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Everything posted by Guido

  1. Guido

    Violin ID

    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.
  2. Guido

    Violin ID

    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?
  3. Sorry, Blanc face, I must have been too focused on the books at the time.
  4. Just looking at Hopfs. Those two are both supposed to be David Hopf, late 18th century. Is that possible? Or is it a case of just about every nice Hopf being attributed to a hand full of family members and the rest gets nothing?
  5. You have indeed written about this before. Several times I believe. I have no quality prejudice regarding building methods. It seems fairly clear to me. I'm just interested to know in more detail what exactly the 13-year old would have learned in 18th century Voigtland. You have cited two examples where violins had corner blocks inserted to help keeping the rib ends together, unilateral triangle, all good. I'm just wondering if this is in any case part of the building method that was indoctrinated into the local teenagers. Or were there some makes who did and others who didn't? Similar, the through-neck. With my limited trade fiddle experience I see that BOB violins can have a through neck or an upper block. Just curious to have it spelled out. Have all 18th century Voigtland violins with an original neck a through-neck? Similar, the integral bass bar. I see BOB trade fiddles with integral or glued in bass bar. Just curious what the original tradition was. Integral? In summary, If I'd look at an all original 18th century Hopf or other violin from the region, would I expect a through-neck, unilateral corner blocks and an integral bass bar?
  6. That's just brilliant!
  7. Jacob, how far does it go? The 17th and 18th century violins from the Voigtland where built on the back and this traditional way of building in this region influenced how violins were later mass produced in this area. How 'similar' are the old ones to the mass produced ones (apart form the obvious quality difference). Would the old ones usually have integral bass bars, through-necks, even scroll flutings and deltas as we are used to checking on our 'Markie" list? And with the corner blocks again. I understand they are not a necessary part of the building process. However, they may have been inserted before closing the box to prevent the ribs separating at the corners, no? Is this something we usually see on the 17th and 18th century violins (like the Ficker and Schonfelder you mention) or are many or some of them w/o blocks in their original state? To get back to Hopf; would a Caspar or David Hopf have corner blocks?
  8. Yup, sorry, I must have imagined the "Made in" bit. Here is what I found. So the violin would likely be pre 1914. The McKinley Tariff Act of 1891 required that items imported to the U.S. be marked with their country of origin. In 1914 the act was revised to require the words "Made in" to also be used. Finally, in 1921 the act was revised yet again to require that all country names occurred in English. Thus an object labeled simply "Bavaria" of "Nippon" would likely (but not absolutely) be from some time between 1891 and 1914. "Made in Italia" might be before 1921. It seems likely that any item marked "Made in Japan" was probably made or imported after 1921. Prior to 1921, they might have been labeled "Made in Nippon." We also know that after WWII and during the US occupation of Japan, items that were made for export were marked "Made in Occupied Japan" or perhaps "Occupied Japan." Similarly, items labeled "Made in Germany" are likely manufactured between 1921 and WWII.
  9. Building on the back does not require corner blocks. They are not part of the building process. They may or may not be inserted before the violin is closed to (a) help avoid the rib corners coming apart (although that doesn't seem to much of a problem) or (b) betray origin. Someone else would have to say if the fine old Hopfs (or other fine violins from the area before the emergence of the cottage industry) would usually have corner blocks inserted for reason (a) above or if they are known to come w/o blocks, too. Regarding your violin only having lower blocks (easily visible), one might speculate the motivation may have been (b).
  10. Thanks for the link. I don't know the seller or his reputation. I wonder if any of these are the 'real' deal. I'll have a good look and see what I can learn. [ Edit: Looks like our friends from Portugal again!!! ] Regarding your Hopf: It looks old. Maybe it's old enough to pre-date the cottage industry? I also don't usually associate a thin top with mass production. Can you get an indication from the overall weight? Regarding the blocks I have to ask the stupid question: Wouldn't all Hopf violins, incl. the fine old ones of select family members, have been built on the back?
  11. The wording on the label "Made in Germany" was to comply with a US tariff act introduced in 1921. Hence, your violin would be from the 1920s or 1930; pre-WW2.
