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Everything posted by bean_fidhleir

  1. Ah, another Pratchettian! The Grim Squeaker is the Death of Rats, of course. He shows up for all rodents really, but keeps the original title.
  2. I'd have bought it, just based on the f-holes and scroll being well-cut, AND the fact that someone evidently loved it enough to have it re-bushed. It seems to me that signs of loving use (or their lack) are a real tipoff as to musical quality. So if you like the sound as much as its previous human did, then you got a terrific deal.
  3. Semi-off-topic question: the current standard for Hardanger fiddles seems to have come from some conventionally-shaped ur-fiddle in the 1700s whose maker evidently liked rosemaling but perhaps thought paint would be a bit too dampening. So does anyone have an idea about why that "foreign" model rather than the gorgeous Jåstadsfele was adopted to standardise on?
  4. Like Edna and Jean Ritchie, Violet's well-known among traddies who care about the music and crafts of the US's eastern/central mountains. Sing Out did an article on her, her making, and her music some years back. If the US had the Living Treasure honor, she'd deserve it, and ISTR that she did get a Heritage Fellowship. When she goes (may it be long from now!), a lot of important tradition will go with her.
  5. The label doesn't look right for the apparent age of the fiddle. Paper has been routinely made from wood pulp only from the mid-/late-19th century on, after the Fourdrinier brothers invented and popularised their machine(s). Prior to that, paper was made of pulped rags and formed up by hand over wire screens that left the characteristic lined texture we call "laid". In the mid-18th century, Watman developed a way to make paper without the prominent wire marks. It looked more like vellum (skin), and we call that style "wove". Because the Fourdriniers' papermaking machine could do wove more easily than laid, wove gradually became the standard for cheap woodpulp paper. But between Watman's development of wove making and the reduction of handmade rag paper to an artisan product, most paper was still made laid (as we see in books from the time). So I'd expect this label to be on laid paper, if it came from the early 19th c. But it's not--laid wire marks would be very visible. The date on the label looks like it's been "refreshed" in recent times with a modern writing implement, so there's not much to be gathered from that. Right up into the 1950s, most job shops used clamshell presses that printed directly, the same way Gutenberg's and Caxton's had done, and as a rubber stamp does. Since ink was applied to the faces of the type by hand, there was always the problem of either having not quite enough on, producing fades and gaps, or too much in which case there was squeeze-out. And since until standardisation in the late 19th c. each letter was a unique piece of hand-cast metal (or hand-carved wood), printers had to shim each letter individually, or else use brute force to make sure each letter reached the paper. Brute force produced uneven debossing. Some "skilled" printers routinely got all three effects So labels printed by clamshells and similar always have a slight characteristic look to them. I can't tell from the photos how this label was printed, which suggests it's a fraud. Hope that was interesting, or at least useful.
  6. The label doesn't look good to me at all. From here it looks like nothing more than another baked xerox, only over-baked because (second photo) it's not only dark brown but starting to decompose. Mid-1800s from Tirol maybe?
  7. I was just now reading on Cosio that recent dendro work has shown that one or more heretofore-unquestioned Magginis were actually made after his death, apparently by some highly-skilled yet unidentified disciple. So it would seem that at least some of the variation in purfling and scroll winds might reflect a change in maker rather than a change in Maggini. Interesting thought.
  8. I like Magginis and have seen photos of 19th-c. "copies" that varied from reasonably careful --they seemed to come close on the outline and the one-fewer-turn scroll right at least-- to cringingly hopeless, where the only relationship to real Magginis is the double purfling. Actually, those guys got a lot of kilometerage out of that double purfling giggle: it's not hard to find photos of those same indistinct fiddles with bad interlacing and a da Saló label. I seem to associate that "piano" finish on Steve's one with a short timeline around 1900, maybe 1890-1905. Anyone have any views on that?
  9. The 17th and 18th century ones are guaranteed fake: anachronistic paper, and in one case the calendaring of the xerox toner can be seen.
