gowan

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About gowan

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  1. Of course, in this case if your need is urgent you would have to go via the auction route. But still there is provenance and authenticity to check. Certificates and auction house reputation to consider. Unfortunately it seems that unless we are buying a (new) instrument directly from a living maker we have to depend at some point on provenance and expert opinion.
  2. Mr. Swan's comment on what one in the market to buy a golden period Strad should do for due diligence seemed like excellent advice. Historically even well recognized experts can be fooled by fakes (e.g. the Balfour Strad). Unless one is either an expert oneself or an excellent player looking for an instrument to play and has the chops to make use of and recognize the excellence of, say, a good Strad, I think one would have to put some trust in a highly reputable dealer. I notice that musicians such as Joshua Bell, Leonidas Kavakos, and others, bought their Strads from dealers like Florian Leonhard, Bein and Fushi, Beares, etc. You might have to pay an inflated price if you buy from a dealer versus buying at an auction but if the dealer has a good reputation any funny business on their part might have some effect of the reputation.
  3. I assume the original Betts was built with a Baroque set-up: thinner bass bar, thicker neck, different neck angle, etc. Was that how the copy was built? Oh, and the Strad Betts instrument now has changed over the 300 plus years since it was made. I am not sure we can ever know what that instrument would have sounded when it was made. I guess that was part of Don Noon's post.
  4. This discussion gives a good idea of some of the nuances of set-up I had a mind-opening about this the other day when I took my violin for one of its biannual visits to its maker for a check up. It was noticed that the bridge was slightly leaning toward the scroll and I was told that that negatively affected the contact of the bridge feet on the top. It made an improvement in the sound when the bridge was properly adjusted!
  5. Do Tartini tones also known as difference tones contribute to quality of sound? They are related to harmonics of the strings. Here is a link to an article on Tartini tones: https://newt.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/tartini-temperament.html
  6. If it is missing the neck and scroll, unless it can be definitely identified as work of some really great maker, it would not seem to be a very good bet as an investment. In any case, the best restoration would probably require finding a neck/scroll by the same maker. If restoration requires making a replacement neck and scroll and the body cannot be identified then I would guess that restoration might well cost more than the completed cello would be worth.
  7. I think cochineal was used in dying yarn for weaving textiles in the the late 18th century up through the late 19th century, especially in Oriental rugs and other textiles.
  8. I wouldn't be surprised if the Russian "school" of violin making was influenced by the French "school". Before the Russian Revolution much of the upper class spoke French and so violin makers might have been sent to France to study.
  9. Maple syrup is obtained by boiling down maple sap. The dark color of maple syrup seems to depend on when in the season the sap is harvested. I wonder whether there is something in the sap then that could be used as a colorant for varnish? As usual it might be fugitive. I've never seen any clothing stained by maple syrup so It doesn't appear to have any dye ingredients.
  10. More interesting to find out how much beer a luthier can hold
  11. Here is some "chapter and verse":https://www.wqxr.org/story/newark-officials-seize-budapest-orchestras-violin-bows/ Here is another report on this incident: https://theviolinchannel.com/violin-bows-ivory-jfk-airport-released/
  12. I think a European chamber orchestra traveling to the USA for a concert in New York City had several bows confiscated at customs. Indeed the bows were eventually returned but if you are due to perform in a few days and it often takes weeks to get Customs to release confiscated items, that is an unhappy situation.
  13. Years ago one of my neighbors asked me to play scales, etc., on my violin and he recorded them with the intention to paste the notes together using a synthesizer to create a keyboard-played violin sound. It was a dismal failure, possibly due to my neighbor's less than stellar electronic technical chops but the whole project seemed flawed to me. To create the sound of a violin playing musical sequences of notes would require thousands, at least, of tweaks to shape the changes in a single note let alone the transitions between notes. Then, too, there are the "colors" created by the player by varying the sounding point of the bow on the strings, the bow speed and pressure.
  14. Boxwood is "stained" to get the look we love so maybe some sort of treatment of the Syringa wood would help it?
  15. I understand the appearance of luster of the polyester but that material seems "hard" to me and I would think it would be more abrasive to the varnish than natural textiles. Imagine millions of tiny plastic scrapers contacting the finish of your instrument.