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, Jay Haide started the development of what was to become the à l'ancienne.
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 instruments. 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 Maggini Viola.