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Jeffrey Holmes

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Everything posted by Jeffrey Holmes

  1. Hey all; I'd appreciate if an attempt was made to lower the temperature of the discussion... I fear that some will end up posting in all CAPS eventually. Thank you.
  2. For frozen sockets, I use a tool similar to what Michael describes, but made with a wooden handle and leather strap.
  3. Me thinks this horse has been beat to death... Let's move on.
  4. Yup... "approaching the string spacing of the bridge" was meant to convey that... sorry if it fell short!
  5. My setup approach for violin generally favors tailpieces with string spacing at the fret approaching the string spacing of the bridge rather than narrower settings (pulling the strings inward). I prefer the "gut" holes at the base wider than what is supplied by many of the more commercial tailpieces on the market I've seen. I find a number of models produced by Tempel do well for me (but I do have my favorites), and of course, if I can get them, I find @MeyerFittings fittings tailpieces pretty awesome (Hi Eric!). There is also a maker of fittings in England that produces things I like. I'm also careful about the length I start with of course... excess length modification is a drag, and with most of the quality producers, usually unnecessary. Sometimes "rules", however, will bite you in the butt if one does not maintain a certain flexibility in ones thinking. I have found exceptions to what spacing works best for certain instruments... or it may be that a different approach in setup may effect what works best for that individual. Long and short of it all; Spacing of the gut and/or strings on the tailpiece does affect the parts behavior, I think more than a few grams in weight would tend to. I hope that's concrete enough?
  6. ...and the string width/spacing at the fret.
  7. I think there are very few people like Curt. He's the real deal. I know him well, worked with him from the beginning, helped him with acquisitions and donations of instruments coming into the foundation, and assisted him in assembling the group of Instrument associates used to maintain the instruments. From the website: 'The major criteria for awarding scholarships are: musical skill and potential; instrument need; available financial resources; availability of a suitable instrument." Submissions are reviewed carefully and recordings are evaluated by some very capable musicians/teachers. The mission has always been to provide instruments for talented students with limited family resources. Teacher input is critical in the process. It may, or may not, be the best place for an 11 year old to access their first full size, especially if the family can afford a half-way decent and appropriate one for them to start with (which in my opinion should not break the bank), but it all depends on the above criteria. The foundation is a great resource for talented young players as they develop, though.
  8. I think it's sometimes more like "given a widget you easily recognize (or should I say others recognize) and a really nice something they don't (or maybe you have to work a little harder to understand), the widget is more likely to sell". I'll allow that the widget usually has to come close enough to spark interest, but personally I find I would often have opted for the "really nice something". Yes. It's human nature.
  9. Yup. At least a good portion of it... That's the reason I quoted you.
  10. Something I've noticed following the market in general for the last 30 to 40 years is that many buyers (dealers at auction, players at shops, etc.), while romantically interested in the rare and unique, are much more comfortable buying an object that is relatively easily recognized and has a decently reliable market history. If one follows the auctions, instruments and bows produced by prolific makers or shops that maintained a consistent product, like Roth or Collin-Mezin (19th century), fetch a pretty reliable percentage of the retail values at auction and instruments or bows by Sartory, J. B. Vuillaume, Pressenda (to name a few) and the like often realize their retail values (or close to them). They are consistent, understandable, well marked, relatively plentiful, comfortable...and popular.
  11. Have you looked at the short Riboni double cases? Kind of the industry standard for high end dealers.
  12. I have, and didn't have, any argument with that... and I believe no one has argued that the object looks like a generic Mirecourt fiddle... and I think you'd agree (especially) generic fiddles sell more easily with a label (even a spurious one) than without one, though in terms of value it would probably not matter to either of us what it claimed to be. But if you would humor me for an opinion: Given that all the labels that you had previously seen in a decent number of instruments emanating (not even necessarily produced there as they were kind of generic, but sold as their product) from a specific shop (take your choice of shop) during a specific period were quite similar (font, border, handwriting and signature)... and then came across one that you'd not seen that differed significantly, would you represent the product as from that firm or simply say "I haven't seen that label, so I don't feel comfortable representing/appraising/etc that as an instrument from that shop with an original label." I would. I might also mention to the owner that they might check with others who may have seen more of whatever it-is-in-question than I... but I would still tend to consider the label and shop origin suspect... vocalized or not vocalized. We are simply limited by what we've seen, and I stated what I saw. I recall Charles B., when examining a rather decent fiddle (very closely) resembling a Vuillaume, but with an anomaly label and missing some interior markings (which one could easily claim were removed during repair) saying "That's one for the Frenchies". If someone else here has seen the label in question installed in a '20s Deblaye, please do speak up. I'm sure Rich would appreciate it.
