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Joseph Liu

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Posts posted by Joseph Liu

  1. Thanks for the pictures, Bruce!

    I was just wondering. Does anyone know why the cello is called the Sleeping Beauty? Most important instruments have former owner's names. I hope Disney's Sleeping Beauty was not one of the ex owners of the cello.

  2. Since I am not a personal friend of this family, I probably won't be seeing the pictures or the cello in person anytime soon. But, hearing from Tets that the cello was recently sold gave me a pretty good sense that this family bought it. Maybe I could ask to see it when I visit Taiwan next time.

  3. Hi everyone,

    A friend of mine told me that her friend's family recently bought the Sleeping Beauty Montagnana. How do I know if they bought the real deal without looking at the instrument? I am not planning on asking my friend to ask her friend the transaction/financial details. The only thing I know is that they could afford it.

  4. I don't know if the previous posts mentioned this, but the Chicago School where I graduated from did not require an entrance exam. I don't know if they do now. I didn't know how to use a plane or sharpen a knife before I entered school, so I am glad they took me.

    I learned a lot in school. Then I went on to work in a violin shop. I also learned a lot there. My boss at the shop Margaret emphasized learning and training in an actual violin shop, but I liked having both.

  5. We used propolis when I was in school. I've also tried very thin hide glue (gelatin), which along with Albumen (Vernice Bianca/egg white), is a classic sealer for painted surfaces. I have left the inside unsealed for the last few years, but I might try different things in the future.

  6. I don't know how many instruments Paul or Jennifer Becker make per year if any, but don't forget the other member of the family who is actively making. Eric Benning is the only other maker that I know who shares the knowledge of Becker instruments. He went on making trips with Carl to the Wisconsin cabin. I believe he is a second cousin of Carl's.

  7. He was one of the nicest person around. When I was in school, he would always bring instruments over to show the students. He was especially fond of violas, and would give us advice on what players wanted in a viola. He will be missed.

  8. Players often seem to think an expert is the person who can put names on the greatest number of violins, regardless of his batting average on accuracy. I think that a better expert is the person who makes the fewest mistakes.

    I totally agree. No one expert knows all the makers that ever exited in history. A dealer could sell thousands of instruments in his or her life time. It is impossible to have the correct names on all the instruments that passed through the shop. For example, experts like Beare's and Warren's might not know about American makers as much as David Bromberg. Additionally, lower price instruments do not get as much care as hight price instruments. Gross negligence and deliberate misrepresentation, however, are what could be considered criminal.

  9. What Mr. Hargrave sees in a violin firm that deals with the top instruments happen everyday in shops all over the world. Instruments are sold with wrong attributions, wrong certificates, and mismatched parts. The violin dealing industry is not well regulated at all. Instruments cross borders all the time without proper customs procedures. Customs offices are not equip to check valuable instrments. In other trades, this would be major smuggling federal felony. I am glad I got out of working for someone else, and just focus on making and selling my own instruments and bows.

  10. The Christophe Landon calendar that came with last month's Strad has some interesting and peculiar back wood selection.

    Alessandro Gagliano cello 1725 - exceptional flame maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

    Michele Angelo Bergonzi violin 1755 - violin with very small waist; kinda peculiar oppio maple (Acer campestre)

    Antonio Mariani viola 1650 - never heard of this maker; faintly flamed maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

    Giovanni Battista Rogeri cello 1699 - exceptional flame maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

    G.B. Guadagnini violin 1780 - slab cut lightly quilted maple (Acer pseudoplatanus or Acer campestre)

    Brothers Amati viola 1619 - lightly flamed maple (Acer pseudoplatanus or Acer campestre)

    Nicolo Bergonzi cello 1780 - highly quilted poplar?

    Guaneri del Gesu violin 1734 - flame maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

    Giuseppe Ceruti violin 1835 - very lightely flamed maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

    Christophe Landon violin 2010 - heavy grained flame maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

    What do you guys think of the instruments and the back pieces?

  11. We don't sell, yet. We buy, and one of the owners here spends several months a year in China working with our suppliers. We have been trying to find an appropriate partner and circumstance to sell Western instruments in China (violin family), both older ones, and the ones we make.

    BTW, we have been getting some really beautiful instruments lately. :)

    That's the way to do it! Spending time in China to work directly with them. Good luck with your business. By the way, it's Chinese New Year now. Happy New Year!

  12. Is that correct about the overstand being an indication of age?

    Glenn, I don't know that any maker try to antique a violin to resemble a 1900 neckset. Makers do try the old Cremonese neck set with nails sometimes for academic purposes or for the baroque setup. Overstand can indicate certain time period, but it can also indicate the maker's preference or training.

  13. Fiddle collector: Is there a Italian tonewood supplier that sells oppio?

    Glenn: I read the thread where you posted pictures of the slab and finished violin. The wood looks beautiful. It looks almost like burl. The finished instrument looks great as well. Congratulations!

  14. I have been doing a lot of research on different maple species in the past year. One of the most intriguing is acero nostrano/acero oppio/Acer campestre/field maple/feld maple/hedge maple. It is the material other than plain tree maple/Acer pseudoplatanus that early violin makers used.

    There was a talk given by an Ohio State University professor on this maple at the 2002 VSA convention and recorded in a VSA Journal. I do not have the journal at the moment. He talked about the tree being used in the wine making industry in Italy and also about the soil condition at Po river valley where many of the early Cremonese instruments' backs probably came from.

    After searching all over the place for information about this tree, it seems like it is grown everywhere in Europe and used mostly for firewood. Most of the trees are not very big. Probably only big enough for two piece violin backs or one piece violin slab backs. I still don't have any wood samples because most of the tonewood suppliers don't carry it. I wonder why. I thought a lot of violin makers would be interested in it if it was offered.

    Here are three web pages that you guys might find interesting.

    Link 1

    Link 2

    Link 3

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