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Here are some better no flash pics to show the natural color. Pretty sure the violin was made in 1926, the only legible part of the label was the date and a harp( not the one with rays). Only violins I could find with similar f holes and overall shape and figure came from the Bisiach school

84D46B50-D8F8-4DF4-B3D9-EA122457C797-1458-000000EA772D90BF.jpg

7E2D22D1-F749-4E20-9153-EB7E893A5140-1458-000000EA7CFC9278.jpg

3A326523-6236-4871-A167-71D4E27BEFA9-1458-000000EA8492B1EA.jpg

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Sorry got confused about the Bisiachs. I have never seen a Carlo Bisiach but have tried out a Leandro Bisiach from the 20s, a violin with a wonderful mellow deep sound. And beautiful to look at. This fiddle doesn't look like at all like a Leandro B, and surely not like a Carlo Bisiach either.

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Possibly revarnished.

I have pondered that as the scroll is definately lighter in color. There is also a possibility that the neck/scroll are not original to the instrument, I'll have more updates when I get it back from the luthier and hopefully some sound responses as well. Getting it fitted with a new bridge, tailpiece, fingerboard dressing, and strings :)

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Sorry got confused about the Bisiachs. I have never seen a Carlo Bisiach but have tried out a Leandro Bisiach from the 20s, a violin with a wonderful mellow deep sound. And beautiful to look at. This fiddle doesn't look like at all like a Leandro B, and surely not like a Carlo Bisiach either.

Here is a link to A very fine Italian Violin by Leandro Bisiach in the del Gesu form

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/bonhams/item/404698

And a more direct shot of the top

6D7484D3-925F-4AB0-A0C8-1F012B263017-1089-000000B793F8EA20.jpg

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I reckon (though I'd be interested if I'm wrong) that its a Lyon and Healy model G.1125 Cremonatone copy of the King Joseph del Gesu. I wouldn't like to guess where it was made, they invariably look German, albeit to a non-trade model, but are reputedly French or Italian. I even wonder if they were made in the States by emigrant workers. Over the years, from 1907 into the 1930s you see the same pattern, but a variety of different hands on this model.

There are other Cremonatone models, which include violins imported straight out of the Antoniazzi workshop. Don't get them confused. However, because this is not a standard "trade-fiddle" model, its easy to think it might be Italian. It's not.

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Thanks Ben Hebbert, that is a very interesting point. I thought it had an Antoniazzi/bisiach school look to it though I pondered it may be a lesser factory instrument. Interestingly my luthier was very impressed with the construction and stated that he was fairly certain that it would have a fine sound :)

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re #11

First as a qualifier: I am no expert on violins, just an enthousiast and amateur with a bit of experience and lots of interest.

I am not sure the violin is a King Joseph DG copy. The ff holes are "Del Gesu style" as commonly seen but quite different

from the King Joseph.

http://doceric.multiply.com/photos/photo/83/50

Maybe the photographs give a wrong impression but to me this violin does not look like a Bisiach, Carlo or Leandro. I may be wrong about it being a factory fiddle but the varnish, purlfling , ff holes, scroll and overall "gestalt" to me just don't match.

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/LargeImage.aspx?image=/lotfinderimages/d50517/d5051737x.jpg

http://robertsonviolins.com/index.php?page=carlo-bisiach-violin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carlo_Bisiach_Firenze_1938_violin_top.jpg

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I spent a long time with one of these, hoping it was Italian...., so I'm being dismissive only because I've been through the same process, and the same disappointments.

For what it's worth, I wouldn't imagine it was Bisiach for a second. His work is highly intelligent, and at best really evokes the original hand. Whatever this is, it has much more the feel of a good clean German/French factory fiddle.

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Contrabasso:

Look carefully at the elongated f-holes and open C-bouts of the Bisiach-Del Gesu example you have linked to. If you compare these two features to your violin I think you will see that yours is not based on Del Gesu.

I am also an amateur and could be wrong!

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zinomaniac, hendrik - just to clarify the point on this, the King Joseph was a particularly important sale for Lyon and Healy, at $12,000 when they sold it from the Hawley Collection in 1903. In fact the coup of getting the entire collection really propelled the company into a lead position in the American violin trade.

As a commemoration of this one of the Cremonatone models, possibly the most heavily pushed was the "King Joseph Copy", but it wasn't antiqued, and looks rather like this. I've seen properly labelled examples, and this looks like one of them. But, they are not great copies of the original in the way that we think of them now. Think of this as a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy...

The soundholes are quite 'soft' as del Gesu soundholes go, which is characteristic for this period. There is considerable variation, but this probably isn't the best post to go into it.

Contrabasso, sorry I don't see Antoniazzi in it either.

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After a comprehensive comparison of Gesu models throughout Europe around the turn of the century, I have come to the conclusion that this violin has more in common with the English violins of John Frederick Lott. The variations on the Gesu are in alignment with his works and the c bouts appear more english in character.

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