Comparison of historical violins by non-destructive MRI depth profiling

Bernhard Blümich, Maria Baias, Christian Rehorn, Valeria Gabrielli, Denis Jaschtschuk, Colin Harrison, Claudia Invernizzi, Marco Malagodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The back plates of master violins at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and the Museo del Violino in Cremona were analyzed by portable magnetic resonance imaging with the NMR-MOUSE in terms of depth profiles. Distributions of transverse NMR relaxation times were recorded versus depth at points of small curvature across the violin back plates providing insight into the physical states of the materials. Their analysis reveals the effects of surface treatments, wood treatment, and possible wood degradation. While conclusions about the type of treatment cannot be drawn, the profiles report surprising differences between the violins from the museums in Oxford and Cremona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105219
JournalMicrochemical Journal
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Depth profiling
  • Mobile NMR
  • Non-destructive analysis
  • State of conservation
  • Violin
  • Wood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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