Bruce Carlson

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  1. What about the other 90 instruments that were in the shop? Perhaps not all new. The Cremonese varnish becomes particularly striking when you have wear and usage.
  2. Well, the violin does have a small soundpost crack in the belly. That might have been enough to set it aside. The other point is that it can be demonstrated very easily that JB Vuillaume didn't completely know or understand the Stradivarian construction method. In addition, just under simple UV examination Vuillaume's varnish misses by a mile. Not to mention corner block position and dimensions, wood used for the blocks and linings, purfling materials, how the purfling joins at the corners and where and how they are truncated in the upper and lower bouts, various missing compass points on the scroll and button of the back, his use / or non-use of locating pins in the back and belly for construction; just to mention a few of the more obvious differences. Of course Vuillaume admired and studied Stradivari and imitated his work but at his best it is only an imitation. There was never any serious attempt at a bench copy.
  3. why not Michael?
  4. I find it disappointing that after a serious attempt at explaining some aspects about his label query that Mac1990 is no longer interested. The instruments with this type of label are out there but you have to look for them.
  5. In reference to the label text published by Mr. Sackman, instruments with that label, numbered 170 in Vuillaume's production series would amount to ONE INSTRUMENT and according to the numbering sequence from Roger & Max Millant would not have been made before 1829. Therefore Mr. Sackman is in error which would lead one to believe that there existed more than one instrument with the same number 170. Each instrument would have a different number in Vuillaume's production series and all would have numbers less than 84 in his production series to have been present in the 1827 Exhibition. A label with the number 170 in 1827 could not have existed. Without any great difficulty I found five violins by J.B. Vuillaume with the label text we are speaking about. In addition to the above posted viola in the Cité de la Musique. 1825 n.32 Stradivari model aged but not antiqued 1827 n.52 Stradivari model not antiqued 1827 n.63 Amati model with double purfling and imitation Amati label signed and numbered internally 1827 n.67 Stradivari model aged 1830 n.193 Stradivari model not antiqued Considering that these instruments are all at least 190 years old, what was once new may appear antiqued. I have also found your label published in a book by Paul de Wit in Leipzig 1910 entitled Geigenzettel alter Meister vom 16. bis zur Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts. I. Teil (Volume one) on plate 36 label n.41 and it is illustrated along with other labels used by Vuillaume. The quality of the reproduction is awful but you can see that it is numbered 170 with the date of 1829 which is correct according to Roger & Max Millant. It is however too late for the exhibition of 1827. The first scan has reduced the half-tone printing dots whereas the second scan is with the dots.
  6. Here's a viola and it's in the Cité de la Musique in Paris. It even has a documented provenance. This is number 175.
  7. I can't think of anyone prior to Vuillaume using a numbering system.
  8. More than repaired f-holes they appear to have been partially filled in with new wood and re-cut. Doesn't help the identification process. Also the inner notches appear to have been filled in and shifted downwards as if it may have had a short body stop.
  9. If you only look at the label from the point of view of date and location, Vuillaume left Rue Croix de Petits Champs in 1858 he moved to rue Demours-Ternes where he died in 1875. When he moved, Les Ternes was on the outskirts of Paris, almost in the country. The area is to the north of the Arc de Triomphe. More recently, Bernard Millant lived in the same street. According to Roger & Max Millant Vuillaume's numbering system in 1858 was from n.2241 to n.2273 and in 1874 they cite n.2944 to 3000!!!
  10. The thicker area is there in the earliest Amati instruments.
  11. No, but I knew Frank 1975 - 1977, at one time he used to work for Weisshaar as well and helped me make my first bow which I ended up making too whippy. It would have been far worse without his help. Great guy and very open if you liked bows and bowmaking. Hans had a nice bow collection and he would come in to study them.
  12. I tried at least three 'del Gesu' violins when the backs were off and they still end up balancing downwards of the dorsal pin, that is to say more towards the bridge area. Same with other makers, Stradivari, Amati etc.