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Everything posted by robjohn30

  1. I had a beautiful violin that I was under the impression that it was a Gand. It was so labeled and I purchased it with that understanding. Quite a few years later when I went to sell the violin the shop I took it to had some very serious doubts about it being a Gand and in fact were quite convinced that it was made by a Hungarian maker by the name of Bella Szeppesy, a pupil of Nimisani(sp). I authorized them to remove the top for they felt that would reveal something unseen from the outside, sure enough, there in broad daylight was a handsome signature, date and location matching every picture in an exhaustive Hungarian Violinmaker's book. While this discovery was a bit of a devaluation from a monetary sense, I was very pleased to finally give credit where credit was due. In this case the store did remove the fictitious label and now a very nice certificate of authenticity along with some great photos of the interior signature will accompany this violin.
  2. Well I have met Kantuscher personally and I thing he is a wonderful man. He lives and works right in Mittenwald, he must be in his late 60,s or early 70's. When I was there last he was making a quartet of instruments for clients. He is a very good maker.
  3. Here are some really nice scrolls done for violins, violas, celli, and gambas. He does really fantastic work and I think that it's all tastefull. Of course it's the sound of the instrument that really matters isn't it? http://www.violinman.com/web/ebenning/gallery.htm
  4. Some of the most attractive and ergonomic violas I have seen were made by Eric Benning in Los Angeles. He uses an old viola d'amore style and builds off of that a very comfortable viola, yet it's still a very traditional and an acceptable shape. Put along with that a great reputation and family lineage of violinmakers, (Studied with and is the cousin of Carl Becker), you would do yourself very well to investigate his work. I have a cello of his and am very excited about it, that's why I am so enthusiastic about this. You can find his e-mail and website on this Maestronet board under dealers, look under Studio City Music.
  5. First I would ask you how you know that it was made by Napier? Does the bow have a seating channel for the frog to rest in? Are there any markings on the bow other than the brand stamp? Here is an exerpt from a bok on the Hill bow makers: "William Napier was bor in Forfar, Scotland in 1848. While working as a joiner in the packing department of Broadwoods Piano factory, he and a workmate found a couple of violins in the loft. Napier was "bitten by the bug." He became a keen amateur violinmaker. Later, Retford- while holding Napier himself in no great esteem- thought that those Napier violins that he saw were credibly made. While visiting the Hill shop in Bond street to buy violinmaking materials, shortly after the departure of Sam Allen from Hill, Napier made such a good impression in conversation with one of the Hill family that he was immediately offered a job. This was to be the vacant Workshops Manager position at Hanwell. Like Allen, he was then put onto bow making without having previous experience of the work. Later, from differing perspectives, both Retford and Bultitude considered that Napier achieved praiseworthy efforts at bow making without being particularly inspired. Both men agreed that Napier's strongest suit was in the making of cello bows. With Napier thoug, as later with fellow- Scot and ex-Broadwoods colleague William Grieve Johnston, mere ly being a good woodworker was not enough to gain Retford's complete professional respect. He considered neither Napier of Johnston to be interested in bowmaking itself: " they did not examine the maker's work as it was finished." This meant in Retford's eyes that they knew little beyond the confines of their own benches..."and not too much of that. To them, a bow was just another piece of carpentry." Much of Napier's bowmaking was done before Hill adopted the more elegant Tourte head as a model.'Cello bows aside, many of his bows are charachterised by stiffness and a lack of flair. His work was considered by both Retford and Bultitude to have little to reccommend it in the way of real artistry. Napier also suffered from invidious comparisons, inevitalbly made, between his work and that of the departed Sam Allen. An idealist and perfectionist, such as the young Retford, would have revered Allen who was versatile, had flair- and was not on an adjoining bench to quarel with. Neither did Napier possess Allen's metal working skills and he has absolutely o interest in acquiring them. It was therfore fortunate, both for himself and for the Hill shop, that two such notable metal workers as Goulter and Dyer were then also employed at W. E. Hill &* sons. Despite what may be a number of working flaws, the employment of Napier as Manager at Hanwell was another of those inspired decisions made by the Hill brothers, which seemed to regularly occur- especially during the first twenty or so years of the firm's existence. Napier was a born organizer, where Sam Allen was decidedly not. In "disciplined" times, he was an exceptionally disciplined man and he ran a well-organized shop. In all his time at Hill, Napier also never learned how to properly rehair a bow "but" noted Bultitude, "was not alone in that for a number of Hill makers had the same failing." Napier retired to Cornwall in 1930, and died there shortly afterwards. He was an active man almost to the end. Bows made by Napier at Hill bear no maker's mark.
  6. I just discussed this with Eric Benning, a luthier in my area. He studied with Carl Becker Jr. and he said that the channel is mostly cut when he puts the purfling in and that's the way the Beckers have done it along with most of the people who have been trained by that family over the years. After the purfling is installed the channel is just lightly gone over again for finishing.
  7. I highly reccommend if you are in the L.A. area that you visit Studio City Music. They are very close to Universal Studios. The Benning family has owned the store for almost 50 years and they are very personable. Studio City Music Inc. 11336 Ventura Blvd. (818) 762-1374
  8. I'm still not able to access it though. A screen comes up on my MSN server and says my server is unauthorized. Any clues?
  9. robjohn30


    I don't know if my last post was removed because it dealt with the intenet cello society's home pages but i just posted wondering if anybody else has had trouble accessing the ICS.? Then my original post here was gone. What's going on here?
  10. Is anybody else having trouble accessing the internet cello society? For 2 days now whenever i try to go there it says that access is denied to my server. Whatever that means. Just wondering if it's a problem on my end.
  11. William Watson is probably one of the greatest authorities on bows alive, although he doesn't make a show of it. I have seen him identify bows with such second nature. Having been shown the greatest bows by the English's greatest maker, William Retford, He is indeed a great. And by the way, he has little or no respect for the certificates of Raffin.
  12. I'm a new computer user and I just stumbled upon this board. I was wondering if this was a good chat board for professional cellists or if anybody knew of any boards that would be more suitable. Thank you for your reply.
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