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Torbjörn Zethelius

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Everything posted by Torbjörn Zethelius

  1. I have been thinking about this and would also very much like an answer from someone knowledgeable in the history of the evolution of the modern violin. There seems to have come into fashion in the late 18 hundreds to play on larger instruments, and I think this is due to a development that began in France. The Hills, Stradivari his life and work, Dover edition p. 257, quote a letter from Rev. Thomas Twining, dated May 4th 1791, who complains about his Stainer when compared to his Strad, that it is "undersized, and on that account less valuable". I guess It may have been due to a new playing technique and/or sound preference. I also have a theory that goes deeper, that I may spare it for another occasion.
  2. You're supposed to leave it in water for a month. It will break down (rot) by itself into a fine powder.
  3. Yes. That's what I wanted to point out.
  4. Not a myth. The outer mould possibly came about in the late 18th century when copying Stradivari instruments, and later Guarneri del Gesu, became fashionable. There was apparently quite a lot of innovation in French violin making around that time. Edit. I don't know what was going on in Mirecourt at the time that you're asking about. From Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Printed in 1751.
  5. I would probably not go less than 12.5mm external arch height. Up to that point I'd feel safe.
  6. I wish to see an end to copying altogether, but it will most likely never happen.
  7. The Messie is 0.2mm lower. Draw your own conclusions.
  8. I think crypto technology could be useful. A certificate can be issued along with the transaction and it will be stored in the block chain forever without being able to fake or removed.
  9. I make certificates when asked for it. A personal model and style is to prefer over cheap copies.
  10. Thicknesses aren't as important as the curvatures. Make them thin or thick, I don't care.
  11. The proof is in the Tarragona, as they say in Cremona. I just made that up, pretty clever, eh? That guy knew a lot.
  12. Funny that you ignored my post with the quote which was actually from the time and place that some of these makers were still active. You also need to show why, if they really made the top more flat, that there's any advantage of doing so. The most sought after instruments as far as I'm aware, are rather more curved than not. A case in point. Del Gesu made rather thick plates that keeps the shape well.
  13. Some of you may have seen this pic before, but anyway. Since the discussion is about what the old makers did or did not, consider this excerpt from Dizionario delle Arti e de Mestieri, by Francesco Griselini, Marco Fassadoni, Venice 1770 LIUTIERE, o FABBRICATOR. DI VIOLINI, ED ALTRI STROMENTI. ”The principal point for the goodness of the instrument is to find good, old and sonorous spruce for the belly: the best is from Tyrol. The cavity shapes given to this belly in a vault shape more or less high, the diverse thicknesses to be observed, the way that the bassbar is placed inside, to the side of the cordone, which is the thickest string of the violin, the height of the ribs, and finally the excavating of the back which has to correspond perfectly to that of the belly; all this together with the true way of positioning the two holes in the shape of S which are carved in the violin belly, the placement of the soundpost and the bridge, contribute in an essential way to the goodness of the instrument." Dizionario delle arte e de’ Mestieri, volume 8, page 196. Note that the long arch isn't mentioned at all. The internal curves should reflect each other, there's no reason to make it more complicated than that. The difference in the outer shapes of the back vs belly is due to different distribution of thicknesses, that combined with distorsion from 300 years of constant string tension. Thin bellies tend to distort more than thicker ones, to the extent that they sometimes cave in under the bridge.
  14. Anyone familiar with the replication crisis?
  15. You want smooth curves inside as well as outside. Taptones /Chladnipatterns are distractions IMO.
  16. According to The Brompton's Book of Violin and Bow Makers, there was a Karl Johan Engström, born 1879 in Ven, Sweden. Perhaps this Gust(-av?) was related to him? The colour is quite Swedish looking for the time. Maybe he was a Swedish immigrant, I'm speculating.
  17. Thanks for the interesting observation, Kevin. The marks seem to correspond with musical intervals. Considering that the distance between the upper and lower blocks correspond with the original vibrating string length, it makes sense IMO. I found the following intervals: small second, small sext, small ters, big nona and (of course) the octave. Are there more? P.S. I will argue that this distance (the vibrating string length) is the starting point for the design of the violin.
  18. This part is commonly made fairly straight. Its development follow from the angled template (first turn) to the width at point B.
  19. They are straight looking to the eye, but not necessarily by the straightedge.
  20. I wrote an article about how to measure out the scroll and pegbox in The Strad's Trade Secrets. If you manage to follow it then from there it should be easy to make a template. Strad's templates were made for a busy workshop IMO. A lone maker doesn't need it. I have made a storey stick with the essential measurements, the same as marked out in my article. Carving a scroll using angular templates.pdf
  21. The "Chanot-Chardon" is a converted viola d'amore if I remember correctly.
  22. Absolutely true IMO. We can see also that the Baroque shape of the violin and its neck and fingerboard has a much more organic feel to it than the modern neck set which is rather mechanical.
  23. LOL Great! Thanks for sharing.
  24. The form of the final object is dependent on the science of the day, wether it's true or false. IMHO
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