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most interesting ebay fiddle in a while


deans

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/370575717914?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I put in a decent bid but didnt win it, maybe I'm lucky I didnt win it, but to me this looks like the most interesting ebay fiddle I've seen in many years now. Same seller had a very nice Roth that went to the usual Roth buyer, for what is probably a record for an ebay Roth, that one looked nice too.

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/370575717914?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I put in a decent bid but didnt win it, maybe I'm lucky I didnt win it, but to me this looks like the most interesting ebay fiddle I've seen in many years now. Same seller had a very nice Roth that went to the usual Roth buyer, for what is probably a record for an ebay Roth, that one looked nice too.

Hello Dean, yes it seems like an interesting violin but could we have some of the professionals on this board reply concerning if it is a copy or not? Thanks, OT

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Beautiful - wish I'd had the money!

The lack of an original label is entirely irrelevant to the value.

This is exactly what Ebay is good for.

Bargain hunters who go grubbing around trying to buy an Italian violin for $1000 will be conned again and again, but if you're looking fo something a bit less obvious and are prepared to part with some money there are serious bargains to be had. The Sothebys instrument that came up recently went for £27,000 if I recall - OK it had a fingerboard, and I think it was grafted, but otherwise it was no better.

There's a very happy violin dealer out there somewhere today.

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In view of the stigma and loss of value associated with both French polish and refinishing, how would a top professional shop restore the finish on the top plate and scroll on this eBay violin?

Just went through this with an Italian violin from about the same period.

I'd do (and did) the same as Jacob... but you have to be very careful not to "over clean" as it's pretty easy to pull off varnish that may not be well adhered at this point. I did go an extra step to seal the bare wood that was present with (flat) varnish and would probably do the same on the ebay fiddle... but it was applied in such a way that penetration was very, very limited... is hardly noticeable, and very easy to clean away if desired. (Before someone asks "how" I applied it in this way, I'll request that you please don't... as it's a question I won't answer on the board).

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My dilemma would be how to have it set up. My inclination would be to keep the neck set and have it set up as period early 19th century. On the other hand it has the potential to be a first class modern player...

Yes that's a tricky one - baroque players generally don't have any money!

If I bought it on Ebay for $7000 I would like to think I would set it up as it is and sell it to an impoverished baroque player ... but the bad angel would be whispering from the other shoulder "graft it graft it"

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Well, I'm pretty sure it's spelled Geissenhof not Gaissenhof.

Ai is the southern spelling, ei the northern. Cf Steiner / Stainer, Meyer / Mayr

Apropos comments about the label: I think it's been 'shopped, 'cos the only other way to get that sort of bright white is to use clay-coated stock which would be anachronistic, also crazy.

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there's definitely nothing wrong with it but it appears to have no overstand so I assumed it would also be a bit on the short side ... looks like it's made for a baroque fingerboard. But I'm not knowledgeable about Geissenhofs, only seen one - it had a neck graft.

Viennese fingerboards of this period (on the more expensive violins) were already being made of solid ebony, although slightly shorter. The necks were tilted slightly backwards, which still results in a slightly wedge shaped fingerboard. Bottom line is that it isn’t really much different to modern, with regard to effective “überstand”. One can fit these violins up, making two different bridges, one for “classic” with gut strings and one normal “modern” one for Dominants (or whatever), two violins for the price of one, really. A good example of a Viennese fingerboard of the time was the one that Sawitzki fitted to Paganini’s “Canon” (Paganini’s thank-you letter is in the Technishe Museum). That was recently replaced because “it was to short”, which didn’t stop Paganini playing his stuff on it, did it.

The widely held prejudice that “Baroque” players (although this would be a “Classical” violin) are impoverished, is in my experience an old wives tale, since players of all types and periods of music are, on average, equally hard up. Few players only play “Classical”, but many want a violin to play “Classical” on sometimes, so what better than one that can do both!

P.S. I was reminded of a recent thread about how deep one should mortise the neck into the top block, since here is a good example of how one has fared well over the last 200 years, although the neck isn’t mortised into the block at all.

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Fascinating stuff! I've always wanted to fill in a bit of detail and understand how the "transition" happened ...

Actually, as a player I don't really care at all about stop length and I've never understood what the fuss was about - I'm quite happy with anything between about 125 and 133, and 2 of the best violins I ever played had body stops of under 190 - but I find it impossible to sell violins with irregular stops, especially if there are academies and teachers involved!! I also think it's hard to sell a violin with a neck that gets thicker further up, except to a baroque player ....

I imagine stop length is a pretty recent obsession - probably even 30 years ago people were much more flexible .... and Paganini could have played a 3/4 and still been a dude!

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