Greg F.

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Everything posted by Greg F.

  1. FWIW, here's the label. I was hoping it was French factory, but the learned opinions here tell me it's Saxon. It still sound ok.
  2. Is MK obvious from the corners near flush with the top and delta on back of scroll?
  3. Greg F.

    Label question

    Thanks for the replies. It's not my violin so I can't post pictures. If I follow the discussion correctly pre-WWI is likely (?).
  4. A classmate of mine has a violin with typical factory Stad label that is marked "Saxony". Is it correct to assume that this would put the instrument before the WWI? I recall that after WWI items imported to the US had to be noted as "Made in" and also, would Saxony still be considered a "country" (as regards US imports) after WWI? Thanks in advance.
  5. My own rationale for buying violins on ebay is essentially the same as pahdah_hounds, i. e. upgrading from 3/4 to full size for my son. We tried some instruments at the local shop, both old European and new Chinese ones at prices up to 5K. Since I wasn't afraid of big bad Ebay (I sell lots-o-antique watches and parts for the same there, as well as buying there lots-o-the-same-stuff for resale), I gave that a try. Even with mistakes and professional repairs, ebay was way way cheaper in the end and we ended up with more than one decent instrument (sound wise) (and a bunch of clunkers). Almost all of my purchases were old, in original beat up cases, with one or more bows needing hair and with every indication of having been unused for years and being sold by non-violin dealers or enthusiasts. They are all factory instruments. I also, as part of my buying education, perused many violin books that I obtained by inter-library loan, which was very educational for me (and fun), though generally most violin books cover high end unobtainable stuff and not factory items. Much like gizomomonster, I like old stuff and learning about something new like old violins and how to do minor repairs (closing seams, cutting bridges, adjusted the sound post, etc.). EBay isn't for everyone but it worked for me. If I had simply bought one 5K shop violin for my son I would have learned nothing about violins. I also wouldn't have become interested enough to try and learn to play it at 55 (I have no illusions about my potential, but the group lessons and ensembles that I have participated in with other adults learners have been a blast). FWIW
  6. Interesting and thanks for all the info. Besides dendro, is there any other modern scientific technique that is considered useful in establishing (or refuting) an id? For example, what if dendro dates are good but something else is amiss (scientifically, that is)?
  7. Thanks. Among Strads, how many of the survivors would you estimate to have been subjected to a modern scientific analysis? Or to look at it another way, what % of those that have been scientifically examined have "failed" such testing?
  8. Just wondering what are some of the more notable instances where a (near) universally accepted attribution of an instrument to a famous Cremonese maker has been demonstrated to (near) universal acceptance to be incorrect by modern scientific evidence. Or are there none?
  9. So Saxon. I don't know if this helps with dating it or not, but here's a pic of what came with this treasure. The seller said that in the 70s or 80s they had it set up. At that time they purchased one of the bows (don't know which one and don't know if they purchased a new or used bow). All FWIW.
  10. Here's what I've learned so far: 1) I take terrible pictures. 2) Jacob says Schonbach 3) Martin says Saxony/MK 4) Voiladamore agrees with Martin 5) blankface says Schonbach vs MK makes no difference 6) blankface says fluting and rib joint characteristics changed, which I guess means that the guidelines put together at the link mentioned should be used with large grains of salt. 7) Jacob says that only charlatans can tell an MK from a Schonbach. 8) akaBobH thinks the growth ring alignment (or lack thereof) is telling (I assume he means it's a sign of a low quality instrument) 9) clearsky thinks I'm after a "positive" outcome, and by the way my pics stink. FWIW, I had a nice private correspondence with violadamore that was helpful. I think I'm outta here for now. Thank you all for you time and replies, Greg
  11. Hi, I sell small things on ebay like watches. To take pictures I use a scanner which gives fantastic (almost too good) detail. I'm challenged when it comes to taking pics of larger items. Sorry. I'm not looking for a "positive" outcome (whatever that is), so don't throw that at me. I'm asking if the real experts here can give an idea as to origin and approx. age of a factory violin. I've followed many id discussions on MN and generally it is asserted that id'ing luby/schonbach and the like is easy for even a newbie to learn. I'm here to learn. Thanks, Greg
  12. Is this evidenced from the view of the bottom? What is the significance of such? FWIW, here's a bottom view of another violin:
  13. These pics are a bit lighter.
