My fiddle has a very unusual design that is the purfling (if I spelled it right) that was part of the origninal design that the maker of the instrument designed. I wondered about this for quite some time, and took it to a local violin maker to ask him about it. He told me that Mr. Strativarius had a competitor; his name was Gaspar de Salo. Gaspar did not like it when his violins were mistaken for his competitor, so his hallmark was a fancy design that was put into the purfling on all his violins. Of course, mine is not an original. It is an inexpensive knock off imitation of German design from between 1880-1900. It has a glorious tone, and I guess it is somewhat rare. That's the decoration on my fiddle.
Hardiman the Fiddler