GlennYorkPA

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About GlennYorkPA

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  1. Provenance is important when assessing value but it needs to be supported by documentation. Previously owned by X means nothing unless X is well known and the assertion can be backed up by evidence. Heifetz had an almost identical Hill double case and when it was sold at auction in 2012 it made $24,000 but the history was well established and the initials JH were stamped onto the leather cover. Rappoldi was no Heifetz therefore the case should be judged on its own merits alone. Glenn
  2. Quite likely and as it has reappeared at a fixed price of $1500 one assumes that this was the price the seller had in mind all along. A little ambitious IMHO. The seller is clearly putting a high value on it (possibly) having belonged to a violinist we have never heard of. Glenn
  3. GlennYorkPA

    Please Identify My Old & Tiny Violin Unicorn

    When I was in the vaults of the Library of Congress to study the violin case of Mad King Lugwig, I recall there was a quartet of instruments in the same display case described as 'Viennese'. The quartet consisted of a cello, viola and two violins. Your violin was about the size of the cello. The quality was staggeringly high. Unfortunately, the only photo I have is where they accidentally crept into a photo of the case. Glenn
  4. GlennYorkPA

    A look inside an unusual American antique violin

    Here is Wenberg's interesting entry regarding N.W. House: 'Worked as a violinist in a theatre orchestras in Chicago. Violin maker. Worked in Springfield OH 1909 to 1910. Also worked in Ann arbor, Michigan, doing repair work. Own original model. Wings of f-holes bevelled qt ends. Edges of the top have maple grafted on to prevent damage. All ribs made with an outward bulge. Two piece neck with sides of pegbox ornamentally carved, on some “HOUSE” is carved on the back of the pegbox. Golden brown spirit varnish. Handwritten label directly on the back. Fine artistic workmanship. Also rebuilt instruments using multiple bass bars'. Glenn
  5. Fair enough but I have no idea what particular plastic these spinners are made of. If they were Bakelite, would that case be more interesting to you??? LOL? Glenn
  6. I'm happy to comment more extensively on the case after it has been sold. Glenn
  7. Yes, they are plastic. The edgework round the body and lid is ebony but they used plastic spinners on these cases. They have pointy ends. The early ebony spinners have rounded ends. Glenn
  8. We will have to wait until the bidding is ended before we know what the final price was. Glenn
  9. GlennYorkPA

    varnish as usual

    OK. Let me try and keep it simple. Dichromatism is perhaps the easiest to describe and dismiss. It is a phenomenon whereby the perceived color or hue changes as the layer thickness varies. So maybe a very thin layer looks green but then appears to change to blue as the layer gets thicker. This is not angle dependent and can be seen by light transmitted through the layer at a 90 degree incidence angle. In fact, this phenomenon is quite rare and was only explained scientifically fairly recently. Optical dichroism is where the perceived color changes according to the viewing angle. So a layer of constant thickness may appear one color when viewed at one angle and a different color at a different angle. (There is a commercially available decorative plastic film which changes from yellow to magenta as you play with the angle. It used to be used on Dove soap packaging to give a pearly effect. The violin I saw in Mittenwald looked exactly like that). What Joe described in his article in The Strad was neither of these but it was closer to the second option. He considers two layers, a yellow one (the ground) and a red one (his red cochineal varnish). His contention is that under low light only the red of the varnish layer is seen. But under strong light, the light is able to penetrate the red layer and pick up the yellow tone of the underlayer. (He has photos demonstrating this). I hope this helps. G;enn
  10. GlennYorkPA

    varnish as usual

    It's only the correct term when discussing dichromatism. This is not the phenomenon I was discussing nor what Joe described in his article. We are referring to optical dichroism. If you need definitions of the terms, I'm happy to oblige. Glenn
  11. GlennYorkPA

    varnish as usual

    Joe, In your article, you attribute the color changing properties of your varnish to the strength of the lighting. You say that under diffuse lighting conditions, the varnish appears red but strong light has the power to penetrate to the lower layers and produce a more yellow cast. Is this how you explain the so-called dichroism of the Cremonese varnishes? Years ago, in the museum in Mittenwald, there was a modern violin on a rotating stand and as it turned the varnish went from yellow to a kind of magenta color. Clever but not very attractive. However, it was intended to show the phenomenon of optical dichroism as a function of the angle of the light relative to the violin and not the intensity of it. Glenn
  12. GlennYorkPA

    varnish as usual

    Joe, I think everything we do should be seen in an historical perspective. It's important and fascinating and helps us appreciate the shoulders on which we all stand. You say this cochineal varnish can only be made in small batches (thus explaining why the varnish of each of the golden age Strads is a bit different). Can you elaborate on this? What happens if you attempt a larger batch? Glenn
  13. GlennYorkPA

    varnish as usual

    Joe, I would like to add that I enjoyed the article too. I was totally absorbed by it even though I know little about varnishes. For those who haven't read it, the article is 5 pages long and takes us through a fascinating history of the color red and how the discovery of cochineal beetles by the Spanish in Mexico was a game changer. It seems almost certain that the Spanish presence in Cremona was responsible for the introduction of this particular color to Stradivari who responded to the demand for it. Anyone who has poured hot water onto the shrivelled bodies of these insects can't help but be impressed by the brilliance of the red leeched out. Once seen, Dragon's blood and other red colorants fade into the backgound. The challenge was always how to get it into an oil varnish and you seem to have solved that problem. Very impressive. Thanks Glenn
  14. GlennYorkPA

    contemporary Italian violin

    National characteristics are difficult to discern these days. Violin making schools in Europe are international affairs and don't select students on grounds of their nationality. So what does 'definitely Italian' mean in modern context? Glenn
  15. GlennYorkPA

    Test drive with one of my violas.

    Hi Luis, I just wanted to mention that when I came to visit you in Brazil, I mentioned that I play violin and violas are very uncomfortable for me owing to the large spacing between the notes which always felt very clumsy. However, you persuaded me to try one of your violas and I was shocked that it felt like playing a violin. So, responding to Andrew's point, it seems you keep the string length more or less the same as on a violin but enlarge the body to deal with the lower register. Glenn