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Posts posted by Marsden

  1. I would go with Japes on this one. Looks like a lot of the Dutch items that I have seen on e-bay. Basic shape, varnish color, and rough looking. Jeffrey has seemed to be into Dutch fiddles in the past, ring him up.


  2. Jacob,

    That is the understanding I have had as well. I wonder if the first one, with the well carved woman's head, fancy pegbox and ridged f's might have been different. It looked like it would have been a shame to put that much effort in it and not make it sound good as well.


    Now that you mention it, I think I remember something from Al on this subject as well. It may have been where I had the idea that the ones with the red tongues were a little bit up from the more crude cut ones. At the same time, they are both possible to come from a machine. It would seem if you have seen them on French as well as German fiddles, then there was a high chance that their was one supplier producing them and sending them to the various shops, or a combination of this with the larger factories having their own machine with the smaller shops buying the heads if they needed. Why buy a machine unless you would be making enough of them?

    I think I have seen four of these violins with the woman's head brand seal on the back traded on e-bay. Two for sure, but I do not beleive that they had the lion's head. I liked the look of the back, and will be very interested to hear how it sounds.

    Best wishes,


  3. Jacob,

    I have not seen any this severe either. That is why I thought they might catch someone's eye who had seen the maker before.

    I have been looking for a "figurative" (If that is the right term for a fiddle with different ornamentation than the regular scroll?) violin that would play well - given that I had been cautioned that in general they are not known for their tone. I thought that with the effort that this maker put into this violin, it might fit the bill. Unfortunately, its starting price was above my limit.

    Does anyone have an understanding of what firms made the different figurative instruments?

    Here is one that I did pick up.


    I have seen numerous violins with this branded seal (a woman's head below the back button) over the years, but do not know the firm, or maker, that produced them. The head here is a step up from the more common ones that are seen on most of the Steiners (real figurative Steiners that I have seen pictures of have exquisitely carve heads along the lines of the quality in the first e-bay listing - which I am not indicating for a second that I think is a real Steiner,) but I still think that this is also a standard lion head. I have seen numerous lion heads with the red tongue, but not as many as the more crude cut head.

    That this one is not on a Steiner model, and the burned seal, made me think I would see how it sounds.

    If anyone has any thoughts on this maker as well, I would appreciate your ideas.

    Best wishes,


  4. Chris,

    I kind'a like'm like that. Do not know why. Maybe it is the feeling I get that it is extra detail that the maker added. The same with the pegbox. Rather detailed work there as well - not to mentioned the well crafted head.

    I do not think that there was a Stainer f shown in the f-hole thread. I was thinking more about the edging and wing fluting than about the general form of the f. (Edit: Chris, I meant that I think you are right from what you learned in the f-hole thread. Compared to those, these would look "wrong." BW, Marsden)

    My guess is that it was made somewhere in the old "culture road"(Kulturelle Straße) corridor: Berlin-Dresden-Prague- Vienna-Budapest. A further guess might be the Vienna, Budapest end of it.

    I was hoping that someone may have seen this workmanship before and have a better idea where it originated.

    Best wishes,


  5. Jacob,

    Thank you for a well considered response.

    I would be very happy to find another space where I was not subjected to Michael's "intolerance", but here are the guidelines of the Pegbox.

    This forum is for discussions relating to the hardware side of string instruments, it should include issues relating to:making, repairing, authenticity, buying, selling, instrument values, and so on.

    Show me another space for "ebay entrepenure"ship. A rather funny oxymoron if you ask me.

    Your statements about Michael's positive side, I concure with.

    I believe that there are various levels here that make this type of board, hard to have smooth interaction. Michael is clearly concerned about the high end violins and is striving to achieve the top of the art form, and by all indication of those that play his violins, he may be as close to this as any.

    I on the other hand am truly interested in understanding the historical relationships to violins and areas from which they have come. I would be just as excited (not as happy) to find that my Betts labeled violin was from a shop in Liverpool made in the 1850's. The finding is more interesting for me then the violin itself.

    I only ask that I, and others, not be attacked for looking for information on violins with which I/we have interest. He should not let his "intolerance" confused interest with ignorance.

    It is the recognition of the positive information he brings to the forum and the belief that such concerns as I have expressed should rightly be handled by the administration that has kept me from this type of post before.

    Again, thank you for a insightful well written post.


