Greg F.

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Everything posted by Greg F.

  1. I have only a few bows that, to my novice eyes, look decent and here's another. No brand or stamp that I can find, silver wire (I checked this time with a loupe), weighs in at 62.5 grams. Wood looks decent. Plays ok but doesn't produce as rich a sound as my favorite bows (can this be rectified by rehairing or other "adjustment"?). Does it have a typical German look to it?
  2. Josh, Thanks for the pics and the lesson. Greg
  3. Is the twisted rib evident from the flaming? And what is a BoB feature? Trimmed corners more recent?
  4. Beneath contempt Mittenwald? Something else? My feelings won't be hurt if you dis' it. Just looking for an honest knowledgeable opinion on whether the looks suggest something better than average factory work. It does sound reasonably good and the luthier who set it up suggested 2K (retail) was in the ball park. I think my wife's family bought it from a shop in the 1970s. Personally, I don't like the color (it's much lighter in hand).
  5. Would the bow shown have originally had a leather on it? Any opinions on a rough date? It is stamped "Japan" along with a flower. From what I've read here and elsewhere, Japanese bows are considered the lowest of the low, so thanks for taking the time to respond.
  6. Thanks! I see what you mean. There was a time when I could, e. g., dismantle and reassembled an antique watch without a loupe, but those days are long gone. Old eyes.
  7. Brad, Thanks for the correction. I had wondered what tinsel looked like (still learning...that's why a cheap bow purchase can be so educational for me). It doesn't seem much different than the wire on some of my other old bows, or maybe they're tinsel as well. If I compare some with a loupe what should I look for? I assume that the silk wrapping was originally blue and gold but that the blue has faded (just a blue jeans do). Or not? Thanks, Greg
  8. Josh, Thanks again for your insights. FWIW, I picked up this old bow partly because of the combination silver wire and French (?) silk wrapping (and it was cheap...almost no downside). The frog is full nickel silver mounted. It's a Japanese bow (and so stamped) but what the heck. Perhaps, after rehairing, it will turn out to be a decent playing bow. Greg
  9. Thanks for the replies. Part of why I asked was that in searching the net it seemed as though the vast majority of old restored bows being sold by dealers have new silver wire wraps. Personally, I like to keep old things as original as is practical.
  10. Is it common practice, when repairing or restoring an old bow, to replace the original wire (or other) wrapping if such is still intact?
  11. There's nothing that AS did that can't be done today after 300 years of physics, and with modern equipment, a world full of materials and tools, a 3 century history of acoustics, etc., etc. But then there's nothing that Da Vinci did that can't be replicated today as well. But that misses the point. It's miraculous what was done 3 (or 5) centuries ago with what the artists had available to them and with the knowledge base of their times. They were geniuses, plan and simple. And holding or seeing one of their creations is breathtaking. And if that inspires a player to play greatly, then all the better.
  12. FWIW, here're some pics of the G Schuster. From what I've found on the web, at least some of the instruments they retailed were better quality factory ones and in modern times it's not uncommon for dealers to ask 2-4K (which to me is alot). Any opinions on the workmanship for this one?
  13. Some days Dufay, then Mumford & Sons, Springsteen (usually when getting dinner ready), lots of Baroque when working, occasional Talking Heads, Beethoven when there's time for sitting and listening, Strauss (4 last songs especially), not much Mozart, even Andrew Lloyd Weber, Style Eye Span, whatever is handy, 60s, 70s and 80s on the radio, South Pacific, etc. I like music, but rarely listen to Jazz. Went to a live performance of a Jazz ensemble recently as the vocalist was my wife's voice teacher. It was fun but it didn't put Jazz on my regular play list yet. Maybe some day. To each his own.
  14. Most of what comes out of this newbies violin sounds like scratching. Maybe it is! I should keep an eye out for excessive wear.
  15. 600 is still a lot of hits. Yes, few or no bids is proof that it's a nothing instrument, but that many people are still looking for a reason other than wanting an instrument for their daughter. They're looking for a "steal" (including me...nothing wrong with that). Totally unrelated to the transaction being discussed here, I can say I've been buying on ebay since 1997 and selling almost as long. I also follow many discussions among collectors regarding ebay and the bad actors there and all the shenanigans. One thing I've almost never seen is a buyer saying that the reason that got a bad deal was because they were (1) stupid, (2) got caught up in the bidding frenzy, (3) assumed something they shouldn't have. Ebay is a two way street. Don't blame the seller for every bad transaction. Sometimes it's your own d*mn fault. BTW, I read Dilbert religiously. It's where I get most of my knowledge of what goes on in a "real" workplace.
