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~ Ben Conover

Who is your fav dead maker ?

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To avoid everyone saying Strad and Del Gesu, and not wishing the current top makers any misfortune......

Who is your one fav maker from the last 100 or so years ?

Just pick one.

Today, mine is Collin Mezin.

I just can't fault his work at all and find it inspiring to see the details.

post-24957-1287303606_thumb.jpg

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To avoid everyone saying Strad and Del Gesu, and not wishing the current top makers any misfortune......

Who is your one fav maker from the last 100 or so years ?

Just pick one.

Today, mine is Collin Mezin.

I just can't fault his work at all and find it inspiring to see the details.

Ben, mate. I think you need to get out of the workshop a bit more....:)

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Rol mate,

Been coppicing hazel, practicing golf, having a bit of fun, varnishing two new fiddles, setting up a Cello, planning a trip to Manchester for sales, and off for a 6 mile walk. Plan to visit Hungary soon.

I still say Mezzin.

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To avoid everyone saying Strad and Del Gesu, and not wishing the current top makers any misfortune......

Who is your one fav maker from the last 100 or so years ?

Just pick one.

Today, mine is Collin Mezin.

I just can't fault his work at all and find it inspiring to see the details.

Hi Ben,

I agree that is one very nice piece.

The openings at the top of the f holes look very very close together, looks like they are almost touching. Was this one of his trade marks?

BTW the bridge looks overly thin, or maybe its the pic angle. (Dont want to start another bridge thread)

Tony

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Rol mate,

Been coppicing hazel, practicing golf, having a bit of fun, varnishing two new fiddles, setting up a Cello, planning a trip to Manchester for sales, and off for a 6 mile walk. Plan to visit Hungary soon.

I still say Mezzin.

I stand corrected -

A one man globetrotting fun luvin' golfing lumberjacking fiddle factory then...:)

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Everyone needs time out and help with sales, I'd hate to do it alone. :)

Hi Tony, I think Mezzin was known for his impossibly well cut ff's.

Although if the top wings are too close they might buzz, that can happen if varnish gets stuck in there.

His work just looks so good, much like the Voller bros may have looked before antiquing, I'd imagine.

As for the bridge I don't know who made it, looks fine to me.

I wonder who Magnus would vote for.

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To avoid everyone saying Strad and Del Gesu, and not wishing the current top makers any misfortune......

Who is your one fav maker from the last 100 or so years ?

Just pick one.

Today, mine is Collin Mezin.

I just can't fault his work at all and find it inspiring to see the details.

This question reminds me of an old copy of the magazine The Violinist that someone gave me, from 1916 or so. It has articles, etc.. but I was surprised by all of the small classified ads for the dozens and dozens of makers, unknown today, just in the Chicago area at the time, which might have been where the magazine was printed. I don't have it handy.

Staying in my region, Carl Becker Sr is my fav.

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To avoid everyone saying Strad and Del Gesu, and not wishing the current top makers any misfortune......

Who is your one fav maker from the last 100 or so years ?

Just pick one.

Today, mine is Collin Mezin.

I just can't fault his work at all and find it inspiring to see the details.

+++++++++++++

A friend who works in a violin shop told me his favorite is E.H. Roth. I asked him why?

He sold a lot of his violins. I told him better to take some violin lessons. :)

From his advantage point he is right, but others may have different ideas. It is hard to pin down a few.

I believe there are many, Sometime you wonder how they can make such beautiful violins? One surprise

after another to me. You cannot help withpout the feeling that there is no end in this competition. That is, better

and better.

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Ben....please forgive me if I have my history wrong but Collin Mezin was not a luthier...If I'm not mistaken both Collin and Mezin are the sur names of two families who came together to make posh factory fiddles. If you like that style there are some very fine French luthiers to look at...Hel from Lille comes to mind.

I am not sure re my favourite maker from the last 100 years because I like wildcards and mavericks but I'll settle for Fiorini and Sacconi because they could do by eye what can't be done by photoshop.

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Ben....please forgive me if I have my history wrong but Collin Mezin was not a luthier...If I'm not mistaken both Collin and Mezin are the sur names of two families who came together to make posh factory fiddles. If you like that style there are some very fine French luthiers to look at...Hel from Lille comes to mind.

I am not sure re my favourite maker from the last 100 years because I like wildcards and mavericks but I'll settle for Fiorini and Sacconi because they could do by eye what can't be done by photoshop.

He was born Mirecourt November 12 1841. His grandfathers. JB COLLIN is a policeman and tambour_major of the national guard, and Joseph MEZIN owner winegrower. He apprenticed to his father at 15 which is listed in the 1856 census.

His father was trained by NF Vuillaume and CJB Collin-Mezin also trained with him for a few years.

I think his father also trained Claude A. miremont.

Melvin you may be getting a little mixed up with the fiddles labelled JB Colin,those i believe are not made by any one maker but are just fiddles from one of the big workshops using a trade name. Although many auction houses keep listing him as a maker.

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To avoid everyone saying Strad and Del Gesu, and not wishing the current top makers any misfortune......

