Manual on the optical analysis of stringed instruments

High-grade analysis using UV light makes the invisible, visible


Analysis of, and expertise in instruments requires much knowledge, experience and a good eye. However, there are certain things, which may not be seen under normal conditions, or which one may only suspect. When using light sources with an optimum light quality and in the relevant spectrums, one may see in great detail, where varnishes have been restored, what faded branding may reveal, or which pigments were used for retouches.

This manual is based on many years of experience, an excellent collaboration with LUMATEC GmbH, and presents the basic components required for a scientific, analytical approach.

In collaboration with the founder of the studio Atelier Petit & Schilbach Sarl, Alexis Schilbach, whose longstanding experience we were able to draw from, and with the support of LUMATEC GmbH, we were able to compile a manual on the analysis of stringed instruments. This book is intended to be a companion for violin makers, bow makers, and restorers, to support their daily work in assessment and analysis. Furthermore this book presents the basic components required for a scientific, analytical approach.

We believe that it is important to always look ahead, and therefore we do not view the book as a static, finished piece of work, but rather as a work which may grow, and which may be expanded upon on a continuous basis. We would be delighted, if you would share your experience with materials, as well as in regard to the handling of optical analysis methods with us, so that these may be included in future editions to share with others.




Over 87 pages and with more than 100 analytical photos we analyse, describe and show in a visual manner, original examples, as well as samples of substances in their purest form under different wave lengths and with different filters.

Pages detailing all substances give a concise overview and allow the reader to narrow down possibilities for a quick evaluation.

For every substance there is also a reference to similar materials.


1st. Edition in English

Author: Mag. (FH) Benjamin Schilbach



Available in our onlineshop


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