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Everything posted by reepicheep

  1. Oh, I didn't take the top off, my Actual Professional Luthier friend did I wouldn't ever try that! Also, the top was almost all off already, and we wanted to see inside! I'm a collector that apparently hasn't yet learned to stop bringing fiddles like this to him, much to his chagrin! I am not familiar with construction techniques, and I'm definitely not a luthier or an expert repairer. I'm just one of those people who keeps trying to find a gem on ebay, then drags it to my friend's shop for inspection. This is just my report back about the conclusions after somebody who knows a WHOLE lot more than I ever will has looked at it in person. As I recall some of the "not necessarily what a professional luthier would do" things were the weird neck blocks and end blocks, the wonky bass bar placed at a ??? angle, the neck set in way too far at 9mm, and the overall "tubbiness" of the pattern. He mentioned there are also characteristically American qualities in general which in combination with these construction methods point towards that being the origin.
  2. All righty, it's a rip-roarin' Saturday night, and the top is off! Here are some more details: Well graduated to Strad numbers, thin in the bouts. The purfling has ebony blacks and maple centers The blocks are spruce, and the linings are a mixture of willow and spruce. At least two other repairers have opened it, judging by the work on the cleats. LOB 359 The neck is set in 9mm There are enough non-professional things about it, and other characteristics to conclude that it is American The scroll may be German The fingerboard has a "batman" style end.
  3. Like I said... sucker But I've learned a lot in these five pages!
  4. I like it, too. I'm a sucker for the individualistic underdog... as I stated at the beginning of this 5 page thread!
  5. I hadn't asked this earlier, and maybe I missed the explanation, but is there a reason the scroll and ribs so much worse than the top and back? Just thickness of varnish?
  6. >Morritz calls lab for results< ".... yes, I asked to isolate an organic compound.....?" >drops papers, elevator door closes< It's the Red Pimple Violin!
  7. Wow, this is quite a discussion, thanks everybody for the great information, I really appreciate it! I will definitely leave the fiddle in its original state and not mess with the varnish. As Dave Slight mentioned, I was one of five people bidding on it so maybe some day it will find a new home as-is
  8. Yeah it's pretty sad... like I said I'm a sucker for lost causes! If my friend is willing to work on it I'll probably just keep it for myself. Amusingly I was one of five people bidding on it, I didn't expect any competition at all! I just thought it could be a good one, despite the varnish. Also I have a bad habit of sometimes buying things to find out what they are
  9. Thanks PhilipKT! Definitely, there will be more photos forthcoming. I like it too! And I'm also curious what if anything can be done with the varnish, or if it's best to just leave it.
  10. Yep, no label or brand or anything inside, and no evidence of removed labels. It's about 355 and really delicate, the scroll is tiny. Pale yellow linings and an elongated D shaped neck block of pink-ish wood with "wings" on each side that continue kind of into the linings about 1/2 "... I'm not at all well versed in construction so I don't know if that is weird or not! The interior work looks nice to me from what I can see. There is one small repair under the top lobe of the treble f hole, just one cleat. The top will definitely come off when I get it to my friend's shop! He'll probably hit me over the head with it first LOL
  11. It may be clear by now that I'm a huge sucker for sad fiddles listed on eBay usually with horrible photos. I just wanted to share the latest one The seller used the term "alligator-ing" to describe what happened to the varnish. I've seen it before but not to this extent. It's like folk art at this point! He said it was from being in a hot attic for many years. On a side note the seller shipped the fiddle in the case. Period. Slapped a label on the outside of one of those old cardboardy antique cases, wrapped it around a few times with priority mail tape, and stuck it in the mail from the East Coast to Seattle. A couple plastic grocery bags underneath was the extent of the packing. I can't believe it didn't get crushed on the way!
  12. Aside from violins, I also collect Native American silver/turquoise jewelry and Victorian jewelry. I have gotten screaming deals on Shopgoodwill in the past, and I think I also bought a couple OK fiddles (nothing great). But about eight years ago while researching a diamond bracelet, I found out something that put me off of wanting to buy anything else from shopgoodwill. As I researched this (very distinct) bracelet, I discovered that it had been purchased from eBay the week before. Exact same bracelet with the same "jewelry appraisal" and everything. I tried to research the buyer and got nowhere; just that they had bought a lot of other random jewelry that looked expensive but (to my eye anyway) was dubious; horrible quality stones, sketchy hallmarks etc. Anyway, I doubt somebody bought a $500 bracelet on eBay then went straight to goodwill to donate it. They were asking $3,500 buy-it-now, with the sketchy appraisal paper stating the value at $6,500 or something. Maybe it was just one particular goodwill but that kind of soured me on buying from them for quite awhile.
