The Briggs style 119I violin is inspired by the 1709 inlaid Antonio Stradivari violin known as the Greffuhle.
Briggs use the finest solid spruce tops from Northern Italy (in the same area where the likes of Stradivari and Guarneri sourced their wood centuries before) because the conditions in the region that favour the growth of tight and straight grain spruce that is perfect for violin making.
Briggs use the finest quality Acer platanoides maple from Bosnia in the Balkans. Their hand selected 'Bosnian maple' – commonly known as 'Norway maple' – is a very high-grade maple which is light, strong and is proven for it's wonderful resonance and sound quality (which is no doubt why the world famous Gagliano family of luthiers used it in their instruments).
Although Briggs never discloses the 'exact' modifications that they have made to an early 1704 Italian recipe, their varnish is durable, dries beautifully to give a wonderful transparent colour, and alows the instrument to sing. The finish is an undisclosed combination of shellac, frankincense, sandarac, turpentine, gum elemi, etc. The making of the varnish is an art, and takes several weeks to finish. At all times, they are thinking about what effects the varnish will have on the vibrational properties – in respect to damping and stiffness – of the instrument firstly, and the aesthetic appearance of the instrument secondly.