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joerobson

Eye candy

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the reason im so incredulous of a 4 parts rosin to 1 part linseed undercoat is that for several years starting out, that was my formula, and i can hardly imagine it wearing as well as strads ground coat, strads surface coat maybe, but the ground coat wears much better than that, more similar to a fossilized amber varnish, in fact.....

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My working assumption is that if a 200+ year old violin has a noticeable and durable shine to it (and that seems to describe most of those old Italians in service) it's been French polished, probably repeatedly over the years, and the most common material which gets applied in French polishing, if any material is applied, is shellac.

Roger, in your opinion was subsequent french polishing partly or mainly responsible for the specific chatoyancy and visual depth associated with Cremonese instruments? Is it correct to say that the top of the Messie, as indicated in photographs, is not as translucent as other Strads for this same reason--because it lacks lac? Thank you for your insight.

Brutal question. I will think on it. But the picture of the Andy G. almost made me wet myself. Brought back fond memories of my visits to South Dakota.

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But the picture of the Andy G. almost made me wet myself. Brought back fond memories of my visits to South Dakota.

hmmmm...in that case....a bit more

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hmmmm...in that case....a bit more

What is the one with the writting on it?, do my eye's see what I think they do? the ribs and plates are one?

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Brutal question. I will think on it. But the picture of the Andy G. almost made me wet myself. Brought back fond memories of my visits to South Dakota.

Indeed it was brutal and I apologise for having asked it. (But now that I have, I look forward to your reply.)

On the other point, I suppose one can only thank you for your candor when you say that you almost wet yourself, triggering fond memories of similar, perhaps damper, events in South Dakota.

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lyndon,

What we know: the varnish which has first contact with the wood is pine resin...

Coming late to the thread... I've only read the first part of the Strad Varnish book (Peter Greiner essay) but I recall a reference to locally available Spruce resin rather than Pine resin. Is there much of a difference between the two resins?

Thanks for posting Guarneri viola pics -- that instrument must be stunning to see in the flesh!

Chris

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Coming late to the thread... I've only read the first part of the Strad Varnish book (Peter Greiner essay) but I recall a reference to locally available Spruce resin rather than Pine resin. Is there much of a difference between the two resins?

Thanks for posting Guarneri viola pics -- that instrument must be stunning to see in the flesh!

Chris

Chris,

Differences: yes. Significant differences when made into varnish: I have not found anything significant.

Joe

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Coming late to the thread... I've only read the first part of the Strad Varnish book (Peter Greiner essay) but I recall a reference to locally available Spruce resin rather than Pine resin. Is there much of a difference between the two resins?

Spruce resin smells different than pine resin but that's the only difference that I know of.

Thanks for posting Guarneri viola pics -- that instrument must be stunning to see in the flesh!

Chris

I've seen it before. I would call it memorable rather than stunning.

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the character of the upper, "colored", varnish does not match the character of the under-varnish. I see this as a longer oil varnish.

[Joe

Hi Joe Robson,

Since the colours were ground with oils, wuould not that alter the character of the varnish?

I use some oil colours, and even a very small amount changes the general character of the varnish.

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Hi Joe Robson,

Since the colours were ground with oils, wuould not that alter the character of the varnish?

I use some oil colours, and even a very small amount changes the general character of the varnish.

Wolfjk,

Certainly everything you do to the varnish changes the character of the varnish. The contrast between the ground varnish surface and the upper colored varnish is greater than one would attribute to the addition of the amount of pigment that is in this varnish.

Joe

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Wolfjk,

Certainly everything you do to the varnish changes the character of the varnish. The contrast between the ground varnish surface and the upper colored varnish is greater than one would attribute to the addition of the amount of pigment that is in this varnish.

Joe

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the reply. I'm going to have another look at the violin soon.

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Another "eye-candy" of the 1710 "ex King-George" Strad. Some parts of dirt filled poors is under a coat of yellow varnish!

Michael,

Thanks...very revealing photo.

on we go,

Joe

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Another "eye-candy" of the 1710 "ex King-George" Strad. Some parts of dirt filled poors is under a coat of yellow varnish!

Great photo. Yes, very informative like Robson said. Look how the granularity picks up the varnish. Nice. Thanks.

Mike

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Here are some more. The "Gibson" viola and the Cello "ex Bonamy Dobree-Suggia"

The wood on the upper part of the "King-George is on most parts very clean and the flames coming out very strong and give us an apparent it could be still wet.

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Here are some more. The "Gibson" viola and the Cello "ex Bonamy Dobree-Suggia"

The wood on the upper part of the "King-George is on most parts very clean and the flames coming out very strong and give us an apparent it could be still wet.

Michael,

I am enjoying going over the surface on the King George...good views of the transitions in varnish/wear/dirt.

Here is a shot I like of a Guiseppe Guadagnini 1784. This is the daily driver of the father of a friend...who just happens to be a violin maker...The isolation coat on this violin is very strong and when it has worn to the ground, the ground refuses to pick up dirt. There is some polish early in the life of this violin. However I believe it was purchased in the late 1970's, by the current owner, played every day, and it has not been over-polished with anything since he has owned it.

Joe

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I dont think the ability to not pick up dirt is strictly a Cremonese or even Italian thing but more common i suppose. :)

fc,

I agree. The comment was related to this instrument rather than a general comment.

Joe

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Just to drop a bit of a clanger, but if the Lady Blunt hasn't been over-coated, the Messiah certainly has - the UV photos in Brandmair & Greiner's Stradivari Varnish book shows it very clearly. I was with them when they were doing the work on it, and it came as quite a surprise when the UV flouresced in the wrong colour. Fortunately there are areas that the shellac never reached, or where it was rubbed off - so the original Stradivari varnish (and Brandmair's 'Tarnish layer' below) is clear and unquestionable underneath.

The photo shows up a rather interesting feature of its varnish which is how metameric the colour is. You'll see under the lights in the photo that the back is virtually orange, with a strong red in the ribs. Depending on the light, it changes from a fairly insipid yellow to a very deep and glowing red, which is part of the reason why photographs are so varied. The Stradivari Varnish book does get a good interpretation of the colour under daylight.

I haven't looked at many violins in this way before, but I haven't experienced many others that have such a reactive metameric spectrum (but perhaps I am just seeing them under one light).

Best regards

Ben

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