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Probably a silly question about Sacconi


James Buchanan

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I was going through some documents at a retired violin dealers' and found some photocopied pages titled: Sacconi's Notebook. It lists a whole load of useful information (bridge dimensions, thicknesses, basic repair measurements for violins etc.), and a lot of information on Stradivari instruments (including his recipe for the 1704 varnish). I don't have his Secrets of Stradivari book so have nothing to compare this notebook to. Does it sounds broadly the same?

 

I trust the provenance of the book, I just don't know whether it is something in general circulation.

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To me it sounds like it might not be a copy of the book.  Is it a xerox of printed material and numbered pages?  The book is 284pp with Chapter XII on varnish running from page 159-189, with some photos.  Maybe we can tell for sure, if you can describe a sample page and give a number for it.  If it's pre-book actual notes, it would be a nice thing to have.  I'm not sure but wasn't the first edition in Italian, BTW? 

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Dear Will L, 

 

All done on a typewriter with sketches. No prose - just (for instance) a sequence of pages of recipes like the 'Sacconi Sealer', 'Touch up Varnish and '1704 varnish', not to mention a little section on Dick's overcoat. I am particularly interested in Procedure of Venetian Cracquelure which is a bit of a holy grail. The rest is dimensions, plate thicknesses etc.

 

I would love to believe I am sitting on a little treasure, but am slightly nervous that it is all common knowledge.

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Hi James, 

Probably any notes of Sacconi are a treasure that deserve publication... If the 1704 varnish is the seedlac, elemi, spike oil alcohol version it is not new and probably not what you admire on his instruments...but I think any of Sacconi's notes must be of historical/ historiography  interest and are very valuable archive material....not just because he is a historically significant maker but because his writings are foundational to the contemporary discourse and therefore require examination.

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Well, it dawned on me that maybe it is just notes that the violin dealer had taken from the "Segreti" but someone must have notes that Sacconi would have had.

 

As to "Dick's overcoat" and craquelure procedure, they aren't in Sacconi's book, so maybe the notes are from many sources and the dealer just titled his notes "Sacconi's Notebook."  Or, perhaps I misunderstood the whole OP, in which case I apologize. 

 

BTW, for those interested, there is a very nice book on Sacconi, with nice samples of his work.  It's called SIMONE FERNANDO SACCONI by Andrea Mosconi, published by Turris Editrice, Cremona, 1996

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Are you familiar with the seminal text The Secrets of Stradivari by Sacconi? http://www.orpheusmusicshop.com/makers-making/SL024.html

 

?  Isn’t that what we are comparing the notes to?  As in, the published info?

 

Mine, unfortunately, is in Italian.

 

I have asked this question before, and nobody really addressed it...

 

The diagram of plate thickness for the violin is for the back only.  Yes or no?

 

Corollary: there is no top plate thickness diagram for the violin in Sacconi.  Yes or no?

 

Thanks.

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So, you’re saying the graduations for the top and back are the same?

 

Because I’m saying the half with the f-hole has no graduation map.  And the half with a graduation map looks like graduations for the back

 

Which is why I asked in the first place.   :(

 

The published info on plate thicknesses is for backs only (?)

 

post-35343-0-32366000-1361067571_thumb.jpg

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I didn't know you already knew there was a diagram.  Sorry.  

 

No, I'm not saying the two are the same.  The top does not match the back in the sense there is a, for want of a better term, "graduated graduation."  Hook is right about the uniformity of the top.  Sacconi would not have even needed a diagram for the top.

 

But If you are wondering, as I have, where the thickening begins toward the Fs, and about the possible thicker spot around the post, I don't remember if he gets specific about that or not.  They might be too subtle, or not important enough to be put on to the diagram.

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The diagram from Sacconi,  posted by Addie in post n.18, can be confusing as the left side of the diagram has to do with the entire table so you see both information for the bassbar position and for the raised area around the soundpost which is a 2,2 cm diameter circle with a thickness of 3,2 mm. The bridge foot has been drawn in to show where the center of the circle is positioned and for the relative position of the bassbar.

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Well, it dawned on me that maybe it is just notes that the violin dealer had taken from the "Segreti" but someone must have notes that Sacconi would have had.

 

As to "Dick's overcoat" and craquelure procedure, they aren't in Sacconi's book, so maybe the notes are from many sources and the dealer just titled his notes "Sacconi's Notebook."  Or, perhaps I misunderstood the whole OP, in which case I apologize. 

 

BTW, for those interested, there is a very nice book on Sacconi, with nice samples of his work.  It's called SIMONE FERNANDO SACCONI by Andrea Mosconi, published by Turris Editrice, Cremona, 1996

If you find a copy of this catalogue floating around on internet, give preference to the 1996 edition which is the reprint. Do not buy the 1995 edition because the photographs are very mediocre. For the 1996 reprint all the photography was redone professionally.

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