The picture of the front plate of an old violin below shows a very obvious line that separates the front plate into left and right parts.

While I understand that the violin has a two-part front plate, is it normal that the line of separation is this obvious? Or is it normal in old violin?

I am not sure whether it is caused by the wood used for the left and the right part having different colors, which is unusual. enter image description here

  • 2
    It doesn't bother me, but it is unusual. I've seen a noticeable juncture on the back, but generally it's symmetrical. A luthier can probably even it out if it really matters to you. But the beauty of the sound is what matters the most. Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 1:31
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    It is absolutely normal that the top is made from two pieces of spruces joined together. This would usually be barely visible if varnished correctly (c.f. your previous question). In this case the instrument is old and not in a particularly beautiful form, which causes this to be accented a bit.
    – Lazy
    Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 12:47
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    @aparente001 A violin maker could strip off the varnish, sand of all the dirt and revarnish it, but it wouldn’t be worth the effort if it was a cheap violin and it would be frowned upon if it was a better one.
    – Lazy
    Commented Dec 2, 2022 at 12:50

1 Answer 1

  1. Yes, it is normal to have a 2-piece top on a violin (or really most stringed instruments).

  2. Most luthiers will try to bookmatch the two pieces such that there is a consistent grain pattern centered at the glue joint. This was likely what we would refer to today as a b-stock instrument, made from lesser quality stock so as not to waste leftover wood.


  • The picture you’ve given would rather be for the back, you even see a light flaming :). The top needs to have very fine and straight grain (which also means that the need of bookmatching is much lower).
    – Lazy
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 8:00

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