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Posts posted by uguntde

  1. I have a violin here and wonder what it is. If the varnish (or what's left of it) was different, I would say Kloz school, but the varnish (or what's left of it) is weird. I would appreciate your suggestions.







  2. Fred, Thanks for the chemistry lesson.


    uguntde, I have read Rogers posts on varnishing in his double bass topic over and over again, who hasn't. Where I live there is no sunshine this time of the year ,so I'v built myself a simple UV box, like all other makers who cure oil varnish.




    My varnish dries over night in the UV box to the degree that the violin can be hold and put on the next layer. This is because I have pre boiled the linseed oil for 4,5 hours before I cook it into varnish. The same linseed oil without pre boiling dried much slower.


    I also have the impression the frequency of UV light is important. UVC (the sorter wave length) can kill the varnish (although sun light has lots of UVC). Many use UVC to darken the wood. UVB is however somewhat too soft.


    Journal Chemistry and Industrial Engineering I can't find.


    I however find:

    T.F. Bradley. Drying Oils and Resins Structure upon Oxygen and Heat Convertibility.  Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 29(5), 579-584.


    This is an ACS journal, all early issues digitised.


    Is this what is meant? The journal abbreviation JSCI stands for Journal of Scientific Instruments. This can't be it.

    The other articles I can't guess.

  3. There is no such siccative as artificial UV light. I assume most modern violin makers have a UV box.

    Traditionally painters have added mastic, and if you read a recent post here by Roger Hargrave, you will find, he does the same.

    Nobody knows why mastic speeds up linseed oil polymerisation. The chemistry of this is not well understood. There must be radicals that speed up the polymerisation of linseed oil, as it is clearly a photopolymerisation, but this can't be how mastic works. I assume that it enables a copolymerisation that causes faster (although almost certainly) different hardening.

    Mastic is also part of some more complex spirit varnishes, and was part of Bisiach later varnish.

  4. Hi Bill- if you want yellow, turmeric and alcohol will give you a stable yellow. Also, i agree with Joe that a ground is porous, even a couple of coats of glue with color or for just removing hair fibers on the surface is porous. The color portion of my ground is alkanet in alcohol, spic oil, sometimes include turmeric for a little yellow, or anything else i might try (alkanet will color  linseed oil, turp, & alcohol reddish, is insoluble in water). Since this raises summer growth wood of the top plate  i'll use pumice and a wood block to smooth out the surface a few times. The final color of the inst has to do with what metal is present in the varnish, reddish brown if it contains lead drier, brown/black if iron present. fred


    Are you suggesting a linseed oil ground with some alknet for a nice crimson color? Or glue with color?

    Shouldn't it be a yellow / golden color for the ground? Like some gamboge or other yellow, then linseed oil?

    What overall color expression do you achieve?

  5. There are these suggestions of vernice bianca - how commonly is this used?

    This comes probably from Sacconi's book, but I struggle with the idea to use something water based.


    I remember reading an article saying what seems to come out underneath the varnish of some Guarneri seems to be what looked liked shellac.


    Is it a good idea to use oil underneath?


    Does any body use Fulton's propolis soap? This would leave a yellow ground and have a pronounced antibacterial effect.

  6. For me orange of the Messie looks quite blunt against the Blunt. :mellow:


    When I saw it for the first time, I was quite disappointed after having seen a few Strads on auctions before. It looks orange in any light, from any angle. The two were next to each other in subtle light in the Ashmolean's special exhibit in August, and it was no different.  I took a flash light, to enhance the somewhat dull illumination provided by the museum.


    It is perfect in its proportions, a perfect Stradivarian scroll, perfect edgework, but the orange varnish is not what we got used to see on old instruments. Not at all like the Archinto or Blunt, let alone the Viotti-Bruce. The Tarisio pictures conceal this somewhat, but they are also very badly taken, reflections all over etc - sorry Tarisio.  Better ones here:


    No modern maker would dare to sell such an orange colored instrument. Doesn't help that it is reported to have a lousy sound. I sometimes feel violin enthusiasts and some makers adore a failed creation from the master's hand.


    For me the real beauty in the Ashmolean is undoubtedly the Lupot. If I was a maker, this is what I would try to imitate, but not the Messie.


    Let's seen how I get away saying this in this forum. :unsure:

  7. Die orange colour is what you see in the light in which it is presented in the Ashmolean. Just like this picture:

    When I first saw this, I was quite astonished.  I walked by it many times since, and always see the same orange. Also, when it hung next to the lady Blunt, one could see that it lacks these red pigments that the Blunt has. I also see those in the Archinto.  

  8. Lead oxides once in linseed oil or any other varnish are not of any danger. The red lead oxide is what is is typical old fashioned red car primer. Most people have touched it at some point. Water solubility of the compounds is not very good, this is why it makes nice crystals, and the substances is less likely to be toxic if insoluble. 

    So don't worry about Gand violins ...


    All of these substances are dangerous to work with, especially the powders must not be inhaled.

    I would not prefer any Cadmium salt or oxide over those of lead.

    Violin makers may not be aware of typical lab regulations: a chemist would use any such substance only under a certified hood. I think it is best not to use them as powders. Of course, no food in any area were chemicals are used.


    Interestingly, when Gustave Bernardel worked on his own in his later years (from 1892 until about 1901) he never used bright reds again. All these violins are more subtly colored.

  9. I find the best Bernardel-like feature of this ebay violin is the choice of wood for the back.

    The peg holes look brand-new, freshly cut.


    A real one here:

    or a Gustave Bernardel here:

    The earlier Gand & Bernardels can be bright red, later Gustave prefered more subtle red tones.