  10. Thank you. You saved me saying it. (It's interesting that I sat for nearly a minute trying to imagine what "brown and muscle" could possibly be meant to mean before the penny dropped ooOOOOooo she meant brawn and muscle. Having other languages is not always helpful. )
  11. In that first photo, the top looks crowned to me.
  12. The 1724 looks okay to me. If it had started out as 1714, the handwritten 1 would probably have looked like the typeset 1 (i.e. a long rising stroke, making the number look almost like an A without a crossbar) because of the way most Germans write that number. It would be fairly difficult to just write a 2 over it (though marvelous things can be done with ink eradicators). Hope that helps.
  13. There are folk who think the "Loud McLeod" tartan is spiffy, too.
  14. The high bidder was either a shill or sobered up in time: it's been re-listed. Current bid nominally $15.6K. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=220549536617 Mark, Nonado said it all, almost. If that junk actually came from an estate, then it was the estate of an ordinary non-wealthy person who collected "stuff", probably because he just liked the things but possibly because he was one of the ordinary, decent, hopeful people that quasi-scammers like the Franklin "Mint" prey on - people who think that because something is in a "numbered, limited edition with a certificate of authenticity" it will be worth something some day. (The same people Obama's campaign preyed on, really) (oh, and the name of the vendor "poor man's estate sales" might be significant)
  15. "The history of research on perceptual bias can be traced back to an event in 1796 in which a famous astronomer named Maskelyne found he was unable to attain observational agreement with a research assistant named Kinnebrook. They were recording stellar transits for purposes of clock calibration, so the utmost accuracy was mandatory. Nevertheless, and in spite of their efforts, a systematic discrepancy of about a half-second persisted between their observations. The unfortunate Mr. Kinnebrook lost his job. About 20 years later another astronomer named Bessel heard of the Maskelyne-Kinnebrook incident and began an investigation which established that such discrepancies were typical and unavoidable for all observers. Mr. Kinnebrook had been dismissed unjustly. This difference between observers became known as the "personal equation", and it is as important in the history of psychology as it is in the history of astronomy."
  16. I have to ask: The Fibonacci series has had an almost unique mystical importance ever since the year dot. To many people that sequence gets the top score for God Talking To Us, considering how often it appears in nature. Intuitively, it seems a cinch that 17th-18th c. makers, especially in Italy, would have been intrigued and even enchanted by the series, and tried to express it in their fiddle design. So: how much effort has been made to investigate the role of the Fibonacci relationship in the archetypal fiddle design?
  17. Salve, as far as I'm aware there is no such paper. The reason newsprint paper darkens is because it's cheaply and quickly made of wood pulp and is very sensitive to sulphur. It will continue to darken til it's the color of a nutshell, by which time it will also have turned brittle and be falling to bits. The paper to which Strado refers is rag-based (cotton, linen, hemp) paper made by hand. It darkens much less rapidly than your fiddle's wood will. It's not a very bright (blue) white to begin with because it's bleached only enough to take out any existing dyes and it doesn't undergo clay-coating. It's more a nice, soft warm white. You might try a Strathmore 25% rag paper. It's available worldwide in stationers' shops in 20 or 25 (I can't remember) pound basis weight, and 80 pound cover weight. You can get it in either laid or wove making. The laid making looks like handmade paper, and because it's only got 25% rag in, it might darken somewhat without also disintegrating after a few years. Hope that helps.
  18. David wrote: As is said about the work of some graphic-type artists (painters and similar): "all technique, no heart". Or, more vaguely, "flawless, but it doesn't appeal".
  19. Excuse me for butting in, David, but aren't you talking to "other makers" here with the purpose of being useful? If they'd been able to attend the competition, wouldn't they have seen which fiddle got the Sacconi award? Or were the fiddles not ever identified by maker? If the fiddles were identified by maker, then what useful purpose can be served by not naming the recipient here? Unless by "useful to other makers" you meant "useful to other makers attending the competition" which I find extremely hard to believe. What am I missing?
  20. I'm about 95% sure that the label's a modern fraud. But it's a very nicely-done one (whence my 5% uncertainty) not the usual embarrassing kind. The only thing that comes to mind about the fiddle is that it seems in amazingly good shape for the claimed age. Could it be from the late 1700s-early 1800s instead? edit: Okay, looking at it more (wish I could see it in the flesh), I'll say a more modern fraud, but not necessarily modern as in 20th c. It looks like it could be letterpress, and the type looks a little less regular than I thought it did at first, but I don't see wiremarks in the substrate.
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