Dave Slight

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    Manchester, England

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  1. Yes, I'm sure it will show up at other places too. As with anything, trying to use one feature to identify instruments will lead to ridiculous conclusions.
  2. Perhaps not regularly, but it was done by some English makers. I'm sure I have a few pictures of this on various things where they still retain their original necks. It is also found on cellos and violas. With cellos there can be another screw placed low down from the inside too. The most common way by far however, was the single screw through the neck block from inside the body.
  3. The scroll does look very brutal compared to the body. Zooming in the pics shows a step between the neck root and button where the neck has been badly glued in. Either it’s been out and repaired by a clown, or it is from something else.
  4. For instruments, dendochronological testing is done optically, requiring nothing more than high resolution photos. If you don’t understand the procedures involved, it would be better to post nothing, rather than spread bad information and scaremongering.
  5. Maybe only a bit nearer to home, I think it is a very basic French violin. From what I can see, it looks like it is purfled, not scribed, but my screen hasn’t the highest resolution. One piece tops crop up regularly on all sorts of things, so it is not much of an indicator by itself.
  6. Only in a parallel universe.
  7. From the other post, dated June: I'm assuming this was bought without viewing the instrument in person, which only goes to highlight the problems of buying in this way. As six months have passed, I think it will be far too late to expect the auctioneers to do anything, other than offer it in another sale on your behalf. Whoever owned it previously will have been paid out shortly after the sale. That said, the onus is on you to be sure that what you are buying is what you expect, not on them. The auctioneer is only the vendor. Obviously you are unhappy with the situation, but the terms of buying at auction are clearly set out, if you choose to read them. I don't think it is fair to expect the auctioneers to spend hours going over dozens and dozens of low price instruments, writing out all the faults, where even if it sells, their commission might amount to £20.
  8. Testore did not use a mould, the instruments probably being built up on the back (although the ribs could have been built first on a flat board, and then the outline then taken from them). Given that there is no mould to define the outline, assuming a template was used to set either the back outline, or the rib outline, it was rather loosely adhered to at times. While they fit a concept, the dimensions do vary, along with the overall outline. I don't think it was for any particular acoustic or structural reason, more a quirk of the making process at times, which in this example, seems more extreme than others. As to the flatness you refer to, this can often be seen in the work of several makers, notably Del Gesu, Storioni and others. In some cases it seems that the lower block has little to no curvature, and was just planed flat. Sometimes there is just a slight flatness at the block area, on others it can make the lower bouts take on more the outline expected in a cello.
  9. Certainly it would seem that the number of tools were limited to just the basics of what was needed, and I could well believe they maybe had only a roughing gouge, and a smaller gouge. That said, some Italian work from around the same period has fluting on the back of the pegbox, which at times looks like it could have been cut with a knife, working in from the sides. Often these are quite shallow, as I'm sure you have seen yourself, and it is quickly done. While they obviously worked quickly, and without a lot of fuss, I still can't see it being solely a time saving method, personally I think there is more to it. It is quicker not to do it of course, but it would save only a little time in reality. As they are not around any more to ask, we will just have to speculate on the reason!
  10. I agree that original Testore's aren't the most accurately made, or symmetrical instruments out there, but inspiration can come in many forms for making a new instrument. I like to make neat looking instruments, and these days I prefer a regular and symmetrical outline. In the past I made things which followed all the asymmetries and quirks, but I no longer like this look, and therefore have abandoned this method for now. I don't think that omitting fluting on the rear of the pegbox was done to save time, we are only talking about some minutes with a gouge and scraper. I think the reason may have been different. When you flute the back of the pegbox, the wood can become very thin, which can limit how deep the pegbox can safely be. With no fluting, you can cut the pegbox deeper, and keep a lot of strength. This would allow extra room under the pegs, so that thick strings would not bind on the pegbox floor for example. Therefore, I see this as a thought out part of Testore's design and chose to include it in my violin. The placement of the pegs also shows that thought went into his design here, having a much wider spacing between the pegs. On some violin scrolls, the pegs are so close together that when you turn the G for example, your knuckle hits the D peg, this can be quite annoying when trying to tune up before playing. It might not seem a big deal, but if you try both side by side, you would feel the advantage. I referred to the violin as based on Testore, which is exactly what it is. I never set out to produce a copy in the accepted sense, and I find the term "copy" rather problematic in many cases, being very loosely applied and over reaching. Personal decisions always have to be made in any making process, and these may not be viewed in the same way by everyone. Ultimately how an instrument sounds and plays defines its success for me.
  11. Thank you, Mike. For this violin, I started with a fairly pale ground, and used yellow pigments to tone the varnish. The varnish itself added some yellow with a touch of golden brown too. It is hard to accurately photograph the true colour, but these on the bench show it closer to reality.
  12. Thank you, Ken. I find it difficult to take good photos, violins are not easy things photograph! It's only when you try, that you realise just how good the photographers who work for places like Tarisio are, and how much time they must spend adjusting lighting just to get one good shot. Even if you can get the colour right, maybe the flames of the maple don't show so well, or vice versa. The back is quite well figured, but looks fairly plain in the pictures due to the lighting.
  13. I added the marks and dings. The original was peppered with gouges, dents, scratches and a lot of wear, but I didn't want to go that far.