About a year ago or less we were talking about copies and I mentioned a story about a Famous Strad. I thought it was the 'Betts" but could not find the refrence.. Well, while doing some research today I found this by accident.. My 'witness' has come forward.. See here; "Having spent 17 years as an employee, Betts tried to differ from the dealers and self-taught makers in those early years by calling himself a real instrument maker. As his shop became more busy, Betts employed many of the great English violin makers of the 19th century, including Vincenzo Panormo, Joseph Hill II, Henry Lockey Hill, Richard Tobin, Bernhard Fendt I and II and John Furber and, ironically, became more of a dealer himself. Many great musicians, as well as great instruments, were regular visitors to his workshop. One such visitor was the famous Italian violinist Viotti who brought his Stradivari to Betts and asked him to make an exact copy of the masterpiece, including all the varnish, wear and cracks. Betts promised to fulfil the task within a month, but once Viottis back was turned, Betts took the Cremonese masterpiece to Fendt and asked him to make two exact copies of the Strad. Viotti came on the agreed date to pick up his old Cremonese instrument and the English version of it, but, unbeknown to him, he never saw his original Strad again as Betts gave him both copies without Viotti realising the exchange! From this site; http://www.krattenmacher.com/publications/p_betts.html This is NOT the exact source I read it from the first time but it IS the exact same story...... Addition; "Originally published in Double Bassist 16, Spring 2001"