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GSB Wood Violin Cases


Brad Dorsey
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Hi again,

I am in the trade. I started in 1985, when there were still plenty of Junk shops selling antiques, which became antique shops selling junk in more affluent times. In 1991 I shared a workshop with William Hofmann, whose father had come here in 1906, and after he died I bought some of the contents of his workshop. I, like the Hofmanns always bought interesting violins, even if they were beyond repair, just to have as examples, and to save them from the skip. So there are three generations of stuff here, mostly worth very little money, but so important to me.

The wall case is lovely, and I think it may be a one off. The top flap serves to stop the violin from falling out when you open the lid. A fantastic way to store a violin. The violin inside is curious, It's about 3/4 size, with a long neck grafted in to give it a full string length. The back is badly cracked. I think it's English, although it has, as I remember, an Italian label under which someone has written 'pupil of Bergonzi'. I'll route it out and give you a better look. perhaps someone might have seen one like it.

Give me a little time, and I'll get some better pictures to you.

Conor,

I see you are being modest when you say you are 'in the trade'. You are a violin maker registered with the Craft Council of Ireland - just one step removed from being declared a national treasure :)

As well as making violins, it sounds as though you have some great restoration projects on your hands for violins and cases.

Glenn

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Glenn, don´t mind him. . . he is being modest. :)

I'm sure you are right although modesty is not trait normally associated with the Irish and when it comes to music, Ireland has an enviable heritage.

It was worth starting this thread just to learn about these historical gems and I'm looking forward to learning more about the English guitar and why it fell from favour.

Glenn

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...It was worth starting this thread just to learn about these historical gems...

Glen, I have just receiving a past issue of a local magazine containing an article about the GSB factory. Among other things it says that the factory operated from before 1880 to 1923 and made cases for many other instruments besides violins. If you send me your mailing address, I will send you the article.

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Glen, I have just receiving a past issue of a local magazine containing an article about the GSB factory. Among other things it says that the factory operted from before 1880 to 1923 and made cases for many other instruments besides violins. If you send me your mailing address, I will send you the article.

Brad,

That's very kind and would be much appreciated.

You can send to:

Dr Glenn P. Wood

2732, Hunters Crest Drive,

York PA 17402.

Glenn

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  • 8 years later...
  • 1 year later...

Hi,  I have a GSB violin case from the late 1800 to early 1900s at my best guess. It belonged to my grandparents. I was trying to figure out how old it was and if it has any value on it besides sentimental. Thank you. I have pictures. 

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Hi,

The typical GSB coffin case has little value - maybe $10 - $20.   Some fiddlers like to tart these up - especially the interiors which are rather unforgiving to a violin's health - and use them.    Crafts people may buy them for decoration and I have heard of people turning them into mini-shelves.

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As violin cases, they are worth nothing, because they're clunky, poorly padded on the inside, with crude bow holders, flimsy hinges, uncomfortable handles, etc.  They have some nominal value on the antiques market because they are old and made of wood.  I have a pile of them that I would gladly sell for $10 each.

The cleverest musical use for this type of case that I ever saw was one that had been converted to a mountain dulcimer.  With the case lid closed it looked like an old wooden violin case, but open the lid and there's a built-in dulcimer.  It was a dulcimer with its own integral case.

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