  6. Japes,

    "Easy does it, Marsden. There's absolutely no call for this attack of yours. For someone whose experience seems based on watching the Ebay market - the land of mislabeled violins - you're letting Michael's post far too near your own heart. What I've noted from other posts is that, for whatever reason, you feel you've been rubbed the wrong way and you're using this as an opportunity to vent some of that negativity. The harsh reality is, more fiddles are wrongly labeled than not, which likely includes many of yours. I know you don't want to accept that. Your indirect threat of a note to any of these dealers is completely uncalled for, and I'd venture, very harshly looked upon within this community. Michael DOES have an expert opinion and you don't. Simple as that. You're speaking out of place."

    Japes, you are not seeing a direct relationship of my dislike for Michael's posts, based on recent posts where he and I have clashed, they have only intensified it. I have grown to dislike what I see in many of Michael posts over the years. It started long ago when I first joined this forum. When I left the forum for a while, I forgot about it. When I recently returned, as only one element of the forum, I thought I would see if I had potentially misjudged Mr. Darnton's posts. In this effort, I found that I had not. I am not a negative person. I would like to think of myself as an assertive person - meaning, I respect your rights, I respect my rights, and I will stand up for my rights and those of others when someone is abusing them.

    It is misjudging my dislike for Michael, as seen through his posts, by suggesting it has to do with violins. It has simply to do with the nature and style of his posts, the fact that we are dealing in a medium of violins is truly incidental. I would dislike Mr. Darnton's post character in any topic, with which we might be dealing. What I dislike is displayed arrogance, displayed dishonesty, cowardly attacks on others as he has displayed in this thread, constant belittling of others that he does not know, bombastic use of his position as "expert" to deride others, etc. These statements are easily documented (as I will substantiate below,) but if you have been in this forum for a while - if you simply read this thread - you know that these statements are true. Inwardly, I am sure that many people on this board feel sorry that they have simply watched as Mr. Darnton has carried out this negative approach to interaction. I have simply reach a point where I will not take it anymore. Unless you are one of the many that are completely enthralled to be even corresponding with such a noted violin maker, I think you will understand what I mean.

    To think there is no call to challenging Mr. Darnton on his statements would divorce oneself from right and wrong. I informed Mr. Darnton in our last direct go-around, that he should expect challenges. If you were taking part in this thread and were caught up in the (as well stated by Richf) virtual water cooler joviality, than I can understand why you might feel taken back by my jolting you back to reality. You are not standing by a water cooler where frank (unsubstantiated) discussion and good humor go nowhere. The discussions that you are having with an unprofessional expert can carry significant impact, and go around the world. If you will look at the bottom of every post there is a little button for e-mailing this post. There are over 500 reads of this post. My statement suggesting that Mr. Darnton consider his response in light of the potential of it being e-mailed to the dealers, whom this thread clearly denigrates without backup or substance, was no "indirect threat." It was a "direct" statement of the obvious. It was meant to make Mr. Darnton recognize the gravity or his actions. In my opinion, based on his statements, he would have been better off, short of an apology, if he had remained silent. Instead, his denial gives us a classic example of a dishonest Darnton post - did you miss this part??

    Mr. Darnton's denial

    03/14/03 03:55 PM

    "I was responding directly, and to only one post, about Tarisio, not anything else, and I meant exactly what I said. Your own convoluted fantasies and misreadings are your own responsibility, not mine."

    Mr. Darnton

    03/13/03 08:24 AM

    "Be warned that ownership of a website does not necessarily indicate ownership of expertise. [This is not a response to your Tarisio mention, which is certainly the best source on the web.]"

    The denial is a direct contradiction of his initial post, and to the tenor of his involvement in the thread. Again, this is the type of posting you will see often from Mr. Darnton, in areas outside of technical violin "making." I am not twisting his words - as he continually does to others. These are his words. Watching many of these types of contradictions has led me to recognize the dishonesty in his posts, regardless of how good a violin maker he may be. How dose his "denial" fit with his second post of the thread? Was this also only about Tarisio?

    03/14/03 10:11 AM

    "Let's just say that some of the sites mentioned above are flawless, and some are clueless. To say more would be to invite litigation."

    "Clueless," again disparaging remarks for which he offers no proof, other than his word, but the contradictions of his own posts makes one ask the question, "Why would one accept his word on this or anything?"

    These are examples of what makes me dislike Mr. Darnton's, posts, there are many more of these, just search on Darnton, and read posts where he goes on the attack. Which he does at the drop of a hat.

    To pretend that nothing was said in this thread that might be detrimental to the dealers mentioned is absurd. If you were a collector, about to buy a violin from one of these dealers based on their statement that a violin was "as identified," and a friend e-mailed you this post, prior to my challenge, it would impact your decision process! These are unsubstantiated statements by an individual acting in a most unprofessional manor. Accepting these statements, as a normal way this forum works, by someone that at one point was a moderator, casts a very negative reflection on the entire forum. If this thread was of a harmless nature, why would e-mailing it to anyone in the world be seen as a threat?

    Japes, I hope you are starting to understand that I am not challenging Mr. Darnton on violin technicalities, on the contrary, I believe his post on violin making are useful for the forum. I am challenging him on integrity, ethics, and decorum. These are topics that anyone who is able to think can raise, and the only thing out of place about bringing it up, is that it has not been brought up sooner in a strong fashion.

    You are absolutely right about Mr. Darnton's post getting too close to my heart. I have grown to enjoy posting and interacting within this forum to expand my understanding of violins. I have watched good members driven off this board by Mr. Darnton's bombastic nature. I have watched good discussions be ended by Mr. Darnton laying down Darnton's edicts, when simple logic tells you he is simply relishing his opportunity to aggrandize his ego. I have viewed other boards where other high quality makers have referred to this forum in the nature of "Darnton's playpen."

    I believe that this board would be better off without Mr. Darnton. If he were to stop posting, I believe you would find more explorative discussions with more individuals taking part - without fear of attack for not being knowledgeable. Without doubt, with him gone, other makers, who are now not interested in listening to him pontificate, would become involved. Most people get enjoyment from helping others learn.

    However, I doubt that he will leave this board. At the same time, if you have been following his posts, you will probably have noticed, as I have, a "kinder gentler" Darnton. He is even giving ebay advise in a relatively civil fashion (even thought he has "never" been tempted to bid on a violin. ) If me sticking my neck out to identify this issue, and being willing to take the heat for challenging him when he is repugnantly out of line, has contributed to this interesting change, maybe that is something for the effort.

    Best wishes,


  7. Jacob,

    "To me it seems that any number of sites listed in this thread could fall into his category of "flawless". How have you figured out which ones don't? Anything Michael said sounds about as far away from litigation as you could get. Perhaps you could tell us more clearly what it is you are getting at."

    Mr. Darnton

    03/13/03 08:24 AM

    "Be warned that ownership of a website does not necessarily indicate ownership of expertise. [This is not a response to your Tarisio mention, which is certainly the best source on the web.]"

    The punch of his statement is carried in the first post. Here he had all four identified sites in front of him at the time he writes his post. He is writing to "warn," that anyone with a web site might not have the expertise needed to correctly identify a violin - hence the violins that you may see on the web sites run a chance of being misidentified. Had he left it at that, there would have been valid reason to assume that he could be referring to sites in general, and it would not represent a problem for him. However, at this point he chooses to select and identify one of the four that he does not want to criticize. Therefore, by elimination - the intentional singling out of a site he does not want to criticize - the remaining three are criticized. This standing alone, without supporting material substantiating why the other three are without the ownership of expertise, I find very distasteful, unethical behavior. Is it libelous? I am not a court, I do not know how it would find. He unintentionally further substantiates this meaning to be his intent with his next post, where he tries to make the statement a little less damming, following a question that is unclear in its intent


    03/14/03 09:25 AM

    Michael, are you saying the attributions in some of these better known photo collections may not be correct? Or am I reading too much into that statement?

    Mr. Darnton

    03/14/03 10:11 AM

    "Let's just say that some of the sites mentioned above are flawless, and some are clueless. To say more would be to invite litigation."

    Here however, as in his first post, he has gotten lost in his word game. He states "that some of the sites mentioned above (here he reconfirms that he is not talking about sites in general, but indeed the specific sites mentioned that we know by name) are flawless, (at this point we know that the only "flawless site" within the first four would be Traisio, because if he had truly felt that another of these were "flawless," he would have tried to protect it, as he did for Traisio before he was challenged by Richf's question) and some are clueless (here he confirms that the other three of the original four named sites are incompetent.) To say more would be to invite litigation. (Here he telling us that he knows he is "dancing on the edge" saying that if he named, the names he might be sued. However, he does not realize that he has already given us enough information to associate names.)

    Damming through innuendo, is not very becoming. Here our coward just made it a little clearer than he would have liked. You will notice in his denial he does not say that Brobst's or Landon's sites were not intended to be in his warning. Might have been a nice thing to do if he did not mean them to be.