  13. I recall reading that Deblaye's shop had over 50 "collaborators" as of 1926... I think it was on Viaduct's website. I believe they also mentioned his shop produced violins under dozen of trademarks as well. As I mentioned, I saw a number of Deblaye fiddles in the dark ages when I was with "the firm" (haven't really seen one since), but considering the business' output, that's a drop in the bucket. That said, I don't recall seeing any Deblaye labels without the "A" in Albert enlarged (same size as "DEBLAYE"), nor do I recall seeing any with the rather clumsy heavy boarder... not that they don't exist. The signature was pretty consistent on those that I recall seeing (like the one I posted)... but again, that was a good 30 years ago. I do seem to have a decent memory though. We are all limited by what we've actually seen... and I haven't appraised or sold violins like this for decades... but if I were called on to give an opinion on a Mirecourt fiddle with Rich's label, I'd have to voice my concerns. To me, Rich's label is suspect.
  14. They are now! For what it's worth (it's not like I've seen a ton of them, but at least a dozen or so many years ago), I don't recall seeing anything like what's being described on any of the Deblaye instruments I ever came across... nor have I seen a blackened fingerboard on one. What I did see was pretty straight forward Mirecourt work and finish, very evenly (almost sprayed maybe?) laid on. If it's one of those, I expect some environmental cause (heat maybe) caused the craquelure. I suppose it's possible the shop produced, or sold, some cheaper models? If so, I haven't seen one.
  15. Once had a really, really fine Vuillaume cello with a cleated SP crack. The work was done by a tip top shop and held beautifully... However the crack was outside where the post actually sat. In this case, I decided (after some consideration) to leave it. Clean well glued crack. It's still just fine. In the case of a dirty crack, closer to the post (as yours is): If I were to choose to represent the fiddle for sale through the shop, I would probably want to patch it. If it were to remain with the owner, I'd suggest we watch it and leave it alone for now.
  16. Interesting... I'd not seen an Erdesz with a cedar top that I recall... he seemed to favor fir, but I certainly wouldn't put it past him. Interesting guy to say the least.
  17. Andrew & Jacob, are we done with this now? I dearly hope so. Andrew... you're kind of new here. Might want to tread softly. You are welcome to disagree with other members, but maybe do so with a little less intensity till we get to know you better...
  18. I believe it was Craske that often did... I seem to remember some Hudsons I wondered about too.
  19. Not sure debate would be fruitful Rothwein. Shops and/or individuals develop their own criteria based on their experiences (with players and the instruments they restore/service). Small deviations are to be expected. I see nothing wrong with Jacob's approach, and I' assume it serves him quite well. Personally, there are instruments for which I adjust the "standards" occasionally. I may increase the “Überstand” slightly on some high arch fiddles (like Peter of Mantua, filius Andrea, large arched N. Gagaliano, etc.) to get the geometry I believe is effective and appropriate, and might actually decrease it very slightly on some fiddles (like Rocca)... all based on past experience... but it's case-by-case, and more often than not I stick pretty close to the norms. On a Saxon c. 1800 it's very likely I'd stick to the "standards".
  20. I'm with you, just didn't feel it was worth debate. From what I've seen of this type of fiddle set up by Jacques' (and then Rene's) shop, I'd say "often" was the operative word, but I wasn't inside the shop, so you would know better than I.
  21. I think many have, and some may not have. I'll leave each contributor to determine that for themselves... but I'd hate to have to lock this thread.
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