signora Anna Lodi, a tempestuous opera singer from Milan. In 1705, when the Queen’s Theatre was opened in the Haymarket with Italian opera at its heart, he became the leader of the orchestra, and in 1709 Queen Anne appointed him to a place as a Royal Musician, a position that he maintained for the rest of his life despite his frequent and mysterious absences from England.

Instruments we have sold by this maker

Articles

Part IV: Violin Making Outside Cremona

19 April 2021 - Dilworth, John

The Evolution of Violin Making from 16th-20th Century Part IV

Part III: Cremona’s Second Genius

19 April 2021 - Dilworth, John

The Evolution of Violin Making from 16th-20th Century Part III

Looking to Buy or Sell an Instrument by this Maker?

Selling with Ingles & Hayday

We offer buyers and sellers a bespoke private sale service, sourcing exceptional instruments and bows and matching them with the most discerning buyers...

More Information

Buying at Ingles & Hayday

Tim Ingles and Paul Hayday will offer an initial evaluation of the authenticity and value of your instrument or bow to recommend an auction estimate and reserve price for your instrument or bow...

Enquire

Written Valuations & Certificates

Tim Ingles and Paul Hayday will offer an initial evaluation of the authenticity and value of your instrument or bow. At this stage, the assessment is free and without obligation. In the first instance, we suggest submitting good-quality images to us, preferably by email to info@ingleshayday.com or by completing the valuation form.

Read more

    Buying at Ingles & Hayday

    We hold two auctions a year at Sotheby’s in London, generally in March and October. We also have a selection of instruments and bows for private sale all year round. Please contact us for more information.

    Back to Notable Sales