Greg F.

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Everything posted by Greg F.

  1. Regarding pinned adjusters, should one, in general, set these aside as possibly French? I have one such on what looks to be a very low end Japanese bow (based on the wood as there is no marking) and another loose silver one that I can't recall where it came from. Should I save them for another day (bow)?
  2. FWIW, the frog looks like a good fit to the stick. On the slide is what looks like "IIV" while on the stick is "VII".
  3. Martin, Thank you for your helpful insights. Here are some additional pictures. The end metal part of the adjuster was loose from the bow when I got it and (gasp!) I glued it in place. The other metal ring on the adjusted appears to have a line that looks like it might have been soldered. There are no pins in the adjuster. In a previous thread, the wood for the bow was identified as amourette. Greg
  4. This is off the topic of this bow, but can any of the knowledgeable members help me understand what to look for in bow identification, at least as regards factory bows? If nothing else, can, for example, a frog help to id a possible JTL (or French) bow from a German one? Here is a frog that perhaps can be compared and contrasted with the one above. All my bows are cheapies, so I would assume it is a factory product. Thoughts on country or region of manufacture? Or is such not possible for factory bows. Thanks in advance. P. S. Please spare me the answer: read a dozen books and spend years looking at bows, or else read years of old MN threads. What is the point of a message board like this if you can't get some hints/helps/ideas (even if an incomplete set) from knowledgeable persons online?
  5. Greg F.

    bow wood id

    FWIW, above are some outdoor pics of the bows (should be in the same order). As for how they play, I'm a beginner and can only say that 1-3 give a fuller sound (to my ear) than 4, but all are better than most of my others (some of which are decidedly "flat" or dull). Thanks for the help with the id.
  6. Greg F.

    bow wood id

    Wondering what the wood is on some of my cheapie bows. fiddlecollector id'd the top one as amourette previously, and would appreciate knowledgeable opinions on the others. Thanks in advance. The two pics are of the same bows with different brightness.
  7. Found a similar (not identical but note the adjuster) looking bow in a 1908 Sears catalog that mentions an "extra wide frog". No reason given for why.
  8. Just wondering how people define a "better old bow" that is not "top of the line"? Must it be a "collectible" single maker bow with silver or gold fittings (regardless of how it might "play") or are there any old factory bows that would qualify? Perusing some of the old catalogs, such as JTL, they offered bows for 40 cents up to $42 with everything (a dizzying variety) in between. Some nickel mounted bows of snakewood, etc., were priced in the $4-6 range (no small sum in the 1880s for a "luxury item" when a worker for ordinary wages might make $1-2 per day). Would such qualify as a potential "better" bow or must such be pernambuco with silver or gold? Did the old factories (in the 19th and early 20th century) have better access to large quantites of better bow wood than is available today?
  9. My oops! It only occurred to me later that "VD" was, perhaps, not a "proper" abbrev. Apologies.
  10. VD has provided an excellent detailed analysis, but, generally, if you mention violin and ebay in the same post most MN'ers will tell you that have a "German/Saxon/Markie" instrument because, evidently, no violins appearing there were made elsewhere...unless recently in China.
  11. I put it all back together (after a minor bit of straightening, etc.) with new hair and the bow seems to give a better sound than most of my other cheapies. Overall playing weight is about 63.2g. I plan to add a thumb leather but no wire. It's especially neat to have the wood identified by a very knowledgeable member. Thanks for the replies.
  12. The wood on this bow looked reasonably nice to my eyes (but all I have to compare it with are my "collection" of inexpensive students bows) so I was wondering if any bow aficionados have a thought or two on rough era and country of manufacture. It weighs about 58.5 g (with frog and all the bits present, but there is no wrap, hair or thumb leather). Does heavy equate to a cheap student bow? It measures (end-to-end without the adjuster) 727 mm. It is round and the wood is rather dark. There are some areas where what looks like darker vertical lines are present but such do not extend for the length of the stick (imitation snakewood?). There is a "IIV" on the slide and a "VII" on the stick. My plan to make it usable again in any case. Thanks in advance.
  13. I won't hold that against you; some of my friends collect clocks. BTW, there is a "von" among my German ancestors but no "van".
  14. Carl, Based on my newbie reading of your posts I thought you might be Russian, but I guess you're not telling (had to think for a second about which "you're" there). I won't bore you or anyone with my own background other than to say I live in God's country (Colorado). I find your (one of those words again) posts to be informed, well written, opinionated, thought provoking and a bit (a little of an understatement) priggish at times. From all that has been written in this post it seems the consensus is that the OP should try violins at a shop and purchase one there, although I chose the ebay route when upgrading my son's instrument. I am very familiar with ebay, though not as a violin dealer, and have to question how much someone who writes "eBay is a place were crooks hide. eBay's reson d'etre is to unload stuff which can't be sold in any other way" actually knows about the venue. If ones believes this is universally true then I doubt that they "religiously" follow the offerings there and, thus, have no idea of the full range of goods available: fake to awful to good to quite extraordinary. Maybe things are different with violins, but in my own collecting/buying/selling area of antique watches there are many good and even exceptional buys to be made. Lots-o-stuff sold on ebay is "fresh" to the market having never passed through the hands of a dealer or collector and so the potential for the occasional treasure exists. But you do have to enjoy the hunt. Sincerely, Greg
  15. Gotta love the internet. How did we ever live without it?
  16. Martin, Thanks for the reply. For a newbie like me could you point out what makes this look like a 1920s or later violin? Also, what is the purpose of a throwaway label? Or am I misunderstanding your point? Greg
  17. 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.
  18. Is MK obvious from the corners near flush with the top and delta on back of scroll?
  19. 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 (?).
  20. 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.
  21. 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