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Corner shape


Don Noon

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How does one discern The Harrison's corner roundover due to [a] normal wear from tool roundover

by maker [blade, file, sandpaper] ??? Can someone please point out which of the 8-corners rules out the possibility of tool roundover by maker ?

I see the hand of a Roswell alien here.

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Can the same guy that made all those crude scrolls make such a clean corner? Gotta be a fake :) . Next I'll find out that the world was square before all the corners got rounded off. Oh, here's PROOF:

The Earth, as it came out of the shop

post-25192-1243706883_thumb.jpg

One of the things that got me to start this thread was my oldest fiddle, which I have owned and played for about 30 years and is (I think) somewhere around 80 years old. Varnish is worn off the center of the back, the back of the scroll is flattened by wear. On the top, there were a few shrinkage cracks I had to repair, the corners of the top have all been chipped off here and there, bow wear is at the C-bout, and the edges of the bouts are chipped and dinged. Yet, the corners and the edges of the back are absoulutely pristine. If I multiply the wear by 4, I still get perfect corners on the back. Apparently, this is not common for most other fiddles.

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Yet, the corners and the edges of the back are absoulutely pristine. If I multiply the wear by 4, I still get perfect corners on the back. Apparently, this is not common for most other fiddles.

I would challenge the concept that the wear and tear on a parlour-played violin in the 20th/21st century is a useful benchmark for what might have happened in the 18th and 19 th centuries.

I refer to, for example, Tarisio's wanderings through Italy and Europe and accounts of mishaps on stagecoarch journeys.

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Here´s a del Gesu corner, violino piccolo 1735 "Chardon", very pristine, it was exhibited in Cremona last year.

Thanks Martina.

That small violin is an excellent example of the going-out-of-fashion problem

suggested by stradofear.

I wonder if another "small problem" with Giuseppe's instruments is due in part to his

symmetrically-purfled corners.

Some other Old Masters seem to have understood where the geometric asymmetries

belong on a violin. Although, if Giuseppe's corners were "art" [for him], geometric anomalies are a moot point.

The Cannone's corners have worn nicely though. :)

Jim

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Okay, I'm going to qualify for my heretic cap badge here and now (presuming that I haven't already done it ages ago, without noticing):

I find the worn, shorter, beaky corners -regardless of how they came into being- much more aesthetically pleasing than I do the "pristine" squared-off ones. If that puts me at odds with Stradivari's sense of visual design, tough bananas. Allowing his mastery of the functional craft to create in our minds a general halo effect is plain idolatry.

(If you reckon I now merit stoning, please use small stones. The big ones get my arthritis too excited)

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Not too many folks today idolize Strad's bass bars, neck length, bridges, strings, or tuning. Idolatry yields to collective values and technology. If we collectively decide rounded corners look better, there will be more of them... and it won't be considered heresy to like them.

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I posted a quote earlier, a bit of hyperole. Actually, it seems as if the square corners are a result of wanting to continue a line. but the line eventually is cut off of course.

The reason for my hyperbole is that people tend to discuss things like this ad nauseum. This thing may be a good art-point, but aren't there other topics that might be more fruitful to look into?

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I posted a quote earlier, a bit of hyperole. Actually, it seems as if the square corners are a result of wanting to continue a line. but the line eventually is cut off of course.

The reason for my hyperbole is that people tend to discuss things like this ad nauseum. This thing may be a good art-point, but aren't there other topics that might be more fruitful to look into?

...................

Hi John

I appreciate your point........On the other hand.....( just for the sake of debate as I know you know this anyway) Violin making is a classical discipline in many ways just like playing and violins are appreciarted not just for their sound but for their look also. Lets face it if it was not a classical discipline formed around a relativelly set traditional format a more logical approach would be to play on electric violins with orchestras all being balanced and blended on a big mixing control desk by technicians like in a rock concert.....or just going the whole hog and synthing the strings....

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To follow up on what Melvin said....

One can string up a 2x4, rasp out a narrow portion in the shape of a neck, attach a fingerboard with a wedge underneath, maybe add a pickup, and call it a violin. Nothing wrong with that.

Once people start asking about things like corner shapes, outlines, ff shapes, archings, varnish, scrolls, purfling, graduations etc., it starts to sound like they're interested in classical violin making. That's the information which has been provided here. If that's not where the interest lies, there's not much point in asking about any of these things. :)

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For me, if someone wants to understand how those instruments work, and why (and I do) you can't ignore any part of what went into them, including history, the lives they lived outside the shop, what ideas they had access to. How the corners were made, and why (what other things might evolve from the same aesthetic decision?) is just as important as everything else. When someone gets the wrong idea about corners, or someone says that how the ribs were laid out doesn't matter, they're discarding whole sections of the context around those instruments and how they were made. It may not be important to them, but it's all important to me, every bit of it.

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...................

Hi John

I appreciate your point........On the other hand.....( just for the sake of debate as I know you know this anyway) Violin making is a classical discipline in many ways just like playing and violins are appreciarted not just for their sound but for their look also. Lets face it if it was not a classical discipline formed around a relativelly set traditional format a more logical approach would be to play on electric violins with orchestras all being balanced and blended on a big mixing control desk by technicians like in a rock concert.....or just going the whole hog and synthing the strings....

Actually, I make square corners or perhaps the corner edge has a slight curve. To me, it is the way to let the eye follow the curve.

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In part to stir the pot slightly, but also because there's a real and important truth here:

I was one of the auditorium-full of engineers to whom the late Maurice Wilkes gave a talk one day. As a lead-in to one of his topics, he made a remark that "brought down the house" - gales of laughter, whistles, cheering, and sustained applause.

What he said was: "The nice thing about standards is that they guarantee that everyone will make the same mistakes we did".

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  • 1 month later...
Hi

Here´s a del Gesu corner, violino piccolo 1735 "Chardon", very pristine, it was exhibited in Cremona last year.

Martina

Thanks to Martina for getting this photo posted... but it had been nagging me that I didn't know exactly what the lower corner looked like. So I asked her to get a shot of the lower corner, which she provided (thanks again).

Other MN'ers might want to see it, so here it is:

post-25192-1248188326_thumb.jpg

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  • 8 months later...
The Messiah corner work looks much nicer in real life than in photos in my opinion......Del Gesu corners are not so squared up in general

Old thread, missed it first time around. Melvin is spot on here, as usual. In fact to me, the Messiah in real life looks generally a lot daintier than in photos. Classic case of the camera adding 10 pounds? :)

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This is just a fading memory now but didn't the violin cases used to be the type where you slid the violin into the sleeve of the case? If so, this action when repeatedly done, should induce much greater outer corner wear than modern violins would ever endure.

Except that the corners aren't the widest parts.

Perhaps that type of case was more responsible for a lot of the wear on the back of the scroll and body.

Andrew

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