Violin ID - help needed


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I wonder if anyone might have an idea as to what or how old this violin is, any wild guesses or opinions (informally, of course), would be greatly appreciated. This instrument is on a sort of permanent loan to me to play on, as of today thanks to a good friend, and I'd like to know from people more expert than myself (i.e. 99% of this forum) more or less what it is so I can insure it properly. And also I'm just plain curious.

Many thanks in advance guys,

Steve

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id say the wear looks like it could be from real use, in which case 100-200yrs old as it is not grafted asking for an insurance value from pictures on maestronet is a bit ridiculous though unless one of our top experts can identify a maker. and some of those black marks look more like artificial antiqueing than real wear, though, it looks like a nice fiddle, how does it sound?

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id say the wear looks like it could be from real use, in which case 100-200yrs old as it is not grafted asking for an insurance value from pictures on maestronet is a bit ridiculous though unless one of our top experts can identify a maker. and some of those black marks look more like artificial antiqueing than real wear, though, it looks like a nice fiddle, how does it sound?

thank you, lyndon. well, the sound is nice but it hasn't been played in many years so i think it needs to be "played in" a while to open up, also probably could benefit from new bridge/soundpost.

possibly modern italian-ish? :huh:

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thank you, lyndon. well, the sound is nice but it hasn't been played in many years so i think it needs to be "played in" a while to open up, also probably could benefit from new bridge/soundpost.

possibly modern italian-ish? :huh:

the violin looks like it comes from either the Markneukirchen area, or could have been made in any small or medium sized German town, from prefabricated bits from the Markneukirchen area in the 1920's or 30's. I don't expect that it has ever been to Italy, even on holiday.

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the violin looks like it comes from either the Markneukirchen area, or could have been made in any small or medium sized German town, from prefabricated bits from the Markneukirchen area in the 1920's or 30's. I don't expect that it has ever been to Italy, even on holiday.

haha, well said! thanks very much for your insight. well maybe for its 80th birthday i should take it to Italy on holiday before it's too late. :lol:

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thank you, lyndon. well, the sound is nice but it hasn't been played in many years so i think it needs to be "played in" a while to open up, also probably could benefit from new bridge/soundpost.

possibly modern italian-ish? :huh:

Nice well antiqued ! absolutelly new in my opinion , but for a real opinion must be phisically examinated by an expert ! my advice is to find one ! nice instrument !

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Dunno.... just for argument's sake, what about a Czech instrument....?

Something about the look of that varnish, those cute little nicks in the f-holes

and the style of scroll.

(As some have said hard to say from photos)

fiddle1.jpg

On the other hand.......... given the degree of wear around the bouts

strange there doesn't appear to be the slightest dent around the treble f-hole

where sound-post adjustment should take it's toll over the years.

Also, the wear pattern on the top right of the table (hardly left-hand finger damage alone?)

and the damage bottom right seems unusual.

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Dunno.... just for argument's sake, what about a Czech instrument....?

Something about the look of that varnish, those cute little nicks in the f-holes

and the style of scroll.

(As some have said hard to say from photos)

On the other hand.......... given the degree of wear around the bouts

strange there doesn't appear to be the slightest dent around the treble f-hole

where sound-post adjustment should take it's toll over the years.

"Czech" is about 10 - 15 minutes walk away from Markneukirchen and is where they had the "bits" made, so I take my hat off to anybody who can tell any difference.

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"Czech" is about 10 - 15 minutes walk away from Markneukirchen and is where they had the "bits" made, so I take my hat off to anybody who can tell any difference.

Maybe so, but there's more to the region and its fiddle making than the western border? Just an impression from a few instruments seen in the flesh.

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Maybe so, but there's more to the region and its fiddle making than the western border? Just an impression from a few instruments seen in the flesh.

But there wasn't a border there back then, it was all part of the same region.

Rob

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From a definite non-expert:

My first impression was that the missing varnish looked somewhat like my attempts at antiquing... too cleanly removed. Where's the damage to the wood, the dirt and grease that never comes out of the grain? If the varnish was worn that much thru use, the edges and corners should be in worse shape, too. And the scratches on the back look too evenly distributed, in areas that don't get scratched much.

It looks modern to me, or maybe older, but with little actual use. I'll add a third vote to modern Chinese. But I'm no expert.

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Well, it's been in my friend's family for around 50 years so I doubt it is Chinese. :)

I also make the mistake of seeing something that looks antiqued yet shiny and by default assuming it's Chinese. We give them too much credit at times, it seems. The consensus on this one seems to be trade fiddle, German-ish, 1920ish.

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I'm just an armchair enthusiast, but I'd like to add one more vote/guess for "New Chinese", and I don't mean that as a disparagement. The varnish and wear pattern are VERY similar to those on the Jay Haide l'ancienne instruments, as well as some of the nicer Chinese stuff you can find on eBay. (It even has a crooked fingerboard and 'therapeutic' bridge, just like my own Jay Haide!) Of course, they're all intended to look real, so the similarity is no proof, and I don't remember seeing the wide squarish upper f-hole wings on much Chinese stuff. But what makes me think Chinese are some of the details of the antiquing:

1) There are a lot of 1/2" scratches all over the instrument. They seem too consistent and evenly distributed to have come from normal use. They even appear in protected areas that would be difficult to scratch by accident, such as along the bass side of the fingerboard and the pegbox cheeks.

2) As has been mentioned, with the level of player wear to the varnish, one would expect to see more top damage to the treble c-bout and possible to the treble corners.

3) The removal of the varnish along the outline of the instrument, both front and back, appears to me to be too thorough and consistent to have come from natural wear.

Bear in mind that I'm just a hack making guesses for fun. Regardless of it's origin, it's a very pretty instrument and obviously the product of much skill and careful attention to detail. I hope it can be made to play and sound as well as it looks.

Rat

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Well, it's been in my friend's family for around 50 years so I doubt it is Chinese. :)

That was precisely my next question.

If we take that answer at face value,

I think turning to contemporary Chinese by default is fairly ridiculous.

Some instruments that look like something from pre-war Europe actually are.

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