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JohnT

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  1. Recently a friend of mine showed me Thomas Wenberg's book "Violin Makers of the United States" that lists Carl Sandburg, the poet, as a violinist who also made a limited number of violins while working near Saint Peter, Minnesota in the late 1920's. A few years ago, in the Smithsonian Museum I saw a collection of Sandburg's guitars and a mandolin he used when giving folk song concerts, but I never heard of him playing or making violins. In the biographical information I found in a few encyclopedias, there is no mention of him playing the violin. In fact, it seems he worked as a newspaper reporter in Chicago in the 1920's. Does anyone know if Carl Sandburg actually made violins and whether any are still existing. Thank You. JohnT
  2. : could anyone tell me about a old violin i brought of an old lady : she has owned since the age of seven even then it old. : On the insie of the violin it reads Joeseph Guarnerius : fecit cermonie anno 1723 it has what looks like a cross : with ims under it. the violin is well worn and in need of repair : but has no cracks. If you use the SEARCH function at the top of this board and type in the name "Guarnerius" you will find a number of postings about Joseph Guarnerius violins. JohnT
  3. : Looking for information on a family violin. : On the inside of the violin it reads : Regit Rubis St. Petersburg Made in Germany : Any info would be greatly appreciated If you use the 'Search" function above and type "Rubus" you will find numerous postings about this maker whose violins were copied by German commercial shops and sold cheaply in the US.
  4. : I have a beautiful American made violin, from the Boyce violin Co. Norwich, NY. 1894.Does anybody know anything about the company?? Henley mentions a Sewell L. Boyce who lived in Norwich, NY around 1897. "Instruments having minuteness of detail mingled with refulgent varnish revealing clever workmanship." No mention of his violins in recent auctions. JohnT
  5. : John, : Thank you for your reply to my posting. Do you know if there might be : any price differential for the 7/8 size? My daughter's teacher is : leading me to believe that the price may be quite a bit more than the : amounts that you indicated. The instrument sounds really nice, but I : don't want to pay more than the violin is actually worth. : Thanks. Bob, I would doubt if there would be a price differential for a 7/8 violin. Usually the smaller violins are cheaper than the standard 4/4 full size. However, I am not a professional dealer. The only further information I can provide you is that the Duerer Stradivarius Artist Violin was his cheapest model - selling in 1912 for $56. Roy Ehrhardt in Volume II of his Violin Identification and Price Guide estimated the value of this model in 1978 at $500. Even allowing for inflation in the past 20 years, I doubt it would be worth more than $1,000 in near mint condition today. I did see a Duerer full size violin advertised in good to very good condition (probably some wear or repaired cracks) for $600 a few months ago. The only one who could provide you with the current market value would be a professional dealer. John
  6. : : I HAVE AN ITALIAN VIOLIN OF 1913 OF NICOLO' SANNINO (NAPOLI) AND IF SOMEONE IS INTERESTED TO BUY, WRITE ME. The only Sannino mentioned in the auction guides and Henley is Vincenzo Sannino who worked in Naples until 1914. Some German commercial shops used familiar Italian names with fictitious first names. JohnT
  7. : A friend of mine has a violin labled: Steiner in Absam (?). The violin is in very good condition. : If anyone has any information, or tips on how to find out more information : regarding either of these items, please email me. : petrovic@simt.com.mk : Thanks If you type "Stainer" in the search function above, you will find a number of postings about Stainer violins. For biographical information, check the Smithsonian site: http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmah/violstai.htm. You will see that authentic Stainer violins are comparitively rare today. Most of the Stainer labled violins available today are copies. Some of the older ones were very well made, but most were commercial copies. Your best bet would be to take your violin to an experienced violin dealer and get an appraisal. JohnT
  8. : : That qoute comes from none other than my personal fave---Joe Venuti. I absolutely love his sound. If anyone out there has never heard Joe Venuti play, do yourself a favor and buy one of his old recordings. You're really missing something! : mhelm I have a number of Joe Venuti recordings, but my favorite is one he did about 20 years ago with the Dutch College Swing Band. His recording of "Body and Soul" is one of my favorite jazz pieces of all time. He starts slowly with double stops and gives it the traditional lyrical treatment. But, then, halfway through, he begins swinging in a way that is breathtaking and slows down again towards the end. On some of the recordings he made with Louis Armstrong's small groups in the late 40's, he more than held his own with the great Satchmo. JohnT
