Vernice bianca

Vernice bianca is a type of sealer varnish used in violin making. It is mainly prepared with a mix of egg white and arabic gum.

Possible preparation

  1. Melt 20 gram of powdered Arabic gum in a water bath
  2. Add a half spoon of honey and let it cool down
  3. Blend with an egg white and filter

This preparation is highly efficient to strengthen the inner and outer of violins, as well as to improve the acoustic of the instruments. (Increased waves propagation speed and decrease dampening).

According to Simone Fernando Sacconi, this "white varnish" is of significant importance in violin making as it allows for thiner plates, lighter and better sounding instruments. One can apply two layers of this preparation inside as well as outside of the sound box. This white varnish is transparent and is absorbed by the wood. It is much more absorbed by the spruce top than the other maple parts; it has an uniforming effect on the whole soundbox.

It must be noted that this preparation is likely to be a key element for the "secret" of old Cremonese instruments as a classical violin with most of his varnish away keeps its acoustical qualities, whereas an instrument re-varnished with a wrong varnish is suffocated and looses its acoustical qualities.

One must also insist on the fact that this varnish is not doing miracle and won't turn a bad instrument into a good one. The soundbox prior to the white varnish application must be fine tuned (plate tuning). The genius of Stradivarius was, according to Sacconi, that he was able to anticipate the modification and the potential improvement of the Vernice Bianca application and tune the unfinished instrument accordingly.

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