    They are all very similar: Wide prufling (1.5mm), amazingly accurate, the f-holes always have this slant from the outside, causing the reflection seen in the photos above. The walls of the peg box wide (too narrow and too rounded in the ebay violin). Also the scroll is very precisely shaped all the way around, even at its very end over the peg box, that is hard to access (I aways wondered how they did this, with a chisel from the ourside or with a bent chisel from the front). They are usually stamped on the back just in front of the blocks.  Linings very wide.

  10. As far as I understand there are two approaches to make a linseed oil varnish. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    There is the varnish where some resin is cooked in linseed oil at high temperature. This is the Fulton type, and seems to be what everyone uses now, in some form or another.

    The Fry approach dissolves rosin (which is a resin) first at high pH, i.e. under basic conditions, in its original form using lye, followed by the precipitation of a salt (e.g. with alum). Michelman describes this process in great detail, and takes a somewhat scientific approach, using simple stoichiometric measurements. He clearly describes the chemistry of the reaction of rosin with various salts. This is the most scientific approach I have seen.

    Unfortunately he skips the chemistry of linseed oil reacting with the rosinate, because his recipe lacks this step. This is why these varnishes can't work, because they lack the reaction of the oil with the rosin, which seems chemically not well understood. Most interestingly, the actual polymerisation happens light induced (I.e. as a photopolymerisation) afterwards on the wood. I could not find any article looking at the chemistry of the monomers and the polymers, nobody seems to know what the chemical compounds are.

    Please correct me if I am wrong. I would be interested in any publication that describes the chemistry of these varnishes. To make violin varnishes all this is not needed. But it is a missing piece of information to understand what these old Italian varnishes are.

  11. Amazing how you spotted the worm hole. This was the first thing I had dealt with when I had it abouy a year ago. It was treated with Rentokil and filled in. No activity since.

    Does this need regular checking?


    Are these Aegidius Kloz violins often relatively small?

    And does size in this case affect the value?


  12. Here another violin, where I am asking for some advice regarding its authenticity and value.


    It is labelled


    AEgidius Kloz in Mitten

    -vvald and der Iser 1783


    The 783 in ink and hard to decipher.

    The label is almost identical to the one shown here:

    (does not have the question marks)


    The instrument had a number of fine repairs, including a neck graft done in the French style,

    and has been half-edged. All repairs are of outstanding quality.

    The instrument is in mind condition, no sound post patch, not even scratched inside.


    Body lenght is 348mm, string lenght 316.

    Amazing rich and sweet tone, particularly on the G-string.


    Here some pictures:








  13. Prices for Klotz violins are broad, but I think your estimate is pretty close if not a little low.  Assuming there is no back crack and it isn't below about 353 mm. Instruments like this retail close to 20K USD in my neck of the woods, once put into top playing condition.


    Unfortunately it does have the unwanted back crack, nicely repaired, you can see it if you look carefully at the picture in the left bottom third. It is studded inside from the height of the top of the C-bout to the bottom. Repair is obviously  good enough that nobody here spotted it so far.


    How much do you know off the value for this?

  14. Cool violin. My only complaint would be an overly flamed neck that doesn't seem to fit. I wonder why people do this on an old violin that has a nice plain back.



    No, I was checking out the one piece top.  :)



    Anyone else note the pin in the pegbox?



    I read the name Taliczek, but the lines below his name are really illegible, too - the 2nd word starting "Pr....". Probably not a violin maker, but a dealer or musician?



    PS. I have never heard of Mr. Teileczek in Klagenfurth. He mentions an ”Unleserlichen Zettel” (illegible label). Is this label still inside the violin, and are you able to take a photograph of it, so that we can see if it is really illegible or not?

    There must be another quite different violin that belongs to the Möller reciept


    Thanks for all the excellent comments on this fiddle. I could not respond earlier as I had to wait 24h. I suppose I will have to post something for a few days to get to 9 posts.


    The letter is from a Julius Taticzek in Klagenfurt. I was unable to find who he was, probably a relatively unknown expert. I assume that he removed the illigible label (unleserlichen Zettel), but I am not sure. One can see from the color of the wood that there was once a label.

    He says it is not from Thir but from Aegidius Kloz II, son of Sebastian Kloz, built around 1770-1780. And below, 'possibly also Georg Kloz'. And he assigns a value of 60-70k Schilling, €4500-5000.


    I know the lady who bought it from Möller, I am sure the receipt is original to that violin.


    The closest Kloz I could find is one in the Geigenbaumuseum in Mittenwald.

    But the edgework and purfling isn't quite the same. Most Georg Kloz I violins have this dark varnish which is also water soluble.

    Also, most Kloz violins seem to have a nicely flamed back.


    I also noticed the one piece front and the pin in the peg box. This peg must habe been replaced at one point, there is a filled hole next to it. This is there to keep the A and D strings away from the G and E string pegs. Strange.  


    There is more to be repaired than just the fingerboard, the violin is also open, and someone put in some messy glue to fix this. But it is playable and has a very powerful and big tone.


    A final question: In which range would you value this instrument (auction value).

    Is €2000-4000 too much?


    Thanks to you all, Ulrich

  15. Can someone help to identify this violin?


    It has no label, one can see that it has been removed.

    Max Möller sold it as a Thir in 1952.

    It has later been attributed to the Kloz school.


    The instrument has a series of features that are not Kloz-like.

    This includers the arching, the height of the ribs, the size of the body (it is a full-size violin).

    The rounding of the plates towards the ribs was done the Italian way, after assembling the instrument.


    Here some pictures: