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Misterious 18th century violin: help me guess .


tarisiosfever
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Ladies and gentlemen,

This is my pride and joy. B)

I got it at eBay (like all my instruments) and I feel luky that it had a previous hard life and that this feature shows on the belly, for that made it affordable to me.

Of course I would like to identify the maker. I did my homework: bought the Hamma, the Jalovek, the Hill's, the Biddulph and studied great quantity of pictures from the net...the thing is that it doesn' fit completelly with any maker, so I could use some help.

So far, I have three possibilities: Tomasso Ballestrieri; Pietro Guarneri of Venice and, of course I would love to, his brother (?) Giusseppe. Really, the enciclopedies did not show other probable makers, but I am aware that there is a multitude of lesser known ones that have not that many pictures of their violins around.

The violin has a "Joseph Guarnerius fecit Cremonae anno 1729" label, with the exact types and words that the Hills say belong to non-original labels from Vuillaume. Vuillaume had more than 200 old italian violins which he got from Tarisio anyway, right? So he must have known something about them :D

Pros and cons:

A.- Del Gesú, first epoch:

Pros.

1)model: it is reminiscent of the earlier violins, in my view. The arching is rather flat but bold, extending to the edges, with practically no fluting. The back is full...fat, I would say.

2)soundholes: the upper halves of the asymetric Fs are very alike to one of the "circa 1730 violins", but inverted (right is left and vice/versa), I don't remember if the Streton or another (I don't have the book here), and the lower part is compatible with earlier work. Very Stradivarian Fs, but with high insertion of the lower holes, as Hardgrave showed to be a distinctive (but not exclusive) trait of young del Gesú: the hole reaches the purfling height of the C bout.

3)varnish: beautiful orange-red, quite transparent varnish, with an underlying pale yellow "protective coat" which is visible in scratched parts, and won't detach.

4)"sap-lines": I think these are called that way. The belly has plenty of depresions, some darker, that make a wavy and striped surface and accentuate the injured aspect of the violin. I think they are the softer, weaker part of the structure and prone to cracking, like you can see: multitude of longitudinal repaired cracks. Though the photos I have seen from original del Gesús are not very detailed, some show abundant sap-lines. Maybe this kind of spruce is better acoustically?

5)Wood pins: it posseses a couple of pins right in the middle joint of the back, touching the purfling, like the Strads and the Guarneris (I believe Amati teached this), placing it around Cremona, maybe?

6) Bee-sting: the photos clearly show bee-sting on the back, and also on the belly but, being so dammaged, it is more difficult to appreciate.

7)Scroll: to me, it appears as a Giuseppe filius Andreae work, but it is smaller, lower, and more delicate than those I have seen...

8)Sides: sides show plain wood, safe on upper left shoulder, which is flamed; plain and non-matched as early work is described...

9)Sound: well, at least for me, he, he...

Cons:

1)Widest purfling ever: this violin has a wide three ply purfling (even wide for a cello?), with the well stained blacks being thin and the white being very wide. I cannot measure it with confidence, but you can see it on the photos. That's why Pietro Guarneri of venice and T. Ballestrieri, of whom it is said that they made some wide "purfled" violins, got my attention. Maybe an early colaboration of the two brothers??? ;) Dreaming is free.

2) Edges: as I said, the edges are flat, with no "rod", like most Del Gesús I have seen. :(

B.- T. Ballestrieri:

Pros:

1) Model: I have seen some violins of him very alike mine, but..

Cons: the soundholes always were less elegant, or had a lower insertion of the lower holes. His heads are bigger and with a more "powerfull" aspect. He also used centered wood-pins on the back.

C.- Pietro Guarneri: appart the wide purfling (which I have never seen) the whole (model, soundholes, head) doesn't seem too comparable with mine. Not enough for a pro-con...

I am sorry for this extensive post: I am stuck at work for 24hrs and kind of bored; appart the fact that I had to take this out of my chest! :D

Any guess is welcome!

Hope you like it,

T.

Edit: shrinked the pictures again and added two more...

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Mmmmmm !! ?? Interesting violin. Nice research and thought has gone into your post, too. Has it been re-varnished ? To my amateur and untrained eye it doesn't leap out and scream Italian to me though. Initial gut reaction was early 19th century Austrian region. Thinking cap on and reference books/photos out over Easter I think. I can see why you consider her a favourite though ... looks as if there are a few stories in that fiddle !! :)

Also Happy Easter and/or holiday season to you all out there in MN land

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the purfling, the edge work could be italian, you dont show the arching. i cant tell italian from german from pictures alone but it looks interesting, i doubt much of that varnish is original though, you practically never see purfling like this on german though

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the purfling, the edge work could be italian, you dont show the arching. i cant tell italian from german from pictures alone but it looks interesting, i doubt much of that varnish is original though, you practically never see purfling like this on german though

Thank you, guys. I downsized the pictures by 50% but they are still big, aren't they?

