What follows is another brief look at such graceful items as a ceramic violin, obviously inspired by the original stringed instrument of wood.
A recent glance at the world of violin bottles demonstrated that objects resembling the violin’s shape, and made of materials other than the expected wood, are particularly admired, sought after, and cherished. Chief among these is the ceramic violin (for purposes of discussion here but not strictly delineated, including such types of clay-based processes and marks as faience, Limoges, porcelain, and so on), with perhaps the most exquisite of those being this one, a blue Delft treasure from ca. 1705-1710 on view in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The extraordinarily high incidence of this item’s being reproduced in recognizable form as a collectible object in addition to possibly most-photographed-exhibit in aforementioned museum attests to its attraction for all who come across it.
The ceramic violin, a never-ending tribute to the beauty of a violin that can be played
The violin in its most common form — the stringed instrument that is a marvel of acoustic ingenuity — is such a wondrous thing that one would think attempts to improve upon it would long ago have been abandoned. In general, that is so, and yet, there have continued to be experiments to come up with something — a ceramic violin, a porcelain one, a glass one — that might offer hitherto unheard qualities. We know better, of course, so it is touching to discover this article from a 1905 New Zealand newspaper:
Nice try, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, and indeed “somewhat hard to believe”, as stated by the writer of the piece just above. Progress in acoustics notwithstanding, the notion of a ceramic violin has remained so intriguing to the art-loving public that at least one author even chose the topic as the title of his novel, which is still available in facsimile edition.
A ceramic violin as feast for the eyes
It seems that we will not tire of looking at beautiful objects which remind us of themselves in other iterations; that is, most likely, what holds our interest in them. The ceramic violin on display at the Rijksmuseum can even make us forget about Vermeer and Rembrandt for a moment.