bungling_amateur

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About bungling_amateur

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    UK
  • Interests
    Strange old stuff

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  1. Somewhere in my papers I have a glossy brochure from a left-handed professional touring concert pianist who had commissioned one of the big piano makers to make a mirror-image grand piano for them to use on tour. Can't find it... must have been 15-20 years ago.
  2. From http://lisburn.com/books/historical_society/volume10/volume10-3.html "removing the soundboard from the body of the harp and planing by hand most of the original wood from the inner face. A new soundboard was then made and the gilded face from the original was glued on" I have a vague memory of reading about a similar process carried out on a famous-maker violin...?
  3. And concert programmes! It is an interesting question, but looking at other classes of instruments which don't have a living performance tradition, (thinking for example of those 19th century zither family things), they are valueless and so get discarded and destroyed. So I guess violins are interesting because they simultaneously have a thriving performance tradition with musical functional demands, and also have a thriving collector scene with "originality" demands, and there is an overlap and symbiosis between the two... I suppose you could regraduate and remove the original label and write your own message inside?
  4. Hammer! Hammers are underrated tools, so useful, there so many jobs where "it it wiv an ammer" is the perfect solution. Such a range of different shapes and sizes to choose from, the nuances of restoring and maintaining antique hammers.
  5. Clearly, talking to the neighbours is first priority. Explain your project, what it involves, what you hope to get out of it. Maybe they will be interested, maybe they will ask if they can listen. You can tell them what time you will be practising and what time you will be recording. Maybe it can become a routine "it's 5 O'Clock, time to open the windows and listen to the lovely violin music" Or maybe they will be un-co-operative, and tell you to "turn that wretched thing down, doesn't it have a volume knob or headphones or something". Then at least you know the situation and can make alternative arrangements. Much better to have this conversation now rather than halfway through your recording sessions...
  6. There's another idea in collecting, which I came to through book-collecting (building a working research library) - the idea that your collection can become better if you "weed" it, that way you can continue to acquire new items to add to the collection, while simultaneously selling off the least good / least fitting ones, to give you space and cash for the new acquisitions. I started just buying books and adding them to the shelves, but my enjoyment of my library increased a lot once I started ruthlessly de-accessioning things! And because I'm not doing it as an "investment" I have no problem selling way below what I paid, or even giving things away.
  7. There's another idea in collecting, which I came to through book-collecting (building a working research library) - the idea that your collection can become better if you "weed" it, that way you can continue to acquire new items to add to the collection, while simultaneously selling off the least good / least fitting ones, to give you space and cash for the new acquisitions. I started just buying books and adding them to the shelves, but my enjoyment of my library increased a lot once I started ruthlessly de-accessioning things! And because I'm not doing it as an "investment" I have no problem selling way below what I paid, or even giving things away.
  8. I'm wondering if they put the same technical resources and expertise into sampling a £69 cheap student fiddle, how different would the end result be?
  9. The value of this, is its continued ownership in the family. That is so rare to have an inherited treasure with that kind of written provenance. As soon as it goes outside the family, all that value vanishes. Write your own piece of paper telling what you know of your father and grandfather, and how the violin came to you. Keep it in the case with the old piece of paper. And make plans for passing the fiddle on to the next generation of the family.
  10. This is kind of fascinating as an object in its own right. I can imagine all the pieces carefully mounted in a museum case with custom-made plexiglass supports for each fragment, like how a smashed ancient Greek treasure would be displayed.
  11. I'm trying to work out what the thing is strapped to the front of the knife-wielding gentleman. It looks like a leather case viewed end-on, but I can't work out how it is put together with the straps etc, and what instrument it might be for.
  12. At least you got provided with a shelter! Not much headroom though.
  13. I have a fiddle that is wider than usual (213mm lower bout, 174mm upper, body length is 355mm) Of course it won't fit in any case I have ever seen except the horrible home-made plywood case it came in.