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About GeorgeH

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  1. The lowest grade instruments in the beginning of "cottage industry" production in Germany were poorly and hastily constructed from cheap materials. For example, the inside of the plates were often hacked-out quickly, and smoothed out only where the inside was visible through the f-holes. The quality of low grade violins made in the "cottage industry" started to improve significantly around c. 1906 with the introduction of the Thau milling machine for making the plates. Modern lower-grade violins are primarily made in China, and are vastly superior in construction than the early low-grade "cottage industry" production because of the use of machines, production lines, and skilled labor.
  2. GeorgeH

    Old strings

    In my experience, I can tell my strings are bad when they are harder to tune, they don't stay in tune, they loose liveliness and ring, and doublestops are harder to play in tune.
  3. Interesting! Thanks for the link.
  4. I am curious. Clearly his main business was a dealer/wholesaler, but how do you know for certain that he never made a violin?
  5. GeorgeH

    Great bow ID

    Only if you paid a lot for it.
  6. Many amateurs screwed and nailed on necks doing "repairs," whether out of expediency, ignorance, or economic necessity. People also used strings to set sound posts, like they did with this one. As far as "just jealous that you found a great violin, and have to try their hardest to tear it apart," well, that is an odd comment! I am certainly not "jealous;" I am just commenting on what I see, which is what people do here. Anybody is welcome to tell me I am wrong and why, no problem. It is a discussion forum, after all. I am happy to learn from my mistakes.
  7. I think it is late 19th/early 20th century. The LOB is right for a 7/8th or "Lady's Violin" as they were marketed back then. The scroll is obviously dutzenware, and the "DUKE" brand stamp under the button is not particularly unusual for a violin of that period. It is hard to see in pictures, but the arching on the back does not seem out of the usual to me.
  8. I think that the narrowing of the edges along the sides and modifications of the corners was deliberate because it is too even and symmetrical to be due to case wear and/or playing. You haven't convinced me that it isn't a composite assembled by a amateur from dutzenware with a "W DUKE" stamp, or a re-worked top plate. Your drawing also seems to suggest a frankentop fitted to the outline of the ribs.
  9. There are a number of reasons that sp cracks in the back are more de-valuing than top sp cracks, but "worse tone" is not one of them. The tone after a well-repaired sp crack is just as likely to be improved as it is to be worse or simply stay the same. One reason that sp cracks are more devaluing than top sp cracks is that they are harder to patch well. In a top sp crack, the closed crack is naturally reinforced by the downward pressure of the bridge against the arch, whereas a back sp crack has the sound post pressure pushing the crack to open from underneath the arch. In addition, there are the aesthetic considerations of a sp crack in the back versus one in the top.
  10. Are you saying this for this instrument specifically or as a general statement?
  11. If you start at the top of the violin and follow the edge, you can see where it has been thinned almost to the purfling as you get to the sides and the C-Bouts on both sides. The top of the lower right corner appears to not have been thinned as much as the rest, giving a hint of the original edge width in that area. The back edges do not appear to have been thinned in the same way as the top edges. Perhaps this is not the original top and the violin is a composite?
  12. It looks like the "maker" started with a finished trade violin with a "W DUKE" stamp, disassembled it, modified it (including re-shaping the plates), and then crudely reassembled it. It appears like wood was removed from both sides, the corners amateurishly redone, and the ffs re-shaped.
  13. It reminds me of the old violins that are sold in the U.S. as "folk fiddles." They are often bodies built by autodidactic makers with imported commercial necks attached. They can originate from just about anywhere. I think this is one of them. It even came with a string around the sound post.
  14. From an article in 2008: "During the market upheavals of recent weeks, spot gold prices bobbed at around eight hundred dollars per ounce. The best Stradivarius violin, on the other hand, could have gone for something like seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars per ounce. That’s twelve million dollars for an avoirdupois pound of wood, if you want to be crude about it, and why shouldn’t you, these days? In this and in other ways, the great violins are, ounce for ounce, among the most valuable commodities in the world. There is even a Web site called Almost alone among investments, important violins have proved immune to economic downturns. Auction prices for Stradivariuses have increased from about two hundred thousand dollars in 1980 to about three million dollars today."