Michael Appleman

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About Michael Appleman

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    Violin Nerd

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  1. Double check that. I just verified my usual source of "walnut crystals," and they're not made from walnuts, although they're coming from a traditional woodworking suppllier.
  2. To take this a bit further, "Cremonese style" blocks and linings are something that sets the "high end" French makers, like Lupot, Vuillaume, Chanot and the Lupot successors the Gands and Bernardels, apart from the "run of the mill" Mirecourt makers. Many of the makers who worked for these shops also did interiors like this in their own high quality work. When you see french violins with simpler interiors, you are probably looking at more "high volume" lower quality work.
  3. This persimmon stain is similar to traditional walnut husk stain in that it's a tannic compound created through fermentation, and has anti-fungal and anti-parasite characteristics as well. I only just found out that the "furniture grade" "brou de noix" that I picked up years ago for floorboards and other non-violin woodworking isn't actually made from fermented walnut husks, but from an extract of Cassel earth, and that's the case with just about any "walnut crystals" any of us may have bought for wood staining or making brown ink. Real "brou de noix" is all but unobtainable from shops, and se
  4. What about good old fashioned brou de noix?
  5. A lot of knowledgeable and experienced folks have already given their opinions, so I don't know how much this thought contributes, but it strikes me that a key question would be how is the arching holding up, despite the thin bar? If there's no significant sagging, then the bar was doing its minimum structural job, so any effects from going thicker might be a matter of taste and preference, but I wonder about how necessary it would be. I remember years ago showing a violin to JF Schmitt in Lyon. A nice violin that had quality and was easy to play, but one had the sense it had more to give
  6. Nope. Not a Vuillaume and not self rehairing. It's a german bow.
  7. Although most of Vuillaume's DG models are "cleaned-up" compared to the originals, he did do a few slightly wild Ole Bulls, as well as the lots of Cannons and quite a few Alards. As has been stated above, Paganini becoming a huge star and touring all over Europe made DG's more desirable, and violin makers who worked on his violin, like Vuillaume in Paris and Sawicki in Vienna, started making "copies" or at least Cannon-inspired models.
  8. It's great to see this collection on line at last! There are some fascinating cases, and I wish I didn't already have a wall of cases filling up my music room... I got interested in the variety of bow holders. Those ornate French frog and button holders are astonishing. The simple spring clips to hold the bow stick on lot 1016 are shocking! I was wondering when the spring button holders (lot 1014) started to appear on Hill and other English cases? I've got several with them, and I won't stick any of my valuable bows in those, especially once the protective covering has worn off.
  9. Portugal is a wonderful country, and a lot of people from all over Europe consider it for a possible retirement destination. I hope your plans work out, Glenn! Maybe we'll have a chance to sip some wine together looking out at the Douro, or in Paris if you can make it up here again. Mostly, let's cross our fingers that we'll be able to make plans and travel again in the not too distant future!
  10. VdA, I don't know what this violin is, but it looks seriously well-made by someone who knew what he was doing and familiar with Guadagnini family traits. It seems likely that the seller and auction house are hoping buyers will see this as something interesting and not be put off by the estimate range. "Funky" wood can be a sign of an artisanal Italian maker grabbing whatever he can find, or of a canny copyist trying to evoke a small volume Italian maker, and a violin like this might be seen as the work of one of those canny English makers like Wulme Hudson or the Voller Brothers, or possibly e
  11. Yes, a soundpost is "âme" in french (anima in italian), oe soul. Here's a little quote from Proust: "On cherche à retrouver dans les choses, devenues par là précieuses, le reflet que notre âme a projeté sur elles." "In these objects that have become precious to us, we look for the reflection of our souls that we projected on them."
  12. Santagiuliana, you're asking very interesting questions, and I salute you for your introspection, asking yourself whether playing is really what you want to do. We should all be asking ourselves such fundamental questions regularly, and be wary of just doing what seems easiest or what others expect us to do. First of all, Jacob mentions "practicum," of which I imagine you can infer the meaning, but I should point out that many European countries have very structured and active apprenticeship programs, and "internships" are both a way to "test the waters" and get an idea about the nature
  13. Wow, this topic got a lot of attention fast! I'd love to comment on the bike theme, but maybe I'll start with my experience trying to improve factory instruments. As a kid, my father had me cut my teeth re-graduating, re-barring and re-setting necks on cheap trade fiddles. It was a way to learn the ropes, and since he'd bring home a box of them every weekend for an average price of probably $1 a fiddle from various junk shops and flea markets in the area, there were plenty of them around the house to work on. Were any of them improved to "professional" grade? I remember them being decent, usea