martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. Yes we used to use this term quite freely in forestry circles in the UK, although there's very little genuine old growth forestry left here. Old growth really means not planted and not "regen" or reseeded forestry, or wood from a woodland that's commercially managed for firewood etc. It doesn't primarily relate to the age of the trees, though even commercially planted forest that's been ignored or forgotten for over a century would probably be classed as "old growth". I would be a bit suspicious of a wood merchant selling "old growth" timber, since most genuine old growth fores
  2. I suppose this is being presented as something like Pelizon? Personally I don't see anything in this violin that would make me think "Italian". It seems to be something made by a very able woodworker, but I can't see any signs of a particular tradition. The maker struggled with the c bouts, which are unusually open and also asymmetrical (and not in a good way). The f-holes are disproportionately long (these two things in conjunction make it look a bit like a cut down viola). The recurve on the arching is very exaggerated to a point which must jeopardise the strength of the
  3. Tarisio also sold the Josefowitz in 2019 ...
  4. From what I can see, the inner line of the f-holes has been made straight as you travel up towards the upper tongue. The upper tongues have been reshaped as a result and look very odd. I suppose this was done because the original f-holes appeared to be rotated outwards at the top, and betrayed the instrument's humble origins ....
  5. Are you sure? One hypothesis is that Latin is a mercantile language formed out of various earlier languages, including early Romance languages we now think of as Italian or Italian dialects. I wouldn't want to make pronouncements about Romanian either. Its common ground with various other European languages is more likely to do with a more ancient and "ur-origin" than to do with Romanian "borrowing" from other languages ...
  6. I find it pretty difficult to see what this might be, mainly because the f-holes have been excavated and the eye of the scroll seems to have been tampered with. But I imagine it could have started out as Vieux Paris, judging by the thick edgework. I do find the description completely maddening - you'd think after selling several thousand instruments these people would have developed some kind of expertise. They are either very clever to avoid learning anything or else very stupid. You might also expect them to take some minor responsibility for the authenticity of what they're sellin
  7. I don't get a French vibe off this violin ... the varnish in particular seems more MK than Mirecourt. But the photos aren't great.
  8. Okay here are a couple to start with ....
  9. It has some major restoration to the table including a large new piece - and someone has reglued and sanded down the back seam. Hope you didn't pay much for it ...
  10. If a seller gets annoyed by a request for more details, then it's definitely time to move on ...!
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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?
  14. 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 ...
  15. Me too - not sure why you wouldn't get a certificate from the well known expert who saw it in person?
  16. 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 ...
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. According to our local facebook page, the Wells moat is occupied by two swans and various signets.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. No - therefore a 1952 Caressa & Francais label would ring major alarm bells for me.
  23. 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 ...
  24. 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?