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andrew weinstein

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Everything posted by andrew weinstein

  1. 1908 is fairly early on, these tend to be alot more like Lowendals.
  2. There is a long list of Italian makers from the 19th/20th century who used wood with worms, sometimes to give it an older look, but not always. Cavani, Soffritti, many Turin makers, Carletti, Pedrazinni, amongst others. There was a good article in the VSA journal some years back on worm. You can heat the wood, don't remember the exact temp, maybe 150 -200 ( that's Fah. Melvin) which is supposed to kill both worm and egg, and also borax. As for the utility of this wood, you need to assume that you are seeing only the tip of the iceberg. If your back has 2or 3 holes, try it. If you have 10 or more , you probably have swiss cheese
  3. As far as bridge width, I would not agree with the idea that a bridge shouldn't be wider than the ff's narrowest point. There are many violins ( J & A Gagliano, e.g) that are typically around 36 mm apart and don't seem to fall apart more than others. I could see that you would use a 40 mm blank to tyr and get more normal relationships with bassbar and post, but I wouldn't want to instill panic into people who have bridges wider than their ff's
  4. This is one where there is no real right answer, and whatever works best for you, considering both tone and playability , is what you should go for. In this case, it appears the neck is shorter than the usual 13 cm, which is one way to compensate for a long stop, though it has the downside of making the usual 2:3 ratio of neck to stop even further off, assuring that you run into the neck heel at lower positions. I would try what you suggest, move the bridge and post up towards the neck and find the best compromise you can, though if it sounds better up there it's not a compromise anyway.
  5. fwiw, the violin doesn't look very good to me. Looks more like a Glass
  6. I never meant to imply your intentions were anything other than increasing your understanding, which I assume is why all of us are here. As for the Strad fluting question, although I don't recall asymmetry, I would leave that to those who have more access to Strads. I do know that they tend to deepen quickly and then flatten out ( I assume we're talking about the back of the pegbox) like you would get using a narrow radius gouge along the center and chamfer and then connect the two with a much flatter gouge. BTW, this sort of points to how helpful it is to be in the position to make a bench copy,which for a Strad doesn't happen to many of us. But imagine at each step of construction being able to check the original, it makes you look at details you just don't see when you pick up a fiddle to admire it.
  7. Thanks David for the kind words. I'll say that you are one of those who put the Maestro into maestronet, and your posts are always both informative and amusing, which is a challenge. Back to the thread, a good point has been made in that we look at violins differently for different purposes. As someone who constantly looks with a buying eye, I tend to look for problems such as authenticity and missing parts. Often times , and maybe more so at auction you find examples that show other hands, and aren't exactly quintessential examples that are instantly recognizable. There are also numerous cases where opinions have changed with time, such as some violins sold as Ruggieris that were actually Grancinos, and all those Bergonzi cellos that are now Venetian. So while it's great to have the opportunity to admire great examples, such as the Del Gesu exhibit years ago, I find it an oversimplification to state that identifying the old masters is easy. That said, Janito's point is well taken, he is seeking info that he can use to inform his work. We are fortunate these days to have such great books available as tools, especially for Strad and del Gesu, which offer a great deal of useful info. And since most of us go a long time between seeing those instruments, it's even more important to have them. It would be hard to compile a list of details for each maker, though Strad magazine articles often have interior shots which are useful. Lastly, there was a great story which opened the book "Blink", about a museum that purchased some ancient Greek statues. They passed all kinds of scientific tests, right marble and age, and yet the best experts were immediately uncomfortable with them for reasons they had trouble explaining. Eventually they were proven to be clever forgeries. Why I find this story relevant is that details are important, but when you have first hand experience with something you gain a fuller understanding that can't always be quantified.
  8. Some other details for Guad 1) Scroll often has squarish pin pricks on the volute, and the center line is higher than the side chamfers 2) Purfling often is, or appears to be walnut, and the black is poorly stained The problem you'll find is that it's not so hard to recognize models and compile lists of details, but copyists can do those. It really isn't possible to develop expertise without seeing the instruments in hand, especially for a sense of varnish and true age.
  9. Yes, it is a mistake to assume that all the work of any maker is the same. Bisiach ran a large shop, and made different grade violins. Later Poggis are made by his pupil, and this could well apply to others on this list, as it was a common way to deal with the increased demand of a good reputation.
  10. It seems extremely unlikely that several people would have bid that high based onthe photos provided, the description, and the seller's rating. I believe the earlier comment about it going for 1/2 that by a reputable dealer, referred to an ebay sale without shill bidding. If it was well photographed it may have gone that high. I suppose one other possibility is that some local violin people visited the seller to see the violin in person, and based their bids on an in hand examination.
