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Craig Tucker

Antiqued Violins Competition

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In Pisogne, Italy.

This is an interesting development...

I'd love to see the work there - I wonder if they will publish anything, perhaps on line?

Is anyone here familiar with this organization - the Cremonese luthier association, ANLAI?

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In Pisogne, Italy.

This is an interesting development...

I'd love to see the work there - I wonder if they will publish anything, perhaps on line?

Is anyone here familiar with this organization - the Cremonese luthier association, ANLAI?

Hi CT,

The ANLAI of today, (ASSOCIAZIONE NAZIONALE AMICI DELLA LIUTERIA ITALIANA - National Association Friends of Italian Violinmaking), which is organising the competition in Pisogne took their name from the original ANLAI (ASSOCIAZIONE NAZIONALE LIUTAI E ARCHETTAI ITALIANI - National Association of Italian Violin and Bowmakers) that had their offices at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. As far as I know the original ANLAI of Rome is no longer active. For years they had a Committee of Experts including Gaetano Sgarabotto, the Bisiachs, Sesto Rocchi, Gioacchino Pasqualini etc. and issued Certificates of Authenticity for old Italian instruments. They never really did obtain any international recognition with their certificates.

This will be the third edition in Pisogne on lake Iseo, but evidently it will be the first time they will be including antiqued instruments in the competition. (edit: 4th edition - 1st International?)

Bruce

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Fascinating!!

I hope most of you go to Claudio's forum. I haven't for awhile and there is so much similarity yet cultural diffences with Maestronet. Italian is pretty easy to learn to read if you know any of the "Romance" languages.

Claudio states:

"Gualtiero, penso di non avere pregiudizi nei confronti della liuteria cinese, americana, inglese, ecc ecc"

Isn't it funny to think of possible prejudicial views on British or American violins? I think we (I) can become so arrogant that we (I) forget how we are viewed by other countries.

On this page there are concerns about the validity of judging, the failure of winning instruments etc... Claudio sympathizes with the judges and their burden.

This is a page that discusses this contest:

ClaudioRampini

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This will be the third edition in Pisogne on lake Iseo, but evidently it will be the first time they will be including antiqued instruments in the competition. (edit: 4th edition - 1st International?)

Bruce...as I read the rules not only will they be "including antiqued instruments" but they are only taking including antiqued instruments.

How do you think the judges will differ from the VSA contests? I don't think they like textured spruce- am I wrong? Do you think these will be similar to the VSA antiqued violins (the better ones) or do they take a different approach such as introduce artificial wear on the wood but leave a normal finish?

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Some of these issues are why I brought the subject up here, and why I thought it might make an interesting discussion.

I kept waiting for someone to mention the contest, as it goes directly to the heart of the matter with regard to so many discussions we've had here on M-net in the past, in connection with the subject of antiquing-or-not...

I am very happy to see such a contest as this, as, I think it might fly directly in the face of the idea that there should be only one legitimate way to varnish a modern violin.

As if such limits were a matter of ethical conduct, or some such thing.

This type of contest brings the subject into sharp focus and lends a new-ish sense of legitimately to the general subject of antiquing, in my opinion.

I love the fact that the ad bluntly states;

"A lot of makers are moving in this direction because many conductors do not look favorably on instruments whose varnish draws attention to their newness.

Interesting.

A contest allowing antiqued violins only. What a great idea!

Bravo to the ANLAI!

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As if such limits were a matter of ethical conduct, or some such thing.

This type of contest brings the subject into sharp focus and lends a new-ish sense of legitimately to the general subject of antiquing, in my opinion.

P.S.

For those who follow such things - you know that I started my own travels down this road (antiquing) only two violins ago.

And that I posted the results here.

As I have mentioned for the last few years, I have decided that the only real subject that most modern violin makers hesitate to divulge EVERYTHING they know, has to do with the subject of finishing.

And, within that subject, the hesitancy is not with regard to anything authentic or classical, but instead, with proprietary methods that have to do with establishing a particular distinctive "look" in the market.

Even then, most of the basic formulary information it is out there.

It's the matter of application that has a huge effect on the final look of the instrument.

I have to say that in my opinion, realistic antiquing is a very difficult nut to crack.

Still, it’s a worthwhile thing to attempt.

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Interesting... about two decades ago there was a strong prejudice against antiquated instruments among most of Italian makers, it seems things are changing...

Hey Dean, we thought that we had some privacy on Claudio's forum!!!

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I thought antiquing just meant that you screwed up your first varnish attempt, tried to strip it off, that didn't work, so you then got upset and tossed it on some gravel,then decided you could salvage it?

hmm, you mean they have a competition for that? :)

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Interesting... about two decades ago there was a strong prejudice against antiquated instruments among most of Italian makers, it seems things are changing...

Hey Dean, we thought that we had some privacy on Claudio's forum!!!

I recall that when the VSA competitions started, there were to be no antiqued instruments. They would be judged as what they were, new violins.

I think that a convincing antiquing job may prejudice both players and judges. No matter how objective they may feel that they are.

I would like to see the competition go back to that early view. 1.) because I can't antique. but 2.) Because I think I have something to offer that is a new violin.

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I thought antiquing just meant that you screwed up your first varnish attempt, tried to strip it off, that didn't work, so you then got upset and tossed it on some gravel,then decided you could salvage it?

Hey, Jezzupe - you just described my finishing technique, but you missed the bit about rasps and sandpaper :)

Sadly this is all true...

