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Some violin identification questions


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This violin has me intrigued. The tone is exceptional. It was a great surprise to hear it because I didn't expect much from its appearance. Does anyone recognize anything interesting here? The repair label is Harold Pinney 1926, who is written up a bit in Henley. violin

Also, I have another violin with an interesting scroll-perhaps someone recognizes it? It also has the only brass repair I have ever seen on a scroll. Look at the bottom of the back of the scroll where it comes to a point.

brass repaired scroll

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What I see is a trade fiddle, probably German, but I could be wrong.

The label mentions a new bass bar, graduation and "water proofing" which sounds like some sealer which may have a beneficial effect on tone. All these would probably improve the tone of the instrument, but if you are hearing something exceptional, you may want to have a good look at the arching. Every now and again I come across an older trade fiddle with remarkably good arching - I remember one on which my "Cannone" arching templates fitted almost perfectly - then you could get something "exceptional", even without re-graduation or re-barring. With "good arching" I would include a tonally effective "scoop" around the edges as well as the thicknesses of the edges. The two extremes one finds are too little scoop, and on the other hand a too wide scoop.

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I've never seen those brass/copper pegbox repairs before either, but I think in some instances they are the answer. They make sense to me- probably do a very adequate job, and importantly, are reversible, while preserving entirely the maker's original work. I think the metal repairs compliment the wood too, as opposed to frequent not-so-invisible results of more invasive repairs. What say the "purists"? Ron.

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I didn't see much that impressed me either. I gave it to my daughter to use in her lesson last week and the teacher couldn't get over the tone. This one isn't just a little better than most, it is in a different league entirely. I have had some very pleasant sounding violins, but this one combines quality of tone with huge volume and power. The volume sneaks up on you because the tone remains sweet and clear. The differences among most other ok violins I have had have been subtle, at least to my untrained ear. There is nothing subtle here. It sounds like there is an amplifier within.

Has anybody seen a scroll like the brassy one? I am not talking about the repair as much as the style. The back is unique. I have never seen one like it. Thanks,


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What about the back is it that you find "unique"?

From the photos I can't tell about the arching, but assuming that it is good, conbined with the re-graduation and re-barring it is quite possible that the instrument will sound very nice - like I mentioned, once in a while I come across one of these, and after some work (neck-set can also be a problem) the tonal results can be remarkable.

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