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  2. This case came with the violin. My question is, has any one seen these before? So far I've only come across fake alligator cases. Do they hold any value? Is it ok to travel on intercontinental flights with it? Origin is French right?
  3. I witnessed this once. I've mentioned elsewhere that in 1986, I went "contemporary," when I realized that a couple of new fiddles that a luthier friend had left with me for a couple of months while he was away were actually quite a bit better thant the expensive Italian fiddles I'd been playing. There were two violins, and my brother, also a professional violinist, and I decided to buy them both. Mine turned out to be my main instrument for the next 20 years or so, but the one my brother chose, which at the time I think we both preferred slightly (he's older, so he got first choice), just suddenly "died" a little less than a year later. The maker took it back and made a new top for it. If my memory serves me right, he didn't bother to try any adjusting, he just considerd the top a "failure." I know that at the time he was making his own varnish and was convinced that the ground and varnish had a great effect on sound, but we never discussed any chemical or oxydation processes on the wood. .
  4. Today
  5. Anybody can center a rib joint; but this is truly an artistic flair
  6. I believe this is the same listing. http://www.ebay.ca/itm/French-violin-Maurice-Mermillot-1896-with-fire-stamp-/282518558772?hash=item41c76b1834:g:33cAAOSw-29ZO9dx
  7. Thank you, all. A few comments to wrap up. First, I have no doubt that the violin is what it's claimed to be, and that there was nothing untoward in either the original purchase, or in the sale to me, of this instrument. To my understanding, the seller is an accomplished and knowledgeable player who simply wanted to sell this instrument to help fund the purchase of something different. Second, I have high regard for WH Lee. The person who helped me was kind, professional, generous, and cared about instruments bearing the name of the shop and/or one of their makers. I would happily refer friends to the shop if they happened to live in the Chicago area. Third, as far as my local luthier is concerned, this is a very nicely made, good sounding, contemporary violin by a living maker. It's not an ancient treasure, but I'm nonetheless happy to have it for my kids (active players in college and advanced high school ensembles). Fourth, I appreciate that there are still people in the west carrying on and preserving the art and craft of violin making, particularly in light of the pressure from the East (so thank you, Mr. Rusnak, should this thread ever get back to you; we like your violin a lot!). Finally, I'm glad for this site -- that there are people here who are passionate about this stuff and willing to help the likes of me, an almost-know-nothing, when it comes to violins. Thank you all and thanks to those who run and moderate this site for making it available to the community. --KJS
  8. Annelle has been using my violin only recently, since about November. The CD recordings were done earlier, most likely on the early 1900's Carl Becker she had on loan. It was a decent-sounding instrument, but not powerful enough to cut through an orchestra unamplified. The only recordings with my violin are the videos I posted here on this thread. I do feel extremely lucky that Annelle is nearby, and I happened to have a violin that suited her at the right time when she needed it. And that she is extremely talented and a very nice person too. A goal that I had written years ago was "to build instruments that professional musicians would want to play", so I'm quite happy with the way things are going. I just wish elves would come in at night to raise the productivity.
  9. Thank you folks for all the info! I've started on it today. Matching the back color was actually really easy. The top is proving to be a bit more challenging; I'm trying out variations on some pieces of spruce before I try it on the repair itself. This will probably take a few days because I need to cook up some varnish or get some from the local luthiers. I'll report back later!
  10. *giggle* I was wondering the same thing.
  11. My 2 cents: For the broken edge: You will need to remove wood to JUST through the next intact winter grain that allows you a clean glue surface, which appears to be well before the purfling (so not too difficult), and add a slightly oversized piece of appropriately grained spruce, planed to just remove the winter grain where the joint will occur. I'd suggest darkening the new piece to "match" the existing wood as much as possible (backing is effective, and since it's not a critical structural area, is fine) before fitting it. Your glue line will take the place of the winter grain you remove. You can fine-adjust the color chemically, or with water color once the piece is shaped (make sure you wet it, let it dry, and reshape it a couple times, as spruce tends to swell a bit...), but careful with watercolor on spruce. You can make things look "dirty" rather quickly and reversing that is difficult. Seal it once it's "right" and touch it in when you do the back. Hard to tell from photos, but I don't think too much coloring will be necessary on the portion of the back that's missing varnish. Carefully clean the grunge out of the dark area. Compare the ground to another worn area (I see one a little ways in on the back plate in your photo) under a couple of different light sources (sunlight, lamplight) and correct as Jacob describes, but only just as much as you need to. Too dark will be hard to compensate for in the varnish. Matching the varnish color and intensity (use spirit varnish) can be accomplished by use of a bit of Saran wrap placed over the area you'll be retouching (you can determine the intensity by letting it dry on the wrap). Once you have the color, apply thin coats and make small adjustments to the color and intensity as you build it up if necessary. Good luck!
  12. I don't know what it is, but you don't need to feel bad if you throw it away.
  13. You can open it up and use it to hold your beer!!
  14. A general rule of thumb for me is to never buy anything that has a name branded under the button or a model name carved into the back of the scroll.
  15. The owner said the violin is "like my child." I have to wonder how often has she forgotten her child in a train station.
  16. I played a beautiful Gemunder at a dealer a few months ago. It was gorgeous and he was asking $35k for it.
  17. However the violin in question seems to be, physically, intact.
  18. I didn't realize a Gemunder fiddles commanded that kind of $$. Great to learn she has her violin back as it is no doubt priceless to her!
  19. That fiddle has been on that website at least 2x before. Butchered f-holes, sound post crack, nasty repairs to the existing top cracks. I'd leave it alone. And no, it isn't a real Vuillaume...
  20. I believe a number of shops sell W. H. Lee workshop instruments. They have their following at retail price, but we're talking retail venues. I've seen many W. H. Lee instruments, especially violas and 'cellos, used by young conservatory or college music students in the US. The instruments get them from "here to there", and my experience is that Bill backs them up pretty well if there are problems. I recall several shops in London stocking his 'cellos in the '90s (Guivier and others). From one owner to another (willing buyer, willing seller) outside the retail venue the price level may be another matter... and consignment can be a problem as there's always new ones coming out of the shop and available to shops at wholesale prices. Best not to get the insurance value tangled up with the street value... and the huge influx of relatively cheap workshop instruments from China may certainly may be putting pressure on the Lee shop (as it is with the European workshops). This has always been the case. Cheap labor markets filling demand and improving their product as they command a larger market share.
  21. A happy ending! https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/massachusetts/articles/2017-06-21/mbta-police-recover-missing-40-000-violin
  22. My first thought was a microphone clamp for a music stand.
  23. :-)
  24. I'm sure she was hornswoggled by that Dixon guy. Taking advantage of a naif. The nerve of that guy!
  25. Very nice sound, may I ask for a little education here, is that smooth silky sound from his bowing, the strings, the cello or all of the above? I was wondering if it is gut strings? That is the sound I am looking for in a cello - and I am not sure how to describe it.
  26. I saw in a movie once, a violin die instantly. It was being tortured by a wannabe musician, and some sympathetic soul snatched it from his hands and threw it out into the street in front of a moving truck.
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