martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. What did it taste like? Sounds a bit like what happens to pastis when you add water .... but you'd get more of a fix off vodka & shellac for sure!
  2. Maybe they're thrown by the groove that the ribs fit into!! If he posted the pictures here I think he'd get a rapid response .....
  3. Matthew, last time we discussed this (about a month ago) you said "This is a very interesting topic, and I appreciate hearing the different viewpoints. Thanks." I wonder what has happened to you in the last month? Contributions from Michael Darnton, Jacob Saunders, David Burgess, and Melvin Goldsmith, are now dismissed by you with a very broad brush - you seem to think their practice isn't valid because they have time to waste on maestronet. You must concede that even amongst those who deal with Strads on a daily basis there is no consensus on this issue.
  4. You may be right - never come across it on a 20th century French copy, but older ones may well be different. Certainly there are a lot of early 1800s French violins with back lengths of 36.1 or 36.2. But this violin ain't one of them!
  5. Joseph, Mirecourt workshops like JTL and Laberte also made "Maggini" and "Da Salo" violins with double purfling, for instance this one of mine : However, a longer backlength (36.2 in the example you have found) indicates a German or Bohemian version, and without looking too carefully at the listing I'd say it doesn't look like Mirecourt - round edges and corners, round scroll eye, heel shape, varnish, wood all say NOT French to me .... Looks to be in very decent condition.
  6. fabuy is one of several eBay id.s belonging to a seller from Germany who specializes in relabeling cheap trade-in instruments. His merchandise is uniformly poor quality, and I would avoid him like the plague! Any seller whose feedback is private should be avoided - generally it allows the seller to bid up his own items, and to relist items that have been returned without people being able to access photos of a previous sale. There are no legitimate grounds for a seller having private feedback, at least not since eBay made bidder id.s private. The seller doesn't offer a return policy, but
  7. OK! Very unexpected ... Indeed, after a bit of further homework, I read that although density in conifers coincides with a high proportion of latewood, density in ring-porous woods is higher in faster grown trees, and in diffuse-porous woods density is greatest in trees with average growth speed. Maple is diffuse porous, so the densest wood is to be found in trees with neither abnormally tight nor loose grain. My pursuit of tight even grain has been based on a false premise! It's always enjoyable to be disabused ...
  8. Hi Tarisiofever, There are at least 2 factors governing the density of maple, and the first is the grain. This has nothing to do with flame/curl/fleck, it's purely to do with speed of growth. Density cannot vary with the orientation of the cut - a block of wood of a given size and weight weighs the same whichever way you slice it. I assume that denser wood has less damping in that it is more conductive of sound waves, and that slower grown maple is denser than fast grown maple ..... is this right? I can see how a quarter-cut board and a slab-cut or crown board would have different e
  9. Will there still be a European Union then? if so, will they force us to stop distilling rakija in the back yard? This would be the end of Croatian culture ......
  10. Salve already posted this link to a previous maestronet thread, but I'll do so again because it covers the subject pretty exhaustively, with contributions from many great makers and restorers ... Horizontal Neck Angle
  11. except Croatia ... still waiting
  12. I'm afraid I slept through most of history (and geography) ... and all of religious studies and Latin. Surely a lot of what is now Germany wasn't included in Bismarck's Germany? Or am I wrong about that? I am OK at 20th century Balkan history, getting better fast, and have a passing understanding of the Austro-Hungarian empire, but Germany is a bit of a blur. Forgive my ignorance - I ws just trying to point out that the violinist probably wasn't German, and that the question of whether they had lady violinists in 19th century Germany was based on a false premise. Should have kept my c
  13. I would have thought the acoustical properties were more closely allied with the tightness of the grain ie. how fast the tree has grown. This would be determined by the amount of space around the tree as it grew and the climate/altitude. You can get a lot of curl in very soft and spongy maple, and vice versa, so I think the whole idea of attributing acoustical properties to specific pieces of wood has to start with growth pattern. It's what we do with spruce - just because it's harder to see grain lines in maple doesn't mean they aren't there. My own choice of wood for backs is almost en
  14. German was definitely one of the big ones! not even sure there was a "Germany" in 1900 ...... anyway, I do think it's highly unlikely this violinist was German Jacob?
  15. The photo was almost certainly taken in Zagreb, as the postcard says "postcard" in Croatian! The language is German but I don't think anything else points to Germany - the stamp is Austrian, and much of Croatia was at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. What language were Austrians speaking at that time?
  16. Wood cut on the quarter will show medullary rays, if it's the sort of wood that has visible medullary rays (oak being an extreme example - in maple/sycamore it shows up as mirror figure or fleck as seen mainly in bridge wood). Flame is the result of a growth abnormality, either genetic (like the majority of ripple or "fiddleback" sycamore/maple) or to do with compression wood (steep hills, burrs, branches sticking out etc). Flame is most visible in quarter-cut maple but is not present in the vast majority of quarter cut maple. In Scotland ripple sycamore tends to occur in pockets, but on
  17. The flaming on both photos is the same - it's just that the lighting has created a kind of "negative" effect on one set of photos. All other details are identical. As Jacob has said, the certificate is from a very respected authority and beyond question. I fear that the seller (a piano dealer who's selling these violins on consignment) may have given this violin a couple of coats of yacht varnish to make it look nicer ...
  18. The handwriting looks German, but the card itself is pre-Jugoslavia : dopisnice = postcards in Croatian/Serbian! Is the stamp Austrian? I would guess the picture is Zagreb circa 1900 ... Martin Swan Violins
  19. I will be the first pessimist to venture forth .... I'm sure there will be plenty more. I'm afraid nothing about this violin says 18th century Italian to me, but I don't claim any expertise. However, I've seen a lot of 19th century German and Bohemian violins, and I'm pretty certain the label is late 19th century. At first glance the archings to the front and back look more than a bit industrial ... As you have pointed out, the 57 of the label is modern - not sure when the continental habit of crossing the number 7 came about, but I think it was mid-20th century. If it was a Panzani th
  20. OK it's a bit funny. I remember a film I saw when I was at school about a guy who was given huge glasses that made everything look upside down. For a week he was deeply confused, then things slowly started to make sense. After a couple of weeks he was functioning normally. After two more weeks they took the glasses away and everything looked upside down. For a week he was deeply confused, then slowly things started to make sense ..... Playing a violin with the strings the wrong way round is like that. God knows what the violin sounds like, one's so used to getting completely different type
  21. Well apart from being illegal (if hard to police) ...... I've met quite a few people who've bought lemons on eBay. Strange as it seems they just take the seller's desctiption on trust, and few are equipped to recognize a Chinese fiddle (or a cheap German trade violin sold as Italian). Most don't protest or send the instrument back because they believe they have bought what was described - they are invariably horrified to discover they've been taken for a fool, in fact many refuse to believe it. I can give many examples. Generally by the time they do get a second opinion (often by accident) i
  22. It's not funny Jacob! Bad enough trying to play and evaluate a genuine left-handed violin - I can't think straight for about half an hour after ...... I've got involved in this a bit through producing left-handed violins - all i can tell you is that left handed violinists say that it's chalk and cheese, violins just strung up the other way invariably sound shit, whereas violins with the bassbar and soundpost reversed sound like violins. I can't comment on the issue of support - I imagine the bassbar is very effective in resisting sagging.
  23. Just posting these in the hope of saving someone some heartache - I know we've discussed this seller before, but people still fall for it .....