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About Guido

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  1. Bow ID?

    According to John Stagg it was the practice at the Hill workshop to stamp a single letter into the frog slide and the matching stick in the same position. Just to keep them sorted at the workshop. Your frog could be valuable if someone has a Hill bow with a damaged frog.
  2. Just a Markie?

    Any opinions on this one? Body 36.4mm! Just like my Frank. Is anybody else known for a large model like this or is it just another Markie?
  3. Interesting violin ID

    That depends if it is Geman or French. It might rule out Italian though. The flat eye of the scroll and the square cut rib joints somehow fit together. Wasn't that a French thing (just the idea, not the execution)?
  4. Interesting violin ID

    How disappointing - I was hoping it would be from another planet. Just back from setting it up. The fit of the soundpost against the top is easily checked by looking straight in through the f-hole :-) It sounds really quite nice. I'll give it a week and assess again. Finding a case will be a challenge. With the couple I've tried the lid wouldn't close. This sausage is too fat around the middle.
  5. Interesting violin ID

    I'm just about to set this one up and thought I share it, given it is a little different. If anyone can tell me what is, even better. Or where and when some of the features may have been typical. It is very long at LOB 36.5cm. The arching is full, more pronounced for the top. One-piece lower rib, scroll fluting all the way. Rib joints are not mitred at all and cut off square with the corners. Long narrow corners with double width rib joints look... different. The neck & head might be later, there is no graft or other neck modification. The peg holes have no bushings and only little wear. There is a non-label inside that looks like the glued-in description out of a catalogue incl. price. I believe it reads Hornsteiner, Joseph (ii), Mittenwald, 1790-1852. Eben einer der bekannternen Kunstler des Names Hornsteiner Typ mit braunem Lack, Wert etwa xx Mark meaning... one of the better known artists of the name Hornsteiner. Model with brown varnish, value ca... Here are the pics.
  6. HOPF - yet again

    I'm in two minds on price. As you pay more, the likelihood increases that you get something decent. However, the risk increases, too, because an expensive dog is a real loss. For instance, spending 2,000-3,000 Euro with our friends from Portugal would be really stupid! A cheap dog on the other hand can probably be sold for the same price again. If I buy 200-300 Euro Hopfs on German ebay I might be wasting my time but probably not my money. The chances of getting lucky? 100 : 0? I haven't settled on a strategy yet. For now, I'll just try to learn all I can about Hopf and see as many references as possible - both the good and the bad.
  7. HOPF - yet again

    Yes, I agree and said before (sorry for quoting myself): I would simply like to be able to sort the nice ones from the junk. In many cases, that seems to be quite straight forward, black and white. However, to my untrained eye there is a grey area. If your grey area between black and white is a virtual line, then mine is as wide as barn door. As far as I see one can only look at two criteria, being age and craftsmanship. It seems that age is the primary factor and in practice all (nice) Hopf violins appear to be attributed from Caspar over David and a couple of others to Carl Friedrich according to where they fit on the timeline. Some examples look like they could be old enough to pre-date the cottage industry, may have a grafted, modernised or altogether replaced neck and I have to admit that my eye for craftsmanship lacks wanting in some of these cases. So I ask and see if I can learn. For me it is not as easy as telling a black Markie from a Viennese master when I don't have the benefit of looking at different construction methods. I'd love to do that, but I'm in Australia and don't see myself vising London anytime soon. I'll probably take a plunge at some point. I hope I can learn more before I do, that's all.
  8. HOPF - yet again

    Could you post photos of your instrument, not just the two details? And let us know what you think your instrument is... for learning and reference. Your neck modernisation looks interesting.
  9. HOPF - yet again

    I thought the shoulders being not quite as square would be a good sign. Certainly the factory copies would over-exaggerate the model outline. Some of the fine old ones may have been very square but apparently many were not. Also, the absence of a neck graft was perfectly fine in my mind given that the violin has received a new neck and scroll at some point. I thought that could well have been the result of a modernisation instead of a neck graft. No, I will not try before I buy and yes, I'll probably get rubbish. Just wanting to improve my chances by learning as much as possible to spot a nice one :-)
  10. HOPF - yet again

    This one was on ebay recently and sold for 322 Euro. On the upside: looks old; the purfling does not look commercial; scroll and neck appear much younger (modernisation?); outline is not as square as the factory Hopfs one usually sees. Is it the 'usual' or did I miss out on something here?
  11. Violin ID - Prague?

    Funny you should say that. The violin actually has a repair ("Opravil") label from Štoček, dated 1913. The major repairs this violin has had (sound post patch back and front and many other cracks to the top) all look very old and I thought those repairs would have been done by Štoček in 1913. On account of that, I would have thought the violin was a fair bit older. It does not have a through-neck and the bass bar doesn't look as if it was carved out. Maybe Štoček also put in a new neck and used a purchased part from Schoenbach? Who knows. In any case, the violin looks and feels quite different to the many trade violins from Markneukirchen/ Schoenbach that I have and had. Are you aware of any makers before Štoček from this area? Maybe the violin hasn't travelled much before Štoček got it for repair.
  12. Violin ID - Prague?

    Thanks Jacob. The scroll fluting stops at about 7 o'clock. There is a bit of butchering going on all the way but the centre ridge is not continued beyond 7 o'clock. The linings are not let into the corner blocks. Initially I thought they might but I had another look and they are clearly not. Could this be a purchased rib garland (or more) as you describe from the remains of the Trostler/ Zach estate? Of course not referring to these makers, just the practice. One last question: I have mixed up and enjoy using your violin polish. This violin here has a fair bit of varnish worn off and bare wood exposed. Could I still use it in this case?
  13. Violin ID - Prague?

    I was just trolling the net for violins from Prague while there doesn't seem to be much activity on MN in relevant time zones at the moment. Could I have - by any chance - a Ferdinand Lantner, second half of 19th century? Wild newB guess with two blind eyes.
  14. Violin ID - Prague?

    I'd be keen to learn where and when this violin may have been made. It has had a hard life and shows some heavy repairs, incl. patched sound post cracks to both the top and the back. It bears a repair label from Nechanice, 1913, a small town about 100km East of Prague. LOB is 35.6mm. It has a curiously narrow neck of 19.7mm at the nut. Any sense in that? Or any place and time where one may have seen sense in that?
  15. HOPF - yet again

    Sorry, Blanc face, I must have been too focused on the books at the time.