In this study, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR-MOUSE) have been applied to precious ancient violins realized by the most renowned makers of the Italian lutherie, such as Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri ‘del Gesù’, and preserved at the Museo del Violino in Cremona. Several large fragments removed during past restorations from instruments produced by the luthiers Stainer, Gasparo da Salò, Maggini and Guadagnini, as well as laboratory models simulating musical instruments stratigraphy, were further examined. OCT study was carried out with a prototype high-resolution portable SdOCT instrument providing layer thickness measurements and information about the presence of particles, cracks and delaminations. NMR analyses were performed with a Magritek Kea spectrometer and a Profile NMR-MOUSE (PM5) giving information on the wood density and elasticity, revealing wood treatments at the inner and outer surfaces of the plates. The analyses have been conducted within the MOLAB Transnational Access - EU H2020 Project IPERION CH (thickNESS Project). Data interpretation is still in progress and promising results are expected to add a further valuable contribution to the knowledge of the finishing violin making process. These outcomes will be integrated with the results from UVIFL, FT-IR and XRF techniques in order to set up a methodology which allows researchers to non-invasively characterize the stratigraphy of historical violins.
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