  12. OMG! That would leave me with no book at all. I will just have to take a plunge on eBay and start a Hopf-plunge-thread to learn anything.
  13. Sold out! Bad luck. Any idea for an alternative source? Did anyone ever copy or scan all or parts of it? Should be on it's journey to Australia. Will be a while. It was remarkably cheap. No big glossy photos?
  14. Thanks Blank face. I thought Jacob was referring to the Zoebisch book (volume 1). That's what I'm trying to order (even tough I haven't had a reply yet). What is the Seidl book you are referring to? Do you have a full name and where I can find the author? I'll try to have a good at the stamps on some of the reference 'fine' Hopfs as I come across and see if I can lean anything. This Portuguese Hopf has used the same stamp inside and on the back. So it's at least not individual letters. But yes, looks self-made. Wow. I thought one could spot the typical Hopf-model shape from a mile away. But in line with what Jacob said, some of the 'fine' examples don't seem to have very square shoulders at all. Is it maybe a case of the trade violins exaggerating the model so everyone would be able to recognise them (much like the perverted trade fiddle Steiner model)? Thanks, that's a great example. Unbelievable condition! I'll upload the photo here for easier reference. Should be easy to spot if one of these comes up on ebay :-) Markneukirchen is surprisingly close to Australia when one has a wife from Saxony. I'll get there one day. In the meantime I'm sure I'll enjoy the book a lot. I'm painfully aware as it also clogs up any internet search on the subject. Great post, thanks Blanc face. Yes, this is where it is headed, the handful (if that many) of recognised, outstanding members of the family. For my preference, the 'urge' also is for a violin that looks like a Hopf (model) though and is not mistaken for a fine Italian :-) I'm trying to avoid the general territory but thought the worldpress article was an amusing read. In the Hopf section the three Hopf members singled out as a cut above the rest do not include David Hopf. Mmm.
  15. I'm in the process of ordering the book. It'll probably be four weeks before I get it. Maybe an example to discuss in the meantime for now? How about the one from our favourite ebay seller located in Portugal: www.ebay.de/itm/RARE-OLD-1800-HOPF-VIOLIN-see-VIDEO-バイオリン-ANTIQUE-Violino-скрипка-小提琴-044/322579888281?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649 (edit: the link doesn't work with the asian symbols. You'll need to copy-pase the whole thing into a new browser window) The varnish is a little dark... Is this a "fine" Hopf? What can be learned? Some of the ones claiming to be pre 1850 seem to have a saddle inlaid in the rib like this one. Is this relevant or meaningless? Any other good or bad signs and clues to look for?
  16. As an example, I'm assuming the - to avoid calling them real - older artisan Hopfs were also build-on-the-back. But I haven't actually found that info anywhere...
  17. Yes, I think there are about 50 Hopf family members listed somewhere else. Discerning them will not be practical. Im also familiar with the flood of Hopf stamped trade instruments of generally low quality and no, I wouldn't call them "real" - seems to be more like a Stainer thing where every man and his dog had a stamp. I am interested in the ones before saxon violin making got industrialised. The trouble is that it is a needle in a hay stack finding good info when searching "Hopf" on thee interwebs due to everyone getting exited with their Hopf stamped attic find. I have seen referrals from Jacob Saunders to a couple of books but I was hoping to find good info w/o having to buy a book (and having it shipped to Australia).
  18. I keep having an eye out for an old authentic Hopf violin. Before I jump on anything I would like to educate myself a little more though. The search functionon on this forum is not very helpful because in line with the 100,000+ trade Hopfs there is a large number of posts where someone says: "I got this Hopf. Is it real?" And the answer to these invariably short threads is: "Get out of here." In many cases I could give that answer myself, but some don't seem quite as clear to me. I couldn't find a Hopf-related thread that provides much "learning value". So, if there exists such a thread, I'd be grateful for a link. What I gather so far is: the old ones have a light golden oil varnish. Then there are typical signs of age, e.g. neck modernisations. Anything else one should know before taking a plunge on the basis of pictures?
  19. In my simple world, there are bows which are worth the cost of a professional re-hair; and there are bows which are not. The bows which are not worth the cost of a re-hair but are playable (or re-haired by myself), I tend to give away with the odd trade fiddle I sell. Here is a bow that I would tend to give away; just double checking. Nickel mounted, fully lined. Straight, fairly strong. Two things make me wonder: the absence of any roman numerals and the presence of pins incl in the adjuster. Any opinions?
  20. Guido

