Brad Dorsey

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About Brad Dorsey

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  • Location
    New Hampshire, USA
  • Interests
    Irish music

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  1. Just when you think that you have seen everything.

    Yes, it looks like something that was manufactured and sold to enable players to replace their bow hair without dis-assembling the frog, cutting plugs, using tools, etc. I can think of several reasons why most of us have never seen this product before: They weren't widely distributed. Because of variations in bow length and frog position, one size would not fit all bows, so they never became very popular. When a bow bearing this product was brought for a professional rehair, it could be taken off just as easily as it could be put on without leaving any traces on the bow. Once all the hair broke, the metal end clips would fall off the bow and become lost.
  2. Dealbreaker Violin Damage?

    Yes, but the cost of restoration could be many times the value of the restored instrument. So the violin's value is the major factor in determining if it's worth fixing. As David said, most Strads have seen much worse than this.
  3. Antiquing vs. Real Age ??

    Rich, The violin in your pictures is a typical example of what I refer to as a "Schweitzer type" because they usually have Schweitzer labels which are always dated 1813 or 1814, though I see them with other labels, too. These Schweitzer type violins are always antiqued. The antiquing can include shaded varnish with imitation crackle as seen in your first picture, fake neck grafts, fake bushings, fake cracks, a pair of fake hand-dated repair labels (one by "Channot" in London and I forget what the other one says, but it's always the same two names), deliberately worn edges in the upper treble bout and on the scroll, ebony pins (I'm not sure if they're real or fake.) through the back into the end blocks and ebony inserts in the ribs at the lower block. Yes, all this antiquing was done when the violin was new. Violins like this were apparently made in Saxony between about 1880 and 1930. I have seen dozens of them. The varnish color in your pictures is the most common, but I've seen them in other colors, too. I recently saw a red one. The feature that you call "shrinkage in the top plate that necessitated moving and patching one of the lower bout ribs" is a real repair -- not antiquing. Plate shrinkage would call for rib shortening but not the insertion of another piece. And by now this violin has received some real wear, as Bruce said. I think the varnish chipping in the first picture could be real. It looks like you have a real saddle crack, but the crack just to the right of it could be fake.
  4. Hills shop records

    Hill did acquire some Craske instruments after his death, finish them and put in a special label so stating.
  5. strange bow with silver eyes

    I don't think the weight difference would be significant. I would say that they're quite uncommon. I've had thousands of bows, but only two with metal eyes -- one with silver and one with nickel.
  6. Cleats Variety

    Because if the grain of the cleat were parallel to the crack the cleat would only provide minimal reinforcement to the crack. If the crack were to want to open again, the cleat would likely split along the crack.
  7. Cleats Variety

    In that respect, yes. But if you make a drawing of a crack with a diamond cleat across it, then draw the grain lines on the cleat, you will see that the grains at one end are all on one side of the crack and the grains on the other end are all on the other side of the crack. The grains actually significantly span the crack only around the middle of the cleat. Therefore, I don't think a diamond cleat provides as much reinforcement as a parallelogram.
  8. Cleats Variety

    Yes. Different people have been taught different ways of doing them or have come up their own different ideas, and different people have different skill levels. The consensus here seems to favor the parallelogram type that you show. This is because in this type of cleat the strength of the reinforcement it provides tapers off gradually rather than ending abruptly. The concentrated stress created by the abrupt end of a square-ended cleat could encourage a new crack at the end of the cleat.
  9. Belt sander guilt

    Perhaps Everclear would help.
  10. A violin neck reset.

    Are you sure that it was the neck that bent? Did you determine this by checking with a straight edge both before and after? Did the fingerboard bend, too, or did the neck/fingerboard joint slip? I'm thinking that perhaps the neck did not bend, but rather the shape of the body of the violin was altered. If you actually did bend the neck and fingerboard, the playing surface of the fingerboard could now be convex lengthwise, which will make playing the violin impossible.
  11. Help Identifying.

    mood200, In the piece that you linked, Lasham says: "Serial numbers weren't typically used in violins until the mid-1900's [sic]," but his very first sentence is: "Like anything, there are always exceptions, and with violins, there seem to be as many exceptions as those that follow the guidelines." Vuillaume has already been cited as an exception to the supposed general rule that serial number numbers weren't used until the mid 1900s. I am not familiar with Vuillaumes, but I can say with certainty that Charles Farley started using serial numbers in his violins in the 1890s, Seorim Swaine was numbering his in the 1910s and the Roth shop was using serial numbers in the 1920s, because I have numbered and dated examples by all of these makers. I have examined enough of these RWC violins with the oval labels to be convinced that they are correctly dated. I don't doubt this just because they have serial numbers.
  12. Help Identifying.

    I have seen the stylized RWB stamped on bows. I have been told by people more knowledgeable than me that this is a Rudolf Wurlitzer brand.
  13. Help Identifying.

    The logo consists of the superimposed letters R, W and C, which stand for Rudolf Wurlitzer Company. I've seen a lot of violins with these oval labels, too. The labels always have a four-digit serial number, a pre-World War 1 date, the RWC logo and various names including William Chadwick, Friedrich August Heberlin and Ludwig Koschat. The name that's hard to read is something like Carl Vulzar.
  14. Help Identifying.

    While Sears did sell many cheap violins, being well made does not preclude this one from also having been sold by Sears. The Hermann Geipel violins sold by Sears in the 1930s are now offered by violin shops in the $5000 to $10,000 range.
  15. Silver wire for bows

    I've never seen a frog stamped "SILVERIN" like that, but I have encountered several aluminum-mounted frogs.