New book: The Archetypal Violins of Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, now available. Pre-order today.

Extensive Background Knowledge

Very much of the process of authentication is intuitive, and there is a procedure of elimination which happens automatically in my mind after many years of experience in the industry. It is akin to the denouement chapter in a detective story: the detective gathers everyone together and meticulously presents each suspect, testing their alibies, analysing their characters, before coming to the final culprit – often the one the reader least suspects!

Combining Historic Tradition with New Technology

To the untrained eye one violin doesn’t vary much from another. To me, they are all full of differences. I am able to distinguish an instrument in the same way an antique expert does in his field. I have trained myself to pick up signs that distinguish the period, the region and the maker. I draw on the knowledge I have gathered through being a maker myself, through decades of coming into contact with thousands of instruments, to come to a decision on who the maker of a particular instrument is.

Internationally Recognised Authentication

It takes years of experience to develop the expertise required to authenticate a violin. The style of each luthier can vary greatly, so many reference examples are needed to be able to accurately identify a maker’s work. Florian’s deep-rooted knowledge of makers, his experience as a maker and restorer and his photographic memory have helped him become an internationally recognized expert in his field.