    Violin ID

    I like it! The alignment pins on the back look nice. Is a small part cut away by the purfling? Also, the lower rib looks like a one-piece rib w/o joint at the endpin? I don't think you'll have any luck with an ID though. As Jocob Saunders said, with modern instruments we have a global amalgamation of styles. Almost anything could be from almost anywhere. Your best bet at assessing the instument is to visit a good luthier (who will do your brigde and maybe sound post) and have him give you an opinion, at least on quality and value if not on origin.
  21. Thanks Blank face.Good observation on the neck overstand. Looking in through the end pin hole, the linings don't seem to give anything away. Upper and lower look similar or identical and consistent with the age/ appearance of the instrument in gerneal. The planing down must have occured early in its life. I don't know if it would be feasible to take out the upper linings before the planing and then re-use them? I'll take a picture through the end pin hole later. It's certainly not playable. The peg box is broken right through with two half-unglued cheeks holding the pieces together. It seems to be a recent failure though, clean, and shouldn't give to much trouble.
  22. Check the "Reference Thread Links", there are plenty of "identification games" comparing outline and arching of the big names. It's worth taking the time to read through if you are interested.
  23. Thank you, Jacob. I have read your thread (and the one about the Frank that was run over by a car) just before I got mine. In fact, that is why I recognised what I was looking at when the opportunity came up. Not long after I joined this forum a few months ago you recommended I read the plunge thread. I read all of it and then read it again. The idea of an old Austrian instrument was growing on me and while I was keeping an eye out I read as much as I could find, mostly following references and liks from the plunge thread. Voila, happy ending. I may not be ready for the work. So far, I have only worked on trade violins. My crack repairs are getting better but I will want to practice a bit more before I will approach the Frank. On the upside, I don't see any work that I wouldn't readily attempt on a trade fiddle.
  24. I may have found something here. After having read what I could find from Jacob Saunders on Meinrad Frank, I think this one here ticks quite a few of the boxes. I'm aware that matching certain aspects of a violin can be quite misleading and I lack the experience to assess the overall impression of the instrument. In particular since I have never seen a Meinrad Frank in the flesh. Some of the supporting observations for a Meinrad Frank violin are: - LOB 36.4 (with a tape measure) - Rib height 28mm. However, the end pin was relocated (see photo). If the original end pin location was in the centre of the rib, then the original rib height was 38mm and may have been planed down. - The top is of rather wide grain. Some of the more general observations: - one piece lower rib - scroll fluted all the way - weight 318g as pictured. - neck appears to be extended at the root (see picture) and is let into an upper block (now). There appears to be an outside nail or screw hole which is filled. The neck is quite narrow with 22mm at the nut. The arching is full and then some. I think the back arching is beautiful and the top arching is growing on me. Currently, I'd still call it grotesque, though. In pictures I have seen of Meinrad Frank the arching does not appear to be quite as pronounced even though that might be a little hard to tell on some of the pictures I have seen. My arching is so high and steep that you'd want to look a the shape of the f-holes form the side rather than from the front :-) Here are the pictures.
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