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Everything posted by Eryri

  1. I was in Newcastle from the mid seventies. Subsequently, I handled many instruments showing the hand of Tommy. I haven't offered an opinion on your instrument as I'm not confident of doing so from your pictures, but if pressed would tentatively say maybe nice quality French trade.
  2. Tommy Alexander, ex shipyards, worked from his house in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne. Did some buying and selling, and prolific and uniformly dreadful repairs. His bridges were signed in flowing biro copperplate. Had extremely good patter, to the extent that even those who's instrument had been wrecked by him would stoutly defend him, saying "Oh but Mr Alexander can do absolutely wonderful work". Was not a maker, even of VSO's, though he claimed to be. For quite a while he was the only repairer in Newcastle. If I seem a little harsh on him, I will say he repaired very inexpensively for schoolchildren and students, and as he wasn't very knowledgeable a few people did get some very nice instruments very cheaply, particularly lucky if there had been no interventions upon them by Mr Alexander. I don't remember hearing of his death, but probably the nineteen eighties.
  3. So, waffle is it? Guido, you - or I at any rate - rarely see Hopf type Voigtland violins which have been grafted for that reason, they're usually left alone, but entirely possible. The dropped saddle and nick are a puzzler. Mittenwald does a Hopf model? Perhaps @jacobsaunders might chip in?
  4. Thank you. Unless the neck is not original and the button has been altered, not JTL.
  5. Grafted. (has been a baroque violin and has had the scroll retained, but the neck replaced and modernised - see the joint where the neck goes on to the pegbox and scroll) Pictures 4 and 6. Nice find. Maybe Hopf, maybe not , but nicer than the mid/late19th century trade (mass produced) ones, which are plentiful. This quality less so, and of course rather older. More than 1800 sorted out IMHO.
  6. Can the OP please post a photo of the button - that is, the small semicircle of wood at the very top of the back where the neck joins on. Square on and not oblique, please. The top half of the back including it would be ideal. And a view from the side of this area, square on and showing the shape of the neck heel would be useful too.
  7. I see you haven't forgotten your waffle fiasco.
  8. One of the lower grades produced by the JTL factory. Try a search on Maestronet, but get the spelling right.
  9. Eryri

    Violin ID

    I'm going for JTL. An "Imitation Old" treatment of the standard JTL outline and corpus. Is the top block branded JTL? If the fingerboard surface is untouched, is it conical?
  10. Continuous fibres through the long arch with no run out.
  11. Sir Mark Ivan Rogers KCMG (born March 1960) is a former senior British civil servant, who was the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union from 4 November 2013 until his resignation on 3 January 2017. https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/09/ivan-rogers-the-realities-of-a-no-deal-brexit/
  12. https://www.nme.com/news/music/david-gilmour-guitar-sells-world-record-amount-auction-2511676
  13. Great thread, thanks for the link.
  14. You could try the following, all of which I've found helpful to make invisible glue line rub joints for backs and fronts. Working back wards... Using a metalwork vice to hold the wood when gluing, as the short length of the metalwork vice's gripping area ensures it will not distort your piece of wood. Hold one piece in the vice, hold the other next to it, use a wide brush to get both surfaces at once and not too thick glue. A fresh batch and the consistency of maple syrup. A quick up and down glue stroke, a quick up and down rub, leave. Do not heat the wood pieces up, to give a longer working time with the glue, they will distort. Plane your two pieces held together in the vice, until they're pretty good. then take them out of the vice and put your plane in, blade up - despite having a Bailey jointer, I find myself using another, medium length Bailey plane. With the blade set extremely fine, you can now adjust high spots in your two pieces. There are various ways to check the fit of the joint - pressing together, twisting and looking through with a light behind. Another one if find very useful is to put one piece in the vice, and balance the other on top with just gravity keeping it there - small gaps where it doesn't fit seem to be more obvious. When you have established where a high spot is, and made an educated guess which side the fault is with, take a see-through shaving with your plane by pressing a little harder in that area as you pull the wood over the plane blade. The plane needs to be razor sharp. The adjustment can take a few strokes to each side, if you're in luck and it goes well, or a bit longer. But bear in mind there is no faffing about clamping up, so you save time there. And the joint is almost impossible to see, as most of the glue rubs out, and hide glue shrinks and pulls in anyway.
  15. I use plain sycamore for wedges. On the head wedge, I cut a corner off, to make a small triangular void into which a knife tip can be inserted to get purchase to aid removal. I also, after hair has dried and I'm happy with the tension, use a toothpick to apply a very small dot of low viscosity CA in the corner of this triangle to wick into the bottom interface of wedge and mortice. I've been doing this for years, and on repeat rehairs there is no problem with removal, or any damage resulting from the glue use . In contrast with an ex J and A Beare craftsman then local to me, who shall remain nameless, who used to fill the head mortice up with thick CA. On good bows too - Tubbs, Hill etc even a Sartory. His use of this practice fell off, as I imagine did his business, when I had the leader of the first violins in to watch me rehair his Tubbs. And I started charging a supplement equal to a rehair to fix this vandalism whenever I came across it.
  16. Good luck with finishing it, and would love to see pictures.
  17. Maidstones. But anyway I think we're done.
  18. Next time you're in a junk shop, look through the pile of sheet music many of them have in some undisturbed corner. Victorian - all piano, piano and voice, violin or piano and violin. As it gets later, you get the WW1 songs, jazz age songs, novelty songs. The vast majority - if I can borrow a phrase of yours - chorded for tenor banjo or uke. You have to ask, who was playing these violins? If - and I doubt this - Mirecourt reached peak production in, say 1920, much of it must have been exported to the US, where, as inferred earlier, the violin would have retained numbers in the folk music area, or even gained popularity due to the exposure to field recording discoveries - Carter Family et al - many of which featured fiddle prominently. I don't have any knowledge of or view on French numbers. However, I ran a successful violin shop in the UK from the mid 80s to the 2000's, so as you can imagine I saw one or two Mirecourt fiddles. Still do.
  19. Another interesting assertion which has not been my experience. If you concede that the violins all conquering popularity began to wane in the last decade of the 19th century, due to the banjo making inroads as the cool instrument to play (Three men in a Boat, 1889, Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar Magazine, 1903), post WW1 numbers must have been really down by then, as the banjo, mandolin, ukelele and tenor and six string guitars were ubiquitous. I'm talking about the UK here, as obviously different conditions obtained in the US, both with Jazz and the recording of what is now called old-time music influencing instrument purchasing. Of course, the french factories ingenuity may have allowed them to substantially increase market share, nevertheless what I see doesn't bear this out - far more 19th century Mirecourt trade violins about than later merchandise. But let it pass...
  20. Oh well, good luck and I hope you prevail!
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