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About Alicia3

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 08/24/1987

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    Seattle, WA
  • Interests
    Archaeology, History, Art History, Travel, Giving Tours, Real Estate, Interior design, Violin

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  1. Thank you so much for the quick responses! I knew it was old, but also didn't think that the information sounded right which is why I wanted to get an idea of what it actually is. You never know though, we do sometimes get some pretty amazing treasures donated! I just wanted a second opinion before we listed it. Thank you!
  2. Hello, it has been a while since I have posted here. I work for a large non-profit thrift store in the eCommerce (eBay) department and we just had this very interesting donation come in. It is a very old, ancient looking guitar of some sort. I know a bit about early violins, but virtually nothing about guitars. Unfortunately this was dropped off at one of our store locations (near Seattle, WA) without any history or provenance. We don't even know who donated it. It was passed into my hands to list online on eBay, but I want to get a second opinion before we take any action. It seems to be something pretty special, and I would hate to list it incorrectly or hastily, and want to make sure we do what is best for the charity. There is a handwritten label or piece of tape inside which reads "Vitolino Mendosa Madrid 1720", but I know labels often mean nothing. It is very petite for a guitar. he body measures 17" long, the upper bout is 8.5", lower 11", and it is only about 4" thick/deep. The fingerboard threat piece measures 16" long. There are TONS of weird holes on the headstock, I am not sure how many strings it once had. Sadly it is cracked completely off and it looks like there is some wood missing. The instrument body itself seems relatively sturdy, but it does have some open cracks and minor damage. Could this actually be an early 18th c instrument? Is this a known maker? And what sort of guitar is this, romantic? How rare is something like this, and how valuable could it be? I have absolutely NO idea. I tried to search online but didn't find much. Any information about the guitar, or thoughts on how we should proceed with properly selling it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  3. I just logged in after a few months and saw all these updates on my old thread...I got excited for a minute! I almost completely forgot about my lion head much for my plan on playing it, it has literally been packed up in the case this whole time and now two of the gut strings snapped!
  4. Ernie, you might want to try an actual cache cleaning program. It sounds like there is still a stuborn "cookie" or hidden files still on your computer. C.Cleaner and AFT-Cleaner are both free and great. ATF cleaner is nice because you don't even need to install anything. It is a good idea to run something like this periodically anyway if you browse the internet a lot. I don't post here much because I never have anything insightful to say about violins, but hopefully this works for you! Alicia
  5. That makes sense, thanks for all the quick replies. I still enjoy it, and personally think it looks neat. And got it cheaper than I could find any brand new baroque already set up violin so I am happy with this regardless. Now I just have to figure out how to play something on it!
  6. I have been looking for a reasonably priced baroque instrument (or even a new one with baroque set up) just for my own use since I enjoy the sound. I took a (safe) gamble on a super poorly listed one on eBay and am now wondering what it is that I got. I honestly thought the listing might be a scam since it was a seller with 0 feedback and there were only a couple blurry pictures from far away, of only the front. All the listing said was “18th c baroque Hopf violin, ready for baroque play.” Where they got the Hopf part ,I have no idea. Anyway, I was super excited when a violin actually showed up! I have been searching online for similar looking instruments and cannot find any. I would just like to get a rough time period, place of origin, or what it is modeled after, if anything. I will take it somewhere to be looked at as long as it is for sure not a piece of junk. It is completely unlabeled or marked. And is very uneven, there is about a 10mm difference, the base side being higher. It is visible in the pictures. The lion head scroll is creepy and has remnants of red paint coming from it’s ears, eyes and mouth. The one red eye is slightly disturbing. It seems to have the original, or at least a really old, fingerboard but I am unsure about the neck since the peg holes do not seem to be bushed or repaired. Although it is possible that some work has been done since it seems to have been re-varnished around the pegs. The violin has a long appearance, but I think it is just slightly narrower than average. The arching is also quite thin, the whole body is very warped but is only roughly about 1.75” or 40mm thick. The ribs measure at 30mm. The neck is pretty thick, and has a low angle but seems to be almost modern length (only slightly shorter). Measurements: LOB: 360mm UB: 160mm CB: 104mm LB: 200mm The construction is a little weird, and uneven. It seems like someone made it freehand. There are no corner blocks at all, just what looks like a lot of old crackled resin or maybe amber looking varnish in them. There is something that looks like lining but I think that the ribs might possibly just be carved thicker on the ends (to give it some surface area to glue?). It is hard to tell since it is very dark inside, and whoever put it together used a lot of glue. The base bar is not carved in from what I can see, and appears to be much newer than the rest of the violin as is the sound post. There are also tons of cracks on the front, but I think they are all somewhat repaired. None are loose at least. Everything seems stable and solid. The violin overall is very light weight. I noticed even the neck is carved out when I look under the fingerboard. The perfling is nice looking, and I think well done. It also is continuous everywhere, even under the fingerboard. The strange features are the 2 or possibly 3 small holes in the top faceplate under the fingerboard. And one under the tailpiece. The Fingerboard itself has 2 round ruts cut out of the bottom of it which used to hold dowels it seems since one is partially there still. There are also 2 weird round carved circles symmetrically on each side of the top plate on the lower bout. The whole thing is unique, and a little odd but I love it. The sound is beautiful, and it is fun and easy to play. I love it’s character and the varnish, even though it is pretty beat up the violin really seems to glow. I think it is original varnish (except on the scroll). Sorry for writing so much, I am just very curious about it and excited and wanted to share it with someone. I don’t know anyone in real life who shares my passion for instruments! Thanks! Alicia Here is the link to my whole album of pictures if anyone is interested in seeing more: additional pictures
