The initial stage of Stradivari’s ‘Golden Period’ is generally considered to have begun at the start of the 18th century. As François-Joseph Fétis wrote: ‘In 1700, his ideas became settled; his model was decided on, and his hand, skilful to second his intelligent views, gave to the form of his instruments all the perfection desirable. That which was wanting to the Amati—power united with brilliancy and mellowness—he had discovered. He did what he wished because he knew what was required.’ Indeed, the ‘Ward’ violin is considered one of the first instruments of this new era, when the Cremonese master sought an approach that was different from his previous elongated forms. This violin bears an original label and is named after Mr. J. Ward of London, England.
More information: Antonio Stradivari Set 1, Volume 2, Page 108