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Need Help With Old Italian Violin Owned by Listed American Folk Artist


hotalibl
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Hi everyone,

I am an antique dealer from rural Upstate NY and yesterday at auction I picked up a very unusual violin belonging to a listed American Folk Artist from Maine. I was trying to do some research on the piece and came across your site. I was hoping to share my violin with you and seewhat you guys thought of it (I.E. age, possible resale value, etc.) I will give you as many details of the violin and although the back story is a little lengthy, I think it will help to explain the violin. I have also included a link where I created a photo album with many different views of the violin.

This violin came up to auction last night as a violin belonging to Jonathan Adams Bartlett, listed folk painter from Rumford Me. Included in the lot were his violin, his artist's palette, and a book detailing his life. Bartlett was born in 1817 and died in 1902. When I was reading through his book this morning, I found a picture of his violin in the book and this excerpt from the book:

"Bartlett was a talented musician and adept at playing a variety of instruments including his favorites, the violin and clarinet. The latter instruments, which belonged to him personally, still exist and are pictures on plates 23 and 24. His violin (Plate 23) is of Italian origin and signed by the master Violin maker, Gasperd Daffio Prugger. William Adams Bartlett placed the activity of this craftsman in the mid 16th century and Florin I, a daughter of the artist allegedly found a mate to it in the British Museum. London England. It was originally purchased for Jonathan in Italy by his brother Joseph on one of their many trips abroad."

Now I do not know alot about violins, I thought this one had some great designs on it. When I purchased this I originally thought the bridge was not original to the piece due to its lightness, however after viewing some others, it appears it could be original: it is marked Hubert. Now the inside tag is all handwritten and is very hard to read, but from what I can read I decipher: Godpord Duffo Prugger Borsnienfis Annolis (possibly Annoris).

Here is the link to the photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/573093950DuSeIE

Thanks for your time, Brandon

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Hi everyone,

I am an antique dealer from rural Upstate NY and yesterday at auction I picked up a very unusual violin belonging to a listed American Folk Artist from Maine. I was trying to do some research on the piece and came across your site. I was hoping to share my violin with you and seewhat you guys thought of it (I.E. age, possible resale value, etc.) I will give you as many details of the violin and although the back story is a little lengthy, I think it will help to explain the violin. I have also included a link where I created a photo album with many different views of the violin.

This violin came up to auction last night as a violin belonging to Jonathan Adams Bartlett, listed folk painter from Rumford Me. Included in the lot were his violin, his artist's palette, and a book detailing his life. Bartlett was born in 1817 and died in 1902. When I was reading through his book this morning, I found a picture of his violin in the book and this excerpt from the book:

"Bartlett was a talented musician and adept at playing a variety of instruments including his favorites, the violin and clarinet. The latter instruments, which belonged to him personally, still exist and are pictures on plates 23 and 24. His violin (Plate 23) is of Italian origin and signed by the master Violin maker, Gasperd Daffio Prugger. William Adams Bartlett placed the activity of this craftsman in the mid 16th century and Florin I, a daughter of the artist allegedly found a mate to it in the British Museum. London England. It was originally purchased for Jonathan in Italy by his brother Joseph on one of their many trips abroad."

Now I do not know alot about violins, I thought this one had some great designs on it. When I purchased this I originally thought the bridge was not original to the piece due to its lightness, however after viewing some others, it appears it could be original: it is marked Hubert. Now the inside tag is all handwritten and is very hard to read, but from what I can read I decipher: Godpord Duffo Prugger Borsnienfis Annolis (possibly Annoris).

Here is the link to the photos: http://community.webshots.com/album/573093950DuSeIE

Thanks for your time, Brandon

It would help if this forum's members were not directed to a silly site when clicking on the photos site. Is it just my bad temperament that feels really annoyed by these types of posts?

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zefir68 - I don't mind visiting external link and this doesn't seems to harm, except that the browsing is very slow to me - typical of photo hosting websites.

Some direct link:

2420648360103466917S600x600Q85.jpg

2954409040103466917S600x600Q85.jpg

2736112430103466917S600x600Q85.jpg

2645978460103466917S600x600Q85.jpg

2312140710103466917S600x600Q85.jpg

2038461200103466917S600x600Q85.jpg

2917065770103466917S600x600Q85.jpg

Unfortunately, it's nothing "great" to my eyes. It looks like a mass produced instrument to my untrained eyes (or maybe not, due to the works done on the back). Bridge will eventually worn off or warped after years of playing, so if even if it's original, it has to be replaced.

Most importantly, I see a long crack perhaps the soundpost area, should be a soundpost crack - which will decrease the entire value to very low as it's a critical damage. The neck need to be replace/repair too, as I can see there's crack there (hope it's just a scratch).

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"Gasperd Daffio Prugger" is a variation of Kaspar Tieffenbrucher, who according to a very dubious piece of violin lore "italianized" his name thus. I don't think an authentic Kaspar Teiffenbrucher ever came up, did it? There is a Tieffenbrucher family that actually made very nice lutes, I think they are supposed to be the same.

I am sorry to say, this particular violin, as has already been said, has mostly sentimental value. Is must always be remembered that the combined efforts of musicians and violin sellers over the years to make just about every fiddle "italian" has caused more misunderstandings about violins than you can imagine :)

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I'm with Jacob (!)

Have I been right for once? :)

Anyhow, the "Tieffenbrucker" and variant labels ("Dufueprugcar" etc.) were the 19th-century equivalent of e-bay attributions. That name had some sort of legendary claim as one of - or even THE - first violin makers ever (see Bachmann). So, since nobody had ever seen one, it was a save bet to label one as such, as there was nothing genuine to compare it too, just an urban legend

But one can surely declare any random turkey not to be a dodo, even if one hasn't seen a dodo - knowing what a turkey looks like will suffice.

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It’s always sad to deliver bad news when people get excited about instruments like these. It’s probably a fine enough violin, but it’s definitely just a fancy looking trade fiddle from the very late 1800s or very early 1900s.

Looking at the third picture, lower bass side corner - the top could possibly be laminated. Perhaps the missing corner wood is revealing a block, but it looks too thin to me. So it’s probably laminated, which isn’t an awful thing, but means that it’s not a fine instrument. Also, the back has a shoddy post crack repair, which on laminated instruments is a pain to repair (I know, because I’m doing it right now for fun – no fun).

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I purchased it mainly because it belonged to the artist, since I purchased his palette at the same auction. I figured due to the design on the back that it was most likely a 19th century instrument, however once I read the book and saw the information about the violin listed in the book I began to second guess myself and thought just maybe I had beaten the 0% odds of finding an original 16th century violin. Anyways it added some excitement around here for a couple days. I am glad I consulted with you guys before listing it on eBay! I am still a little confused as to the information you have given me on the maker, hopefully someone can clear that up a little bit for me! Thanks again for all of your help

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I am still a little confused as to the information you have given me on the maker, hopefully someone can clear that up a little bit for me!

The person whose name appears inside your violin did not make it. Your violin was made in a mass-production workshop, where different workers made various parts, then other workers assembled them and applied the varnish.

It's similar a Ford automobile. When you buy a Ford, you are not buying something that Henry Ford made.

Jacob and Magnus have given a good explanation of the significance of the name.

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You might look here. The violin with the quote most often supposedly made by Tieff..Diff...whomever is attributed to Derazy

http://www.usd.edu/smm/Derazey.html

For other ideas look here

http://www.thestringdoctor.com/French%20Violin%20Repair.html

or here

http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_si/nmah/violduif.htm

or here

http://www.passionate-about-violins.com/hi...the_violin.html

or lots of other places. You should get the idea!

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