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KB_Smith's Achievements


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  1. Not sure why, but I always like a 1-piece back. I think it’s the aesthetics and balanced look of the grain. Must be many beautiful instruments available in NYC. Thanks for posting this one. Can we see the front of this violin?
  2. Don’t believe I ever called it a piece of art. I said it’s the best JTL built, which it is, and as nice an instrument as I could get at that price.
  3. Great point, Martin! I think some of the snobbery does not stop with this NYC French restorer. Here's my take on it: According to the 1919 JTL catalog, regarding the Lutherie D'Art series violins: - "All parts were made by our Master Luthiers having obtained either a gold or silver medal at universal or international exhibitions." - "The wood used for the manufacture of the violins of this series had a minimum of twenty-five years of aging and natural drying. The instruments were only put on sale after two years of varnishing." Presumably, JTL would either select the best pieces of wood at the start of the 25+ year aging process, or they would periodically cull the better pieces of wood from the stock throughout the aging process so that by the time it had dried for 25+ years, it was the best wood in JTL's stock to be used to make their highest quality violins. So, every part of my violin was made by JTL's best, most experienced luthiers and from "good bones." I doubt I could find a much better violin for what I paid for this one. But more important to me, a novice violin student, the value of my 1920 JTL is not in the price I paid for it, and I certainly did not buy it for it's "investment value" hoping to score a large return down the road if I ever sell it. Rather, it is all about having a better instrument to help me progress in what is proving to be a longer and more difficult journey than I had originally thought to reach a decent level of playing proficiency. Of course I want to believe I was not cheated on the price I paid for this instrument. And reviewing the discussion on these pages and the information in the 1919 JTL catalogue, I think I got a great violin at a very reasonable price. It brings me great pleasure, despite my frustration of learning to play it well, and that's its true value!
  4. In virtually every MN discussion there are comments about various distinguishing features of violins, like this one about Strad vs Guarneri ffs, or the way scrolls are cut. It seems the more experienced MN members understand these differences, but to someone like me it goes right over my head. Part of why I keep reading all these posts is to become more educated about violins. So, I’ll ask now, can someone please post a couple photos of a Guarneri and a Strad f-hole, maybe side by side, and briefly describe what’s different about them, or how to recognize one vs the other when looking at a violin? To me, all ffs look about the same.
  5. Could not have said it better. Thanks @Violadamore
  6. Also, while I certainly can't speak for Martin, he shows a 1905 JTL violin he sold on his website. It does not say what he sold it for, but the page includes a link to "Look at other violins in this price range," which takes you to his "Professional Violins £5K to £20K." there is no way for me to know if my violin compares in quality, playability, sound, condition, etc. to the 1905 JTL Martin sold, and I'm sure even Martin can't make that comparison from photos alone. But my point is that my instrument COULD be in the £5K+ retail price range, so $4,000 would be a fair price. Maybe more importantly, I spent the money, I love the violin, and I feel like I got a great instrument at a very fair price.
  7. If we accept that the label looks right, as Martin pointed out, then this violin is a Luthier D'Art model, definitely one of the "more expensive models" JTL offered in its 1919 catalogue.
  8. Thank you @Violadamore! With each image I am more sure the brand in my violin is indeed the JTL logo brand.
  9. I bought this violin from David Bromberg Fine Violins in Wilmington, Delaware. So, while I paid retail for it, he did not actually charge me his full retail asking price. Mr Bromberg told me he was in the process of closing his shop. Given my budget and his desire to reduce inventory, he told me he would reduce his price on this violin to $4000 for me. We never discussed the price he was reducing it from, but I took him at his word and I believe him to be an honest dealer. This link to The Violin Connection of South Africa http://www.violins.co.za/sale/0692JTL.asp says: “The international price history for a JTL violin in good condition shows a retail price Of US $3000-4000.” I would trust Martin Swan’s opinion about fair retail price for an early-1900s JTL in good condition. Im very happy with this violin and I think I paid a fair price for it.
  10. That's the JTL trademark. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ And found these in Google images: I can't see the harp logo in the center of the brand in my violin, but I really can't get a good direct view of the logo in my violin because of where it is located. I can only view it from an extremely oblique, low-grazing angle. There is an oblong-ish shape to the center of the image I posted of the sunburst brand inside my violin, which I can now imagine is a harp, but that may really be my wishful thinking influencing what I think I see. But, it looks like JTL had different versions of the harp & rays logo, and it seems to fit in concept. Wish I could get a direct 90 degree angle look at the one inside my violin.
  11. I’m also interested in knowing if any MN experts are familiar with this stamp or brand.
  12. I imaged again in better lighting. I think these shots are in better focus.
  13. Let me know if you can see what you need to see from these images. If not I can try to get them in better focus.
  14. Is that where the ribs meet the top and bottom plates, or where the different rib sections meet each other, where there might be corner blocks inside? And are you asking to see images of those joints from inside the violin or from the outside?
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