Ratcliffiddles

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About Ratcliffiddles

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  • Birthday 04/22/1961

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  1. 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!
  2. They didn't care about sapwood
  3. This violin looks to me, absolutely typical of Mittenwald work of the mid 19th century in every way. Model, scroll, varnish, choice of wood ( one piece front and back, one piece lower ribs, inset saddle). I have seen dozens similar I am really surprised by what you say about every Frenchman. Why don't you open it up, you'll see the typical Mittenwald linings into corner blocks arrangement.
  4. Very reliable when it works, which is not always. The French 18th century violin you posted recently worked a treat... The date of the latest ring on the belly of an instrument is not always a reliable indication of the making date, although sometimes it can be, especially when same-tree matches are identified and attributed to specific makers. The year span between dendro date and actual manufacturing date varies greatly. Some Del Gesu' have dendro dates only 4 years prior to making date, some Strads also 4, but mostly more, in the range of 10 to 25 years, bu can also be a much longer period. Generally the wood used in Italy and France in the 18th century was used very soon after the felling of the tree. A test done yesterday on a Strad labelled 1720 revealed, for example, that ALL the same tree matches (extremely common and expected between Strads) were from 7 violins and a viola made in the 1690s. I was just told this morning that the table is composite, and may well be from an earlier Stradivari from the 1690s. Different pieces of the same tree may indeed have a different latest ring actually present on it. More wood may have been removed for jointing or other reasons. When same tree matches are identified, then naturally, the latest ring referring to any of these will automatically apply to ALL. A test on another Strad recently done showed that its wood was from the same tree as the Lady Blunt of 1721. This other Strad is dated 1719, and its latest ring date is 1715, so only 4 years after the tree was standing in the forest. Yeah.... I find it fascinating too!...
  5. Almost certain it's French, ca.1760 maybe Guersan, with the wrong scroll.
  6. Ratcliffiddles

    Violin ID

    Op's fiddle looks totally Mirecourt to me. That scroll, button, etc,, signs it for me
  7. and it looks like it has a replaced front..
  8. That assumes that the channel is perfectly in the middle..
  9. I am not disagreeing with you, Martin
  10. I have never seen a Saxon trying to pretend it's something remotely from the Degani shop which, to me, this is what this violin is obviously trying to be. Craftsmanship is poor compared to what I know about this workshop, although I have seen some by Giulio which are not always as clean as others. Is there also a semi circular hole in the neck nut and under the fingerboard? The strip down the centre joint would be one thing somebody would do when faking a Degani, although looking at the terrible back joint, its purpose here seems to have been somewhat lost. The shape of the tall back button, and heavy fluting on ff's , purfling too doesn't look far off, etc... But edgework and corner-work is camparatively poor. I would say that Degani are actually some of the easiest fiddles to fake, as they have so many individual quirks. This one looks like it has some age to it, so I would not dismiss it outright. I would show it to an expert in person to rule out this possibility.
  11. Much of it looks more inspired by Degani to me, apart from the scroll. Is there a strip down the centre joint of the back on the inside? and what shape is the lower end of the fingerboard? Just curious
  12. On balance, one of the rare violins we see here which may well turn out to be mid-18th century Italian. Worth investigating further in my opinion.
  13. I am wondering whether the front is adapted from a different fiddle? There seems to be an awful lot of new edging and the thing is half-edged, which is of course not evidence of an adapted front, but also see asymmetry on C bouts (on the front), which maybe you shouldn't get from something made on an outside mould. Or maybe it's to do with the poor work of re-edging. I have seen others with similar excessively recessed rib mitres for the size of the corner. I can't imagine a front corner/purfling mitre would survive long in these unsupportable situation. I still think the scroll looks Mittenwald, despite the fluting which may not reach quite the end as it should.
  14. The scroll looks like Mittenwald mid-19th century, and I suspect doesn't belong to the rest. Body interesting, but the fake marks on the C bout ribs are really not good, and I the soundholes don't quite work for me.