Amateur Dieudonne

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  1. Can the paper experts comment on whether the label is an example of the really old method of manufacture? As I understand it that left a grid pattern from compression, which I cannot make out in the photos, but it does seem like unusually thick 'pulpy' paper. Henley says this..... "ALBANI, MATHIAS (2)Born 1650. Son and pupil of the preceding. After some years in his father’s workshop he travelled to Cremona to receive instruction from (and subsequently worked for) Amati. Later established a business at Rome but eventually returned to Bozen. Died 1715. " Cremona!
  2. The bee stings and the 'waves or 'ripples' in the back look German to me; it is sending confusing signals. What's up with where the neck joins to the body - the upstand seems to have lines next to it like a little bit of wood spliced in? Maybe it was messed with when the table crack was repaired? Overall I find it rather attractive Edit. I see Jacob has weighed in as French - I will shut up now.
  3. Couldn't agree more with that sentiment Martin - thanks for your input.
  4. You could say I have a 'La-vested' interest ! As I like this violin very much I naturally want to know as much about it as possible. I have read everything I can find on Lavest and I sense there is a little something missing from the history - I mean, for instance, makers of the caliber of Emile Ouchard were supplying bows for him. Which Emile? Maybe both while they collaborated....and in your own words "Although eclipsed in reputation by his son Emile Auguste, EF Ouchard was an influential and very capable maker. The only reason why his bows are less valued than Fétique (for example) is that he remained in Mirecourt rather than making the move to Paris." Yes, Lavest was buying white violins and probably from different sources, so exactly where were his better ones coming from? Not really such an important question in the greater scheme of things I grant you, but of interest to me. I looked at the links Blank face provided about Turin and filled a huge gap in my education......unbelievably, I have never learned any of the history of Turin until now. I had no idea it was so connected to France, and that the industry was so intertwined. Anyhoo, Kass seems to think Francesco was maybe getting violins from France and they weren't all antiques. " Francesco, as a violin maker, had to compete against Enrico Melegari, Enrico Marchetti, Giorgio Gatti and Romano Marengo Rinaldi, Benedetto’s successor, and later also Carlo Giuseppe Oddone and Annibale Fagnola. He continued as his father and grandfather had, though, as a maker of violins and guitars. There is a certain amount of his later production that suggests the use of French labor or even unfinished French instruments, but mostly it is recognizably Francesco’s work, albeit in the Fagnola-like Turin style more in the character of his times." When I hold the Crazy paver and consider styles and examples I just get an admittedly amateur sense of Guadagnini/Turin I guess and the fanciful part is to just wonder if Francesco and Lavest were accessing the same workshop with a Turin influence; maybe they even knew each other
  5. @ Blank face - thank you very much for your reply
  6. Yeah, I knew that much. I knew that too but I don't think it is a JTL or Dieudonne, however I defer to your experticity You are saying it looks generic and isn't a copy of a Strad, Guarneri, Testore or a Guadagnini or whatever. Even though it is at the top end of the catalog? What about actual Marc Laberte's that he reproduced from violins in his collection - are they actually just generic patterns? What sort of relationship and is there somewhere one can read about this?
  7. Thank you for that comment Martin. Is there any reference for the assertion or is it more anecdotal/apocryphal? I see that a Mr E. Doring (USA) wrote a treatise on the Guadagninis....I wonder if there is any mention in there? I wondered about this because I thought I could see Guadagnini influences in the Crazy Paving Violin (it is not labelled as having Guadagnini inspiration ). The label as pictured herewith is listed in the Lavest catalog on Roland Terriers site and the catalog also has a Guadagnini model listed. I have read that Lavest (founded 1880) was not a maker but a dealer and that he purchased violins in the white and varnished in his workshop with a varnish recipe that was meant to duplicate the Cremona varnish. The exposition model Guarneri in the catalog lists red Cremonese varnish. Interestingly, if my French is any good, there is a page at the front of the catalog where 'genuine old violins' are advertised as available. The violin front pictured in this post is a Fagnola in the photo gallery on MN itself. Am I imagining the similarities with the Crazy Paver?
  8. If you think about it, this is kinda important as Bromptons have archives with prices from a decade ago being about 20-30k GBP for Francesco. Which way was this trade going? Was it going both ways? What, exactly was going? If the Guadagnini workshop was sending early Fagnola, Oddone and Guerra's to Mirecourt.......well, there might be some extra styley French violins around. If Mirecourt was being sent to Italy you could be paying Italian for 'made in France', no? I have added a piccy of the crazy paver front herewith as there is none higher up the thread and a Brompton picture of an F. Guadagnini 1937 worth - estimate £40,000 - £60,000 Anyone like to compare the oval finials of the F's ? So what was this mysterieux 'trade relationship' with Mirecourt? Is there any information to be gleaned from any of the writings of Mr.E. Blot?
