Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Do you use Repair Labels?


Ron1

Recommended Posts

Curious as to what you use or do to leave your 'mark' in instruments on which you perform repairs.

1. Insert your label, denoting "repaired by"

2. Write something inside the instrument

3. Do nothing

If you insert a label (or write inside), where do you place it?

Would the value or uniqueness of the instrument change the way you would do these things?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will sometimes, if I have an unlabeled instrument (that I own) that I know the origin of, place a label with that information on it to clarify things for future owners. I will also put my name and date on that label. Something like: "Early 1900s Made in Nippon. Douglas Wall, Hilton NY, 2011". Not in a client violin. With a labeled violin (only if I have the top off), I sometimes put a tiny, distinctive label with initials and year, on the rib next to the neck block. Easily visible through the end pin hole.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with Jacob: dogs mark where they've been; restorers don't.

Interesting... I don't label at all, but then I only do repairs. I do leave a couple of business cards in the case. Question... Why then did the great ones put labels in their instruments? do you label new instruments, and how is that different from a masterful restoration?

Michaelangelo Buonarotti the famous sculptor never signed his sculptures, except once (the Pieta) out of fury, when he overheard someone think that it was created by another notable artist of the day. That night he chiseled in his signature across Mary's sash ...translated... "Michelangelo Buonarroti, a Florentine, made this". Apparently he immediately regretted his hasty action.

Cheers, Mat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A violin I make is my violin. A restoration I do, is not my violin. In theory, a restoration is invisible, so where do I have the right to put my name, if I never was there at all? It's no different than owners scratching their names in the varnish.

Putting your name on a restoration immediately identifies you as someone who can't do even the most basic part of the job: getting in and out without being seen.

Putting your business card in the case is fine, and very different. If the owner doesn't want it there, he can throw it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I use my luthier ( for important work I don't feel capable of as yet ) he always gives me a receipt detailing date, the instrument he worked on, costs, and a description of the work carried out. I usually attach some photos and place all in the case with the instrument. Nothing is inscribed or attached to the inside of the violin. I agree with Mr Darnton, it's nice to see a repaired instrument that shows little sign of having been worked on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

From consumer point of view as a owner, I prefer a violin (old or new, cheap or expensive ) has a label. Everyone has his share of right to put something to indicate the history of the violin.

Maker, repairers , owners, distributor (sellers) etc.

Violin 1 (no label, 150 years old estimated, maybe German made or maybe not some )

Violin2, William Lewis, Chicago, Kreuzler Strad model, 1965 made in Germany (Bubeuth)

Face it, I get more info from violin 2. If someone put a repair label in violin #1 , at least I know where it has been.

It is good for the subsequent owners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We don't put labels in either. A lot of what I do is take the stuff out that another repair person has put in and re-do it. I figure someone will probably do the same to the repairs I have done eventually. They should last past my working age though if I have done my job correctly. In my opinion, It seems a bit vain to put a repair label in an instrument.

I don't actually see a lot of repair labels on instruments that come in. Proportionally I probably see a lot more repair labels in basses for whatever reason.

Mysticpaw mentioned having receipts for repair work with the instrument. I do find it interesting when an instrument comes in and has a lot of documentation from past restorations. This kind of information is more useful than a label anyhow, so it is nice for owners to keep this information.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

..

Putting your name on a restoration immediately identifies you as someone who can't do even the most basic part of the job: getting in and out without being seen.

..

Hope I'm forgiven, but to me, this sounds a bit like a crook hiding his deeds!

I never put in repair labels, and usually think that those I see are silly. But I do sometimes put my initials and date on a cleat or a patch. Not so much to brag or advertise, I hope. But more to admit my responsibility for the work I've done. And leave some potentially useful information.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Curious as to what you use or do to leave your 'mark' in instruments on which you perform repairs.

1. Insert your label, denoting "repaired by"

2. Write something inside the instrument

3. Do nothing

If you insert a label (or write inside), where do you place it?

Would the value or uniqueness of the instrument change the way you would do these things?

Hi Ron,

A repair label will allow you to take the credit or the blame for anything that is done to the instrument after you have finished with it. :blink:

I think what Jacob and Michael are talking about has mostly to do with repairs and restorations for private individuals. It is quite different in a Museum where photographs (before, during and after) plus relative documentation including materials used, motivation for the repair, description of procedures etc. are required. Often the main goal here is conservation of the original, even to the extent of putting invisibility lower on the list of priorities.