  9. I agree with both Eric and CDN about a well made violin sounding good from the start. However, there are a few other things you can try before making a final judgement. As CDN suggested, you might try different strings. Some strings sound rougher or harsher on some violins and not on others - especially when they are new. Perhaps a light guage G string will sound less rough to your ear. Your dealer should be willing to exchange strings for you. Perhaps he can also make some minor sound post adjustment to mellow out the sound. I would also suggest that you check the angle of the bridge. Sometimes in tuning the violin, the string tension will pull the bridge forward and the feet will not make full contact with the belly. This can cause a harsher sound. A correctly installed bridge will appear to have a slight backward lean. The bridge can also be too high or too thin for your playing or the type of strings you are using and this can cause a rougher sound. Finally, I would suggest trying a different bow if you have one. Some bows can sound rougher on some violins and not on others. I have a rather heavy bow I use on an old dark sounding fiddle to brighten the tone. On a new hand-made violin I acquired recently - which, incidently, had a beautiful ringing tone to start with - I use a lighter bow to sweeten the brightness a bit. Sometimes, a different brand rosin can affect a subtle change in tone. JohnT
  10. : I recently aquired a voilin with the inside label reading: "Joseph Bohmann, Quality of Tone, Chicago, ILL." It dates from sometime before the 1940's. Any information regarding this instrument, or when I can get some info, would be greatly appreciated. : Thank you! Roy Ehrhardt in volume 2 of his Violin Identification and Price Guide lists 12 grades of Joseph Bohmann violins selling in 1900 from $33 to $400 - rather high prices for those days. He estimates their value in 1979 to be from $400 to $2,000. Bohmann claimed that he made true copies of all the old masters using very old, thoroughly seasoned wood with a special amber varnish similar to that used by the old masters. He also required that orders be placed at least six months before delivery - indicating that his violins were hand made. JohnT
  11. : : : : : : I'm considering buying a new violin by Maurizio Tadioli, a contemporary luthier in Creomona. It's quite expensive, and I wondered if anyone out there is familiar with his work and would care to comment. Thanks, Richard : : Richard, : : I am not familiar with the work of Maurizio Tadioli, but he does have a website with biographical information and a list of some of the awards he has won. (http://www.graffiti.it/tadioli/welcome.html). : : Unless you can travel to Cremona to try out his instruments and get the set-up you prefer, you may want to consider some more prominent US makers like Samuel Sygmuntowicz. He has made instruments for some very pestigious international artists like Issac Stern. You can read more about his work at http://www.artistled.com/html/samuel_zygmuntowicz.htm. David Finckel, the cellist, devotes an entire page to Sygmuntowicz and describes the cello he made for him. : : Hank : Does anyone know how much Sygmuntowicz charges for his violins? : Gerry
  12. Andy, Thanks for the advice. I tried rosining the Glasser bow with Bernadel rosin, and, so far, it is working well - although leaving a greater deposit than usual on the strings. That should lessen in time. By the way, when I resumed playing the violin about 2 1/2 years ago, I used some Maatz Gold rosin that was over ten years old. It was considered one of the premier brands when I was playing regularly. I don't know if it dried out and became "dusty" with age, but I had all kinds of allergy-like reactions to it. I called a good friend, Bill Weaver, a well known luthier and he recommended Geipel rosin - an inexpensive, dark German brand. I've been using it ever since and have had no further sensitivity problems. I has a good bite with very little deposit on the strings. JohnT
  13. Andy, I purchased a Glasser composite bow about three weeks ago, and, in general, am pleased with the feel, weight, camber and quality of construction in such an inexpensive bow. So far, I have not noticed any loose hairs or warping. However, I did find the hair quite slick and after trying different brands of rosin, it still seems to slip and slide occasionally. I had four other bows rehaired in the past year and did not have this problem. So, I can only guess that they are using cheaper hair. You mentioned that the hairs seem thinner than normal and that is my impression also. You mentioned the slickness of the hair in a previous post last year, but I don't remember your solution to the problem, i.e. what type of rosin you used and how you applied it. I would appreciate any advice you can give me on this matter. Thanks JohnT
  14. : I have a violin labelled "Eduard Reichert Dresden, feeit anno 1896". Can anyone share some knowledge with me on this instrument? Any idea on its market value? Thanks! : herbertchang@msn.com Herbert, I don't know the value of an authentic handmade Eduard Reichert violin. Evidently, he had a workshop/factory in Dresden that produced commercial quality instruments sold in the US in the late 19th and early 20th centruy. Roy Ehrhardt in Volume II of his Violin Identification and Price Guide lists three violins sold by Lyon and Healy in 1916 for $50 - $60. Ehrhardt estimates their value in 1978 at $500 - $600. In a recent auction, a violin from the workshop of Eduard Reichert sold for $748. JohnT
