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About insearchofcremona

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  1. Quote: The misinformation goes to the FACT that real Strads (not "Alabama" Strads) have the rib taper from the upper corners to the head block only. Golly Jacob!! I just bought a 1719 Stradivari from the estate of a wealthy collector in Pennsylvania, and you know what?... the ribs do taper from the head block to the corners. I'll even give the measurements... On either side of the neck, the rib height is 30mm. At each upper corner, the rib height is 32 mm. Furthermore, the edges of the belly in the c bouts is thicker, and even the points are a little thicker than the rest of the edges!! Can you tell me what height the ribs should be on either side of the tail saddle, based on the information I just gave you?? Thanks, John Aw shucks Jacob!! I just measured the height of the rib in the right c bout... it is only 30mm. Even worse, the height of the rib on the bass side is 31mm. Isn't that just awful!! To think a violin maker with his reputation would make a fiddle that was so out of whack. I think, I'm gonna ask for a refund of my money... I know I'm gonna get my money back now... I just measured the ribs at the lower corners... guess what? They go back up to 32 mm. I think I have been defrauded!! Have you figured out what the rib height should be at the tail saddle?? A lot of money is riding on your answer!! I'm sure you know the answer, but will you tell me?? Please??
  2. Quote: Hi John, I appreciate your opinion and while I might imagine that a nice old violin I buy might be a rare treasure, I have had a little experience that tells me that the liklihood is similar to a needle in a haystack. Perhaps there is a grand conspiracy amongst the owners and dealers of violin treasures that they have the only ones in existance. I know I can't tell the difference and I've looked at and held thousands, and owned several hundred. I know more today than I did yesterday and much more than a year ago. For the life of me I still can't tell the difference with any certainty. jesse Hi Jesse, The bottom line is this. There is no such thing as an 'opinion' which can be rendered when identifying a violin. Either it is, or it is not. The work of any Master Italian violin maker can be identified as such. On the other hand, the work of any Master Italian violin maker can be mis-identified as such. Then you have the deliberate, outright liar. It all depends on who is doing the identification. In days long gone by, a few honest authorities pointed out, in writing, that some so-called experts, were not expert at all. What does this mean? It means that they knew what was genuine, but would not say a particular instrument was genuine in the hopes of getting it away from the unsuspecting, trusting owner. That means these few dealers were crooked, liars, thieves, and cheats. This has happened in the past, and continues into the present. I know it for a cold hard fact. Not only that, I can prove it. I might have been born at night, but I wasn't born last night. For 30 years, I have studied the history of violin making and the business of selling violins even more than I've studied violins themselves. Nobody can blow smoke up my 'you know what'. A couple of crooks tried it once before, but I guarantee they wouldn't try it again. If you don't believe me, just ask. I can prove it. I am not being disrespectful to anyone, I'm just stating the facts of life. John
  3. Quote: Quote: This sold a month ago. I'll be able to see it this weekend. ebay-Landolfi?? Any comments or helpful tips? Thanks, Regis Just compare the label to the rest of the thing. The label looks 200 years newer (at least from the pictures. It obviously didn't go through the same kind of hell the rest of that violin did. It looks like someone used it for batting practice and then glued it back together. Yet, the label looks remarkably pristine, and I'm not sure if that font was around before the advent of the Macintosh (fecit anno 1987). Seriously, though, the label is a hodge-podge from what I can tell. I have Jalovec's book in front of me, which has two (presumably the only two) labels of Landolfi. The first one shows 1755 date, which should be closer to your label. However, it looks more "hand written" and less "times new roman", and his name is in Latin: Carolus Ferdinandus Landulfus (first U may be an O) fecit Mediolani