Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) “The Rawlins” guitar, 1700, Cremona, Italy. The famed luthier (stringed instrument maker) Antonio Stradivari built a handful of guitars, of which four are known to survive. Stradivari’s guitars are the earliest known guitars that use the same basic wood choices of spruce for the top and maple for the sides and backs. These are the same woods used for violins, and are standard wood choices for modern day archtop guitar builders.
Seventeenth-Century Italian Violin Pattern. The name of Antonio Stradivari and the date, 1737, both written on the pattern, have been attributed to the hand of Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue (1744-1840), the Italian collector who obtained it from Stradivari’s son, Paolo.