  15. : I have a violin labelled "Eduard Reichert Dresden, feeit anno 1896". Can anyone share some knowledge with me on this instrument? Any idea on its market value? Thanks! : herbertchang@msn.com Herbert, I have never seen an authentic hand made Eduard Reichert violin and don't know its value. Evidently, he had a workshop/factory in Dresden that produced commercial quality instrumets that were sold in the US in the late 19th and early 20th century. Some were of fairly good quality. Roy Ehrhardt in Volume I of his Violin Identification and Price Guide lists a "genuine" Eduard Reichert Dresden violin sold by Montgomery Ward in 1912 for $10.15. Ehrhardt estimates its value in 1978 at $200. In Volume II, Ehrhardt lists three Eduard Reichert violins from the 1916 Lyon and Healy catalog for $50 to $60. Estimated value in 1978: $500 - $600. In a recent auction, a violin from the workshop of Eduard Reichert sold for $748. JohnT
  16. : Please help! I purchased a violin that says Amati : Pestine 1813 by John Baptist Schwitzer inside, : I was wondering if anyone has some information : on this violin There were many German commercial violins of varying grades of quality imported into the US in the late 19th and early 20th century with the Schweitzer label. The only way to determine if it is an authentic Schweitzer or when, where and by whom your violin was made is to take it to a violin expert (dealer or luthier) for an appraisal. JohnT
  17. Ann, You are correct in assuming that Viotoni violins were made in Germany. Roy Ehrhardt, in Vol II of his Violin Identification and Price Guide has two Viotoni violins sold by Progressive Musical Instrument Co of NYC in 1939 for $30 and $50. He estimated their value in 1978 at $350 and $500. The same company also sold other German vioilins with such labels as Carlo Lorenzini, Enrico Robella etc. JohnT
  18. : I have a violin with engraving on the scroll half way : up it. The words Imperial Violin on enraved on it,what : does it mean and is it a sign of craftsmanship. It has : beautiful flaming on the backside,and has great sound. But the curiousity is getting to me. Violins with the Imperial label were imported from Germany before 1918 (World War I) and from Japan during the war. Your is probably a German commercial violin from Mittenwald since there is no indication that the Japanese branded their instruments on the scroll. Roy Ehrhardt lists Imperial violins from Germany and Japan in both Volume I and II of his Violin Identification and Price Guides> He estimated their value in 1978 to be from $150 t0 $500. JohnT
  19. : Does anyone have any information on this maker. I have a violin which is pretty nice with a label that states; : Nicola DeVincenzo : in Vienna : Fecet Anno 1902 : I found a maker named Mario DEVincenzo in string magazines price guide, but can't find Nicola anywhere. : If you have any information please let me know. : Thanks It's possible that what you have is a German violin with a fictitious Italian name. This was a common practice in the first half of this century. Many times they would use the last name of a known Italian maker and use a false first name so you would think your violin was made by a member of the family. Sometimes these German violins were at least partially hand made to look like authentic Italian instruments and have some intrinsic value. Your best bet would be to take your violin to a violin expert - a luthier or dealer who can tell you where and when it was made and give you some idea of its value. JohnT
  20. : I have a violin with a label "Andres Hoyer Klingenthal 1783". It has a one piece back and what looks like a grafted neck with a scroll that has had the peg holes moved and a reinforced button. It has a very dark muddy finish. It seems a bit long and has an unusual "heavy" shape, not "masters" dimensions. : I've heard of Hoyer in bow making, but not in violins. Has anyone heard of or seen any of these? Any idea on value? Mark, An Andreas Hoyer violin was offered for auction recently with an estimated price or reserve of $990 - $1,350. It did not sell - possibly because of its condition. Andreas Hoyer was a member - possibly the founder - of the Klingenthal Hoyer family who made violins in the mid to late 1700's. He made his violins in medium arched or flat patterns with a one piece back and brown varnish. they usually had a strong, robust tone. It was not unusual for less famous family members or workers in the shops of famous makers (Klotz, Hopf etc.) to use the labels of the more famous makers. Also, in the 19th century, many unknown German makers would copy the old masters even to the extent of grafting scrolls and bushing peg holes and use their labels to increase the saleability of their own violins. Although less valuable to collectors, some of these copies were very well made and sounded better than the originals. My advice would be to take your violin to an expert for an appraisal. He/she can tell you if it is an authentic Hoyer or a copy and what it is worth. JohnT
