Bob K

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  1. Just another way to make an instrument look a bit like an antique along with a screwdriver: In the dim and distant past I restored a number of English country chairs which were mostly hand made or 'bodged' in the woods around HIgh Wycombe during C19th. The standard finish of the day involved dipping them in a tank of urine to stain the different woods uniformly and then apply a shellac based laquer. After 150 years of use in someone's smoky and/or damp cottage the parts that weren't polished or rubbed constantly through use had invariably turned black. This gave the impression of a n
  2. I don't have enough knowledge to help with your particular violin but this link may be helpful if you haven't already seen it:
  3. Your JTL 'Copie de Michel Deconeti' would have been made in a factory in Mirecourt, France. In catalogues the model was listed as a 'violon imitation vieux', i.e. made to look old or 'antiqued'. Providing there are no hidden nasties, once cleaned and properly set up, it could make a very nice playable instrument. These are links to the JTL catalogues of 1901 (see page 54) and 1919 (see page 8) and it is likely that your violin was made sometime in this period.
  4. Pegs are made longer than necessary and usually cut to length when newly fitted. On older violins they may well have been replaced. Over time as the holes wear they will allow the peg to push further in and protrude out of the other side. Duane 88 just beat me to it!
  5. Bob K

    Violin ID #9

    Jacob, for (my) educational purposes, may I ask what features allow you to estimate the date? I can see 'old' but what are the clues to narrow down a possible time period? I would also associate that square body shape with Hopf style instruments. Is that a reasonable notion?
  6. The internal pictures also seem to show some open seams to the left of the top block that will need proper regluing.
  7. Is that neck block all one piece? There looks like a ridge or two different colours to the wood but I may just be seeing where the button was sawn off/separated as a lighter patch? Thinking about it that's a stupid question as it, if not, it would have to be glued on the end grain but I can't work out how to delete it!
  8. I also once had a very similar violin with a label like the one Geoff1954 drew - a blue globe showing Europe within two red concentric circles. Unfortunately, this was also pre-digital camera days for me so I didn't get a photo of the label. Like the OP violin it had a flamed one piece back, quite an elegant scroll and bone (I assume) button although the varnish looked a bit lighter. My impression at the time was that it was a nice German trade violin of better than average quality possibly c1930s. (purely a guess) I appreciate that won't be a great deal of help but the similarity of the
  9. I am far from being an expert but there are several features of the construction, including the corner blocks, careful work on back/belly, square back seam cleats and pegbox that would make me think it's French factory work. Some of the other people who often comment on here may well be able to give a more definitive answer.
  10. There are no entries under any of those names in Henley. It looks like they are more recent makers - Henley died in 1957. However, a quick internet search throws up information and/or examples of the work of all three on Tarisio, Bromptons and other sites.
  11. Bob K

    Violin ID

    I totally get that a cottage industry in MK/Sch and large scale Mirecourt factory are different and separate approaches. However, could production methods and styles from, say, Mirecourt find their way to other centres of production where they might be adopted alongside existing traditional methods? If someone was trying to emulate French methods could they possibly 'transition' to making (or buying in) bodies built with an outside mould whist still getting their necks from another cottage industry source? Thinking about how any successful business competes and grows, some centres of productio
  12. Bob K

    Violin ID

    I can see that it is not always possible to tie down the origin of a particular instrument solely from its construction because some features appear inconsistent. There may have been some sort of change or a crossover (what I have taken @Violadamore to mean by the term 'transitional') where different features may appear due to some external influence whether that is availabiility of materials or sharing of knowledge and methods with a maker/client/employer from a different town, city, country etc. There must have been a 'transition' between cottage industry and factory production at some point
  13. Bob K

    Violin ID

    You are correct - there was some damage to the side of the button; I had to reglue the neck and insert a small section of purfling but didn't alter the shape of the button. I have seen plenty of misaligned seams on similar low to middling quality trade instruments - I take it as another sign that it was put together relatively quickly. I'm not sure that we will get any closer to an origin than has already been suggested (i.e. possibly a 'transitional' German/Czech trade instrument made with use of a mould and a few French influenced features in the mix) and I can see that my origi
  14. Bob K

    Violin ID

    I had to remove the top to replace a completely split bottom block some years ago before I had a digital camera although, from memory, the blocks are fairly symetrical which does suggest the use of an outside mould. I also agree that the narrow elliptical button looks more MK/Sch than factory French. The scroll profile looks quite similar next to a 'standard' Mirecourt violin but there is a chunkyness about the neck which is less typical, in my limited experience. The f holes are nicely cut and I get the impression that there were varying levels of skill posessed by those involved in maki
  15. Bob K

    Violin ID

    That makes sense to me - It has a good mellow tone, nice and even across the strings although not much in the way of volume - probably for the best if I'm playing it! I had to look up 'Damfino' - not an expression I am familar with (in UK) but I gather it comes from Buster Keaton, meaning a tough question.