in Via S.Mar garitae anno 1755 The second (later) label in jalovec has his whole name in Italian. The label on your violin shows part of his name in Latin, and part in Italian, which I would venture to guess, he never put in writing. But he apparently ran it through the word processor that way. Both listed labels had 3 lines, and the one on the violin shown was only two. Between the fonts, the mixed languages, and wrong number of lines (not to mention what looks like a barely playable violin), Quote: they didn't even try to make a good fake! Who is/ are they?? The last thing I pay attention to is the label, besides, I didn't say anything about the label. I said that I believe that the violin looked to be genuine. Furthermore, if I could examine the one Regis is going to see, I can and will be able to determine if it is genuine or not. Your doubt cannot overcome my knowledge, nor can it overcome what I believe. I look for the genuiness in what I see in and on the fiddle itself. What I see in and on the fiddle determines if what I see is genuine or not genuine. The label comes last. If it is genuine, then I can hope that the violin is also. If the label is spurious, then someone took the original out and probably put it in a collection, or another fiddle which is not genuine, then offered it for sale or perhaps sold it as genuine. There are many possiblities, and most importantly, nothing is impossible. John
  4. Quote: Are you talking about Strads in particular or violins in general? If it's the former, we are dealing with one of your dangerous bits of misinformation again. I'm talking about Stradivari violins in particular, and those of other Cremonese makers as well. Not one of these individually handcrafted instruments have the same exact measurements, at any point. I'm not sure why you think my contribution in this post is "dangerous mis-information", when it is, in fact, accurate, truthful, and can be readily and easily proven by anyone who has ever taken the measurements from one, then transferred that information in the form of charts and diagrams, which you probably use to make your instruments from. I have more than one of these charts, and I can see with my own eyes that the measurements, though accurately taken, and accurately transferred, represent with accuracy the exact same information I stated previously. The poster I am examining right now is a Pietro Guarneri of Mantua violin 1704. It came from The Strad magazine, and was the work of John Dilworth. Clarissa Bruce took the pictures. Have you ever heard of them??
  5. Great pictures Jesse!! Thanks. The violin my friend has bears absolutely no resemblance to this one. There is a brand like that on the button, the inside of the back is stamped, but there is no date.
  6. Quote:It's a closely guarded secret among the violin cogniscenti that these are in fact Del Gesu instruments from his JTL period. Imprisoned in darkest France they forced him to make violins to another pattern and label them with another makers name. Lest anyone doubt this I was present when a Breton, (undisturbed for centuries in a remote Hymalayan monastry and in a perfect state of preservation) was opened for the first time and faintly pencilled on the underside of the table was " I am a prisoner in a violin factory...G.G del G" In Italian of course. Nial [/Qoute] The only thing I don't believe about your story is the signature. The inscription should have been signed G.B.G., and the del G. (moniker) was assigned by someone later on down the line. Probably some of his youngun's or what we call "branch kin". Everything else is absolutely true, no doubt, and I'll bet Jacob can verify the authenticity of your statements, depending on if he has been smoking that good stuff, and if the moon is full.
  7. Quote: Wow. Landolfi completely changed typography on his labels between making the two violins - and the earlier one has the more up-to-date type. He used at least 3 different labels and at least 2 different repair labels. That makes 5 and each one has a different typography set, as well as different wording on the labels. So we could "assume" he may have even used more. Have you ever signed your name differently??
  8. Quote: Another eBay "Landolfi" This one is even better!!
  9. Quote: He meant exactly as the label said "Landolfi's work" The only person knew and one could trust was "Landolifi" himself, unfortunately unvailable now. You must be kidding!!
  10. Quote: I was contacted by a potential bidder on that auction for advice and I told her that the liklihood of it being authentic was very remote, somewhat like the odds of winning the lottery. I told her that you can buy a $5000 fiddle on eBay for $500 or pay $5000 for a $500 fiddle. What you cannot do is buy a $50000 fiddle for $1500. Or maybe someone can, it just hasn't been me. I also told her that I really don't know enough about violins to bid more than $1000 for anything on eBay. Jesse Jesse, You are a very honest and reputable person, and one of, if not the best eBay seller of instruments. I am saying it publicly, and I mean what I say. If people can't trust you, they can't trust anyone. I've been on eBay for over a year. I've bought some, and sold a few. I know that someone who participates in the Maestronet forums "jumped on me big time" when I first listed a violin or two for sale. A very good friend of mine informed me of these posts, and I recently found them in the archives. After reading them, I can only say that a deep, dark veil has been pulled over the eyes of the general public concerning the 'possibilites' of ever finding a rare and very valuable musical instrument from Northern Italy in the 'attic, closet, or barn' of granny so and so's old home place. Almost all of the so-called experts have said this for ages. I am, here and now, saying otherwise. This reprehensible practice is going to stop, and I am the one who is going to put a stop to it. Furthermore, if anyone who participates in these forums has an instrument, which they have sound and good reason to believe may be a genuine and rare Italian, French, German or other nationality instrument in possession, and some so-called expert has poo-poohed it to be a fake, fraud or cheap whatever, get it touch with me, and I will tell you the truth of the matter. I am listed in the telephone directory. John A. Thornton Brewton, Alabama
  11. Quote: This sold a month ago. I'll be able to see it this weekend. ebay-Landolfi?? Any comments or helpful tips? Thanks, Regis Hi Regis, Please by all means call me if you are going to see the violin at home. I just looked at the auction pictures, and it looks genuine to me. If it's possible that I may examine the instrument, I'll tell you in a New York / Boston second if it's genuine or not. If it is, I'll say so, if it is not, I'll say so. Regards, John
  12. Quote: If chosing between "Alard", "Kreisler" or "Lord Wilton" del Gesu violins to copy which do you think is the best choice? Is there a better choice that I haven't mentioned? Barry D, Notwithstanding the fact that everyone here on the Pegbox believes I am a lunatic, and totally deluded, I have at least 5 del Gesu models which have never been seen, handled, or played by anyone who knew what they were. Since I am just a few hours away from Atlanta, and if you are not in a big rush to get started on making a fiddle, I will be more than happy to provide you with any information needed to make a copy. The tops are out of most, so I can easily make outline templates, as well as give you the exact thicknessess of the backs and bellies. In fact, I welcome you to visit me here in Brewton, and I will let you choose for yourself. It would benefit you greatly to see these wonderful violins in person. If you desire to take me up on the offer, email me privately. Best regards, John A. Thornton Brewton, Alabama
  13. Quote: I am curious as to the ages as well as the origin. The last one is labeled Desideri, who has a terrible write up in Henley, but seems to be the oldest of the three. Could it be authentic? I wouldn't mind having an authentic, bad Italian violin. One has to start somewhere. Jesse Hi Jesse, My friend, you are well on your way. The Desideri is as genuine as the day is long, and that is a natural born fact of life. He worked on the Guarneri and Guadagnini patterns and his instruments have a very, very good tone. The Gagliano viola is also genuine. Mark down what I say and don't forget it. If anyone tells you these two are fake, or a copy, run like the dickens the other way, and don't look back. If you do, your body will turn into a pillar of salt!! John 10 Stars for YOU!!
  14. Just found Joseph Francois Breton in John H. Fairfield, "Known Violin Makers. Seems there were two men by the same name, and both branded and stamped their instruments. One called himself to be in Paris, but they both lived and worked in Mirecourt, ca 1740 - 1799. Says they used the "broad flat pattern" of Stradivari, but this is not broad, and it is not flat. This violin is branded or engraved Breton on the button, and stamped inside like the subject line. The neck length is 12.9cm from the nut to the edge of the belly. If the neck has been replaced, I can't find the graft lines. This thing is as fine as frog hair, and if it is an original, then it is one of the finest French violins on the planet. The scroll is massive, and very, very well done at that. I'll take some pictures and get them uploaded. I mean to tell you, this is one fine looking fiddle. **It's funny to see the upper ribs made from the same wood as the back, but the rest match each other. Interesting... John