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hello all.  I would be interested to know the whats, whens and where's of this one. Again, no label.

I was very surprised to see that along the fingerboard parallel to the A string there is a deep groove running up to about 4th position. Unless someone possessed extremely long fingernails (unlikely) I have no idea how this could occur. Any thoughts on this also? 

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Although I wouldn't disagree that I've seen many, many less appealing scrolls, they do say beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Very true! The last notch is a bit tight but I personally think the curves are nice, I was under the impression cottage violin scroll work was rather rough, it might be that I have only seen odd exemples?

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Looks to me like the groove is actually under the position of the E string, not the A, and that it might have been put there with a narrow gouge.  If this isn't simply due to the greater wear of a wire string played with unusual vigor, could the groove have been someone's "answer" to a perceived string relief difficulty?  The lack of grooves under the other string positions makes me a bit suspicious.

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How on earth would an E string carve out such a grove unless the previous player seriously objected to playing on any other string and had massively huge wolf like nails!? Shouldnt there be wear patterns underneith all the strings if this indeed a result of wear?! 

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I'm aware of two different materials used in Mirecourt violins for "cost-cutting" fingerboards. One is slightly greenish and is stained on the surface only. Amongst cabinet-makers in the UK this is known as satinwood - it's rather furry and a bit oily, glues very well and is extremely stable. I believe it came from the French possessions in the southern USA like Louisiana.

The other is also very light, but is blackened through some chemical process (possibly also satinwood with a different treatment) - it is stained or cured all the way through, and becomes slightly crystalline and very brittle.

Neither have proved to be of much use over time!

There's a good example of the first of these over on this thread : http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/328054-violin-between-the-walls/

The OP's fingerboard looks very much like the second - some Mirecourt violins used very low grades of ebony, but it never acquires that slight ripple seen in the bottom of the grooves, which I assume is due to the structure of the wood having been damaged by the process.

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I'm aware of two different materials used in Mirecourt violins for "cost-cutting" fingerboards. One is slightly greenish and is stained on the surface only. Amongst cabinet-makers in the UK this is known as satinwood - it's rather furry and a bit oily, glues very well and is extremely stable. I believe it came from the French possessions in the southern USA like Louisiana.

The other is also very light, but is blackened through some chemical process (possibly also satinwood with a different treatment) - it is stained or cured all the way through, and becomes slightly crystalline and very brittle.

Neither have proved to be of much use over time!

There's a good example of the first of these over on this thread : http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/328054-violin-between-the-walls/

The OP's fingerboard looks very much like the second - some Mirecourt violins used very low grades of ebony, but it never acquires that slight ripple seen in the bottom of the grooves, which I assume is due to the structure of the wood having been damaged by the process.

Martin ,ive never seen it refered to as Satinwood, Satinwood as i know it is a first class high end timber used in fine furniture ,usually two types one from Ceylon( Srilanka) or Madagascar (Also one or two other Asian countries) ,and the other which was exploited in the 18th century for fine furniture and which was far more esteemed from the West Indies.

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