Good evening all,
I have a needle in a haystack question that's probably 100% a shot in the dark. I'm also prefacing this with an apology, because I'm light on actual details and actual violin knowledge. Further apologies if this does not end up in the right category on the website. If there is a more appropriate or alternate location where my question may better fit, please let me know.
My great grandfather, John Frederick Hunte, used to make violins in Brooklyn in the mid 1900s. I know he immigrated to NY in 1917 and passed away in the 1980s, but can't pin down actual years where he was crafting. I hesitate to call him a professional luthier because, at this juncture, no one can confirm whether this was a hobby or a career as he also worked in one of shipyards doing either fine metal or woodworking. As a result, we do not know exactly how many violins he made but I know it was more than four though I have only physically seen two. (Yes, I know, not exactly helpful) According to the uncles, he won an award for craftsmanship or musical value somewhere in the 1940s and 1950s.
With that being said, I'm trying to track down two things: 1) At least one of his violins. This has become a quarantine project at the request of an elderly uncle. However, Google literally has no information on him and general historical records of him fall off after 1945 until 1977 when he applied for SSI and his pension. As an explanation, my great grandfather was estranged from the family from 1917 to about 1970 when he reunited with my grandfather, so no one was thinking of these things while he was alive. 2) Any assistance on the name of any possible awards that could have been around in the 1940s to 1950s.
I understand that this may be a rather large ask, but it was worth a shot. I would greatly appreciate any information that anyone could provide.
Thank you and stay safe,