Johannes Theodorus Cuypers 1724-1808


Known as Johannes Cuypers. Perhaps the most productive of all Dutch makers. He is frequently said to have worked after 'a Stradivarius model'. This should be interpreted that he worked more after Stradivarius than after Amati.
Cuypers earlier works, prior to 1775, show remarkeble refinement; purfling wich follows fairly long corners right up to the end; small, elegant scolls. In this period, Cuypers made more celli and viola's than later on, all of high-grade quality. In those early years he used printed labels which are far less known than his hand-written ones of later years. Futhermore, in this early period, his F-holes have a very particulary shape, the heads, however, already are of that very vertical design which will remain a characteristic throughout Cuypers' later periods. The back of the heads are quite flat.

The somewhat heavy touch apperent in Cuypers' later work is due to the fact that he made two of his sons participate in the work. This might also explain the circumstance that specimens of his later work are less rare than his earlier instruments. An interesting charactiristic of Johannes Cuypers' style in this later peroid is his tops. usually in one piece of wood, without the center joint which is more orthodox. The scrolls are long drawn; the peg-box is only slightly curved; little finish to their backs. Owing to his sons' assistent, Johannse Cuypers has been very productive indeed, and he is, in general, foremost in one's thoughts when the Dutch art of violin-making is discussed.

From: The Violin-makers of the Low Countries, by Max Möller, Amsterdam (1955)