Stainer, Jacob [Jakob]
- Walter Senn
- , revised by Karl Roy
(b Absam, nr Hall in Tirol, 1617; d Absam, late Oct or early Nov 1683). Austrian violin maker. He received a good education as a chorister (serving in either a church choir – perhaps in Hall – or the Innsbruck court chapel); surviving letters from later years suggest he was a well-educated man. He is traditionally said to have learnt his craft in Cremona, but he was probably apprenticed to a German violin maker resident in Italy. He based his style on an earlier German model, developing it to perfection. Hart wrote: ‘I am satisfied that Stainer was assisted by neither the Brothers Amati nor Nicholas Amati, and I am strengthened in this opinion by the steadfastly German character of a model which no pupil of Amati could have persisted in using’. His oldest known violin is dated Absam, 1638.
Until 1655 Stainer made visits to monasteries, church choirs and court chapels in order to sell instruments and carry out repairs; his travels took him to Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Brixen, Bozen and elsewhere. In ...