The models I use are typically inspired by instruments that I have had the chance to study or have worked on. The tracings, drawings, photos and casts that are created, provide a lasting reference that continue to inform the construction process as it evolves over many instruments. My goal however, is not to make copies, but through careful observation, attempt to understand the working methods used in the construction of the original instruments and apply them to my own work. The end result being an instrument that references classical Italian violin making, yet remains uniquely my own work; for more information about my working methods, check out the entries in At the Bench.


    In the 16 1/4 inch range, I make a number of models that are inspired by the Cremonese school, grounded in the work of the Amati family. On the smaller side, I make a model with a 15 7/8 inch back length, based on the work of Gasparo Da Salo. It is a very playable viola that still has a great viola sound due to its full archings.  I often use willow and poplar for the backs of the violas and cellos, because they lend a lovely dark, yet responsive quality to the sound.


    The cello models I have been using most recently are based on instruments  by Francesco Ruggieri and Joseph Guarneri, fil. Andrea, both of Cremona. These models are on the smaller side, with back lengths of about 29 inches. In the past few years, all the cello making I have done has been as a collaboration, with my friend and colleague, Christopher White. We have recently added a larger cello model based on the classic Stradivari B form cello.

    I sell my instruments primarily through violin dealers and they are available for trial from many fine violin shops. If you have any questions about my work or would like to inquire about the availability of instruments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


    The majority of the violins I make are based on the work of Joseph Guarneri, Del Gesu. As a starting point, I have been using two models, one based on the violins of the mid 1730’s, and one on violins of the late period. Del Gesu’s violins tend to be on the small side, often with a slightly shorter string length, a feature that I maintain in my own work. As a variation, I also make a version of the 1730’s model that is a little bigger and has the standard violin string length.

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    I have begun offering a line of “workshop instruments” made in my shop. The Atelier David Polstein instruments are constructed and set up to the same high standards found in all my work, using aged materials from my extensive supply of tonewood, but they are available at half the price of my standard instruments.

     Currently two models are available, a Stradivari violin model and a 15 3/4 inch viola based on the work of J. B. Guadagnini.