About the project
Instrument fraud in all its aspects is a major issue affecting the entire instrument business. Thus, authentication and fraudulent identification is of utmost importance. Currently, a violin’s authenticity can be determined through comparative study of design, model, wood characteristics, and varnish texture, as well as dendrochronology. But all these techniques have its limitations and are not always conclusive.
The aim of the project is to work towards a workflow for the authentication of antique violins as well as the establishment of a data base for provenance and species identification of spruce and maple wood used in the construction of modern and antique violins based on state-of-art molecular genetic methods.
A database of recent Norway spruce populations of known ‘violin forests’ in the Alpine region as well as maple samples from the Balkan peninsula in connection with data generated from recent tone wood samples and antique wood probes will serve in the establishment of an exhaustive reference data base.
In particular, the extraction of DNA from antique wood is considered to be a challenge for molecular biologists since the predominantly dead wood tissue generally contains little and very degraded DNA. Thus, a thorough methodology needs to be developed in order to achieve DNA in sufficient quantity, quality and integrity.
Ongoing sampling activities for reference material.
||Italy (Paneveggio)||96 Samples|
||Austria (Lungau)||64 Samples|
||Austria (Pottenstein)||16 Samples|
||Germany (Mittenwald)||53 Samples|
||Austria (Großer Ahornboden)||40 Samples|
||Bosnia (Ribinik, Benja Lika)||42 Samples|
||Bosnia (East Drvar, Han Pijasak)||42 Samples|
||Serbia (Djerdap, Pirot)||86 Samples|
||Serbia (Kapoanik, Pirot)||40 Samples|
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AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH