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Everything posted by bean_fidhleir

  1. I doubt it would make a good investment if you're thinking of monetary appreciation. It probably doesn't sound very good, so players wouldn't be interested, and it's not made by a "name", so there's no reason for a collector to want it. That doesn't leave much.
  2. Somehow I find that a bit creepy.
  3. One hint about the instrument quality is the fact that the "decorative" purfling has no logic to it, and the MOP is just chips stuck into filler. I.e., there's been no attempt to cut the pieces to fit the intended shape. The makers of even the cheapest, grottiest banjos during that same time made an effort to cut their MOP fingerboard inlays at least approximately to shape, so it's not too hard to figure out how much real work went into making a fiddle where no attempt was made to fit the MOP. I always wonder whether fiddles like that were carved by machine. There is one advert from that time, in the Ehrhardt books, that was for a factory in Sachsen that apparently did make fiddles by machine, so it's not impossible that the only handwork on a fiddle like that one was gluing purfling into the badly-routed channels and sticking the random MOP chips into the filler goop.
  4. I don't think it would look like that if the wood had been bare, because naked wood would draw the ink sideways by capillary action. The inscription would look all "furry". It looks to me like ink on varnish that was mixed and/or applied unevenly, such that some spots had enough "tooth" to release some ink from the quill, while others were too slick. What's interesting to me is why Mori Costa wrote it (presumably it was he) to begin with, and why so much of it still remains, because writing inks were all water-soluble at the time and would certainly have been rubbed off of varnish in just a few months' or even weeks' handling unless protected by having been varnished over. And if he varnished over it to preserve it forever, why? It certainly doesn't enhance the instrument.
  5. It must be enormously more clear in the flesh, then, because there's certainly no "of course" possible from that photo.
  6. To me it works more as an F than a P (no closure in the top loop, and that little crossbar that looks intentional). (P|F)a(n|r)n?d
  7. There's a lot of toner on that label! I bet that if we could get down near the surface and glance the light off it we'd see a visible thickness. (I'm pretty sure the paper isn't brown, though, Lyndon. It looks more like the lighting is off, given the red cast to that yellow varnish) I bet, too, that an Italian maker would put "Venezia" on his labels, not "Venedig".
  8. I'd swear I've seen that "scroll" before now. I think a photo of that instrument should go into Mastronet's glossary to illustrate "VSO".
  9. I wouldn't ever buy anything from that seller. His description of that fiddle is so studiedly non-committal and suggestive that it set all my alarm bells off. Why would he not have mentioned that, as Addie noted, it has a fake head graft?
  10. Three small rules of thumb for older instruments: - ignore anything decorated with chips of mother-of-pearl, inlaid scenes, etc. They're almost certainly a waste of money because they were thrown together about 100 years ago to attract unsophisticated buyers. - be cautious about anything with a stamp burnt in. Some real makers used brand-stamps, and some factory instruments are good, but most of the ones with "STAINER", "CONSERVATORY", etc. are not the best. - consider looking for a fiddle with rebushed pegholes, worn fingerboard, etc. Those are things that can be done to give a fake appearance of age and love, but if they're real they're a sign that someone loved the instrument enough to play it a lot.
  11. I wonder whether that scroll is by a different hand. Its technique looks out and away better than anything about the body. Those ffs are particularly ugly, but the corners come in for their share too. The body looks vernacular, but the scroll professional. But what pro would work up a nice scroll for that body? Unless the sound is wonderful, I suppose. The ffs seem to indicate that the maker was trying (and failing) to copy Stainer's model. The arching on the back looks really strange. Also the varnish. Böhmische, maybe? Too much money, for sure.
  12. If I understand what you mean, that's the usual way it's done -- the back is cut such as to "cap" the button (the same thickening of the neck to match the body is called the "heel" on banjos and possibly also on guitars, mandos, etc) and hide what would otherwise be a visible seam when looking at the back. Having the seam visible from the side isn't a problem--it agrees with the seam at the back/rib join. There are similar joints done in cabinetmaking for the same aesthetic reason.
  13. That is nice work. You must have a larger collection of fonts than even I do.
  14. I wouldn't think the H has anything to do with the maker. More likely a previous owner, the reason being that makers seem to try to make the most beautiful, pristine scrolls possible. They might burn their initials/chop into the button face, or on the inside of the body, or the inside of the pegbox, or even under the fingerboard, but you won't find many -if any- who do anything to the scroll. (Having stuck my neck out, someone will now proceed to point out fifty makers I've never heard of who routinely do everything to their scrolls short of cutting them off) Pity that it's not a real Fagnola. But I'm sure you were already prepared for that. The cert's probably a Chinese counterfeit. <--(I'm only half-joking. They even advertise counterfeit certs for various nefarious purposes.)
  15. I'd love to have a keik at that label. The substrate looks hokey as hell, from here. The price, too, seems quite a bit steep for a fiddle that's been glued back together after being kicked by a horse. It's been my impression -not that I've a right to one- that major patching means deadened sound. Of course he does say "Restaurationswürdig" which I imagine he thinks is a synonym for Kerkerausfluchtsschein.
  16. I wonder whether this is one of the ones JTL was wholesaling for $35 in 1898 -- "carved head and extra-fine mosaic". (Ehrhardt's book 2)
  17. That's only twice what they were ($25.- each) when first printed. Your fiddle looks to be in very nice shape for its age. If it sounds good, you lucked out in a major way since they were inexpensive factory productions intended to attract unsophisticated people.
  18. Looks old and from Tirol'sche Umgebung. Apart from that.... I've looked in ebay and unless they're advertising it as something other than a Kloz/Klotz, it appears to have vanished.
  19. Trade fiddle from around 1900, give or take. Imported and sold by Sears and similar, and illustrated in their catalogs, also (xeroxed) in Ehrhardt's 3-vol Violin Identification and Price Guide put out in 1977 et seq. but now, I believe, out of print. There's one quite like yours, albeit having a different scene, on p46 of Ehrhardt's book 1: "No. 110 Dark, rich brown, fancy colord wood inlaying of ancient castle in back, double purling around edges, good tone, pearl flowers in tailpiece. A good violin. $9.50". Advertised in 1912 by J. W. Jenkins Sons Music Company. Another, listed under "Violins with Mosaic" in Thibouville-Lamy's 1891 wholesale catalog (illustr. in Ehrhardt's bk 2), went for $8.40. Or $35.20 if you wanted a "Duiffoprugard" label, carved head, and "extra fine mosaic". Others, being sold from 1898 thru 1910 by Rudolph Wurlitzer for $6.25 - $9, are listed with descriptions similar to "Inlaid castle on back, fine red shaded, fancy wood, imitation ebony trimmings". The illustrations show double purfling for some of them. Hope that helps.
  20. I chose to look at graphic rather than structural details (of course!). It was the varnish wear (outlined) that convinced me that it was the same fiddle--good as fingerprints any day.
  21. The photos of the heads are at slightly different angles, which, as Robert notes anent shadowing, doesn't help. They're identical.
  22. Yes, I thought the repair work was very classy. Perhaps it was done by the driver of the tank that ran over it? Does that fiddle have a button graft too? I can't quite tell. Okay, experts -- how old is the one with the flindered table and where from? The head doesn't appear to have been grafted, and looks the wrong shape to be very old anyway, and the ffs are nasty, but the more I look at it, the more that body, or at least that table, seems to look quite old, e.g. 150-250 years. Wotcher think?
  23. That Jäger case?? The fiddle with the matchstick table looks like it might have been around awhile. Pity they don't show the scroll.
  24. Understatement of the month, I should think.
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