Stradivarius'Forma B piccola' Cello

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According to our present knowledge, the "Servais" is the latest dated existing cello built upon the 'Forma B' mold. In approximately 1707 he introduced an new cello form which some accept as the ne plus ultra of perfection, the 'Forma B piccola'. There are no shop notes or diary entries that give an exact date or reason for the introduction of a smaller cello, only a pattern a pattern which he drew for the sound-holes of one of these instruments with the marking: "Per far gli occhi della forma B. piccola dal Violoncello,". We do know, however, from an inscription on the pattern of a cello head, that it was destined for the instrument made for the Contessa Cristina Visconti in 1707.

After more detailed examination it turns out that the instrument made for the Contessa Visconti was not of the "forma B piccola." Therefore We are not justified in absolutely asserting that Stradivari first gave to us his perfected cello in the year 1707 but most scollars believe this was the case.

We do know for certainty of at least five examples of the 'Forma B piccola'; oneof these instruments, though, has been enlarged to give it the same body dimensions as the earlier 'Forma B' instrument. And another has been cut down still smaller. But the remaining three are excellent and characteristic specimens. One of those instruments was dated 1730; the second owned by Braga, of "Serenata" fame, dated to 1731, and lastly the instrument of M. De Munck, which, although dated 1710 (1733 by some sources), really belongs to this period. The last mentioned instrument, the 'De Munck' (also named Feuermann or Gardiner) is the most famous example of the 'Forma B piccola', which was played for many years by Aldo Parisot and is now owned by Steven Isserlis.

The picture shown here are of the original 'De Munck' cello, not one made by the luthiers bench

'De Munck' cello 1710 (1733)

Specifications Stradivari 1710 (1733) 'De Munck' (Feuermann, Gardiner) Cello

Measurements (all in millimeters and taken with a calliper, i.e. straight, not over the arch)




Length (taken from side of button)



Upper Bouts



Middle Bouts (taken at narrowest point)



Lower Bouts



Arching Height



Stop Length

bass 408

trebble 405.2

Corner Widths

upper 10.2

lower 10.3

The following measurements reflect the present day setup of the instrument and may not have been the original settings.


String Length


Neck Length


Neck Elevation At Bridge


Tailpiece Length

Fingerboard Length


Available colors

(colors can also be mixed to create other colors)

Amber Brown Dark Brown Golden Brown
Golden yellow Red Brown Red yellow