martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. It was very common in the early 1900s for luthiers all around the world to work with bought in white instruments - these were generally Markneukirchen violins of quality, but sometimes good Mirecourt violins too. This practice seems to have been particularly prevalent amongst American makers, but with regard to Paul Pfeil it was something of a casual observation on my part - essentially I can't see enough individuality in the model or the materials to be sure they were entirely made by him. Most of the personality seems to be in details that could have been superimposed on a Markneukirche
  2. Agree it looks revarnished or over-varnished. It seems the top is off as well ... The violin itself looks like an early-mid 19th century Mirecourt violin. At best the label is a "dealer" label, at worst it's something fanciful put in the violin, maybe by the bonehead who "restored" it.
  3. I bow to the superior knowledge of "the other guy", and I definitely favour 1975 to 1950, but the violin looks pretty new to me ... Did 'the other guy" offer to certify it from the photos, or did he ask to see it in person?
  4. Enough stylistic differences between the Tarisio example and the OP's example to wonder if these violins were bought "in the white" from you know where ...
  5. Me too - not sure why you wouldn't get a certificate from the well known expert who saw it in person?
  6. Have they seen it in person, and has either offered to issue a certificate? In this scenario, normally you just take the certificate from whoever thinks it's worth more so I'm wondering why you're posing the question here ...
  7. There's no evidence that Charles Gand of Laval actually made violins - he seems to have run a music shop in the 1920s-20s. This might be a dealer label of his, placed in bought-in Mirecourt violins, though it's unlike others I have seen.
  8. Gaetano Gadda, famous of course for making "Scarampellas" after Scarampella's death ... Mario Gadda, famous for making Gaetano Gaddas, Pollastris and all sorts of other fakes ... So the waters are indeed muddied - but this violin looks modern to me.
  9. According to our local facebook page, the Wells moat is occupied by two swans and various signets.
  10. I don't know where you got this idea ... But this violin is an anomaly, and if this shop are specialists and experts in French violins then they know that. It's either a Mirecourt violin relabelled and sold by Caressa & Francais pre-1920, whose label has been tampered with (unless 1952 is some kind of model number, but then they would surely have pointed that out) or it's a Mirecourt violin with an apocryphal label, maybe even from 1952 ... I wouldn't argue with the price, or with the fact that it's French. I am merely disbelieving the particular conjunction of violin and l
  11. The "fini sous la direction de" is a very common way of labelling Mirecourt violins which were bought in and tarted up (or just labelled) by well-known Parisian firms or makers. "Fait sous la direction de" would be marginally better, but still code for "not actually made by ..." However, Caressa & Francais did not exist in 1952 ergo the label is nonsense, as is the claim that it's "authentic" because the bridge was cut by someone who used to work at Hills.. Whether someone bought a violin in France or not is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether it's as labelled - plenty
  12. No - therefore a 1952 Caressa & Francais label would ring major alarm bells for me.
  13. Plenty of genuine Fagnolas are crap ... The question is rather to do with who had access to the brand and who really made the violins that the brand found its way into ...
  14. Seriously - you are going to get badly burnt ... Is this the guy with the porno voice and the fake cathedral that's a poster on the wall?
  15. No, Caressa & Francais ceased to exist around 1920, then Albert Caressa continued for a while ... And a genuine Caressa & Francais would not be in the same price bracket as a "Stark" or even a hugely overpriced EH Roth.
  16. I see quite a lot of minor differences but there's enough for me to be convinced that both violins share the same origin. The scrolls are finished very differently, the purfling material doesn't seem to be quite the same, the button, the varnish obviously. And we still are left with the fact that the f holes on the OP violin are not Stradivarius f-holes. But the eyes are very much the same shape, and I can only assume that this violin got mis-labelled or was a reject Guarneri model. The 1930s EH Roths are far from straightforward, and there are quite a few anomalies which I don
  17. Ok - it's the thing that separates the geese from the swans.
  18. It has a 2 piece bottom rib, a delta at the back of the scroll, and it seems that the scroll carving stops at about 6 o'clock on the underneath of the volute? Maybe you could take a picture clarifying that?
  19. The principal way in which people go wrong is to buy something described as by such and such a maker, or something described as in good condition, and not have the eye to know that they are being conned. We have a thousand stories here on Maestronet of people who have gone wrong, and badly so ... many people end up with a shed full of crap before their eyes are finally opened! If you're going to make things genuinely safe, then you would need to show everything you buy to seriously knowledgeable appraisers and restorers before your return window expires. You will quickly find such pe
  20. Are you sure this is Mittenwald ...? But with regard to the issue of tone, there are thousands upon thousands of violins which sound great, except for a couple of odd spots in the register which are weak or pokey, dull or harsh. Occasionally these are set-up issues, but more generally they are in the nature of the violin. As time passes I am less and less concerned by whether a violin is bright or dark, smooth or aggressive - the quality of a violin seems to me now to be almost entirely to do with even-ness of response and consistency of tone across the register. This seems to be ver
  21. I remember some unusual interaction with the Roth firm about a violin from the late 1930s. It left me with the distinct impression that there were some skeletons in the closet. In particular the relationship between the firm in Germany and the retail arm in the US seems to have got a bit out of kilter. I'm guessing that a few violins of indeterminate origin became EH Roths complete with labels, brands and serial numbers, although they didn't start out that way.
  22. 1920s Roths of the better grades can be excellent. I also think there's a wealth of great French violins, superior JTLs, Dieudonné, Charles Bailly, in fact a huge list.
  23. Maybe I am a fool for expecting a "Stradivarius 1700" to look in some way like a Stradivarius. I would be interested to know what EH Roth have to say about the serial number - a few clever people have access to these records, and even if the labelling and the serial number match up, do they actually belong in this violin?
  24. I think this is a bit of an optical illusion caused by the wear to the table corners. The back, which presents a truer picture of the original state, has the purfling very centred in the corners.