Renowned nineteenth-century musicologist François-Joseph Fétis assembled this authoritative survey with the assistance of noted violin maker and dealer Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. Focusing on the work of the Italian master violin maker Stradivarius, this volume explores the early history and construction of stringed instruments. In addition, this valuable resource provides rare, contemporary glimpses of the world of Paganini, Schumann, and Berlioz. A reprint of a rare 1864 publication, this study offers intriguing historical information to violinists, music historians, and music lovers of all ages. A new Introduction by famed musicologist Stewart Pollens provides further insights.