It is becoming more and more common to request a "condition report" from a dealer before deciding on a purchase.

Bruce

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somewhere, sometime I saw a photo in a book whereby Stradavari performed some repairs and so noted it inside the instrument. If I can locate that book/photo I will pass it on. As for me I enjoy seeing some repair labels of repairmen in Charlotte long before me who were repairing instruments. I recently had a violin in from 1936 with such a label. Eugene Knowles worked on 6th Street from the 1930's to the 1960's making and repairing violins and others have been here since. I have worked on seventh Street for nearly 10 years now and have a couple more to go. I have never posted a label in an instrument but occasionally date and initial a cleat, bassbar or tailblock more for historical information than any other purpose. If a Strad or Begonzi shows up for repair here I won't be pasteing any notes inside nor for that matter, working on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It appears to be a general consensus that, while repair labels are not the way to go, some sort of documentation or record of the why, how, & where of repairs is desireable.

What if the work done was major and substantially changed the instrument- say, regraduation of the plates? Or substantial 'finishing' of a Chinese instrument (Possibly purchased in the white)?

Where should the line be drawn?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somewhere, sometime I saw a photo in a book whereby Stradavari performed some repairs and so noted it inside the instrument. If I can locate that book/photo I will pass it on. As for me I enjoy seeing some repair labels of repairmen in Charlotte long before me who were repairing instruments. I recently had a violin in from 1936 with such a label. Eugene Knowles worked on 6th Street from the 1930's to the 1960's making and repairing violins and others have been here since. I have worked on seventh Street for nearly 10 years now and have a couple more to go. I have never posted a label in an instrument but occasionally date and initial a cleat, bassbar or tailblock more for historical information than any other purpose. If a Strad or Begonzi shows up for repair here I won't be pasteing any notes inside nor for that matter, working on it.

Somewhere I have a photograph of a signature by Stradivari dated 1722, on the inside of the upper bout of a violin back, where he declares to have replaced the neck.

Bruce

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It appears to be a general consensus that, while repair labels are not the way to go, some sort of documentation or record of the why, how, & where of repairs is desireable.

What if the work done was major and substantially changed the instrument- say, regraduation of the plates? Or substantial 'finishing' of a Chinese instrument (Possibly purchased in the white)?

Where should the line be drawn?

Why shouldn't this be a case by case decision?

Throughout the years, I have had a couple of very good friends (fiddlers) that have requested that I put something signed inside their violin, because they believe that I have contributed something valuable - and they want to remember and attribute it to me. Both with regard to making a poorly repaired and set up violin playable, and to reworking an old family heirloom.

They believe that such a thing contributes something of value to their fiddle.

So, while I don't normally sign repair work, I don't have a hard and fast rule against it either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why shouldn't this be a case by case decision?

Throughout the years, I have had a couple of very good friends (fiddlers) that have requested that I put something signed inside their violin, because they believe that I have contributed something valuable - and they want to remember and attribute it to me. Both with regard to making a poorly repaired and set up violin playable, and to reworking an old family heirloom.

They believe that such a thing contributes something of value to their fiddle.

So, while I don't normally sign repair work, I don't have a hard and fast rule against it either.

I like finding and reading inscriptions or labels inside instruments and they can often contribute something to the history of the instrument. Found the photo for the new neck by Stradivari. My memory is failing, it was 1721 and not 1722. :(

5 Novembre 1721

fatto il manicho da me

Antonio Stradivari in Cremona

5 November 1721

the neck made by myself

Antonio Stradivari in Cremona

Bruce

post-29446-0-32904700-1320695599_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like finding and reading inscriptions or labels inside instruments and they can often contribute something to the history of the instrument. Found the photo for the new neck by Stradivari. My memory is failing, it was 1721 and not 1722. :(

5 Novembre 1721

fatto il manicho da me

Antonio Stradivari in Cremona

5 November 1721

the neck made by myself

Antonio Stradivari in Cremona

Bruce

post-29446-0-32904700-1320695599_thumb.jpg

Wow, thanks Bruce, very interesting!

ct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...