jacobsaunders

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  1. Not really. Jalovec plagurised exerpts that he needed (into Czech) The Nationalbank has heaps of Indexes, which (as they admit themselves) aren't much use. It depends on how you index it, for instance how many loaves of bread would you have got for 1000 Crowns in 1917, or how many Kilos of coal etc. The longer you work different things out, the more you realise how meaningless it is, particularly during wartime. Also you would need to work out how much 275 1925 Dollars would be worth today.
  2. I believe that to be a popular misconception. Once you start to repair a violin, you have to finish it, even if you realise half way that it isn't worth it
  3. If you are copying something, you simply Need to get your ruler out. If you are not making a copy of anything, you can do anything you like. I find that People make Cello Bottom blocks far bigger than neccesary. If you think About it, the Bottom block has two functions; 1. to hold the two Bottom ribs together, and 2. to accomidate the spike. The smallest old Bottom block I've ever seen was in my Gandl Cello, which is still doing fine well into it's third century. I pictured that (and the Corner blocks) here
  4. Henley was "finished off" by Cyril Woodcock, with whom my father had a long dispute. It didn't do him much good, since his entry reads "Still working, 1960"
  5. The Kunst Historische Museum gave the text of Paganini's letter as: Io Sottoscrizzo Confesso che il Sig(nor) Sawicki, è un genio Straordinario per fabbricare I violini, nonchè per arangiare meravigliosamente tutti gl’istrumemti musicali; lo che ho veduti, e scrupolosamente esaminati tanto I Suoi, che quelli d’altri dallo Stesso accomodati, mi compiaccio di potere attestare chi il prelodato, è il primoartista del mondo; e più, gli affidai il mio violino al quale cambiò la Tastiera, che di quallunque altro artista non mi sarei fidato. Nicolò Paganini Vienna 10. Agosto 1828
  6. There is a manuscript letter from Paganini himself, preserved at the Archive of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde dated 10 August 1828 in the Italian language pertaining to Sawicki’s repair to the “Cannon”, in which it is recorded that Sawicki replaced the fingerboard. No other repairwork is mentioned.
  7. The label: I wrote a long piece on, particularly the way the number one was written at the time here: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/328294-emanuel-adam-homolka/&do=findComment&comment=587555 and this case in point has as expected the dotted ones. Should one see K & K labels of the late 18th or early 19th C. with ones without dots (with the exception of occasional thousand ones), one may be confident that the label is not genuine. Strnad had some 4 different copper engraved labels, all of which curiously have a printed 17, which had to be corrected into an 18. There are many fake Markneukirchen Strnad labels invariably from the year 1791 one of which I illustrated here https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/330195-johann-adam-sch%C3%B6nfelder/&do=findComment&comment=621046, which are lithographed, rather than being copper engraved. If someone rings up and says that they have a Strnad from 1791 in their attic, one gets the same sinking feeling in the stomach as when someone rings up about a violin with a Schweitzer label from 1813
  8. I couldn't help thinking that wartime or not, things seemed much more casual back then. If I write an invoice today, there are all sorts of VAT numbers, tax registration numbers, bank numbers, references to law paragraphs, and the like
  9. Alls well that ends well it seems, since Homolka sent an invoice confirming payment, this time in the German language, which again for those with difficulty with his handwriting reads: Rechnung über eine alte Conzert Viola von Casp. Strnad 1815. 1 Viola 1.000 Kr. Saldo 1.000 Kr. ……………………. Kgl. Weinberge Ed. Eman. Homolka 13/12 1917 Geigenmacher Kgl. Weinberge Dankend Tyl. namesti 28 n. saldirt Kgr. Böhmen Homolka 13/12 1917 I can’t imagine that a translation is necessary there.
