Alexander Batov


United Kingdom

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About me:
the vihuela maker

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  • Christopher Challen

    you are absolutely right about the picture of the guitar heel!!! This was an instrument which I probably made in the late 70s and I think was my first and only full size copy of the Ashmolean guitar. I have no recollection as to how I confused things, maybe I was looking around to see how others had tackled the meeting of so many lines and saved your picture as a good example. Also, the colours are quite similar and we both decided to not varnish the neck. I of course removed the picture immediately and hope you don't think I was trying to pass my work off as your own - this would not be a good way to start out on such an interesting website. I will enlarge the other heel image as soon as poss showing how I resolved the problem. I do hope you will accept my apologies. Yours, Chris (Challen).

  • Christopher Challen

    It was some time ago that I examined the 1680 Stradivari guitar in the Ashmolean Museum and made drawings in preparation for copying but the impressions I recieved were lasting. My feeling is that both bridge and rose are original. My reason being that in many details the guitar rose resembles the rose of my 1680 Stradivari mandolino (National Instrument Museum NNM 6045) . I’m not sure if anyone has made a definitive decision re the date of the guitar but I’ve always read it as 1680.

    The very small attachment area of the guitar bridge I did find slightly disturbing on examination but have reproduced this on many occasions without any problems (as far as I know!). The bridge on the mandolino is also extremely narrow - in proportion to the string length that is - but likewise has not proved a problem in reproductions. I played the original instrument vigorously for about 23 years in both concerts (including several performances of the Vivaldi G major double mandolino concerto with James Tyler) and often hours of the usual daily practice, with no signs of structural shortcomings.

    I always find Stradivari’s work extremely inventive and full of surprises. For example, nailing the ribs of his guitars to the mould (the filled holes at the waist are clearly visible) and using what I think is a clever way of piercing the bridge in order that the position of the strings can be accurately set and subsequently adjusted - drilled holes just don’t offer the same flexibility.

    Happy New Year. Chris.

  • Richard Weleber

    Hi Alexander,

    I just joined the network and have enjoyed the comments. To communicate with another member, one first asks to be friends.  Will you please accept me as a friend?


    Richard Weleber