  8. Zino,

    Being new to the board, you may have not noticed that I have sent you a private correspondence. It would come in to the "my home" section on the Maestronet task bar, or be dispayed as a blinking envelope next to the "Main Index."

    Please read this and contact me if you desire.

    Best wishes,


  9. Richf,

    I'll never get out of here!

    Yes, that could be one way to look at it, but wouldn't it have been a bit better in that case if he had said, none of the above are intended in this warning, rather than taking the time to exclude only one???

    Take care,

    got go!!


  10. Jacob,

    Sorry I have to run rigth now.

    I will try to respond to your post later if I can. In the mean time, read his words, look at the timing of when statements took place and just figure the numbers as related in each post. Also consider the tenor of the thread as others entered in, and the response.

    He raised the potential for litigation, I only commented on how close he might be to it relative to his word game second statement, compared to where he was from the first.

    Best wishes,


  11. Actually Michael that is not what you are saying at all. What you have said in these two post for all to see is that no site on the web completely labels their violins correctly, some better and some worse, and that Tarisio is the best of the web. This can obviously be construed that there are better off the web, therefore Tarisio improperly labels their violins at some time. Pretty all encompassing statements. Of course you may not have meant that, but that is what you said.

    Further, I doubt your second post word games take you any further from litigation than you already are. Given that there were four sites in discussion when you issued your warning, and you intentionally took the time to exclude only one, I would think that your defense lawyer may have a hard time.

    Based on this you appear to want us to know that Mr. Brobst, Mr. Landon and the Vasquez collection are listing incorrectly labeled items. Given that Mr. Brobst and Mr. Landon are selling much of their items, would you like to go further and tell us if they are doing this because of incompetency or for other reasons? Why hide behind word games if you, as an expert, know professional dealers are attempting to sell items listed other than what they are? If you have the proof (your expert word might even surfice in a court of law), and we know how important it is for you to protect the uninformed buyer, why not just come forward and make the statements cleanly. What is a little litigation if you have the proof, and you are going to be found right in the end? Hiding behind convoluted statements within which you loose your way, simply cast doubts on your own conduct.

    On the other hand if you do not have the proof - if you began to talk before you realized the significance of what you were saying - you might consider an apology to Mr. Brobst and Mr. Landon. That probably would take you further from litigation (and that seems to be a concern to you) than your statements so far.

    Just my observations.


    By the way, here is the question simplified for your response:

    Given that your statemements, intended or otherwise, clearly implies that Mr. Brobst and Mr. Landon are listing falsely labled items, do you want to stand up and state it cleanly, or do you want to apologize to them. By the way, you might truly want to think over your answer, as someone may e-mail this posting to them.

  12. Sorry to say, I had missed this Czech maker. I have not seen one sell on German e-bay, and have not had it in my search internationally so I have no feel for what it would be worth.

    Maybe fubbi and be a help.

    If you have a picture, I would like to see it.

    Best wishes,


  13. fubbi,

    Can you make anything out of this?

    Vebkozavga - houstravsky Priml, TREBECHOVICE-Pod Orebem

    I think that Trebitsch is a different place. This violin did not appear to me over 150 years, and probably a lot younger than that. Names changed often when borders changed in the past. There are a number of towns with similar names in Northwest Czech, but TREBECHOVICE is still there as a small separate little town.

    Thanks again, but I think that this one will just have to lie around until some other bit of info surfaces.


  14. fubbi,


    No I do not have much more to go on. The violin was made in a little Czech town of Trebichovice (west northwest of Prag.) The only word that I could even remotely link to a name was Priml. I have seen Priml before, and assumed it was a name, but never found it.

    Do you find Jalovec to be off on dates for the Czech makers, which should be his best field of knowledge one would assume.

    Thanks again.


  15. fubbi,

    A couple of questions.

    A short time ago you mentioned that Jalovec is not one of your favorite sources - or something to that effect. I was interested to know what problems you find with his works?

    Also I was trying to run down the name Priml. Any help would be appreciated.



  16. pv,

    Good point. Not many new users come in with one bid in the last twenty seconds. The chance that it is a dealer just went up.

    I have also gone to look at violins up for sale on e-bay when they are in a reasonable distance. One time I saved myself a lot of problems, another time it made me sad when I lost out on the bid - I think I would rather be sad than have the problems.

    Best wishes,


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