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Raggedy-arse labels


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I didn't want to hijack Reepi's thread, but I never know quite what to think when I see labels like the one in that violin. They all have ragged edges, as though that attested to the fiddle's antiquity.

To look at labels like that, you'd think they went back to Pharoah's time or at least were subject to the wear and tear of everyday life, being kicked around in the street, assaulted by dogs, etc. Yet the only assault a label would normally have to endure is noise. I'd think labels might go a hundred years or more without ever having anything substantial come nearer than the f-holes. Can noise really tear the edges off labels, I wonder? It doesn't seem reasonable, but maybe there's something special about fiddle noise?

Perhaps Jeffrey and/or Michael can comment on the unimpeachably ancient labels they've seen?

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I'm amazed at what can fall through an f-hole. And some players really shed. You'll find a big rosin-infested hairball rolling around inside. Add in a mix of standard dust/dirt, and you have a rolling sander, though admittedly high-grit.

I guess over time, that can chew up a label's edges, particularly if they're raised just a bit and brittle.

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  • 4 weeks later...

For those interested, you can see a photo of one of these hair/lint balls on the Pegbox forum. Thread entitled "Please Help Identify" -- photo IMGP0973.JPG. Pretty common in older used instruments. I still can't say for certain that these things rolling around damage the labels, but they probably don't help keep them pristine.

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