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Everything posted by jackc

  1. It's been proven countless times that we attach inordinate value to objects that have been owned by great artists. Even not so great, but noted ones. See the "Violin Related Instrument Sells for $1.1M" thread for another angle. Why do we do this? Is it the same thing that makes people see J esus in moldy bread? BTW, J_esus is a censored word in this forum. Fortunately, software is easy to fool.
  2. It's not a Strad. It's not even Italian. It was made in a factory. It has been totally reconstructed. It was used to play hillbilly music. But it still sold for more than a million bucks. No, it's not Dolly Parton's implants... Monroe's mandolin fetches $1.1M
  3. These stamped bridges are merely artifacts of bourgeois culture. They are not to be given any merit. Darnton and his running dogs of capitalism will find their ruin when the proletariat balsa wood violin of Joseph Curtin makes all violin exploitation a thing of the past. All labels will be removed, all certs burned, and all violin family instruments painted gray, stamped with a number, and issued by the state. Then we will have true equality, fraternity, yadda, yadd, yadda. And maybe I'll get to own a Strad.
  4. Available at International Violin for $12.95- use this link
  5. Hijacking the thread again... I found the reference to Rembert Wurlitzer at Dieudonne's shop. It's in Fairfield's Known VIolin Makers, 1999 edition p.186. It states that he studied with James Carlisle in Cincinnatti for 6 months in 1924 and then went to Mirecourt to study with Dieudonne for 18 mos. He then traveled Europe and studied under Alfred Hill, among others. Nice education, I'd say, anyway, the connection between Wurlitzer and Dieudonne is clear, as Bob said. BTW, the price range estimate for Dieudonne's violins is $5-10K in the '99 edition of Fairfield.
  6. Anyone want to create a pool to bet on the final price?
  7. Ed Baxter (Fubbi2) has done an incredible amount of work in compiling this information. It's a great way to find out if there is any trace of a particular name in any of the references from which he's drawn info. You may be able to find more information there, such as some old auction price info, dates, etc., and he's added photos. I don't have the version with photos. The database does not contain the full text of Henley's or any other reference, for example (maybe Ed was trying not to reproduce all the errors?). I bought it about 3 years ago, and used it a lot at one time. I'd look up the name in the database, and if it was there I'd go looking in the books, though I don't have them all. With all due respect to Ed, he's not a software engineer, and the interface could be better. I actually wrote my own search interface to make things simpler. It in MS Access, so anyone who knows that program can create a 'front end', But he's added a lot of photos, and maybe he's improved the interface as well. If you don't want to buy all the books, but would like to be able to find out whether a name is a trade name or just a made up name, as opposed to real maker, it's a small investment for a lot of info. I figure that Ed will eventually make enough selling it to pay for the huge investment he's made in the books, but he may never recover the huge investment in his time. Thanks to Ed for all the hard work.
  8. I like the two-tone violin. Bob, do you know the year of your Wurlitzer catalog? Thanks
  9. Well, I wish I could find the reference to the statement that Rembert Wurlitzer studied under Dieudonne in 1924--he would have been 20 years of age--but I can't. However, I don't think I made it up. If I can find where I read it, I'll be sure to post it. I've added some other photos to the page. The "Dieudonnish thing" that I have has very precisely cut ffs. The gap between the lower wing and the bottom of the f hole is barely large enough to get a jeweler's saw blade through--like 0.1 mm. And it has very well done fluting on the ffs. The F holes are very nicely done, and that is only significant in that somebody was very careful when they cut them, not like a piece worker. But maybe it's of no significance at all, I don't know. The one I have looks very much like the one Jesse shows. F holes and corners are very much the same. Mine has Dieudonne's label, and a number "222", dated 1924. In handwritten script "The Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., Cincinatti." The wood is also similar to Jesses, maybe not quite as good. Finally, the age (fine checking, etc.) in the varnish is also similar. I think Jesse's is a bit nicer, but they are close. Dimitry Gindin looked at mine and was of the opinion that it is a shop model. I certainly wouldn't argue with him. Dieudonne photos
  10. quote: Another interesting tidbit: The luthier said he will not go through this trouble with any Coda bow but the Classic. The reason? The ferrule. He said that the Classic is the only bow in the Coda line with a sterling silver ferrule, and that it's the ferrule which makes the final cut of the hair during re-assembly. He says that nickel and gold ferrules will not hold a sharp edge, making the very best rehair impossible. In any event, he seems to know his stuff. I don't understand the "makes the final cut of the hair during reassembly" statement. Can anyone explain what this means? I've done lots of rehairs, and I can't figure out what this is saying. Thanks.
