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About Ratcliffiddles

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  • Birthday 04/22/1961

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  1. I had a similar thing also stamped Laprevotte (in a different place) as a viola, flat belly with edge about 15mm thick. Laprevotte, I believe was predominantly a guitar maker, and sometimes had very weird and unsuccessful ideas. Apart from the front, the rest on the one I had was very good regular French work of the period, and I suspect he only made the front. Needless to say it sounded awful. Does your have any arching?
  2. Looks like French violin to me, c.1850/60, maybe later. I doubt it's earlier.
  3. Yes, that is the article I am talking about. As I said, all my reports quote the t-values and the Glk as an add-on, and nobody I know uses the Glk exclusively.
  4. Twcellist, by the way, sorry to hijack your thread..
  5. Michael, I think you may indeed by referring to an article by Stewart Pollens, although it was written several years ago, featuring in Diagnostic and Imaging on Musical Instruments, Selected proceedings of the 1st and 2nd International Workshop, 2010-2011 Ravenna, Italy, Tool of truth or deception" . If you don't think it is that article, I would be interested in where you saw the one you remember. I may be wrong but I think the article also appeared in the Strad Magazine. In this article, which supposedly "was intended to present and critically discuss the latest research about diagnostic techniques applied to musical instruments", Pollens chooses and exclusively quotes the Glk or Gleichlaufigkeit, (not the t-value), highlighting its unreliability. This parameter, of the percentage of parallel agreement between tree-ring series (when rings expand, decrease in width or remain the same contemporaneously compared to previous year growth, both on sample and reference) is just not used by any of us on its own, and does not form, by itself, a reliable indicator of a true temporal cross-match, as some people have found out to their detriment. The whole article relies totally on this formula to discredit the work of people who actually do not ever use it on its own. Pollens incorrectly states that "the GLK is often the only test cited in dendrochronology reports, including all of those submitted by Peter Klein" It may be true for Peter Klein when he was testing instruments, but it is totally misleading in the current state of analyses, where the t-value, occasionally supported by this Glk is the primary parameter. That would be true for ALL of my reports and those from John Topham (although he rarely quotes the GLK as a supporting test). In his conclusion, Pollens warns "Historians, authenticators, appraisers and purchasers to be wary of the dates ascertained by dendrochronology that are being published in auction catalogs, museum publications, certificates and scholarly journals". Yet, no reports that I know of appearing in auction catalogues, museum publications, certificates and scholarly journals rely on the Glk, and if any do, that certainly should not. In the abstract, Pollens writes: "Those who rely upon the dates presented in dendrochronological reports (scholars, museum curators, dealers auction houses, instrument purchasers) are generally not well informed about the underlying methodology and other factors that may influence the conclusions reached through the process" Was this article the best way of informing them? I wonder...
  6. Michael, you may be referring to Pollens? In any case, this is totally incorrect, certainly as far as the few people that are trusted in this field. The t-values calculated are standard, based on the Baillie & Pilcher algorithm from their 1973 paper, and their formula is used in multiple professional software used by "regular" dendrochronologists. These include the TSAP software suite, Corina from Cornell University and Cybis software. In fact, contrary to what you say, "regular" dendrochronologist are the ones that tend to accept a lower level of significance of these t-values. I have always used this t-value calculation, and so has John Topham, and a few others. Yes... there is a guy who doesn't but I won't go into that. As far as the lack of connection with external chronologies, for most analysis, again this is incorrect, and many do fit with one or multiple published reference data. Bear in mind also that many regional references are not published, and some are generously shared amongst "regular" and violin-dendro people. Admittedly, some batches of instruments do not readily cross-match with published reference, but that does not necessarily invalidate them, far from it. I am currently in touch with a dendrochronnologist in Spain in order to finalize dates for about 30 instruments, all patently cross-matching each other very nicely, all from the 18th century, which include just about all the Guillami instruments and half a dozen Spanish made guitars. None of these cross-match with anything published, from Spain or anywhere else. I am hoping that this lab may have private references from parts of the Pyrenees or other mountainous Spanish region which will cross-date significantly. As I said, the extent of the database is actually the more crucial element in an analysis, and is the only way to detect the various batches and provenances of the wood used , which are actually very clear by now. And that indeed makes the cross-matching between instruments the most interesting part.
  7. I will add that in Grancino's case, we find that several of his instruments were made of wood from the same tree, both on violins and cellos, which would add a little bit more kudos to an expert's certificate. No, it's no proof, but the expanding database keeps revealing more information. I just tested in the last few days a GB Guadagnini from 1784/85 which was made from the same tree as two made in the mid-to-late 1770s and another one from 1773 made from the same tree as a 1770 example. All were one-piece front. Keeps me occupied... Could you expand on the "there's a lot of disagreement about that!" ?
  8. Totally agree with Blank Face, "trying to" look French, but failing..
  9. Jacob, nice to have you back!
  10. I agree with most of what has been said. Scarampella copies are everywhere, and some recently certified examples are also not genuine... With the OP's story and the appearance of the fiddle, this one may turn out to be ok, but there aren't that many experts I would rely on to determine authenticity of these.
  11. Looks like Bohemian late 19th century thing possibly with a replaced head as it looks better than the rest.
  12. The big back button, if original is also quite an English trait
  13. My immediate impression was late 18th century English, but it's not clear... Are the lining profile a smooth curve, or angled? Varnish a bit odd for English