  16. Just an aside re violins on ebay in general, there was a factory one that sold for about $100 recently that had somewhere north of 600 (!!!) page views. This suggests (proves?) that there sure must be a whole bunch of "hunters" looking for those mis-identified ones. I wonder if they whine when they snag one.
  17. The metal on the frog is tarnished in the manner I would expect and has the relatively "soft" look of silver. FWIW, I'm very familiar with how old unpolished silver compares to say "German Silver" (my main area of collecting interest is antique watches and the cases of many were made from either silver or various white alloys (largely nickel) called such things as silveroid, german silver and the like). Regarding the adjuster, yes the metal is different (it's appears to be a nickel alloy and not silver) and, given its somewhat poor fit, there's a good chance that it is not the original one anyway. If the bow is truly Japanese and exported for sale to the US then wouldn't it be stamped either Nippon or Japan somewhere? The McKinley act or 1890/91 required imports to the US to be marked. Of course, maybe it was brought over to the US by immigrant. Or maybe bows weren't required to be stamp? Or it dates from before 1891? (Assuming that there was a significant bow industry in Japan before 1891. Was there?) Thanks for the comments. They get me thinking (which is good). Greg P. S. As for my wild speculation on the wide frog bow, you are not doubt correct that it is just that.
  18. Neat! Thanks for posting it. When my family and I visited the Library and asked the kindly old gentleman at the info desk where these instruments were so that we might see them he pointed to a nearby door and basically said "Through there". So we sent in and had the room to ourselves for viewing...until a "real" library person came in with someone, saw us and said "What are you doing in here!". We left shortly thereafter.
  19. Re another factory violin, my wife's has a label (Gebruder Schuster) that calls is an "Art Violin" along with a date (1913) and a handwritten number (9552). Would these suggest that it was a better quality factory instrument? Pics can be made if anyone wants a look. The trademark on the label has two seahorses. Does this help identify a particular factory? Re Schuster Bros., were they actual makers? I thought I read somewhere that they were more like a department and/or music store.
  20. I'm curious as to the reason for the wide frog (and thus the width of the hair). How would it influence playing, etc.?
  21. No, as this bow is marked Germany. But being with a JTL violin perhaps it was part of one of their student "kits". I don't know if JTL sourced some of their student bows from Germany or not.
  22. FWIW, the bow with the wide frog was with a violin having a JTL label inside. Is there any playing benefit or difference in such?
  23. Martin, If you think the 1st not French, then German? Here are some pics of the labels ( 2nd, 1st and then a third from a significantly larger instrument that I bought from a violin collector/dealer. This third one looks to have been refinished and I'm less confident about its age, etc., although the label looks good. The first two came in rough unplayable shape in very old coffin cases and from non-dealers or enthusiasts. All FWIW.). Thanks again, Greg
  24. FWIW, a very similar violin labeled FR sold at auction in Maine in 2013 for $700. An example in rough condition on ebay sold for about $250 recently. A 1917 Lyon Healy catalog of "Rare Old Violins" listed one for $115. A 1931 or so Wurlitzer Collection of "Rare Violins 17th, 18th, 19th centuries" had one listed for $150. Both of the later catalogs identified theirs as French (one mentioned 1800s). It seems reasonable that if in 1917 and 1931 they were considered old, that mid to late 19th century is a fair date (and conforms to Henley's date). A late 19th century used violin sale (I can't find it again) had one listed for several pounds. Assuming the labels in the two violins shown here are genuine (they certainly look correct, old and with no suggestion of another label having ever been present...yes, I've read all about the hazards of labels and the fakery that goes on with them, but where these two violins came from and their condition at the time I can see no possible reason for these to have been relabeled since there was no possible monetary gain in doing so). So if they're late 19th century French factory (as evidence suggests), and sound/play well (both sound better than most of the violins my fellow students play) I'm happy. Thanks again for all the opinions and commentary. Greg