martin swan

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  1. None of these are what the OP is asking about ...
  2. martin swan

    Bow length

    74.5cm is very much the standard, but it’s not set in stone. Many Persoits favoured by soloists are closer to 73.5. every now and then you come across a really long bow, possibly made for a very tall player - we have a Sartory that’s 75.4. It doesn’t easily fit in a case but it plays just fine.
  3. just looks like flare on a heavily polished fingerboard to me ....
  4. Johann Georg Thir (varnish probably not original ....) Not saying there's much similarity, just discussing f-hole length.
  5. Why not have the scroll from your friend's cello ...? Though in my own view, the best thing to do is to have a copy scroll made for the cello in the style of Dom Nicolo Amati. There are many superb copyists who could make a scroll that's totally in character, and which matches visually in all respects. It seems silly to put an extraneous scroll on it "from the period" when that scroll might itself otherwise be reuinted with its body at some point in the distant future. As your own scenario illustrates, putting a Gofriller scroll on a Dom Nicolo Amati or vice versa is asking for trouble, since at some point in the future someone will quite possibly want to buy the scroll and not the instrument.
  6. I suppose for me the question would be whether the original varnish was stripped or washed off, in which case an instrument would be described as revarnished. "Over-varnished" and "heavily retouched" have slightly different meanings ... It's possible that this varnish has simply lost a lot of colour, in which case you might describe it as "washed out" ...
  7. I'm not aware of any website that does this. There is a ?Chinese website that takes information from auction records and extrapolates investment potential, but that's pretty meaningless, if not downright dangerous. does a reasonable job of giving retail values for the most significant makers.
  8. In the violin world, all experts are also dealers .... the rest follows.
  9. Agree that it's probably revarnished ...
  10. Looks a bit like Thir, so maybe late 18th century Vienna form its outward appearance. Inner work and the bottom rib construction would give more clues ...
  11. This is a bit more exhaustive : There are a couple of cellos known. I do worry about the idea that someone might be contemplating buying a Dom Nicolo Amati cello, yet remain unconvinced by a Charles Beare certificate, and be confused by the fact that it has a Bergonzi label and that the dendro matches wood found in a Peter Guarneri. It seems that you need either a lot more knowledge (a few years' concentrated study might be enough), or a bit more faith in the person selling it. I think if you were actually considering buying something like this you would already have one or the other.
  12. Absence of evidence to the contrary suggests that the OP did indeed flush $1500 down the toilet.
  13. But what he did in his very long working life was to set out with phenomenal tool skills, make a couple of thousand instruments, and bring the violin to a point of completeness. To emulate the basic level of extraordinary competence is very difficult if not impossible in the modern world, and the end point (a fully realised violin) has already been attained, so it's not a "pure spiritual practice" to try to emulate it. This photo of Everest might illustrate what I mean ...
  14. 1. not a prejudice, but for a 300 year old violin to sound great it needs to have a lot more than just 300 years of ageing. It also needs to start out with excellent materials, sublime arching and thicknessing, great proportions, and possibly some immeasurable "essence" or beauty of conception. 2. we can also reason that because the majority don't sound amazing, it might not be something which can be attributed to its age 3. no - perfectly possible to create a violin that will last for 300 years and which will sound terrrible throughout. Besides, who wants to be prosperous and highly respected in 300 years? 4. the pursuit of this particular fantasy is so pervasive, every time someone just mutters "secret of Stradivari" we go to about 30 pages. I think that says it all. It's great to have an ideal, but the myth of Stradivari is self-perpetuating. In my view it's an unhelpful ideal, since the single most important element of a Stradivari is the fact that it's a Stradivari.
  15. We certainly wouldn't want to replicate the acoustic properties of the majority of 300 year old wood, since the majority of 300 year old violins sound very poor. Rather we want to emulate the acoustic properties of the wood on those few 300 year old violins that do sound good. And since this is obviously neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for making a great violin, why bother? Deep down, most modern makers don't want to make a violin that sounds as good as a Stradivari, they want to make a violin which is as desirable as a Stradivari.