A trademark identifying the Cremonese instruments was strongly desired by the Cremona Chamber of Commerce together with the Consortium of Violinmakers “Antonio Stradivari” Cremona, as well as by the various craftsmen associations supported by the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Regione Lombardia as an attempt to put a seal of quality on modern stringed instruments made in Cremona that could be recognised throughout the world.
It is an important attempt to give a qualitative edge to a traditional craft that works at the pace of the past using antique techniques, penalised by modern economic constraints that lead to standardised products and marketing.
The Cremona Liuteria trademark answers the request imposed by the professional development of the field, and is a fundamental first step towards protecting and safeguarding the instruments made in Cremona.
This operation is an advantage:
• more transparency for the market,
• safety for customers, who can be sure of buying guaranteed instruments,
• access to a databank allowing a permanent verification of the authenticity of the maker and the instrument.
Years of training, particular skills, special sensitivity and practical experience are required to become a stringed instrument maker; in order to make instruments that are excellent both in terms of sound and appearance high quality materials are required and great care must be taken over the process; therefore, the Cremona Liuteria trademark aims to:
• guarantee the handicraft characteristics and the origin of the instruments.
• supervise the instrument making activity.
Guaranteed technical features
The rules drawn up by the Consortium of Violinmakers “Antonio Stradivari” – Cremona – the organisation managing the trademark – binds members of the consortium to the greatest moral integrity in the exercise of their craft. It also binds them to comply with current legislation governing labour law, marketing, competition and to use instrument making techniques and practices that will not harm the artistic image of traditional Cremona instrument making.
In order to reinforce these principles regarding the use of the collective trademark the consortium sets the rules by which the instrument makers belonging to the consortium and the license holders must abide in order to be able to use it:
• they must be registered with the craft register and must have specialised in one of the following musical instruments: violin, viola, violoncello, double bass, viola d’amore, viola da gamba, plucked instruments, harp and guitar;
• they must work and/or provide services in the province of Cremona.
• be made without the use of the equipment or techniques used for large-scale industrial production;
• varnished without the use of spray paints, regardless of whether they are pressurised;
• be made and finished in the maker’s workshop without the use of industrial semifinished products except for the following accessory parts: bridge, fingerboard, upper and lower nuts, chin rest, soundpost and purflings.
• be made from the following materials: spruce, maple, ebony, willow, poplar, rosewood, mahogany, cedar and/or other types of wood that are traditionally used to make the instruments;
• be made using the traditional Cremona craft techniques and subsequent developments.