Tim

PS - It is interesting that people get exercied by antiquing. With violins, and some other things of high value, a deliberate attempt to simulate age is often associated with an attempt at fraud. In home decoration for the last few years the aged look has been very popular - usually faux Tuscan or French provincial - but no-one seems worried, everyone knows they are fakes, just a "look." I was at a garden centre today with SWMBO and saw some very nice Chinese glazed flower pots made to look like they were several hundred years old. I doubt anyone was either fooled or worried. Is it that contemporary makers feel insulted by the popularity of antiqued instruments because it means that the market does not value, as in recognise the quality of, their work preferring to think that "this looks old so everyone will think it must be really good"?

Regards,

Tim

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Hey, Jezzupe - you just described my finishing technique, but you missed the bit about rasps and sandpaper :)

Sadly this is all true...

Tim

PS - It is interesting that people get exercied by antiquing. With violins, and some other things of high value, a deliberate attempt to simulate age is often associated with an attempt at fraud. In home decoration for the last few years the aged look has been very popular - usually faux Tuscan or French provincial - but no-one seems worried, everyone knows they are fakes, just a "look." I was at a garden centre today with SWMBO and saw some very nice Chinese glazed flower pots made to look like they were several hundred years old. I doubt anyone was either fooled or worried. Is it that contemporary makers feel insulted by the popularity of antiqued instruments because it means that the market does not value, as in recognise the quality of, their work preferring to think that "this looks old so everyone will think it must be really good"?

Regards,

Tim

Interesting, is it not?

Joking around about it aside.

The simple fact is that there are some (well, lots of people really) people who just simply like the way antiquing looks, with no aditional emotional or ethical considerations attached.

To me the whole "We must rail against this" attitude seems a bit of a curious affectation.

But that's just me.

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The ANLAI of today, (ASSOCIAZIONE NAZIONALE AMICI DELLA LIUTERIA ITALIANA - National Association Friends of Italian Violinmaking), which is organising the competition in Pisogne took their name from the original ANLAI (ASSOCIAZIONE NAZIONALE LIUTAI E ARCHETTAI ITALIANI - National Association of Italian Violin and Bowmakers)

In un certo senso fa impressione la sostituzione delle parole LIUTAI con il generico LIUTERIA

e ARCHETTAI con AMICI. Penserei più ad un movimento per la promozione turistica e culinaria ( il che personalmente mi farebbe anche piacere) che ad una iniziativa culturale, anche se il termine culturale nella liuteria è quasi da considerarsi parte “di nicchia” se non a volte commerciale. Fa impressione la dissoluzione, sempre costante presenza, nei gruppi italiani di professionisti e non a favore di nuovi o vecchi predicatori di possibili e chissà quali sviluppi di mero scambio cultural-commerciale e poi anche qui turistico. Cosa porta o ha portato la liuteria in turisti, amatori del torrone ecc. a CR? Naturalmente quelli “dentro” hanno dati strabilianti. Ma per strada e i liutai cosa, ora, adesso, in questo momento stanno vivendo sulla propria pelle?

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I thought antiquing just meant that you screwed up your first varnish attempt, tried to strip it off, that didn't work, so you then got upset and tossed it on some gravel,then decided you could salvage it?

That's what most antiquing attempts look like. It's rare to see it done well, and if it isn't done well, it just looks like a poor fake. And even if it is done well, I really hate to see an imitation of a badly damaged old violin with wretched, destroyed varnish.

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In un certo senso fa impressione la sostituzione delle parole LIUTAI con il generico LIUTERIA

e ARCHETTAI con AMICI. Penserei più ad un movimento per la promozione turistica e culinaria ( il che personalmente mi farebbe anche piacere) che ad una iniziativa culturale, anche se il termine culturale nella liuteria è quasi da considerarsi parte “di nicchia” se non a volte commerciale. Fa impressione la dissoluzione, sempre costante presenza, nei gruppi italiani di professionisti e non a favore di nuovi o vecchi predicatori di possibili e chissà quali sviluppi di mero scambio cultural-commerciale e poi anche qui turistico. Cosa porta o ha portato la liuteria in turisti, amatori del torrone ecc. a CR? Naturalmente quelli “dentro” hanno dati strabilianti. Ma per strada e i liutai cosa, ora, adesso, in questo momento stanno vivendo sulla propria pelle?

I think this is only natural...a phase so to speak driven by competition and tourism. What does a touring violinist want to buy in Cremona...a new violin or an antiqued violin from the hands of a master maker? The pendulum is always swinging.

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I love the fact that the ad bluntly states;

"A lot of makers are moving in this direction because many conductors do not look favorably on instruments whose varnish draws attention to their newness.

Interesting.

Idiot conductors. :)

Most of the time, when they see a "great" violin, it's all beat up, so they think that's what great violins must look like.

They never see the super-nice ones, because they're not out and about getting beat up. :)

If a player showed up with the Messiah Strad, maybe the conductor would say, "Get rid of that piece of junk and get a decent fiddle."

Someone needs to edjumecate them.

It's funny that the Italians may be moving in the direction of antiquing, when a lot of the American makers have sort of a "been there, done that" attitude, and are trying to move on to fresh instruments. At one time, antiquing was something which would make a maker's work unique and different, but not any more.

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If a player showed up with the Messiah Strad, maybe the conductor would say, "Get rid of that piece of junk and get a decent fiddle."

There may be some conductors who'll say, "Get rid of that Vuillaume and get a decent fiddle." :)

Jim

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