VARNISH (and Wood)

Capturing the warmth, texture, aliveness and acoustical significance of the old Italian varnishes doesn't allow for much deviation from what was determined to be correct over two hundred years ago. As you might expect, the varnish Burgess uses is made of materials which were available, and in fact, common in commerce in the 17th century. It is consistent with modern laboratory analysis of 17th century Cremonese varnish. The varnish, as well as all its individual ingredients and colors, has been exhaustively tested and researched for long term stability, resistance to fading, and compatibility with the wood substrate. Wood is pretty stable stuff, in the right environment. In the wrong environment, it deforms badly, becomes weak, or turns to pulp. No dyes, penetrants, strong acids or alkalis, heat, fumigation, boiling, ozone, or other substances or treatments which are common in antiquing, or which might enhance the appearance or sound at the risk of deteriorating the wood are used. More attention is probably paid to longevity and structural integrity on these instruments than those of any other stringed instrument maker.

Back To Burgess Main Page

For more information about Burgess violins, violas and cellos, contact David Burgess at:
1510 Glen Leven; Ann Arbor, MI 48103 U.S.A.
Phone: (734) 668-7803
Burgess Violin Maker Main Web Site:

Home     Significance of Contests     What About Copies?     How To Check Your Hygrometer

Humidity and Your Instrument     Where's the integrity?     Marketing Strategies     Old Versus New

Humidity Control Products     The Sound     The Varnish     Article by the Violin Society of America     Who Actually Makes Burgess Instruments?