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Everything posted by scribe

  1. Which reminds me of my recurring which I've passed on and my wife is trying to sell them for the price I told her I'd paid for them Anyway, I've finally, just this week, emptied all my cases and filled a display cabinet. On the one hand this is good - I can see them all hanging there and appreciate them, but on the other hand, so can she ... and she can count! ( ...let's not mention the two in my "playing" case..) I've collected in a focussed way though so there is a theme to my small display.
  2. 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
  3. 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" :-)
  4. 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.
  5. Nothing is sacred it seems. 21 out of 55 bottles were fakes!
  6. Is this the same violin?
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. David Rattray might be able to advise. There are contact details on his website. He may want them for his own collection. Gordon
  13. I have one. I have pm'd you.
  14. I like Marc Sabbah's playing and the viola. The sound has an edge that I find appealing.
  15. Cleartune is worth the small fee in my view. It has lots of features with various tuning temperaments including Violin Family.
  16. 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:-
  17. scribe

    Violin Maker ID?

    Well, I'm sitting in Montrose writing this and John St is less than 10 mins walk away! Nicol is still quite a common local name. Let me know if you ever want to send it home! I need more fiddles :-) I will try and do some local research when I get a chance. Gordon.
  18. scribe

    Raphael Vaccari

    There is a photo of a 1967 violin in Liuteria Moderna in Emilia-Romagna by Artemio Versari. Gordon
  19. Irishfiddler, I sympathise with your problem. I too regularly scan the-Saleroom, but I'm wary, as most (not all) of the auctions that show up with violins are not specialist and the fiddles are often part of a general sale. I have seen examples of things that are obviously not what is claimed for them. I've bought at auction several times but only from the specialist auctions where bargains are much harder to come by but where you can have a bit more confidence in attributions and condition reports. (Or so you would think - there is one outfit based in Boston which will never get my business again after a quite flagrant failure to disclose a condition issue). I live near to one of the regular "the-Saleroom" auctions that occasionally has violins. I'll PM you again once you have a few more posts - it doesn't seem to work for you right now.
  20. Well, for me it is Johnny's right hand at 5:48 and the ensemble between the two of them from 8.00 onwards. But it is all pretty amazing. By the way, one of Johny's violins - by John Young of Aberdeen - is featured in David Rattray's great book on Scottish Violin Makers. Gordon
  21. I agree the rewards can be substantial. Mark up on auction purchases are often way in excess of 2x. - as posts here have discussed. But then the dealer has to get return on his risk taking as well as the actual outlays subsequently made on the instruments. Despite what I said in my last post my primary viola was bought at auction. And on reputation alone - I didn't even play it and I certainly feel I got lucky, though I realised when the auctioneer said "there's a lot of interest in this one" that it couldn't be that bad! (It also meant I had to pay way more than I'd hoped!). Oh - that was my first venture into the auction room and after the trauma of it all I, of course, said "never again".... Gordon
  22. Victor, I'm glad you enjoyed the experience. I was at the Bromptons June auction a couple of years ago and it was quite a day!. I've dabbled in auctions for a few years now and it is scary. By and large I've been successful, but it's not for the faint-hearted. I remember sitting there scared to move during the high-end lots and wondering where all the rapid fire bidding was actually coming from! My favourite violin for playing is still the one I auditioned carefully and over a period of time from a respectable dealership and I would advise any first time buyer of a serious instrument for playing to do likewise. However, once you catch the collecting bug - even when it's on a very modest scale like mine - auctions are hard to ignore. Gordon
  23. Hi Martin - it is none of the above. It is by Fratelli Sacchetti, - they are real enough though some of the instruments bearing their label look trade and Eric Blot doesn't rate them, based I guess on what he's seen. Oh.. and it's not the one of the same date that Bonhams sold either! It's rather garish but it's still the best playing fiddle I have and seems to project well. I did once post about the unusual break in the button and that led to an interesting discussion. p.s it did beat a "Salsedo" in my selection process! Gordon
  24. My 1929 Italian fiddle doesn't like one of my cases and developed a similar rash in the contact areas. It's also covered in fingerprints - not mine (I hope, I only hold it by the neck). I'd also like to get the rash polilshed out but it's hardly in pristine condition so I'm in no rush. If the varnish on this one ever dries, I'll be long gone! Gordon