  11. 2 quick points 1) It is very hard to positively ID an instrument from pics, though it is possible to rule them out. It also requires a higher level of photography ( eg, pahdah hound listings) 2) The designation atelier of Heberlein greatly reduces the value. We sold one last year for $1,600, and it was perfect, so if we give this violin the benefit of the doubt for authenticity, it's still no bargain
  12. The ones I see are, like Hopf, from Klingenthal or nearby , and as David says, they can be made into quite decent violins.
  13. I'd say some of the better copyists, like Sgarabotto and Sannino come to mind. Sgarabotto made both straight and antiqued instruments, and of the latter, most are gold yellow and not especially convincing, but there are others with more orange, generally either Guad or Grancino models, which are quite good and have fooled alot of people. The problem with the original question is that often the variation comes from other hands, eg. Katarina, and likely the Hamma Storionis.
  14. Although these were originally made in the early 19th century, the name was used extensively in Mirecourt 100 years ago, and odds are that is what you have. It is common for the mirecourt violins to have short necks, set low (overstand) with a high angle.
  15. You mean I can't really buy a del Gesu for $5,600?? It should be reported to ebay, but I don't know how to do it.
  16. It may be good to measure the angle of the strings going over the bridge before you do anything. As for planing the neck, this can be done when the overstand is on the high side and the neck is on the thick side. Sometimes you can also plane from the bottom of the fingerboard ,in the center lengthwise, especially if it's not flat. Of course this reduces overall neck thickness by the same amount as planing the neck itself. I would expect you would need to remove a full mm from this area , which is a substantial amount.It may also be advisable to contact the maker if possible.
  17. It looks pretty French to me. The top does have Caussin style antiquing, though it seems to missing on the rest of the violin.Probably c.1875
  18. Are you able to post pics? If it looks like a Duke, it would probably be okay.
  19. This technique from Weishaar may well be the worst idea in the book. It is easier to fit, but those square joints are much more dangerous than Brad's patch, done soundpost patch style. And even more dangerous on instruments with a deep channel. I tend to make mine wider than Brads', trading the invisibility for some extra strength.
  20. One more thing to factor in is the thickness of ribs/linings. As a heavy lining/rib combo will give you substantially more glue surface, you need to use a weaker glue than if they were thin. I have a couple clients with Neapolitan violins with thin linings, and if they only come in twice a year with large open seams that's lucky, and on those two violins I use full strength glue.
  21. Just want to be clear here, I am not in general in favor of adding inserts. One of the differences between making and repairing is that in repairing you have to approach each situation as it's own unique case. With a normal shrinkage crack, where the gap is widest where the plate attaches to the ribs and gradually tapers out, I would do it how Brad suggests , unless I took the top off. In this case, Philip may have inadvertently widened it a bit trying to fit an insert. It is quite possible the wod is somewhat compressed, and the hot glue may swell it back together to some extent. So, with this added info, I would like to modify my original thoughts. The biggest danger would be to put an insert in that , due to swelling, acted as a wedge to open the joint above the current end of the separation. So, you can do 2 things, pretty much as Philip says in his last post. 1)Just use hot glue, and maybe assist the swelling by heating a thin spatula over an alcohol lamp and placing a wet cloth, perhaps folded to be two layers thick, on the crack and gently press the hot spatula. You should hear a slight sizzle from steam being made. Naturally this has be done with great care normally to not harm the varnish, but that seems less relevant in this case. 2)You could still do the insert, but it should be very loose, even though this may produce a visually less satisfactory result.
  22. There is a very unnatural look to that crack, the way it appears to go from wide open to tightly shut without any transition. It's hard to know what would cause a crack like that, the lower block appears intact. Normally I would agree with Brad's advice,but in this case I have trouble imagining it coming together. Unless you want to take the top off ( and the strong glue here gives concern for the longevity of the restoration) I'd go with the insert
  23. Perhaps a month ago there was an article in the Boston Globe about Ebay, where they discussed the phenomenon that in a listing of a product ( Computer game ??) where there were multiple ones available, and you could buy it now, people would continually bid higher in the bidding auction, though they still had the option to buy it now. With cheap violins, there are so many possible problems beyond cracks, e.g., is the neck in straight, and any one of them will totally change the equation of whether or not the violin is worth the money. The advice to buy with a return policy is good, though those dealers tend to get pretty close to retail in many cases.
  24. Hi Peter, I'm not sure which two violins, I want to say the Cappa and the Strad. It may well be that I'm just not that familiar with the terms commonly used in these reports, but highly significant match sounds alot more sure than what I recall. My laymans interpretation of what I thought I was reading was " it looks a bit like this but could be alot of other things as well"
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