  13. Wow I hadn't noticed that! But yeah, just schmutz.
  14. Thanks Morgana! The cat was thought to be female by his previous owners of eleven years, so he was named Beulah. We took him to the vet for the first time and the vet informed us that Beulah is in fact a male Of course I didn't change his name. He's got the typical Tuxedo attitude but is also very affectionate... when he needs something from you! We've determined the bow is Nippon, and it's bent. Ah well. The top is being glued back on today so I'm very interested to see how it will sound!
  15. Nice! Don't bring up the strings though.... LOL
  16. Hah! He really thought it was all for him! This is another shot, right after I asked him what he was doing up on the chair. He's a ham for the camera
  17. Hah! That's my cat Beulah, he thought the photo shoot was for him Here's the photos of the inside. It is indeed Mirecourt. It's 357mm, has a huge bass bar, crooked neck block, and the top and back are both a bit thick. Once these things are remedied I'm hoping it will sound good! Thanks everybody for your thoughts and input, I appreciate it!
  18. Thank you Martin! Yes, I'm beginning to think both the fiddle and the bow stamped "Simon" are Mirecourt. It's nickel mounted and when I took the frog off there were no other markings underneath. No cracks either as far as I can tell. The weight is 54 grams as is with no hair or thumb leather. I didn't take any photos of the Eudard Richert bow yet. It doesn't really look like anything super interesting but I'll bring it to the shop today and find out.
  19. Thanks Violadamore! It is very sparkly in the sun, and there seems to be a "sediment layer" (basically it's thicker and heavier on the treble side and a bit thinner lighter layer on the bass side) and honest play wear on the top, so I'm pretty sure it's oxidized rosin dust. I've seen (and owned!) tons of those intentionally darkened ones that have been mentioned and also several that just have old black rosin gunk on them; this is the latter. I heard once that some players thought it was "meant to stay on" after playing and would never clean the violin. I'm not sure if that's some sort of superstition or what? All I know is if you do that, then put it away, 100 years later this is what we're stuck with! I think there's a way to remove it. Or do we dare??
  20. Thank you Germain! I also looked at all of the Serdet violins on Tarisio and it's definitely much different. Also there are no brands on the inside. I'm taking it to my friend's shop tomorrow, I'm now leaning towards French but we'll see what the expert says It does need to be re-glued in one spot so he may just pop the top off so we can get a closer look inside. If we do I'll post photos. I am excited to see how it sounds!
  21. I just received this fiddle yesterday, I bought it on eBay despite frankly atrocious photos, none of the scroll and none of the label (which the listing claimed was Silvestre). I got it because I thought it was nice looking and it has zero damage except the scratch on the top from the fine tuner. Two bows came with it, one stamped SIMON and another Eduard Richert Dresden, all in a typical 1900 old black case (which arrived LOCKED so I had to pick it!) I'm just wondering what y'all think of it, I can't decide what it is. The bottom rib is a 2-piece so it's probably not Mittenwald. I found plenty of makers named Serdet but none with the first initial "E" which, unless I'm very wrong in my interpretation, is the first letter on the label. Thank you!
  22. Here's something I saw the day before yesterday, it had 9 bids and was up to a whoppin' $165, scheduled to conclude this morning at 7:30. To me it is clearly a composite, because the scroll doesn't seem to go with the fiddle and the purfling and edges of the back don't match the top. But I still liked the top because apparently I'm a sucker for really old, happy looking, crooked-faced, sat-upon tops. Because of that I will sometimes think they are something better than they really are. The label didn't really concern me, I assumed it was a copy, seeing as how it is identical to the Jalovec one all the way down to a stray dot of ink. Anyway I sent this to my friend who immediately said nope, try again. It's Austrian or some such. Oh well, one step forward, two steps back. Maybe in another 20 years I'll be able to identify things properly. Anyway this morning I checked to see how the auction went and saw that it had been cancelled and re-listed!! But only for 2 days. Listing Naturally this turn of events has raised my curiosity... maybe somebody out there thinks it is something?