Writing analysis of Stradiviari's relics / Analisi della scrittura dei reperti Stradivariani

Activity carried out from 2016 to 2018 in collaboration with Arvedi Laboratory of Non Invasive Diagnostics of University of Pavia, located inside "Museo del Violino" of Cremona (Italy).

The goal was studying the working notes present on Antonio Stardivari's relics, a collection of artifacts, technical drawings and wood molds used by the famous violin maker between the 17th and the 18th century, currently held in "Museo del Violino" The complexity of this data set relies in the fact that writings are always very short (few text lines or even few words) and show alterations, irregularities and occasional ink spots. Furthermore, during the years, new annotations were added to the original ones, first by the sons of Stradivari and then by the various owners of the collection, leading to serious attribution problems.

The study was initially conducted using a multidisciplinary approach, combining image processing (for a fast screening of the documents) with X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy (for studying the elemental composition of the inks). Then, the image processing step was improved to work as stand alone, in order to avoid the direct access to the relics, needed to apply XRF. The method uses both allographic and texture features to reach an attribution. Paleographic data obtained by previous studies was used as reference for the development. The results was promising: 90% of correct attribitution using only few short texts for each author as training.


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