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  1. George Duncan emigrated to Innisfail, Alberta. I did a lot of research on this after buying the 1886 viola and an 1880 violin. After raking through heaps of records and tracking him down,, a 1921 Canadian violin ( with Glasgow label suitably amended for Innisfail !) turned up at Skinners which I was happy to repatriate. It is probably my favourite violin for sound not bad looking either, though the detail is less precise than the viola. As for James Duncan, I know his granddaughter.. I will pass on the favourable comments on his fiddle. Gordon
  2. A friend has a rather poor and battered instrument that she's had for decades and brought over from Australia with her when she came to the UK. I always think the best thing about it is the bridge, stamped "A. E. Smith" :-)
  3. When I was using a Bon Musica rest I used to unscrew the 'over the shoulder' bit before placing in the case . It wasn't really that much hassle.
  4. Nothing is sacred it seems. 21 out of 55 bottles were fakes!
  5. Is this the same violin?
  6. I have a vivid memory of Isaac Stern striding on to the stage swinging his Guarneri by the scroll! Holding an instrument by the neck is surely the safest way to hold an instrument? I am always horrified to see people grabbing an instrument by the body with hands all over the varnish. I was letting a friend try out a few of my violins the other week..a nerve racking experience. The worst moment was when the mint condition fiddle got placed on her knees whilst she marked up the part and the bow was placed on the belly of the violin...I was alerted by the the clattering noise! I know dings are inevitable but I would like to think that my instruments will leave their time with me in at least as good condition as when we first met ... sometimes they will be in better shape! Anyone else have pet peeves? Instruments on chairs? Aaargh!
  7. Different meanings defintely! I can't wait to hear Martin's definitions Oh, and having met him briefly I would have said he was cultured but unpretentious.
  8. Yes peg box and twice in a week. My friend's breakages were in the same place. I was a bit spooked to discover the second breakage 30mins before a concert! All I had at the time was a used Karneol long scale G in my case - I put it on to replace the short scale G on the smaller viola I was using and it has been fine ever since. I switched to Zyex (my previous favourite) for the larger viola at the last string change but I will go back to Karneol at the next change. As well as the sound, I like the tension and feel of Karneols. Indeed all the Warchal strings I have tried have felt good under the fingers. I use them on my violins too. Gordon
  9. I've had this issue too - as did my friend after I had recommended them (!!) I'm hoping it was just a bad batch, because I like them.
  10. I have a violin which used to have a wolf on G#. Unusual, yes, and persistent, confounding all the typical taming strategies. So it lingered in it's case until I purchased an endoscope which enabled me to find quite be accident that the bass bar had become unglued somewhat in the middle. My local luthier fixed this and the wolf disappeared in the process. I would imagine this is not the case with yours, but it may be worth eliminating as a possible cause.
  11. David Rattray might be able to advise. There are contact details on his website. He may want them for his own collection. Gordon
  12. I have one. I have pm'd you.
  13. I like Marc Sabbah's playing and the viola. The sound has an edge that I find appealing.
  14. Cleartune is worth the small fee in my view. It has lots of features with various tuning temperaments including Violin Family.
  15. I bought one of the cheap ones just to see how it worked. All I was wanting to do was look for internal brands and other identifiers that might be hidden. However one of my violins had a troublesome wolf on G# that was tamed but still left it with an unpredictable response which made me reluctant to play it. On a whim, most likely remembering something I have read in this forum, I had another go with the endoscope, pointed it at the bass bar and found this:-