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  1. Lot 102 in the Amati sale that ends today is a violin by John Furber, circa 1830. Amati are offering "dendro results available on request" (uniquely for this violin it seems) so request I did and got the following reply from James Buchanan which I presume isn't confidential! "The latest ring I can measure clearly dates to 1627 (!) and I can count under the varnish a further five to the very edge, so a latest ring date present is 1632. The wood provenance is definitely Alpine, likely region southern borders of Austria, but also possible slightly further west into Switzerland, as I get strong correlations with regional Master references from both these areas. Correlations with data from other instruments refer mostly to those made in the mid-to-late 17th century, including some early French guitars, Stainers, and plenty of other instruments. It is quite unusual to get old wood on an instrument from the early 19th century, but it does happen on occasions, and I have a few such cases with English instruments, including a George Panormo, but wood for that one is about 120 years old. For yours it is older. Of course, it could be the inner part of an older tree, as people always remind me, but again this would not be the norm." James also told me that John Dilworth was happy with it as a Furber. I'm still wondering whether to bid and at the considerable risk of queering my own pitch would interested to hear anyone's thoughts!
  2. Or maybe a student trying to take advantage of their ex-professor? It seems to depend on whether a French violin he gave her in p/ex is worth £1K or £12K
  3. matesic


    My first guess would have been 1850. Those capitals look very modern to me
  4. JPGuivier is currently "closed until further notice" so there's only one way to buy this violin
  5. And thanks Mac for alerting me to Sackman's book which I found fascinating. It's already provoked much discussion on this site, e.g.
  6. Maybe Strad himself would have inquired of the first purchaser if he wanted it looking new, antique, inlaid or blue?
  7. Same here but the other way around - it's a modern Chinese Sartory copy that gives me the tone, an old anonymous German the control and agility. I pick and choose (violin too) according to what I'm trying to play Bin there too, more than 20 years ago but Budapest must be still crawling with them. "My" band had a cimbalom instead of an accordion and an ancient viola player who didn't seem to care what notes he was playing. The fiddler, of course, was amazing and clearly had never set foot in a conservatory. I could imagine what Brahms must have felt.
  8. Agreed - to an orchestral string player this does seem like the science of the bleedin' obvious but it does illustrate the analytical sophistication of human hearing, well beyond what any machine can achieve. What may look like a blurry waveform on an oscilloscope screen is somehow perceived by musicians accustomed to playing in ensembles (I'm sure training is an important factor) as a bundle of threads or streams, any of which we can choose to synchronise with. Exactly how we separate those threads when they comprise the same notes played by similar instruments, just slightly desynchronised, is a mystery. I suspect 16 is pushing the limit beyond which the addition of further instruments will cause it to progressively become an acoustic blur.
  9. I don't know about over-represented - surely a major reason why they crop up so often and why so many players have owned one is that there are supposedly a couple of thousand of them out there! The reason I bought mine was that I preferred its tone and playing characteristics to about 30 other antique and contemporary British violins in the same price range. I confess I stuck to British because they're affordable and often look (and are) "interesting". But this Craske isn't easy to play and I can understand why it and others like it may not make the best impression on brief acquaintance. I'd say it takes at least a week to acquire an informed opinion as to what a violin is capable of, or rather what you can get out of it. During that time your rating may go up or down.