  7. Thanks! I am pretty sure it is the temperature and humidity then. I am in Seattle, aka land of bad weather and rain. My house has been pretty cold when I am not here and then pretty hot (heated by electric space heaters) while I am home. I am sure this is doing wonders for my instruments. The only thing though is my E string isn't metal, all of the strings are raw/plain gut except the G string. The G is wrapped in metal but both ends are exposed gut where it goes on the pegs and is tied on to the tailpiece. Is this unusual for a G string? I usually only see the E wrapped. I am not sure why it is like this, it came to me this way. This violin has a whole bunch of really weird things about it, I think I will make an ID/Info thread because it is so unusual, seems old, and I can't quite figure it out. I am glad I am not imagining things and that this tuning issue is at least relatively normal.
  8. Hi, hopefully this is the right section for my odd, and hopefully not too silly, question. I tried to Google this, but did not have much luck. I recently picked up a new (antique) violin with newish pegs and seemingly tight peg holes yet every time I go to play it the G, D, and A strings are very out of tune and very sharp. Only the E string goes flat. Is this normal? It seems very strange to me and I cannot figure out what is causing it. Every other violin I have used has always gone out of tune flat, which makes sense to me since the string tension seems like it would "pull" the string looser. The first time I tuned this new violin up I figured it was a fluke and had been bumped or something but it happens every single time regardless of keeping the violin sitting out, or in a case. I am beginning to feel I have a possessed instrument and the extremely eerie carved lion head scroll with one painted red eye does not help! The violin is old, at least 100 years old (I think) and has gut strings and a baroque set up if that makes a difference. This is not really an actual problem as I am able to tune it back properly, I am just curious if this is unusual or what could be causing it. Thanks!
  9. Wow, thank you guys so much. All of this info is very interesting! Jacob- thank you for the info about the Buchner family. I tried researching the name and mainly came up with only the mid 20th c maker of the same name. Thanks! It is interesting to think that it might be a composite, I never thought of that but it may make sense why people have told me differing stories. Martin- I picked up the violin when I was only 14 and obviously didn't know much about violins at all (I still don't). I loved the sound, even to my horribly untrained ear it stood out greatly from every other violin I tested which was quite a few. It has a very sort of smooth, earthy, mellow, but very sweet can almost sound reminiscent of an oboe or something not string related. My mom says that it sounds a little "eerie" or "mysterious" whatever that means. I also know some of the violin teachers who taught at the music shop often chose to play it because they too loved the sound. The other main reason is that even at a young age I was interested in history and anything old and I loved the idea of owning something with some history of its own. I also absolutely fell in love with the way it looks. I know that isn't a very valid reason, but at age 14 it seemed to matter! Thank you guys a lot for your insight Alicia
  10. Hello, I am new to the forum and have really enjoyed all the information so far. I am wondering if anyone could help shed some light on a violin I have The only information provided to me is conflicting. Originally I saw the violin in a generic music shop and was told it was American made from the late 19th c. It was on consignment for a while and then it was returned to the consignee. I asked for the consignee's contact information and purchased it directly from her. The information she provided is that she believes her great grandfather made it in Germany around 1871. His name was Buchner but that is all she knows about him. Her grandfather’s (the supposed maker’s son) name was Arthur Buchner. There are absolutely no labels or anything inside the violin, I have inserted a light and looked around in detail. All I can find is some glue marks and very dark aged wood and tons of dust bunnies. The only mark at all on the entire violin is a crude, light carving reading “ADA” on the base of the neck and below that on the base of the violin it reads “1871.” I also noticed there has been some sort of neck work done, possibly re-positioning? (sorry if my terminology is incorrect) If you look closely there is a neck root shim that has been inserted, and where the fingerboard touches the top of the violin is extremely low/thin and the tiny piece of wood between there has been graphed in. I assume these are repairs done at some point after the original construction. Since the repairs are located right where the markings are, could that indicate that the “ADA” and“1871” possibly refer to the luthier who made the repairs? I would love to know the possible country of origin, possible maker/style and date. I am an art historian and archaeologist and it is driving me nuts not to know any history behind my own violin! Any information or even opinions or guesses from anyone would be greatly appreciated. I am just looking for information to satisfy my own curiosity, and have no plans on ever selling it. Here is a link to a photo album of pictures I just took, I will only add a couple files to my post. If any other photos or measurements are needed please ask. Thank you so much in advance! More pictures: mystery violin Alicia