Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

A word about Cremonese soundhole placement


Christopher Reuning

Recommended Posts

Looking at the recent locked thread concerning the two violins purported to be Cremonese, I'd like to point out a simple characteristic that even the most rudimentary copiests will get right. That is that the top of the lower holes are in line with the lowest point of the purfling where it curves going into the lower corners. In other words, if you lay a straight edge across those points in the purfling of each lower corner, the line will just touch the tops of the lower holes. It is impossible that the soundholes would be set as high as the "Peter Guarneri" is.

Christopher Reuning

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

Looking at the recent locked thread concerning the two violins purported to be Cremonese, I'd like to point out a simple characteristic that even the most rudimentary copiests will get right. That is that the top of the lower holes are in line with the lowest point of the purfling where it curves going into the lower corners. In other words, if you lay a straight edge across those points in the purfling of each lower corner, the line will just touch the tops of the lower holes. It is impossible that the soundholes would be set as high as the "Peter Guarneri" is.

Christopher Reuning


These violins are not purported to be Cremonese, they are Cremonese. I don't own them but I know the person who does, as he was a guest in my home this past weekend.

I guess the Hill certificate that accompanies the Peter Guarneri must be wrong. It is entirely possible that the foremost authorities in the world could miss one now and then.

John Thornton

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

Did the Cremonese draw their ff holes on the top side or under side of the plate before they cut them?


Stradivari laid out and cut his ff holes on the underside of the belly, (perpendicular to the archings). I have a violin in my possession with the scribe marks as he drew the arcs for the placement of the notches, and the set points of the compass is partially visible under the varnish which ran down inside the ff holes.

In fact, I also have a violin with 21 triangular shaped indentions left in the underside of the belly. Simone F. Sacconi wrote that these indentions could still be seen in those violins which had not been thinned down by wiseacres who thought they could improve the tone of a Stradivari.

The top in my violin has a curious sap mark running the length of the belly, on the right side of the fingerboard. I wonder what's up with that...

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

Thanks a whole, big lot, Chris. :-(


I've got a poster by John Dillworth of a 1704 Pietro Guarneri of Mantua. Doing exactly as Chris described, ie; laying a straight edge metal rule across the belly, the upper portion of the lower eyes just touch the edge of the ruler.

That's no big deal. All of the Cremonese moved the ff holes around, especially del Gesu. As far as that goes, Stradivari did too. Of course, the G form model would tend to establish some form of regularity in successive instruments, but when he reverted to a different form, of which there were at least 19 for the violin, one could reasonably expect to see a different stop length, and other variables according to the model.

The measurements will differ, but the relationships remain constant.

John Thornton

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"That's no big deal. All of the Cremonese moved the ff holes around, especially del Gesu. As far as that goes, Stradivari did too."

Uh, actually, no, they didn't, with the exception of del Gesu. Stradivari's completely consistent, if you don't count the ones made by later German violin makers. If you're suggesting to completely redefine what a Stradivari is, against 300 years of collected expertise, you're going to have a very uphill battle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

"That's no big deal. All of the Cremonese moved the ff holes around, especially del Gesu. As far as that goes, Stradivari did too."

Uh, actually, no, they didn't, with the exception of del Gesu. Stradivari's completely consistent, if you don't count the ones made by later German violin makers.
Quote:


If you're suggesting to completely redefine what a Stradivari is, against 300 years of collected expertise, you're going to have a very uphill battle.


My Hill publications on Stradivari and the Guarneri family must be by different publishers than yours. I'm not trying to redefine anything. Both my copies give much different information than what you dispense. The Hills could be wrong though....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

Yes, they must undoubtedly be different. Mine has a very concise drawing on page 196, and notes that the rules from which this drawing was derived are unclear (but the drawing isn't at all).


THE VIOLIN MAKERS OF THE GUARNERI FAMILY (1626 - 1762) (W. E. Hill, London) page 144: "Pietro's bold and open-cut f-holes are strongly characterized, and here we are reminded of those of Serafin--a certain blending of the Amati and Stainer conception. They are set, and not unrarely, somewhat low down upon the table, and although so placed, the stop is not invariably lengthened, seeing that the nicks of the f-holes are higher up than unusual. But occasionaly we do meet with an abnormal stop of 7-13/16 (normal stop 7-10/16)."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And they don't have a single illustration differing from the one I referred to, nor am I familiar with ANY Peter of Venice that's different. Obviously they mean something different from what *you're* thinking when they say "low", and if you look in Walter Hamma's book you'll find an example of what they're talking about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

Are you suggesting that these are both Stradivari?


No sir. I am having the best time of my life, and learning more every second!! The top fiddle is a Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, 1742 in the private possession of a family in California.

The one with the plum red varnish is a Stradivari. I bought it on eBay for $100.00.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I have a violin in my possession with the scribe marks as he drew the arcs for the placement of the notches, and the set points of the compass is partially visible under the varnish which ran down inside the ff holes."

Am I mis-understanding this? It sounds like varnish has run down through ff holes which are being marked-out, but have not yet been cut?? Or was it varnished prior to cutting the knicks? Or is this possibly from a later re-varnishing? Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ron, this particular violin is a 1698 Stradivari. I got it from London not too long ago. It is the one with the triangular depth guage marks as well as the scribed lines. The lower block had split in half, which had cause the joint in the back to open, which in turn, caused a split along side the bass bar. I had to remove the top to straighten it all out. This is when I found the interior of the belly as just described.

I've never seen this before either... the head block has a sap pocket right smack dab in the center of it...

The varnish is original. I found two labels inside the back of this one. I think Vuillaume may have replaced the bar.

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...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...