Who is your one fav maker from the last 100 or so years ?

Just pick one.

Today, mine is Collin Mezin.

I just can't fault his work at all and find it inspiring to see the details.

I have to put my vote in for the American maker Knute Reindahl (1857-1936). In researching his work, I have had the opportunity to see nearly 100 of his instruments, and although he is generally viewed as having worked a little 'outside the box', his instruments show that he was innovative and artistic, and that he remained true to his own perceptions and style of making.

Chris Reuning's profound post (#132 in the 'Bergonzi' thread) is well worth re-reading, and is very applicable to Knute Reindahl's making.

post-5156-1287368794_thumb.jpg

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I like Reindahls individual approach too, but now that he's already been mentioned... hmm. After the industrial revolution, and the simplified idealization of Strad and del Gesù violins, many makers can be accused of not being really originals, allowing their personal touch to come through mostly in details, not as a whole "personality". Hardly a new thought, but it explains why I have a hard time thinking up maker from after 1910 that makes an emotional impact on me at all. In that case we'd might have to move on to the living makers, (I was only joking in the "living maker" thread Ben!) or about a 100 years backwards. Or maybe I have forgotten someone? :) The french fiddles are darned well made and all that, but they very rarerly are really moving they're too clean and so obviously out to impress :) But I'm sure there must be something, could someone show me a great fiddle post 1910 with individuality, quality and the just amount of sprezzatura?

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Torbjörn, nice photo of Sacconni thanks !

FC, thanks for heads up re-Mezzin.

Posh factory fiddles they would be if they weren't made by a master.

Andrew, that's a great photo of Mezzin with his wolf man side burns, looks extra cool.

Lucky to have a good fiddle like that, does it sound nice ?

Not sure if people can make stuff like Knute Reindall and actually sell it these days.....

The trend for well done antiques and super sharp new fiddles is really strong.

Pity really since he obviously had 'character'.

I looked at Mario Cappiccionni recently, he was highly regarded by the old boyz and got good prices.

His work looks sort of plastic to me, as thought it's all been sanded with garnet paper prior to varnish.

The varnish is obviously nicely done but again lacks any sort of punch.

post-24957-1287385783_thumb.jpg

Still Mezin for me, the clean French look is not easy and they did it all by hand back then.....

Cheers.

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Andrew, that's a great photo of Mezzin with his wolf man side burns, looks extra cool.

Lucky to have a good fiddle like that, does it sound nice ?

Yes it's very good. Dated 1899 just before he retired and his son took over and the workshop became more 'commercial'.

It has a nice smooth tone - not strident/overly bright or nasal, which is a characteristic often ascribed to French violins of the period. The workmanship is incredibly neat but the whole does end up looking a little sterile.

Andrew

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I'm not sayin' she was my 'favorite maker' [by any stretch of the imagination], but I'll give a little shoutout to Carleen Hutchins anyway for her efforts

to develop a whole family of bowed acoustic instruments, unlike that Stradivari-dude who never applied his immeasurable talents to larger bowed instruments. :)

Jim

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I am totally biased, so I have to say my teacher and friend Joseph Rashid. A great friend and mentor.

We still have conversations from time to time, but admittedly they are a tad one sided. Having the pleasure of having his instruments around me, and getting to see them enjoyed by talented players is a gift that I humbly appreciate. Joe you are missed.

http://josephrashid.org/

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In addition to some local makers, I would say James R. Carlisle (JR Carlisle). I've never had a chance to play one. I've only looked at a couple but was impressed by the workmanship and style.

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In addition to some local makers, I would say James R. Carlisle (JR Carlisle). I've never had a chance to play one. I've only looked at a couple but was impressed by the workmanship and style.

I have 2 bench-made Carlisles. One is a bit of a dog, but the other is a delight. Definitely more Strad than GDG, it really sings. Luscious varnish, also. (though not the famous "sunshine varnish) I will NEVER sell it.

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Man, I go away for three weeks and look what you all get into!

Of all the choices of makers for the last 100 years... OK, Sacconi and Poggi I can understand, but I think a some of you really need to get out a little more and see some stuff! :)

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I am with Jeff. I think each country had great makers in the last century, but the names you all mentioned so far wouldn't make my personal top 50 list except for Sacconi and Poggi.

It is interesting to contrast Collin-Mezin to Knute Reindahl...two more opposite violinmakers are hard to imagine. I guess this goes to demonstrate what differing tastes people really do have!

On the one hand, Collin-Mezin copied mainly Strads and they are very clean but show virtually no originality whatsoever. Keep in mind that these are all "workshop" violins made in very large quantity by many workers.

On the other hand, Reindahl's violins show a lot of originality (most would say too much!) but they have virtually no underpinning in Cremonese design, proportion or constructional principals.

Maybe a maker who took some elements from each of these makers would be successful (if only he/she had a great varnish)

Man, I go away for three weeks and look what you all get into!

Of all the choices of makers for the last 100 years... OK, Sacconi and Poggi I can understand, but I think a some of you really need to get out a little more and see some stuff! :)

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