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  1. Hello all, I have just bought what I believe to be a pleasing but unremarkable faux-Stainer violin with a generous selection of "issues", on which to learn the basics of violin repair. Before breaking ground, I am trying to discover as much as possible about the nature of the instrument I have bought (really, just design / pattern), but have quickly run into a couple of questions. In particular, would someone be able to offer me a few pointers on how I might read of the shape / arching of the violin below, or suggest any links / references that might help me fill in the blanks? Despite numerous illuminating posts in this forum, at violinist.com (for example, this excellent post), and the wealth of inspiring images littering the internet (for example, those of the sides of instruments at henrystrobel.com) I can't really identify when arching becomes "high enough" to be fairly described as Stainer-esqe. I am particularly struggling to dirrerentiate between what I would call "scooping" (pie-crust edge?) and "arching-proper" on the back of my donor instrument, which when taken in the round just doesn't seem "plump" enough to qualify for that description (no matter what the charmingly mis-printed label might have to say about things). So when looking at the arching of my instrument, should I be judging the arch height as the full curve + recurve (i.e. including the scooping), or simply as the height of the top of the arch above the edge of the plate (i.e. ignore any edge-scooping)? I have read the term "bathtub Stainer" a few times in these forums, which strikes me as a great way to describe the type of recurve I am seeing in the image of the back, but not the front. Would that be a fair interpretation and if so, is this the target Stainer shape, or does it simply indicate a less-than-faithful attempt or a different source of inspiration? Finally, is this type of analysis just over-enthusiasm on my part - are my expectations of how faithfully an unkown instrument would try to conform to its desired faux-label simply unrealistic? Are most of these violins such a composite of dfferent styles / patterns as to make even identifying a broad handle a bit of a lottery for someone like me, who is relying on images / descriptions generously uploaded by others rather than on any experience or skill? Thanks for your time,
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