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Who is your fav dead maker ?


~ Ben Conover
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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.

What difference does it make how many workers there were in the same room if they were all working on individual instruments?

Do you believe that Ch J B Collin-Mezin never made a violin in a situation other than in a workshop with other makers? Surely not.

Even in 1906, when he was out of the business and it was being run by his son Charles, there were only five workers:

The brothers Louis and Emile Bertrand, Charles Boulanger and Emile Frebinet, all working under the direction of Charles Collin-Mezin.

I wouldn't call that "many workers".

Andrew

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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!

I understand, but the question was who is your favorite dead maker not who was the greatest of the 20th century. Thats makes a different.

For me it is fine if somebody named a maker because of his live achievement. Not only the antiquarian worth or style is allways imposed. It can be the diligence or the personal character too as an example. Or he owned a factory and gave others bread and butter during a difficult time.

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The Bazin workshop started small and turned out 3,000 bows, they play like a dream.

Ben, i would call that a rather conservative figure. The Bazin family operated for around 100 years plus. If you multiplied that figure (including all the grades of bows they produced), i would say 50,000 give or take 10,000 would be more realistic.

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I understand, but the question was who is your favorite dead maker not who was the greatest of the 20th century. Thats makes a different.

For me it is fine if somebody named a maker because of his live achievement. Not only the antiquarian worth or style is allways imposed. It can be the diligence or the personal character too as an example. Or he owned a factory and gave others bread and butter during a difficult time.

Good point, Michael... but I did read references style and workmanship (details) in Ben's original post, so my mind naturally went in that direction.

Still, with the rich variety of fine makers who produced instruments over the last 100 years, I'm surprised by whom was chosen. I guess that for or me, contribution, quality, and style are paramount.

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Good point, Michael... but I did read references style and workmanship (details) in Ben's original post, so my mind naturally went in that direction.

Still, with the rich variety of fine makers who produced instruments over the last 100 years, I'm surprised by whom was chosen. I guess that for or me, contribution, quality, and style are paramount.

This isn't meant as a dig so take the question "as-is". Who would you have expected to be chosen or shown up? The reason I ask is that I'm still fairly new to this and some of us have limited exposure or access to instruments. I would like to learn more about fine makers from the late 19th and 20th centuries but that doesn't seem to be an easy thing to do. Being the cheapskate that I am, I haven't paid for a Tarisio subscription either. Before they required a subscription, I used to love browsing all of the different makers and seeing their works and looking up info on these makers. Anyway, I'm curious as to who you would have expected to see listed? If you want to see how this thread plays out for a while before dropping a bunch of names, that is fine. I'm just curious.

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The experiences of restorers, collectors and dealers will differ from makers, since makers often don't see as much of other peoples work.

Photos can't show you how a violin feels or sounds, so it's difficult to judge without seeing more.

Christopher and Jeffrey,

Could you suggest a few names for us to consider? Let's focus on makers of the last 100 years or so.

Based on Ben's excellent observation I second Michaels's request for a list from Christopher and Jeffrey. I would love to see perhaps 15 favs from each of you. Actually, wouldn't this make for an excellent Strad article?

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Based on Ben's excellent observation I second Michaels's request for a list from Christopher and Jeffrey. I would love to see perhaps 15 favs from each of you. Actually, wouldn't this make for an excellent Strad article?

Unfortunately, the response I made was lost in the format change... but basically, I suggested there was a rich group to choose from in several countries/cities over the last 100 years and that I was happy to hold out and see what others thoughts were.

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FC, I also like Oddonne because my violin teacher played one of his, very sweet sound.

The name stamp on the end pin is unusual, dontcha think. Or was there more than one Oddonne ?

Mathias, re-thnking my comment about 'plastic' Cappicchioni, I see the example you posted has more character.

I only meant the slightly sanded look and uniformley shaded edges etc.

Looking at the work of people you may know, are related to, admire madly, or even dislike, it's hard to see the wood for the trees. Hands on and playing is more telling than photos.....much more. I think.

Still not seen much myself and find it very hard to remember with any real detail what I have seen, though photos are a reminder.

post-24957-040260400 1287781559_thumb.jpg

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No, I bet his hands are normal sized. Don just needs to get out more... :)

Alright... I'll just throw some names out for consideration. The Bisiachs engaged and influenced a good number of makers. Some good hands in that bunch (Pedrazzini, the Antoniazzis, Sgarabotto). How about Garimberti or Ornati? Poggi, Capicchioni, Sacconi and Oddone have already been mentioned. How 'bout G. Fiorini? Fagnola violins do vary, but he was good enough to provide some "Pressenda" violins to the Hills before they caught on. The Deganis made some very nice fiddles. How about Carl Becker Sr.? Haven't even travelled to Genoa, Mantua, Naples, Rome or other countries in Europe yet...

