Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

How old do you make it look?


mbstruss
 Share

Recommended Posts

Consumerism : The spending of money you don't have, on items you don't need, to impress people you don't like.

Players are inherently competitive people, and an antique(d) instrument is something of a status symbol; it elevates the player amongst their peers to that of someone worthy of a classic instrument. Whether it's real or not, the perception is one of mystery.

There's at least a century of this mode of thinking to deal with, but I was turned and now appreciate new instruments in a favourable light, hopefully the playing community will see the light before too long.

It's crazy, but would you 'antique' a 2004 Ferrari? You'd certainly restore a 1950's Ferrari to 'as new' condition.

Musicians are wierd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Guarneri had cater to the Baroque musicians in his time, do you think he would have created the all mighty "Cannone"?

I guess this depend on your beliefs about your work. Consumerism? or your own art?

Earlier this year, I facilitated a transaction between a local professional violinist and an Italian violin maker of a new violin. The violinist loved the tone but disliked the varnish because it is new and glossy. So the violinist asked if the Italian maker can "antiquate" the violin to fit his ideal antique look. The Italian maker refused the request on the spot and told me that "This is my tone and my varnish. It is my art. If He doesn't like it, then he doesn't have to buy it."

So.. what is more important to you? Money? or your art?

The violinist was convinced by his tone. He bought the violin with the original varnish and won 2 auditions with the violin since then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

"This is my tone and my varnish. It is my art. If He doesn't like it, then he doesn't have to buy it."


And fair enough too.

I suspect some makers who antique consider that a part of their art as well, so each to his own.

I wonder if Ferrari would do a lime green?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"So.. what is more important to you? Money? or your art?"

Oh I guess I could do the "principled artist starving for the sake of his art" routine if necessary. But I suspect my wife and two kids would probably rather have some food on the table.

However I am not surprised that the maker refused. That sort of request is something you need to know about before you start varnishing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

Players are inherently competitive people, and an antique(d) instrument is something of a status symbol; it elevates the player amongst their peers to that of someone worthy of a classic instrument. Whether it's real or not, the perception is one of mystery.


I disagree. The strings community is quite small; folks know what their peers are playing. If someone has a new antiqued fiddle, folks know that too... no one's likely to confuse it with an old Italian. And if the peer community doesn't respect a particular player, a great instrument certainly isn't going to make a difference.I consider antiquing strictly an aesthetic trend, rather like stonewashed jeans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You`d be surprised how a really well antiqued(fully antiqued) done by a person who really knows what they`re doing can fool dealers never mind players.Though it does have to have a tone to match the looks.

The hardest thing to fake is the smell or more accurately getting rid of the new smell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've seen some fine antiquing jobs. My husband has two antiqued Matsudas that are quite well done; one in particular is an antiquing work of art (the other is nicely antiqued, but not outstanding). However, everyone he performs with knows they're Matsudas... or if they don't, they ask. That sort of thing is not a secret among musicians. I would certainly not consider either a "status symbol."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you find student-level instruments antiqued in a violin shop, it is not because someone is covering up a chisel slip, but because at that level the customer is demanding it. The teachers and students want the antiqued look in sub-$4000 instruments, so when I visit shops (I'm Sam Shen's distributor) I'm asked for a more antiqued look. The current fashion it seems with many shop owners is to grade the instrument by tone, workmanship, figure, and yes, how antiqued it is. Nothing is universally true, but this is the current wave. At that price, they get what they ask for.

I can see a maker's reluctance or even disgust with the notion of antiquing their own instruments, but on the flip side I've seen the antiquing job that Mike Sheibley does and it's quite remarkable. Some people look upon antiquing as an artform unto itself, not as any desire to deceive players or dealers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The Italian maker refused the request on the spot and told me that "This is my tone and my varnish. It is my art. If He doesn't like it, then he doesn't have to buy it.""

-----------------------------------------------------------

So I think this maker from Italy work not after orders, he make his violins after his own taste, and if he can sale all to pay the bills, great!

I personal "make" violins, and absolute no repair work.

I work after orders, because I do make after the customers wish.(Thats one importent point) I personal think it is nothing wrong to make a violin antiqued. And we can not compare violins with other things like cars or painting art.