  9. @ Mr.Swan - not a JTL but it is a top end dealer/workshoppy type of instrument according to the label (1927) Nice, no wonder you are so highly regarded in these matters At this point can anyone illuminate/add insight on the 'paste' from Tarisio below about the trade relationship (underlined) between the Guadagninis and Mirecourt? 'Second only to his great-grandfather G.B. Guadagnini in productivity, Francesco Guadagnini inherited the family workshop in 1881 at the age of 18. He ran the business successfully, with some help from his brother Giuseppe II, and although he continued the trade relationship with Mirecourt established by his grandfather Gaetano II, he soon became interested in violin making. The presence of workshop assistant Enrico Marchettiduring his father's tenure probably had a formative influence on Francesco's work. His best instruments, which date from the first decade of the 20th century, feature a hard yellow-orange layer of varnish with a reddish-pink on top and are on a contemporary version of a Guadagnini model. In Francesco's time the shop employed several young and talented makers, including Carlo Oddone, Annibale Fagnola, and Evasio Emilio Guerra, who probably inspired his best work. After 1912 his model remains much the same until about 1920, when it becomes more exaggerated and the varnish becomes hard and dark red in color. Though the peak of his output in quality is around 1900-1910, these lesser later instruments are much more common. Francesco's son Paolo followed in his footsteps, the last violin maker of the great Guadagnini dynasty.' @ Rue - no, you may not devour our violin to satisfy your 'craze' BTW I like your vision of 'Grotesque'..... @ La Folia - it is played every day and rosin wipes off clean and easy with a damp tissue. In what way does it look impractical? Obviously a personal thing but it puts out some sounds (kind of like a super sweet horn hybridised with a violin) that I find 'to die for, Darling'
  10. Some interest was expressed in more pictures of a particular violin in another thread. Latest eBay Purchase - in a Maine attic for decades! So here are some more pictures . It is somewhat 'redder' than the photos show. That it is French has been established. As it is our favourite violin in both appearance and sound, I have formulated some theories about it, one of which is that the varnish was an attempt to replicate the Cremonese red varnish. As the red varnish recipe was lost at some point, this particular attempt at recapturing it, resulted in the craquelure we see here (which probably wasn't envisioned at the time of formulation ). Can someone knowledgeable say whether the style is identifiable as that of any particular classical maker? I mean F- hole, outline, arching.......I do have an idea about that but I do not want to prejudice any potential suggestions; I am far from competent in that matter anyway . Evan Smith, if you are reading this I loved your post on the other thread......... 'put up a parking lot' indeed! Hope you enjoy these new angles. Please feel free to add photos to this thread of exceptionally craquelured violins!
  11. I will start another thread then with some more piccy's. Title 'Crazy Paving Violin'
  12. This violin sounds exceptional, best we have in fact; I wouldn't sell it. We absolutely love the varnish, it creates a 'reaction' in viewers. I would go further Phillip and say 'expletive deleted fifty two times' Barbarian Philistine shouted from the Mouth of Odin, Zeus, Vishnu and Jehovah with echoes from Thor, Apollo, Kali and Baal. We hear the explanation that it is caused by extreme heat regularly. I do not subscribe to this view as I have observed changes in five years without extreme heat - we don't leave our best violin in the attic. It is played every day, but the crazy paving effect continues to develop. The short version for those who can't be bothered to follow the links is the molecules in fat/oil change with age (akin to rusting iron) and different layers/oils/turpentines/resins dry age at different rates. I am with Blank face on this one - it is an inexorable inherent feature of the varnish formulation. And Phillip, I say this in the nicest possible way, did you notice Martin the resident french violin expert comment "Very nice french violin"? If I told you it was a JB Vuillaume for instance (it isn't) would that change your attitude? But as you don't know the maker of this violin or the OP.......... it is somehow less? I only reject re-varnishing, not your repulsion to the finish and your choice to on-sell.
  13. A picture of the aforementioned crazy paving violin......I realised how to fix the up- load problem I was having.
  14. With regard to the discussion about causes of craquelure.....anyone heard of 'fat over lean' as the explanation? We have an extreme example that I would post pictures of, but for some reason despite being successful at posting pictures on previous occasions, I cannot accomplish currently. Investigating the reason for the finish led me to conclude that 'fat over lean' was the likely cause. You can quite clearly see the yellowy very thin stain like ground layer/sealing/undercoating and the red over layer. I believe that this was an attempt to duplicate the Cremona look . The overlayer contains oil(the 'fat') and red pigments and it breaks up over the ground coat(the 'lean') due to a chemical process. The result nearly one hundred years later resembles crazy paving and continues to develop while in our possession.
  15. I vote for folk art leather varnish that looks like the poor thing has measles to be left as is - but I love alligatoring. It's part of the history and very individual......besides what can you do? Sand it off? Dissolve it with alcohol?