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Disclaimer: this list is prepared while watching the Rangers hopefully beating the Yankees. I am not responsible for omissions. :)

In no particular order, my top 15 20th C makers (no longer alive):

G Fiorini

F Garimberti

S Scarampella

G Scarampella

V Sannino

G Ornati

A Poggi

C Becker Sr

S F Sacconi

D D'Attili

Voller Bros(I'll count them as 1)

M Dotsch

E Rocca

C Oddone

H Fagnola

The next group would include:

G Sgarabotto

Ric Antoniazzi

Rom Antoniazzi

L Bisiach (I would put his pre 1900 violins in above list)

G Pedrazzini

G Lecchi

C Candi

M Cappicchioni

Smith of Australia (I have not seen more than one, may belong in top list)

A Russian maker I can not recall just now

C A Miremont

J Day

W E Hill & Sons

P Baltzserson

D Baranyi

D Didchenko

P Hel

C Farotti

E Politi

G Pistucci

S Rocchi

A Fracassi

Surely, the above lists are quite Italo centric. That is the unfortunate result of the commercial realities we live with. In a few days, I'll dredge up more deserving non-Italians that should be mentioned!

Dang, the Yankees just tied the game. Must pay attention to important things now.

Chris

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Disclaimer: this list is prepared while watching the Rangers hopefully beating the Yankees. I am not responsible for omissions. :)

In no particular order, my top 15 20th C makers (no longer alive):

G Fiorini

F Garimberti

S Scarampella

G Scarampella

V Sannino

G Ornati

A Poggi

C Becker Sr

S F Sacconi

D D'Attili

Voller Bros(I'll count them as 1)

M Dotsch

E Rocca

C Oddone

H Fagnola

The next group would include:

G Sgarabotto

Ric Antoniazzi

Rom Antoniazzi

L Bisiach (I would put his pre 1900 violins in above list)

G Pedrazzini

G Lecchi

C Candi

M Cappicchioni

Smith of Australia (I have not seen more than one, may belong in top list)

A Russian maker I can not recall just now

C A Miremont

J Day

W E Hill & Sons

P Baltzserson

D Baranyi

D Didchenko

P Hel

C Farotti

E Politi

G Pistucci

S Rocchi

A Fracassi

Surely, the above lists are quite Italo centric. That is the unfortunate result of the commercial realities we live with. In a few days, I'll dredge up more deserving non-Italians that should be mentioned!

Dang, the Yankees just tied the game. Must pay attention to important things now.

Chris

Pleasing to see an Oz maker in there. To my cloth ears Smith's are pretty $%$!! good. I know that a major Oz orchestra recently bought a Bisiach to add to their instruments (and very nice it is too) but for the same money they could have got almost 3 Smiths. That would have been a real bargain and a great investment. Then again, perhaps they did, and I don't know - but sadly I doubt it. I think the great Oz cultural cringe is alive and well.

Regards,

Tim

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I am with Jeffrey and Christopher. The list have a little too much italian angle wich comes from the antiquarian worth. (Italian is Italian......)

Simple compare the most work from Stefano Scarambella by his very personal style (Stewart Pollens calls this horrible) with the most french makers who followed strictly clean and sterile style. What exactly makes a maker your favorite if you leave the country of origin aside? I like Poggi because his clean work follow by his personality in models, f-holes, scroll, and the stories around himself.

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I regularly see a quite nice violin by Emilio Celani, that sounds great too.

I think he is quite an unknown maker, at least he was totally unknown to me.

I wouldn't put him on the favourite maker's list as I've never seen any other instruments by him (not even photos), but based on this one instrument he was a good maker.

Have any of you seen his instruments?

Matthias

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I'd like to mention the only modern Italians who haven't been named yet: Dispersore di Cucina and his friend Sonoingrado di Vendereche (now that I look him up, his real name might be Posso Venderequello). Otherwise, I think no one's left to name, except possibly some obscure names between the stuck-together pages of some dealers' Henley. . .

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I regularly see a quite nice violin by Emilio Celani, that sounds great too.

I think he is quite an unknown maker, at least he was totally unknown to me.

I wouldn't put him on the favourite maker's list as I've never seen any other instruments by him (not even photos), but based on this one instrument he was a good maker.

Have any of you seen his instruments?

Matthias

"The Turk". Interesting maker. I've seen one or two of his instruments I thought were very nice. One I recall in particular had an "older feel" to it... and was attributed to a maker that worked well before he did. It sold at a well known brick & mortar auction house as the older maker it was ascribed to.

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I'd like to mention the only modern Italians who haven't been named yet: Dispersore di Cucina and his friend Sonoingrado di Vendereche. Otherwise, I think no one's left to name, except possibly some obscure names between the stuck-together pages of some dealers' Henley. . .

A balsalmic comment with a hint of astringency...

This type of thread reminds me of the poll conducted in the UK at the beginning of 2000.

Who is the top musician of the millenium?

Answser: Robbie Williams (of course)

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