18th Century Violin Maker's Shop, Audio Tour Track #1003
18th Century Violin Maker's Shop, W. Foster Tracy, 1979, 1:12 scale
With dedicated accuracy and attention to detail, the most treasured miniatures require skilled hands and a finely tuned imagination, and W. Foster Tracy was a man devoted to his craft. All the miniature tools created for his 18th Century Violin Maker’s Shop are accurate to the needs of an 18th century violin-maker – known as a luthier – and each of the bottles and jars contain actual glue, varnish, resin and pigments. Made in 1:12 scale, Tracy’s violins are just under two inches in length, faithfully crafted to the point that each one of these miniature violins could be played with a miniature bow. The voice of the violin would be quite different however, due to the small size of the violin body. Tracy used bird’s-eye maple and spruce wood for the violin bodies, ebony wood for the fingerboards, and pernambuco – a type of Brazillian wood – for the bows, all of which are the actual woods used when creating fine-quality full-scale violins. Although impossible to see, he even signed the interior of each violin, in the same manner as they are signed in the full-scale. This 18th Century Violin Maker’s Shop is registered as number 2 of 6 identical works which Tracy constructed in 1979.
W. Foster Tracy was a renowned American miniaturist, going on to become the founder and first president of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans – an elite organization of miniaturists which is still thriving today.