From Jay Haide's website:
There is nothing like a fine 18th. or 19th century Italian or French instrument with a great mature tone and the beautiful patina of age. Most players would love to own a fine old instrument like this, but these days, prices have increased so much due to demand, that few can afford them any more. With this in mind, we started the development of what was to become the à l'ancienne. Many violins and thousands of hours of work later, we were ready to introduce the ancienne violins.
For the Jay Haide instruments we start by searching and examining wood from many sources and from the most experienced wood cutters. We spent countless hours making sure that the results would be an instrument we would be proud to give our name to. Over the years, we have steadily changed and improved the à l'ancienne, making sure that we are constantly looking forward towards improvement, not resting on our success.
Since its introduction eight years ago, the à l'ancienne violins have become the flagship of the Jay Haide fleet. They are envied and copied by other makers, but as much as they have tried, none have come close to equaling them. Some have gone so far as to put facsimile labels of well known French and Italian makers in our instruments and selling them at much inflated prices. One of our ancienne violins even was given a certificate of authenticity from a well-known expert as an early 20th. century Italian violin with an insurance appraisal for $26,000.00! Because of this, every one of the à l'ancienne violin, viola, cello and bass now has a series of brands inside and out to deter the copyists.
With use and playing, fine old string instruments develop the patina of age over the decades and centuries that master violin makers have attempted to emulate, even as early as the late 17th. Century. By the mid 19th. century, makers like Jean Baptiste Vuillaume and Georges Chanot in Paris had developed a high degree of skill in re-creating the effects of time and use in his violins. In following that tradition, each Jay Haide l'ancienne is carefully and painstakingly hand varnished to emulate the appearance of a fine old Stradivari or Guarneri violin. First we re-create the color, texture and patina of the golden ground coat. To that we add our beautiful golden orange varnish in a pattern simulating the wear and use found in the great classic old instruments. In order to do that. we have provided our luthiers with fine old Italian and French so that they can be studied while they are working. It is this attention to detail that has made our ancienne instruments in demand around the world.