I'll upload a photo from the original listing (sorry).

T.

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Mmmmmm !! ?? Interesting violin. Nice research and thought has gone into your post, too. Has it been re-varnished ? To my amateur and untrained eye it doesn't leap out and scream Italian to me though. Initial gut reaction was early 19th century Austrian region. Thinking cap on and reference books/photos out over Easter I think. I can see why you consider her a favourite though ... looks as if there are a few stories in that fiddle !! :)

Also Happy Easter and/or holiday season to you all out there in MN land

I don't know if it has been re-varnished in the past but I do know that the varnish was "restored" recently by my luthier, after a good cleaning.

Sincerelly yours,

T.

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how about a lengthwise side view of the arching???

Do you mean the lateral view? I took one but lateral views are difficult to get right...

The back is more prominent than the belly, but I could not represent this on photo.

Some aproximative measurements:

LOB: 35.5cm.

Upper bout: 16cm.

Middle bout: 11.4cm.

Lower bout: 20cm.

Side, upper bout (shoulder?): 28mm.

Side, middle and lower bout: 31mm.

Distance between centre of upper and lower holes of respective Fs: 6.5cm.

(I used again a photo which belongs to the original seller, sorry) :(

Shrinked photos, again. Added two more. Just could not resist.

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Dear Sir,

It is good your opinion about my humble instrument? Your post is ambigous... :)

Yours,

T.

Yes, my opinion is good about your find. I would love to find something like this, in any condition. Ordinary german violins and backwoods fiddles with too high arches and no purfling are all that I usually see.

Scott

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Yes, my opinion is good about your find. I would love to find something like this, in any condition. Ordinary german violins and backwoods fiddles with too high arches and no purfling are all that I usually see.

Scott

So, wait to see my future uploads...my luthier calls me "Chief Eagle-Eye", and I only have six month experience with old violins ;)

Of course, one can be completelly wrong, but:

1) The amateur collector rides on Hope.

2) One has to have a sixt-sense to really get the good ones...

Would someone with a google acount want to receive the whole pictures? I have the height corners ;)

Cheers,

T.

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Thought this might be helpful........... best I could do with the images provided.

fiddle.jpg

not highly arched.... Guarneri-like open C-bouts,

but not especially so in the f-holes (which look fairly flaired and static)

Yes,and fairly short abbreviated corners.

I might have said English?

5sss.jpg

Your fiddle scroll in the middle of some Andrea Guarneri examples...

the width of the first turn above the centre is significantly narrower than a classic Guarneri model.

Not a bad-looking fiddle.

Good luck!

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Thought this might be helpful........... best I could do with the images provided.

fiddle.jpg

not highly arched.... Guarneri-like open C-bouts,

but not especially so in the f-holes (which look fairly flaired and static)

Yes,and fairly short abbreviated corners.

I might have said English?

Not a bad-looking fiddle.

Good luck!

Thank you Omobono. I can't see your contribution here in this PC. I will have to wait until I return home.

Do you guys want to see a Horror picture???

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So far, I have three possibilities: Tomasso Ballestrieri; Pietro Guarneri of Venice and, of course I would love to, his brother (?) Giusseppe. Really, the enciclopedies did not show other probable makers, but I am aware that there is a multitude of lesser known ones that have not that many pictures of their violins around.

The violin has a "Joseph Guarnerius fecit Cremonae anno 1729" label, with the exact types and words that the Hills say belong to non-original labels from Vuillaume. Vuillaume had more than 200 old italian violins which he got from Tarisio anyway, right? So he must have known something about them :D

Tarisiosfever I'm not at all learned here so my guesses should be considered with reservation but honestly it would be hard for me to believe that this violin were from one of those italian makers (or where you just speculating about the pattern used?)

Anyway leaving aside that it's a beautiful piece to be proud of. You mentioned it didn't match with any particular maker style and I think that must be a common thing on violins that have seen more than one restoration / reparation, sometimes the restorer may add or modify things.

I think too that it has been revarnished and if so, it seems to me that the original varnish could have been darker. Gathering all that has been said till now I should say it could be from mid 1800's to very early 1900's and not italian.

EDIT: (most probably) not italian

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Have a close look at image #9 of 16, I'm not sure that's even real purfling.

Hmm... the grain of the purfling is right. I think the problem is the dark part is not purfling, but glue. Lots of cracks in the "black," and lower than the surface of the "white."

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