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1731 "folk fiddle"?


Ron1

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I just acquired this violin which is all apart, but everything seems to be there. It has much Norwegian writing inside, translation indicates it is religious poetry & prayer. Dated 18 August, 1731, by John Petterson. Top appears to be pine, back, ribs, & neck maple. Nut, saddle, & end pin are bone. No linings, ribs were inset into small channels in top & back. One piece bottom rib. No corner blocks or purfling. Both plates seem very thin (without yet measuring). Bass bar is integral & straight down the center; a carved protrudance extends from neck block to bass bar & is attached w/tiny dowels or wood pins to bass bar. Does not appear to ever had a sound post, but there is "corkscrew" piece w/string attached that came with it?? (too long to be a soundpost). I could also show a pic of the case it came in, but I'm afraid Glenn's keyboard might get rusty. Any comments on this thing? Ron. 1731frontbackpcs9sf.jpg

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Definitely cool. And it seems to match what I've read of Alemannic descriptions, too. But am I alone in feeling that the wood just doesn't look nearly that old? Do you know where this has been? There are folks to talk to who have actually worked on those archaic violin. That's who you need to ask.

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Jacob & Rich- What is "Alemannic"? I've never heard the term before. Do you know who I might contact that has had experience with that type of violin? The person who GAVE me this violin purchased it some years ago in an Olso antique store. He admitted to removing the original finish, which he now knows was a mistake.

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Thanks Jacob- I would really appreciate a copy of the article if you can locate it. Did you notice the tiny wood positioning pegs in the top block? They are also in the bottom block, but difficult to see in the pic. Any guess yet what the corkscrew thingy is? How about an adjustable soundpost that "threads" down through the tiny hole at the top of the "f" until the desired tension is achieved? Could happen! Ron.

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It is a funny word. "Alemannic" sounds like some Englsih scholar's idea of an adjective for "Allemagne," the French for "German." Google "Alemannic violin" and you will see some references right away. Also look into archaic violins and the German violin tradition -- which predate the da Salo fiddles, I believe. 1730 would be very late for an archaic violin, but if that date is correct it could be someone's effort 200 years ago to replicate a violin that was 200 years older yet.

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Thanks all, for your help & observations so far (still no takers on the "corkscrew" though. I know this piece is an important part of the fiddle. I guess I couldn't get a rise out of Glenn with my remarks about the case, so here it is (3 posts):

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Wow! I couldn't see that crick in the neck in your earlier photos. This is something other than an archaic violin, I think. There are several kinds of baroque instruments with scrolls that cock back like that. You really need to talk with a baroque specialist, like William Monical in NY. Very knowledgable, affable guy. The number I have is (800) 816-4424.

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No string marks that I can ascertain. Maybe have to re-think this instrument- I measured it: total length 25 1/4", body length 15 1/4", upper bout 7 1/8", lower bout 9 1/8". I also measured the top plate thickness, which varies from 1.5mm to 2.0mm (isn't that rather thin?)

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Glenn mentioned to me that he was leaving today (May 21)for a business trip to China. I haven't noted any new posts from him since recieving that mention,nor has he answered my response, so he's probably been too busy preparing to look at the forums, or I suspect he WOULD be crying into his keyboard. And I don't know whether he will have access to the net while away. So your case might be safe for a week or two. It's when he gets back that you'll have to keep it under lock and key!

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