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Violin without purfling = bad idea?


kathyk

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Totally ignorant reply:

A lot of violins have no purfling. I believe it was originally designed to stop cracks from running from the edge inwards, in cases of 'bumps'.

Purfling poorly installed, or running too deep could actually weaken the plate.

Would you buy a car without a bumper?

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I own a few violins that were made without inlayed purfling

and they sound real nice. They have made it this far without a

crack BUT in General I feel that it is a bad idea because purfling

does help to prevent cracks for the most part from entering or

exiting the instrument. Plus, there is a beauty to the art of

inlaid purfling and styles that reflect quality of workmanship.

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Funny thing is that almost every violin ive had without purfling on either plates have had almost no cracks at all compared to purflled ones. Quite strange considering the purfling is supposed to help prevent cracking.

This is just my observation of the many old (pre 1850) English violins ive seen.

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I don't always fit purfling to my more modern violins, purely for aesthetic reasons though. I do believe that purfling in general is a good thing, it helps prevent corner splitting and it may have a positive effect on the sound. I have an old Czeck violin which features drawn purfling lines. That is a waste of time if ever there was one.

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A violin without purfling puts the seller in a defensive position. It's not what buyers expect to see, they are immediately suspect and dubious, which puts the seller in the defensive mode, "yes, no purfling but the sound is simply bursts out of this violin, blah, blah, blah. Few buyers will be able to look beyond the purfling issue unless there is an early Italian label to divert their attention.

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