  11. Since cracks and soundpost patches devalue the average instrument drastically, I'm curious what a 1734 Del Gesu that has as many cleats and patches as the one pictured in Gregg Alf's photos is worth compared to one that has no, or fewer, cracks. Put another way, if a DG or Strad or even a lesser Italian is still priceless with damage, why is a good quality modern German or French instrument devalued by 50% by a crack or a patch? Is it simply the rarity of the DG? It reminds me of the woman who told me once, when I was a cabinetmaker, "I only buy antiques". I replied, "I am making antiques, they just aren't old yet". Also, on topic, I've experimented with CA glue in spruce cracks. It seems to work very well. When I dropped a jar of varnish on a nearly complete top I had made, and it cracked full length in 3 places, I glued it together with CA. I'm not going to use that top, but it seemed to work very well and is invisible where the cracks went together well. Is it reversible? Well, there is solvent available, but I've never wanted to reverse a repair like that yet, so I don't know.
  12. It's what's known as a passive Radio Freqency Identification tag, or RFID tag for short. It's a microchip, usually glued to a substrate that acts as an antenna. The scanner, usually called a reader, sends out RF that is strong enough to power the chip, which "reflects" the RF back (technically called "back-scattering") in a way that encodes an identifying number. Wal-Mart has mandated that all of it's suppliers will start placing these on all cartons of goods that come into it's distribution centers so that they will know what's just been received. The Dept. of Defense is doing the same for it's suppliers. These things will become ubiquitous on all goods within 5 years, like bar codes are today on most everything. The advantage with RFID is that no one has to scan the tag, it is automagically scanned when it comes near the reader. Then a computer somewhere compares the number to a record of what it's attached to, and somebody somewhere then knows what the thing is that has been scanned--dog, cat, box of Wheaties cereal, or violin bow by a famous maker. Some people fear that this is big brother on steroids, but there's some good new for those folks. The reliability of passive RFID is not good. The tags can only be read from a few feet away when they have antennas attached, and only if they are angled properly. Think of shining a flashlight into a mirror--straight on it's bright coming back, but if you angle the flashlight, the brightness drops quickly. For pets and violin bows, the chip will probably have only a very tiny antenna, and so will only be readable from within a few inches. Wrap them in aluminum foil, and they are invisible to the reader. It will never be an effective way to track people from any distance. GPS sounds good, but is too big, too expensive, and too power hungry for general use in tracking things. It will happen more as it becomes smaller and cheaper as all technology does. So for pets, it may happen some day, but it will be a loooong time before there's GPS in violin bows. And then, why? BTW, I work in this field, so I know more about this topic than I do about violins and bows, for example...
  13. I think that to believe that revarnishing ends the viability of an instrument would imply that a violin should never have been varnished in the first place. The reason we all view factory instruments as sub par is that no one in the factory normall has the job of making sure that the violin is pleasing aesthetically and that it sounds as good as a workman's experience can make it sound. And because the trained and experienced artist/craftsman violinmaker (such as those we are lucky enough to have commenting here) does all that to the best of their ability, we hold their work in much higher regard. It's a Keynesian ecomonic approach to a market, where production is the most important thing, as opposed to, say, a human-oriented approach where the iintegrity of the product, and it's producer, is paramount. Wow, I really got off topic there, didn't I?
  14. I second ApartmentLuthier's recommendation of Michael Darnton's article from the GAL Journal or Big Red Book. It's excellent and comprehensive. Carving up a bridge isn't so hard--but making it look good and do it's job as well as it can is very hard. This article I think is pretty helpful: Lars Kirmser's Bridge Paper
  15. Thanks, Neil. The links seem to work for me, but thanks. BTW, there are 3 different violins pictured. The first two photos are the same violin--probably the best of the 3. They are all by amatuers, which I think is clear to see. And I think all 3 of these amatuer makers used the Heron-Allen patterns, which is also easy to see. I think Matt's violin looks a little better than the one's I show. Manfio, which violin were you commenting on, Matt's or one of the other 3?
