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This one's a bit different


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Just when I 'thought' I was beginning to be able to identify "better" scrolls, I miss-judged this one. What do you see in the scroll? Is it the poor angle of the pegs (especially "A")? Or, did I just miss totally (scroll that is). Or did you use the "overall" to reach your conclusion?

I'm a long way from corpus identifacation.

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I'm just going by the body outline. To round out an outline that much isn't a professional thing. There have been just a couple of professional makers who've done it, but not for a few hundred years. It could still be someone quirky from some school or another, but it doesn't follow any of the normal standards of professional violin making, that's all. If someone's going to come up with all the known makers who made violins for a living doing that, the list is going to be *extrememly* short.

Additionally, the strange arching and f-hole placement push the idea that the maker was someone who was trying out all of his extreme ideas for pushing the violin forward 400 years all at once on his one and only violin--it's the type of stuff that people who don't know what they're doing do.

Following fingerbord's lead, I looked through my book of modern Germans, and I do see a lot of excessively smoothed outlines, but not the extremes in arching, paint job, and f-hole placement. It's an idea, though.

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Yes. That's why I said "just a couple of professional makers who've done it, but not for a few hundred years". There are a couple of old makers who did it. A few of your ancestors did it, too. Though this is the inside, I think you can see it in this probably-a-Daniel-Parker (I shot the photo because of the dazzling array of unnecessary studs):


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Well, the upper bout on the Tarisio example is very similarly rounded to the violin in question, but the lower bout on the Tarisio one is much "droopier". That is, wider and it looks shorter, though it isn't I know. It's just the visual.

I was guessing that this was a good French factory violin from between 1900-1930. The workmanship is very good, if the model isn't. The corners and edgework look more sophisticated and are executed better than any amatuer work I've seen.

As Michael says, the "paint job" is pretty severe. I like the color of the varnish but the antiquing is just too much. It's been played a lot, as there is serious thinning of the board and neck between the scroll and the body. There's a lot of wear behind the scroll, which I think is false, but the thinning of the neck is subtle but pronounced and looks like honest wear. On the other hand, it's in great shape if it's 80 years old. I like the scroll, and it does not look factory. The scroll graft is very well executed, and all the efforts at antiqueing make me think it came from a factory workshop.

If it's by an amatuer, it's by a very talented amatuer, at least in terms of wood work. But I agree totally with Michael that the model is weird. The transverse arching is almost like a Stainer, but the long arch looks OK. Length is 356 mm, short for a Frenchie.

Thanks for the discussion. I still don't know what it is, and maybe there's no way to know. I'll just go play it.

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I had the pleasure of seeing a genuine Ferdinandus Gagliano a couple weeks ago. I'm not going to say this looks like a Gagliano (it doesn't), but the "antiqued" finish on the back of this one was very reminiscent of the 250 years of real wear on the FG. Also, the wear marks on this one don't seem at all similar to the many contemporary antiquing efforts one sees so often. Am I alone in thinking Jack's fiddle might have some really age? (Maybe Jack will put up a photo of the back of the scroll, which I have seen. The wear there also reminded very much of that FG and some other truly old instruments I've seen. It's that flat spot I guess they get from lying in wooden cases, which never seems to show up on antiqued models.)

Michael, could you describe what you thought was extreme about the f hole placement? Thanks. (As you know, my eyes aren't so good).

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