  14. If I mention anything about the label 1/2 of the people will say it's meaningless and 1/2 will say it's a modern "reprint". Perhaps 1 in a 100 will think it is a genuine indication of where the violin originated. At least that's what I gather from reading various id discussions here and elsewhere. FWIW, I bought the instrument from a non-violin dealer and, based on what all else they were selling on ebay, it was pretty clear to me that there was no reason to doubt that it was an instrument that had been in their family for a long time (after I bought it I inquired further and the seller thought a relative had purchased it around 1905). I've been buying and selling on ebay since 1997 and have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20000 transactions (not violins, but antique American pocket watches and the parts for same) there so I'm extremely familiar with how ebay works and who can be trusted to tell something resembling the truth about their goods. As for sound, I've only been "playing" for about 2 1/2 years so it sounds awful (in my hands).
  15. Thank you Martin. When time permits I will try to get brighter pics and follow Rue's guide. FWIW, here's the checklist I came across that I assume is mostly Jacob's work: BTW, does the scroll have the pronounced forehead look or not? I have only a vague idea what such refers to. Greg
  16. I also don't know exactly how this applies: "Ribs: The ends of the rib at the corners left long, so that you can get a cramp on to glue them together, and shortened afterwards, with the tendency to remain almost flush with the ends of the back outline at the corners.", but aren't the rib corners inset somewhat on this violin. I'm trying to apply some of your criteria for violin id'ing so please correct me as needed.
  17. Jacob, I don't know which of the various characteristics are most important for id'ing, but FWIW the fluting extends all the way into the throat (from your id checklist: Scroll: Dutzendarbeit tend to me more rounded off and over in both respects. Fluting finishes as early as 6 o’clock. Back of the scroll tends to finish less sharp, or have a kind of “delta” at the bottom.). Thank you for the reply, Greg
  18. Rue, Here are some others taken with a flash. Greg
  19. Forgot to mention that the length of the back is 361 mm.
  20. Just wondering for my own info if any of the knowledgeable violin people can help with a rough age and likely country of origin for this violin. I assume that it is a factory product. I can't get any pictures of the inside but it looks nicely lined and blocked (to my novice eyes). Yes, it's one of those infamous ebay fiddles. No, I didn't buy it because I thought it might be a rare "sleeper" slipping by the hundreds and hundreds of ebay violin lurkers (if nothing good ever shows up on ebay one has to wonder what all the lurkers are up to). I apologize in advance for the iffy quality of the pictures. If they are too awful to help with a rough date, etc., let me know and I will try to post some better ones. FWIW, the seller said it belonged to a relative who probably had had it since c. 1905. The scroll and peg box look to have had some work done on them and I suspect some revarnishing has taken place in this area. Thanks, Greg P. S. If id'ing common factory fiddles is annoying to you then don't. I rather have no replies than a bunch of snarky ones.
  21. I had the good fortune to hear Mr. Tognetti play his Del Gesu a few years back when he was in Denver. It was in a radio station studio with about 6 or 7 others. I know near nothing about violins but it was a wonderful experience.
  22. It sounds like you're way way ahead of me in playing. FWIW, here's the perspective of someone who started just over 2 years ago (at 55) having never ever tried the violin (or guitar or any other string instrument...I had played piano but not especially well). I started with group (adult) lessons. Sessions were 8 weeks of so long. I finished Fiddle 1-4 then spent a couple sessions in "fiddling around the campfire" (making up some sort of accompaniment to a tune). I think I found my "niche" with a beginning string ensemble group (all adults, 2 cellos, 2-3 violins, sometimes an accordion and for final performances a trombone to help with the bass line). We meet as a class once a week with an accomplished instructor (she plays violin, has a Masters in viola performance, can play cello and has appeared in concert with a couple of professional orchestras playing the...saw). We work on ensemble pieces, sometimes making up the arrangement as a group, figuring out a bass line, etc. We learn the occasional odd thing like "chunking". We have great fun. We even "played" in downtown Denver last year at the "Make Music" event. I guess the key for me (and I really look forward to our group lessons and they encourage me to practice...don't want to always be the weakest link) is that we have fun. None of us will ever get paid for our playing (except, of course, our instructor), we will never conquer any of the challenging repertoire, we may even sound hideous to some listeners. But every once in a while we sound (playing an easy piece of course) quite nice. We have fun and enjoy ourselves. I plan to continue with the violin although I'm well aware I will never amount to much of a player.
  23. There have been years of discussion, analysis, comparison, etc., on old masters versus modern makes of violins, but is there enough room for "improvement" to make any difference to a listener of a piece of music played (by an artist of high calibre) on one or the other? Or are old masters and modern high quality violins close enough that nearly all knowledgeable listeners find either more than acceptable as performance tools? A newbie just wondering.
  24. Thank you all for the help! I might go "old school" and try to get a hard copy from a library.