I feel very proud as a maker, I received a order from Elmar Oliveira about 4 weeks ago for a "new" violin, but he want a copy after the "Du Diable" del Gesu close as possible to the original, and not a "new-looking" one.

Bellow three pictures of different violins.

Two of them are made by Luiz Bellini from New York

The "new looking" is from 1961, and the del Gesu Copy from 1979. Both violins are great artwork from this maker.

The third violin is by myself. the customers wish was only the shading varnish, but not a special copy with dings, marks, and other old looking things.

http://www.violin-cello.com/Bell.n.jpg

http://www.violin-cello.com/Bell.o.jpg

http://www.violin-cello.com/nw.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never made an antiquated instrument, but in a time of widespread intollerance, I prefer respecting both: those who makes just new and thos who makes antiquated instruments. Antiquing was a practice used by Villaume and some good Italian makers, it's already incorporated in the craft.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the pleasure of having two concert violinists, a husband and wife, visit my home over the weekend and try out some of the violins I am selling on eBay. Interestingly, they both naturally gravitated toward the oldest and antiqued instruments. One violin I had was a German violin likley 100 years old or so that showed virtually no age at all. There was that look of benign indifference, and even after it had been played and poronounced healthy and robust, and quite nice, there was little interest. The one 18th century violin I had and a few of similar age appeared to spark some interest, while the rather modern American-made violin that had been lightly antiqued was the one they took home.

There was no interest in the very good Chinese violin I have, and anything that was blond-regardless of age. The interest immediateley was in the oldest looking violins. The husband plays a 1709 Gagliano-very well. His wife plays an old German violin-also very well.

Jesse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Markneukirchen violin does look interesting. It is from those parts, I think. I would say it's around 180 rather than 225 years old by the wear, but that's a tiny quibble. I'd be interested to hear what the violinist thought of the response. Was it approximately what you put in your description?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for those images Mr Koeberling - those are three really handsome violins. The shading on your violin looks wonderful.

Can anybody supply some information about Luiz Bellini? One of his instruments was on the past Tarisio auction, and I really ogled at the images.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have also corresponded with an Italian maker who is not out to please or cater to the whims of the world, but his own sense of aesthetic value and sound. He tries to achieve the sound and look that speaks of perfection to him. This makes his violins unique and either in 100 years, his is one of the sought-after violins or forgotten. However there is not a chance of being a historical violin if you just cater to the market or copy violins down to the antiquing. There would be nothing special about a maker who did this. But since he sticks to his own concept of the ideal, both in workmanship and sound, he is unique, and may very well turn out to be the memorable violin in the next centuries (if the Lord does not return before then).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mark,

The Markneukirchen violin is one of the best sounding violins I have had. It is almost viola-like in its tone; very deep and resonant. The dynamics are very good and the fellow who played it said it had a 'wonderful old tone' very deep and surprisingly powerful. I am sure the person who bought it will love it. If they don't care for it, I won't mind taking it back. I can't buy violins like this one everyday.

I will include the link to the now-ended auction for access to the photos. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...me=STRK:MESO:IT I will not use this forum to post ads for my auctions that are current-unless it is a joke listing for amusement only.

Jesse

PS I hope posting this link is not inappropriate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks PH, the bottom one is what I wanted. That's REALLY interesting. I now understand why the violin might sound nice, as far as that particular clue is concerned.

For whatever it might be worth, I suggest a shot like that with all your listings. The angled shots of back or top don't tell anybody much, in the sense that they don't illustrate clearly anything about the model or style of the violin.

And by the way, speaking for myself, I regard you as the practical ebay expert on Maestronet from a seller's point of view. I appreciate your input - and your jokes (it's a pity the next April 1st is a bit off into the future). Perhaps we can negotiate about you being able to offer the first genuine del Gesu viola on ebay?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say the buyer got a deal, Jesse. A couple of the best violins I've handled are from that place and time. I played a J.G. Hamm from ~1790 which was more or less on a Stainer model, but it had plenty of reserve power. The owner wanted nearly 10K$ USD, so I had to pass it up. My current violin is a (mislabeled) Hamm of later vintage, from the same locale. Still pretty good, though the f-holes are seriously worn.

Unfortunately I'm not in the market right now; I'd have been bidding on this one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...