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Thomas Knight

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  1. Hi Guido, thanks for the response. yes, i agree on the 1. I grew up in Italy and Luxembourg and saw the numbers. To this day I cross my 7 when I write them, a habit I cant break. The first letter looks like a European J, I think I see Jan. What makes it possible is violins in the white were exported from almost every country to others including to the US. I have done my research and have an extensive library of books. The only thing I considered was if it indeed is an import and varnished here, then what is the country of origin? The name and date could be when they finished it. By the late 30's the outer mould made up a considerable number of makers from all across Europe. So I looked at the corner blocks and believe they are beech, and the linings appear to be spruce, while the upper and lower blocks are spruce. The pins under the purfling narrows down the search a bit. Most of the American violins I have seen or owned are quirky unless the person was trained overseas and then sometimes I can see that the origin is Saxon, Mirecourt, etc by what the top ,masters on this board, especially Jacob, have taught us. This was not someone's first or even tenth violin. It is too well done. From what I have learned about a large number of American makers is a great deal of them imported violins and finished them here. I have a friend who in the late 60's and 70's worked for two well known large shops in the NE USA and an importer named Martin Brinser would bring by several dozen unlabeled Italian instruments in the white and the shops bought them all and varnished them. He still has one. That is why he thought this may be an earlier example but before WW2.
  2. Hello MN members. I have a very nice unlabeled violin of unknown origin. I have had it for years and it has been looked at by a few well known experts with none giving an absolute answer. Decades ago it was listed in my insurance appraisals as Northern Italian amateur $4500 in 1998 by a well known appraiser. The top was off at the time and he examined the interior work. Recently three more looked at it. One thinks a very good American, another thought possibly Italian pre war, and a third thinks Milan workshop bought in the white and varnished here in the States. The last one had an orthoscope and examined it. The neck block has 1939 in pencil, and then someone's illegible name written over the date in a different pencil by a different hand. Cbout linings go into French type corner blocks slightly longer at the upper and lower bouts but outside mould for certain. The f-holes are nicely fluted, the scroll volutes go to the pegbox, substandard neck button repair, locating pins under the purfling, no beestings at the corners Arching rises immediately at the purfling and quite flat at the bridge feet and is the same on the back which also appears to me to have been refinished--maybe when the neck button was done? I appreciate any input. My scope is unable to get really clear pics.
  3. My goal is to one day hear the top luthiers on this site say 'well done, that is good work'
  4. Hi Jerry, I cant argue with you at all. I am nearly 66 and have owned about 6000 violins and handled more than double that. Classically trained as a violist and played with the U of Miami Chamber Orchestra at 11. I stated collecting in the early 70's and didn't know a Suzuki from a Stradivari. I just bought all I found under $25. The photos on this instrument were awful but I saw the 5-ply purfling and figured it may be a Seidel. Buying instruments was an addiction for me for decades, however since I started training I have bought only six and did well as four of the the six were high four and low five figure instruments. I am learning and getting better.
  5. Hi Jacob, your Seidel thread was the first I read. Very informative as all your articles are. This thing is nowhere near a Seidel in quality. I want to thank you for coining a new phrase as I have my 'wicked ways' on this poor, unsuspecting instrument. Chris Isaac wrote a song about a 'Wicked Game' his love played with him. I shall have that tune on the stereo as I work on this.
  6. Hello MN members, I am hoping one of you can help me confirm the origin of this violin. Yes, many of you will ask why did I procure this nightmare, but I have a soft spot for the unusual to the great consternation of the classically trained luthier I am apprenticing under (for the last year). I believe the scroll is very well done, so that that makes it a keeper. He thinks it a waste of time. Is he right? Of coarse he is. I know Professor Saunders would throw it in his rubbish bin, but I am stubborn. Maybe I should carve a new top? OK, now that the laughter and ridicule has died down, the numerous lessons given to us by Jacob Saunders, I want to see if his efforts and teachings are finally sinking in this thick skull of mine. I believe Saxon late 19th C, BOB construction with inserted corner blocks at the time of construction, the scroll looks Markie, but with fluting going all the way into the pegbox. Five ply purfling may be what some older posts referred to as used by some Saxon makers. I think it is a carved out bassbar. The violin has been regraduated and at one time had quite a bit of writing on the back that is now impossible to read from being scraped off. Even the ribs were scraped and thinned. Then revarnished, the top halved and then new wood added to the neck block area (horrible work). Single screw used to secure neck to block. Arching confuses me as flat between the f-holes which have been widened on the outer parallel area giving a weird shape to them. Arching is round on the bottom, and rises just inside the purfling. Linings dont match with some much newer than others. I see three different lining materials. On a final note, I would like to thank all of you who have suggested in the past that I should leave the work to be done by experts. You motivated me to go study under an expert and I am learning many ways to do things correctly. No machines, no shortcuts, etc. Some of you may not realize your influence on others, so I am grateful to everyone on MN.
