A Remnant of War
One evening an old couple came into the shop carrying an instrument. It was old, damaged, and without varnish or coloring of any kind. Upon laying my eyes on it, I instantly knew there was more to it than what meets the eye. The polite couple explained this instrument was from Germany, a remnant of WWII. A 95-year old man from Germany brought it with him to the States and upon his recent passing away bequeathed the instrument onto the couple. Curious about it's past, they hoped I would be able to shed some light on the story of this relic. I was very honored and humble to have their trust placed in me, a stranger, and peer into the memory of this instrument.
I thoroughly examined the instrument hoping to find clues which would help me piece together it's origin. Besides the lack of varnish, it also had several cracks, no doubt from the effects of war and transferring it. However must notably, was a cleanly shaven piece on the backboard. It was too perfectly cut to be an accident, and looked to be from a chisel. I gathered these finding and told the couple my theory.
This violinmaker was right in the middle of creating this piece when the war hit. Perhaps due to an invasion or migration effort they had to quickly leave their home, only able to bring with them the necessities for living and perhaps a few completed instruments. In frustration of not being able to complete this instrument, the violinmaker used a chisel to vent his anger and shaved off a piece of the wood before fleeing from home.
The couple were delighted to hear this explanation and left the instrument in my care to be repaired.
I meticulously fixed and patched every crack and missing piece. We furnished the instrument using the high quality German pegs, fingerboard, chinrest, and decorated it with Austrian Strings and a French Bridge.
After a few months, this instrument was reborn. In the first time of it's 80 years of life, this memorandum of the past, a remnant of war, gave it's first and beautiful cry of life.