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About Ratcliffiddles

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  • Birthday 04/22/1961

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  1. Wondering if it's something like a "provincial" French early 19th century violin
  2. Couldn't agree more. Re dendro, I don't think it would help much at all, as a lot of the wood used throughout Europe at the time came from Germany, this one no exception
  3. So, it was a Collin-Mezin..no antiquing as far as I could see. It was partly the purfling that gave it away for me
  4. It doesn't, to me, appear stripped and re-varnished, just possibly over cleaned with unsuitable products, and heavily used and abused.
  5. wondering if it's something like early Collin-Mezin
  6. Yes, straightforward French Mirecourt based on the Didier Nicolas model
  7. What is absolutely clear, is that the ring-patterns of several instruments made in different locations in Italy, some 600kms apart, are virtually identical. This means that they are, either from the same tree (similar merging patterns, similar starting and final ring dates, exceedingly significant correlation between their data) or from trees that grew next to each other and likely felled at the same time, same season. In addition, there are many bellies (1000s) from other instruments, the overwhelming majority Italian (and the entire production of Spaniard Jose Contreras) made of wood patently from different trees, but still sharing a very strong affinity with the aforementioned tree. To me, this strongly indicates that somebody was involved in the harvesting or selection of trees at source, or near source, and subsequently supplied, either directly or indirectly, to makers throughout Italy. The incidence of "same-tree associations" between instruments from the same workshop which tends to be higher than from different workshops, also suggests that the wood may have been in the form of billets, or parts thereof, rather than smaller wedges as makers know today. The "Banchetti" name, mentioned by Paolo Stradivari in his 1775 letter/reply to G.B. Guadagnini, does seem to be the only archival suggestion of a former dealer who may well have been operating in Brescia, but was no longer trading, presumably dead by then. The early-to-mid 1770s coincide with the shift in wood provenance seen in bellies of Italian instruments, although an occasional cross-matching response, identical to the one from the pre-1775 period and suggesting a closely related growing location, is seen on some instruments until 1800, but these are rare occurrences.
  8. I really don't think so, Manfio, absolutely no evidence for that apart from modern tales. If you or anybody knows about ANY archival or other evidence, before the 1960s, linking Val di Fiemme and classical Italian wood, then I would like to know! In terms of dendrochronological cross-matching, there is nothing to see at the moment.
  9. No evidence from dendrochronological cross-matching tests that the same source of wood was exploited by Storioni and late 18th century French makers. Also important to know that the provenance of the wood that pre-Revolution French makers used is only valid until then, with a drastic shift after the abolition of the Corporations. I think the similarities you see are coincidental. The wood used by the Classical Cremonese until about 1750 is indeed quite specific, and there are re-occurrences of wood from similar sources to the previous one on the occasional late Cremonese, including some, but by no means all Storioni, GB Ceruti (but not later Ceruti) and Nicola Bergonzi. Where Italian makers sourced after Napoleon invaded is unknown but we see the occasional use of fir from the Apennines. As far as I am concerned, this period between about 1790 and about 1820/30 is the most problematic insofar as dating the wood, both in France and Italy, and never really see any connections between Storioni wood and contemporary French wood.
  10. Looks typical French "Caussin school" (whatever that may be) to me
  11. He most certainly did, and quite visibly so on some instruments, where varnish absorption gives the sapwood a different colour. Although I don't know the reason why it is seen on some and not others, it could be down to the seasoning period, which doesn't seem to have been much of a concept as far as thin wedges of spruce back then. That's what I do 99% of the time... And sure, do come and say hello!