  16. It's because the Germans and French made a gazillion trade violins for export to the US. So they are very common, and quality is all over the map. But guess what? They aren't doing this anymore, so these violins (the good examples) will be more highly valued over time. Nothing that will make anyone wealthy (except of course Pahdah_Hound), but some of them are good. Check out the articles by Jim McKean -- Inexpensive Doesn't Mean Cheap
  17. Can somebody supply the link for this one? I'd like to see it. Ebay is my best entertainment. Yes, I have no life.
  18. I've seen a few of these, and they didn't look or sound very good. I've also read that Gibson produced these in the USA during the WW II years as no manufactured violins were coming in from Germany or France. They appear to have domestic maple, and their shape is a bit off. So I tend to think that the theory that they were made domestically by a guitar company holds some truth. But I don't know for sure. Check this link...
  19. Matt - I think it looks handmade by an amatuer. The work is very clean, but not many manufactured violins come out that color. Usually the factory is going to use a varnish color that is not so yellow. For example, no decent chinese instruments are that color. A few older Mirecourt products approach that, but those are the only older violins that come close. But many amatuer makers use a golden yellow varnish. Don't ask me why, but I've seen it a lot on American amatuer makers with varnish that color -- at least four examples I can think of. Also the scroll looks a lot like what skilled woodworkers, but not trained makers, produce from the Ed Heron-Allen patterns. I can't tell exactly if the shape is the Heron Allen shape, but that's another diagnostic of amatuer makers products, because so many of us had that book (Violin Making - As It Was and Is) as our first book on making. Here are some photos.
  20. I think it's interesting that the rib corners extend all the way to the edge of the top and back corners. That is, there is almost no overhang there. BTW, this comment brought to you by Richf, who helped me to recover my ability to login here...thanks.
  21. I'm usually understanding about new software to a fault. That's because I'm a programmer myself. I work every day with some of the WORST software ever written. I have an MS in Computer Science, but it took an economist (thanks, Richf) to show me how to be able to login to this forum again. My password didn't work. I couldn't access my profile. I couldn't post. I couldn't reply. Worst, I couldn't contact an administrator. I even tried rejoining with a new username, but I never received a new password. So I haven't been impressed with the new software, to say the very least. But I'm finally in, and I'm sure I'll get over the trauma. With new software, it's always one step back, then two steps forward. So far I've only made one step to get back to where I was. Let's give this some time, we'll learn to love it. I've already been able to attach multiple JPEGs, which I could not do before. And this editor is a bit better than the previous one. And I'm sure that Glenn is working double overtime to get this thing running well. So thanks, Glenn, we're trying to be patient.
  22. I've got a M. Suzuki from about that period. The wood is not much to look at, and the label is in English, so it may not be what you're looking for. Photos attached (I think).
  23. I've read that Edgar Meyer, the bassist of unlimited talent, uses a $200 bow. Nothing special in terms of history or maker. Of course, it's a bass bow, but I would think it's still noteworthy. Does anyone know if this is true? From me it's only hearsay...
  24. I remember Michael Darnton posting info regarding the fact that hide glue will not soften in heat unless there is some moisture involved. Of course, as humid as it's been in the aforementioned states this summer, there was surely moisture involved, just maybe not enough, since as temperature goes up, relative humidity falls. From Brad's post, I guess we can infer that it won't soften with water either, unless there is some heat involved. Although I think if the violin had been in water for an hour, the outcome may have been different. I have had some oil varnish soften in the heat this summer. Nothing bad, just a little case lining imprint.
  25. A few of us went to Washington DC last week and met Dmitry Gindin, one of Jason's partners and one the pricipals of Tarisio. He looked at some of our violins and was very gracious with information. His specialty is modern Italian violins, of which we had none, so our instruments didn't cause much excitement, except for a French cello that he liked. Here's a link to his web page. Dmitry Gindin's site However, we had a great time meeting and talking with Dmitry, and enjoyed the time he took to talk to us. Some of our instruments will probably find their way into the Tarisio December auction of lower-priced violins.
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