  7. More history on Herman Muller, one of the repairman on this instrument. He was active in Berkley and the Bay Area of San Francisco 1890's to 1910 from what I found so far, having rebuilt a famous Amati for August Henrichs, the Concertmaster of the San Francisco Orchestra, after an 1898 fire and extinguishing flooded the old Lucky Baldwin Theater and basement where all the instruments were stored and had 8ft of water in it. The owner sent a young man in to swim and get the world famous Amati, and Muller took almost a year to fully restore it as it had come completely undone from the fire and water to some 68 parts including old repairs. So the FA Glass violin was repaired by Muller around 1890-1910.
  8. Thank you Jacob Here are the plain text: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/341418-violin-id-fa-glass-brand/ Friedrich August Glass senior? - Page 4 - The Pegbox - Maestronet Forums Here is a pic of the FA Glass 2 stamp Blank Face had provided. The middle line is exactly the same on mine, but the button has no upside down V or the emblem under the F A G
  9. I cant get the links to the previous threads to show. Can anyone else see them?
  10. Hello Mn, I have what appears to be an FA Glass 2, and the stamp matches that from the Markie museum Blank Face shared a while ago. It looks to be Klingenthal, better than most trade violins, and I know from Jacob's statements Henley is to be discounted. The two repair labels appear to be authentic and one labeled Joseph Urban is correct and dated 1876, and he died in 1902, and the other labeled Herman Muller is undated but the bassbar is stamped with that name. It is fully blocked and lined with the corner blocks covering the c-bout lining ends, but not the upper and lower linings which end at the blocks. It appears BOB and I can see the clamping line on the bass side upper rib and treble lower rib. Grafted and bushed on the G and E. Looks like an Amati model to me, and I do like the f-holes with the longer sweep on the lower ends. There were two previous threads I found, one showing a similar violin and the other showing a proper FA Glass 2 stamp. I have had numerous violins labeled FA Glass, one with a cursive script FA Glass stamp on the back and inside, some stamped GLASS, but this stamp is a first for me. It appears to be newer than most 1850 violins, but who knows if it were kept and never taken out to play? Any thoughts?
  11. I am not ashamed. I am a MA instructor and if some of my students saw me go in one they could be confused due to my strict stance against drugs and alcohol, so I go to one in Orlando when I visit there :-)
  12. I mix up the flakes and gum but am not sure of the purity of the denatured alcohol I use. I also dont cook it but let it sit for a few weeks. I get DA at the big box stores and don't bother to distill it to remove the water. I have used grain alcohol which seems to flow better while brushing and dries a little slower but the cost difference is notable and I never feel comfortable going into a liquor store. Sounds ridiculous but I dont drink alcohol and never go in one.
  13. It is a 1lb cut garnet shellac flakes with a very small amount of mastic gum thinned quite a bit with denatured alcohol--maybe to a 1/2lb cut. I believe an oil primer/sealer that is slow drying would work. The other reason for poly is the shine. Poly is available in high gloss so it will have the same sheen.
  14. I decided the best way to settle this is to touch up a poly violin and post pics. This pink nightmare was bought for someone's daughter. I sanded it again with 320, 500, 1000 and micromesh 3000. Then I used spirit varnish, poly varnish, and brown oil varnish. I then put it in my UV box for 4 hrs. The poly and oil (IV # 1010rb) worked just fine. The spirit vanish is awful. This was only a single application with the poly and spirit thinned while the oil was right out of the bottle. The results speak for themselves. The violins I have encountered with poly finish that wont feather are entry level Stentor, Cecilio, Mendini, S&Roth after 2000 made in China, etc with a super shiny surface. Yes, some entry level like Eastman VL80 use lacquer. Some may use the cashew lacquer that Violadamore so accurately described. Those can be done conventionally. But the thick poly made in China rubbish (I love that word--thank you Jacob and Violadamore) is what I am referring to and you will not get the edge to feather. What I mean is you sand it or scrape and it looks feathered until a touch up varnish is added like most repairs that are spirit based. The edge will 'lift' as the solvent gets under the poly, then becomes a release agent, and will cause the poly to wrinkle like a cheap shirt collar after a wash. I shared my ideas here because a shop owner I met could not get the violin crack repairs to look right no matter what he tried. I can say without a doubt that a $100 pink poly nightmare violin sold on Ebay may never darken the door of the elite luthiers on this forum who repair and restore priceless instruments. There are, however, some of us who have encountered the poly and while it is only a few here or there I like to help solve problems. Pic 1--top is oil, bottom right spirit, bottom left is poly. Pic 2--close up of spirit reaction.
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