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Any thoughts on age/ origin of this violin?


lambert
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**Ive justed edited this post to include several, much more detailed pictures of the violin without fittings, that will hopefully generate more response :-)***

Hello all. Ive been a long time lurker in these forums, and hope to build a violin myself in the near future. Anywho, for now, I thought id post some pictures of my grandfathers violin (which has no obvious makers mark) and see if anybody here has any thoughts on it. The only thing i can say about it is that it sounds great, looks well loved, and that it has a grafted scroll. Oh and also, the back is actually a four piece back... with two very small, near invisible wings added on either side of the lower bout that seem to be original as there is no break in the purfling.

Heres a general picture of the top:

post-30512-1271606271.jpg

This one I took to try and give a more accurate representation of the inside color, as well as a close up of the F hole

post-30512-1271606278.jpg

Heres one of the back:

post-30512-1271606285.jpg

And one of the jointed on wings on the lower bout

post-30512-1271606293.jpg

another thing i wanted to point out is the fine point that the mitered purfling comes to, especially on the back as its not as worn:

post-30512-1271606300.jpg

Heres an inside shot via end pin hole... not very pretty:

post-30512-1271606306.jpg

These last few are of the scroll and its graft:

post-30512-1271606312.jpg

post-30512-1271606316.jpg

post-30512-1271606328.jpg

post-30512-1271606333.jpg

post-30512-1271606340.jpg

Thanks again for any and all responses. Itd be cool if i could tell my grandfather a few interesting things about his violin, even if it is just a factory fiddle :-)

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judging on the colour of the wood inside seen through the f holes id guess about 100yrs not much older which brings up the neck scroll graft are you sure its real you can't tell from youre pictures, it basically looks like 100 yr old trade fiddle except for the graft maybe it was made new that way to look older or maybe someone cleaned out all the dust and dirt inside making it look newer zulu out

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judging on the colour of the wood inside seen through the f holes id guess about 100yrs not much older which brings up the neck scroll graft are you sure its real you can't tell from youre pictures, it basically looks like 100 yr old trade fiddle except for the graft maybe it was made new that way to look older or maybe someone cleaned out all the dust and dirt inside making it look newer zulu out

Hey Zulu,

The graft is definitely real. Im not sure whether it was an attempt to antique the violin when it was made, however, the scroll has little to no flame, whereas the neck it was grafted on has quite a bit. Concerning the inside patina, the violin has definitely had a lot of work done to it over the years, including a bass bar replacement in the past 30 years or so. Also, the lighting on the camera makes it look whiter than it really is.

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"trade violin", I've come to realize, is a very loose term applied to any violin without the maker's name in it. I have a few examples with A. Stradivarius, etc. labels, or no label, that are obviously hand made by one maker, of extraordinary quality. They are rare, but none the less lumped into the same catagory.

Don't blow this one off so fast, Zulu. I would say the light meter in the camera adjusting to the darker belly, coupled with the flash, washed out the inside, making it look lighter than it actually is. The pictures have a lot to desire. Better pictures under natural light would make the task easier.

That said, it does have a German character to it. To me the graft looks real, not fake, but also not very well done. The scroll seems to be finely carved, nice and round, not flattened in line with the surface of the neck, which is very typical of lesser quality German "trade" violins.

I'm a novice in the field, but there are a lot of experts that have so far declined to comment. You should make a new set of pictures, straight on of the back, scroll, and belly, under better lighting conditions, such as outdoors under a roof or shady side of the house (that reduces glare) with a neutral background, and no flash. You would probably get more responces.

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I think this one is difficult from pictures.

There are elements which point to German, Dresden or Berlin work of the 1880/1900, though there are also characteristics that are different to those.

The head is more akin to French work of slightly earlier period (1840/50). The varnish too appears to have texture I don't personally usually associate with late 19th c, German work.

Looking at the style of the corners and purfling mitres, I suspect on balance, this is likely to be a German instrument of the 1860/70's.

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"trade violin", I've come to realize, is a very loose term applied to any violin without the maker's name in it. I have a few examples with A. Stradivarius, etc. labels, or no label, that are obviously hand made by one maker, of extraordinary quality. They are rare, but none the less lumped into the same catagory.

It's been my experience that a 'trade violin' was one made by an unknown maker - for the (violin) trade. They usually ended up either with someone else's label, or were sold by a retailer under a 'trade name'. Some older makers worked both as luthiers under their own label, and they made less quality instruments to be 'sold to the trade'. It was a means of making a living.

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the graft looks even more fake in the new pictures, the flame in the scroll looks the same as the neck, the only way to tell is look inside the g peg holes for a joint in the right places, youre second shot of the fhole to show the"correct"look of the inside is laughably underexposed, and the one good pic of the top is gone because you don't want us to see the truth are you trying to sell this violin also you have crashed the whole system by loading way to many high resolution pictures i suggest you drop the resolution otherwise noone will see youre violin zulu out

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the graft looks even more fake in the new pictures, the flame in the scroll looks the same as the neck, the only way to tell is look inside the g peg holes for a joint in the right places, youre second shot of the fhole to show the"correct"look of the inside is laughably underexposed, and the one good pic of the top is gone because you don't want us to see the truth are you trying to sell this violin also you have crashed the whole system by loading way to many high resolution pictures i suggest you drop the resolution otherwise noone will see youre violin zulu out

Thanks for the responses everyone... seems to be leaning towards a late 19th century German with French influence. In response to Zulu, Ive no interest in selling this violin as it really is a family heirloom. As for the graft, I work with wood for a living, so I'm pretty convinced of it being an actual joint, thanks...Sorry if my pictures were overkill... I thought they might be of interest to others who share a passion for violins :) .

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Thanks for the responses everyone... seems to be leaning towards a late 19th century German with French influence. In response to Zulu, Ive no interest in selling this violin as it really is a family heirloom. As for the graft, I work with wood for a living, so I'm pretty convinced of it being an actual joint, thanks... Sorry if my pictures were overkill... I thought they might be of interest to others who share a passion for violins :) .

It is quite simple to process images with a file size of almost 1Mb down to about 60kb without any loss of physical size or resolution on a computer monitor.

As for the rant by the hamradio dude - he probably has no ready access to a dentist...or something like that...

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It is quite simple to process images with a file size of almost 1Mb down to about 60kb without any loss of physical size or resolution on a computer monitor.

As for the rant by the hamradio dude - he probably has no ready access to a dentist...or something like that...

Wowsers, didnt know large files could actually be a problem for the forum... to be honest, I was short on time when reposting photos, so i skipped resizing them... (Should have changed the size on the camera before I took the photos i guess :) ) Anyways, I adjusted the images down to 640x480.

Concerning the graft: I gave it a good lookover a few minutes ago inside the pegbox as per zulu's suggestion-- which i'd done some months back but wanted to check again with the strings off. You can clearly see the line where the scroll joins the neck. The scroll does have flame, but seemingly less than the neck. It could be obscured more by the varnish color i spose. there is also a difference between the varnish color where the neck meets the scroll and the scroll itself-- which most certainly could have been done when this thing was made if the maker wanted it to look authentically old.

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Wowsers, didnt know large files could actually be a problem for the forum... to be honest, I was short on time when reposting photos, so i skipped resizing them... (Should have changed the size on the camera before I took the photos i guess :) ) Anyways, I adjusted the images down to 640x480.

There is a major problem with the forum server. I can watch streaming videos, but I can't download an image file much over 300kb - the download times out.

This problem only surfaced after the latest forum upgrade. It has been reported and commented upon many times, to no avail.

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