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Original baroque violin?


Ron1

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When I question eBay sellers who advertise a "baroque neck" on their obviously modern necked instruments, they speak vaguely about "transition periods" to explain the angled necks. I found & bought this one baroque violin on eBay (I don't think the seller suspected what it was), & have yet to talk to anyone who has ever even SEEN one, outside of a museum. Yet, I seem to be the only one that's excited about it! What gives? Am I mistaken about the uniqueness of this instrument? Or that it is even a genuine original baroque violin? I'd be interested in your observations and opinions. Thanks, Ron. baroque vs modern

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Ron, whatever it is exactly, it's not a baroque instrument in original condition. The neck could be original and of the period or possibly transitional, but the fingerboard has been sort of half-modernized, which makes me wonder about when/why the neck ended up at that angle.

The thing about finding instruments in original condition is that the ones that survived without being changed are reputed to be generally pretty mediocre.

I personally find instruments in original condition exciting just in terms of learning more about how they used to be set up, but by the time a new FB has been put on the things I'm interested in have probably mostly been changed anyway.

I think few people would be excited about the 'baroqueness' of those instruments, except players or makers with period ambitions, and the player would probably be better served by one of the many new made baroque violins which are now available.

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Yes, it does seem as though the FB has been "re-done"- it's all one piece of wood, but I don't think ebony. I understand the wedge was usually a separate piece, with the ebony FB on top, because of the expense of ebony. One thing that points to original, is that it is definitely "mediocre"- the purfling is drawn-on; visible gouge marks all around the edge (especially on back). It has the short (125mm) neck, & short (225mm) bassbar. Notice how modern stringing has apparently caved-in the top over time.

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Another thing I've noticed, Andre, is that there are very noticable indentations & wear in the varnish from the bridge feet, about 10 - 12mm lower than the present bridge location between the ffhole notches- I've read that bridges were often set similarly in the old baroque set-up.

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I have yet to read any satisfying answers about the 'low bridge position' issue. It appears in paintings and on instruments, but what the musical purpose was I have yet to glean a clue.

The thing that makes me worry about instruments such as you describe is that I know there are a lot of funky pseudo-historical instruments out there--specifically plucked strings, weird tourist-trap fakes some of which have ended up in museum collections in the past. Although I don't specifically know that the same thing was done with violins, it opens up a big unknown for me about just what the identity of a funky instrument really is.

I know just enough about violins to know that there is literaly a vast amount I don't have a clue about.

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