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Dating of a violoncello

This November (2019) our lab made year-ring width measurements on a musical instrument for the first time. The analysis successfully dated the violoncello and also defined the provenance of the wooden material. 

According to a note inside the violoncello the instrument was built in 1851 by E. J. Vellrath in Altenburg and it was repaired by Jenő Páll in Tövis (Teius, Romania). We measured the ring widths on the front board using a manual magnifier provided with scale. The obtained 100 years series has high accordance with the Abies chronologies from Alpenvorland and Kalkalpen (Austria) and one can say that it was made from silver fir cut after 1847. Therefore the inscription found in side the violoncello is authentic the instrument was really built in 1851. The comparisons with spruce chronologies from Austria and with silver fir chronologies from South-Germany produced much lower values, so one has to conclude that the wood material is silver fir from Kalkalpen. This decides also the identification of the production location with the Austrian Altenburg instead of the same name town from Thüringen, Germany.


© 2016 Erdélyi dendrokronológiai laboratórium