  10. That the violin trade can be difficult in normal times, is well known. In war time it is evidently even more awkward, as a further outsized calling card from Homolka, this time in Czech shows. I would translate this as follows: Dear Sir, Since a money transfer abroad isn’t permitted or possible, I am unable to send you the viola. When the law is changed, I will send it straight away, as adjunct I enclose the invoice. Strings and bow hair will also be included.Patience for the moment
  11. The viola also comes with an (outsized) calling card, recommending the viola, from the violist Karel Moravec. Moravec was the violist of the Ševčík-Lhotský String Quartet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%A0ev%C4%8D%C3%ADk-Lhotsk%C3%BD_Quartet the leading string quartet of the time. Mr. Sikota, violist from the Austrian Radio Symphony, who very kindly deciphered the (difficult) handwriting, and translated it for me (into German), assured me that the Czechs of the time had a very advanced school of Viola playing, “miles better than Turtis or Primrose” (c. Sikota). Although one may wonder if Mr. Sikota is completely impartial, there are lots of viola studies, less well known than those of his teacher, Ševčík, but every bit as fiendish. I reproduce the visiting card, and the Translation below. My English version would be Dear Freind, The Viola that Mr. Homolka showed me, is a very good instrument and I hope that you like it too. It is a wonderful example from Strnad. It mostly needs playing that it’s tone will emerge. How are you? With greetings your Moravec
  12. Should one be in the habit of reading and cross referencing the diverse violin lexica, one can’t help but constantly ascertain that they are all, be it Jalovec, Vannes, Henley, Dillworth, or the various Auctioneers, little more than a sloppy translation of Lütgendorff, in some cases (notably Henley) with arbitrary invented (anti-German) invective, presenting “their” findings without reference, as if they were original personal research. Lütgendorff himself was an academic and gentleman of the late Austro-Hungarian Empire (in England I would call him Victorian). He was an art historian and linguist, who also collected violins and spent decades researching the subject. Much of his research involved correspondence abroad, indeed he himself bemoaned the lack of counterparts in (then) “enemy foreign countries” (at the time Italy). He also relied on several like minded violin researchers, one in particular, Eduard Emanuel Homolka in Prague, who was a keen student of violins of the Prague area, and who's 1896 book Životopisné zprávy o houslařích a loutnařích v Praze a okolí od nejstarší až na naši dobu was the basis of the (accurate) information on Prague makers in Lütgendorff’s lexicon. Homolka also served as proof reader for Lütgendorffs publication. All of that considered, it was very interesting for me to recently come into possession of a viola by Caspar Strnad of Prague from 1815, that Homolka had sold himself in 1917 to a customer in Sweden. I reproduce Homolka’s (surely the finest expert of Prague violin making of all time) certificate/appraisal below. For those who might struggle with his handwriting, the text of the certificate (in the German language) is: Der Endesgefertigte erklärt hiermit, dass die alte Concert-Viola, die der Hr. Conzertmeister Kadraba um den Preis von 1000 Kron. Eine echte Caspar Strnad (böhm. Stradivari), in Prag 1815 verfertigt … Viola ist und dem Preise vollkommen entspricht. Ed. Eman. Homolka Geigenmacher Kgl. Weinberger Tyl. Namesti 28 n. Kgr. Böhmen which I would translate into English such: The undersigned hereby declares that the old concert viola, which Mr. Conzertmeister Kadraba has bought at the price of 1000 crowns. A real Caspar Strnad (bohemian. Stradivari), made in Prague in 1815 ... The Viola is completely in line with the price. Ed. Eman. Homolka Violin maker Kgl. Weinberger Tyl. Namesti 28 n. Kgr. Bohemia The viola comes with further correspondence, which sheds light on violin dealing in Bohemia, in the twilight years of the Austro-Hungarian empire, just two years before the inception of Czechoslovakian Republic, An upheaval that makes Brexit look like a walk in the park.
  13. It is one of those Markneukirchen area so called “copies” (not of anything in particular, just a copy of an imagined “old violin”). Calling a violin “German” is pretty redundant, you might as well call it “European”, since “Germany” as we know it today housed different regions and schools. It is quite futile to want to determine a particular individual who might have made it, since they all worked anonymously for dealers.