  21. : I know that there have been posts on this board regarding this and that in a back issue of Strad there was an article. I know that it is actually pretty common, and I seem to recall there is some alternatives, though I don't think there are alternatives as far as allergy free rosin. Perhaps switching to a stickier rosin and not using as much. I have a certain amount of reaction to the stuff if I put it on a bit heavy. It took me years to realize that you really don't need very much good quality rosin to do the trick. You might do some research along those lines and let us know what you found out. : Good luck, ADean : : : A fellow fiddler is possibly allergic to rosin - anyone heard of this and if so, any helpful suggestions would be most welcome, ie: any special rosin available, etc : : - cheers....jj A few years ago, I decided to use a rather expensive rosin called "Maatz Gold" that I had not used in over ten years. Perhaps it had dried out over the years, but I began to have all kinds of allergic nasal and throat reactions to it. I contacted Bill Weaver, a well known luthier and he recommended Geipel dark rosin - a fairly inexpensive German brand. I have had no problems since then and actually don't have to use as much. Maybe, as ADean suggested, your friend is using too much rosin or maybe it is too powdery and a stickier rosin will help. JohnT
  22. : Somebody gave me a 1946 carl becker violin, and Ive been : trying to find some sort of price range for it.That is : if it is worth anything!!!!! On page 137 of Roy Ehrhardt's Vol I Violin Identification and Price Guide, there is a biography and picture of Carl Becker and his son, Carl Becker I. They were both born in Chicago and made violins exclusively for William Lewis and Sons of Chicago. In 1952, their violins sold for $650. Ehrhardt estimated their value in 1978 at $4,000. JohnT
  23. : Thanks for the information JohnT I saw the listings for violas in Ehrhardt, but didn't see the violins. I'm sure not all the violins are in the index. Could you please let me know where the information on the Carlos Micelli Violins is? This particular one is in great shape except someone stole the scroll. The scroll is cut off as if it was prepared to be grafted, nice square cut throught front of pegbox (closest to nut)then back toward violin body just under the bottom of the pegbox. I suspect someone needed a scroll and liked this one. I am trying to decide whether I should try my hand at grafting or just replace the neck. The remains of the neck are setup well. I need a real strong looking scroll with 1/8" to 1/4" flaming to match the violin. I bought it because it had a very flat, fine grained top, so it should be a real "boomer". The Ehrhardt description on violas mentions they project well, so I would guess the flat tops are their "trademark" to get good projection. The ff holes are fluted and it has a tight (1/8" to 1/4")highly flamed back. Allen, The Micelli violins are listed on page 182 of Ehrhardt's Vol II Violin Identification and Price Guide. I played one of the better ones years ago and found it to have a bright, rich tone with good projection. With some reluctance, I traded it in for a Mockel - which, though a bit darker in tone, proved to be a better investment in the long run. Sounds like the Micelli you have is very well made and should be worth the cost and effort of restoration. You can probably get a neck with scroll meeting your specs from International Violin Co. of Baltimore. They have a catalog with all kinds of parts, tools and books on violin repair and restoration. It would seem that a scroll graft would be the easiest way to go - as long and the neck height and angle is still correct. Perhaps some of our experts will respond to this posting and advise you as to how to proceed. Good luck. JohnT
  24. : : I have a couple violas I really want to sell, and I am really : : at a loss at how I can sell them. They are great instruments, : : but are for smaller, younger students, and I haven't played them : : in years. If anyone has any suggestions, they would : : be greatly appreciated! Thanks! : Some instrument dealers would take your violas for consignment sale. : The commissions vary from 15 to 30%. The idea of selling on consignment makes sense. However, you might want to find a dealer who does a large volume of business with the schools in your area. You could probably find this information by contacting some of the teachers or schools in your area. This should guarantee you a quicker sale. You might also try some of the dealers who advertise on this board. They might be able to give you some idea of how long it will take them to sell your instruments on consignment. JohnT
  25. : I just bought a Carlo Micelli Violin in unplayable condition. I seems to be made well, but suspect it is a German factory fiddle. Any information would be appreciated. Allen, Carlo Micelli violins were imported from Germany in the 1920's and 30's. Since the Germans at the time often used fictitious Italian names for their commercial instruments, I doubt if there was a real Carlo Micelli. However, the Micelli violins were generally of a better grade than many other German factory made violins. In fact, some of the better ones may have been at least partially hand made. Roy Ehrhardt lists 3 Micelli violins selling for $60, $90 and $150 in 1930 - which were fairly high prices for that time. In 1978, Ehrhardt estimated their value at $650, $900 and $1,250. They should have increased in value in the last 20 years. Recently, Elderly Instruments listed a Carlo Micelli violin in very good condition - except for a center seam repair - for $1,350, which they later reduced to $1,100. There was no indication whether it was the cheapest or the more expensive Micelli violin. My advice would be to take your violin to a violin shop that specializes in violins and ask for an apraisal and an estimate of what it would cost to put in in playable condition. If it is worth $1,000 or more, it might be worthwhile to spend a few hundred on it. JohnT
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