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Dear Jacob,

I cant read the top line, perhaps there is some way of photographing it so that it shows up better (UV light perhaps?).

 

The rest says:

aus Mittenwald/an der Isar in/Oberbayern/den 26 Jänner 1841

 

One occasionally sees pencil inscritions is these Mittenwald fiddles. I think I might have told the annecdote before, but when I worked in Munich, I had one of these to repair. One could see through the endpin hole that it had an inscription inside. and three days long, everybody who came around was obliged to look and see if he/she could read it with a mirror or without. After 3 days of suspence, my boss couldn’t stand it any longer, and told me to open the violin, which I obediently did. Everybody could read it then; it said “Und jetzt drei Maß” (now for 3 Beers)
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Dear JacobS.,

 

I didn' hear this anecdote before, but stories like this one are a good reason to read MN. I will tell the anecdote to everbody who's interested in bavarian violins and mysteric inscriptions, if it's allowed.

But now I need to know, if there were three "pints" for one violin maker, or maybe three workers, and only one beer for each (the first holding the pencil, the second moving the violin and the third telling what to write); did they write "drei" or "iii", and did they drink everytime some beer, when they managed to fit the lining into the blocks with such a deep mortice as seen above?

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"Ostler" is mentioned by Lüttgendorff, but prename Anton, born 1896; possibly one of his anchestors, working for a trading company like Baader or Neuner; there were many homeworking makers, mentioned nowhere. "Andera" is an interesting form of Andrea(s), more common is "Andersch", or he did the spelling wrong.

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Yes, I agree  with “Ostler”, but can’t quite make sense of the christian name either.
 
They weren’t terrificaly imaginative in the 18th & 19th C. with christian names. Once a family had had 3 daughters, they had already used up Maria,  Anna and Theresia and would presumably have to panic. Male christian names were hardly more numerous, those begining with A more or less limited to Anton or Andreas.
 
I can only speculate that this is signed with some sort of pet name, just as we, Jacob, might be known as Jakerl or Kobi
 
 
P.S: @ Martin; immaculate grammar and prototypical cornerblocks! :rolleyes:

 

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Wow, that's impressive, thanks guys.

 

This is to the best of my knowledge the first of this kind of Mittenwald violin I've had in my workshop. On the other hand, I've seen several Sebastian Klotz instruments (real ones, not trade immitations) and also a violin and viola pair by Aegidius Klotz of which the backs came from the same trunk of maple - a sort of star-shaped knot-like irregularity appears on both and match exactly. The weird thing is that the ownner acquired them 30 years apart, in different locations.

 

Just as a matter of interest, any idea about the market value of this "Ostler" instrument? It's in good condition, no cracks, very little varnish wear or damage. The back was evidently taken off because the neck root separated from the block. It was repaired with a screw from the inside through the upper block into the neck root, which was totally unnecessary. However, given the previous repairer's penchant for PVA glue it was probably just as well - except that the neck root/yop block pulled loose from the back and button, which is why the instrument is now in my workshop. Should I remove the screw and reset the neck with hide glue?

 

 

post-3040-0-40980500-1371817767_thumb.jpg

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Just as a matter of interest, any idea about the market value of this "Ostler" instrument?

 
 
You aren’t going to ask for opinions on your violin, having only shown us the inside are you? :) The inside work however is quite typical for a Mittenwalder “Verlegergeige”, as is the one piece belly.
 
Just a few thoughts on these so-called “Verlegergeigen”:
 
These “Verleger” (lit. “publisher”) instruments were made in a “division of labour” house industry system run by the various dealers (Verleger). One person (for instance) would make the white box and would deliver it to the dealer, another the scroll, a third would put it together, and stilll another varnish it etc. Indeed this went so far, that the Bavarian govt. saw fit to found the violin making school, because there was next to nobody left, who would have been able to make a whole violin on his own.
 
One fairly often (but normally not) sees pencil inscriptions inside. I have one here with the inscription Alois Krinner 1875 inside the belly, but between fingerboard and neck was a second inscription “Joh B Reiter 1883”. ie. Krinner delivered a white box to (the Verleger) Reiter, who had it lying around in his shed for 8 years, before he got around to having someone put a head on.
 
One could theoretically go to Mittenwald and trawl through the church books looking for unknown violin makers. One would find no end of Krinner’s and Neuner’s and Seitz’s etc.etc. but they would not neccesarily have been described as vm’s, since many persued three ”trades” simultaneously, agriculture, tourism and violin making.
 
If you call your violin “an Ostler” it would be at best a half truth, since Herr Ostler will only have delivered the white box. In a rational world, it is a “production” instrument, and thus surely worth less that one made in entirety by one individual. Apropos “Ostler”: It is an old, originally Füssen vm. name. I have 2 “Ostlers” (from 1733 & 1750) from Breslau in best old Füssen tradition.
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Yo JacobS,

 

Thanks for all that, much appreciated. The new bit of information for me is that “Verlegergeigen” isn't just a Saxon manifestation. You mention the "boxes" being made in one location/by one person or workshop. My humble apologies if you've mentioned this before and I've missed it, but did the Mittenwald tradition at the time use an internal mold (I'm thinking about the corner blocks)?. In other words, would rib sets, backs and tops be interchangable like if an internal mold, or just a pattern and no mold, were used? (OK, not really interchangable - the Saxon method presumable would start off with a back, then somebody - anybody - could fashion the ribs onto that, then the top, etc...)

 

Also, just for clarification: were the Saxon cottage industry violin boxes made up complete by one person/workshop/in one location, or could they proceed from one station to the next: the backs first, then ribsets, then tops, etc.

 

By the way, I've now worked on as many 19th-century Mittenwalders as Vuillaumes - exactly one. That's less than my count for classical Italians, so you may appreciate why I'm mildly excited by this violin. It's like seeing a real Jersey cow in the flesh for the first time.

 

If it will help I will post more photos, but just roughly, what's the market value of this kind of thing? Under or over 500 Euros? I have no commercial interest in this, but it could be very helpful to the customer regarding insurance. Don't laugh - that kind of instrument, and that kind of money (say around 500 Euros) is a big deal over here.

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Please show some more pictures of the outside, table, back and scroll. An average first half of the 19th Mittenwald trade violin in good or acceptable condition should be valuated more than Euro 500; how much more is depending of the quality of the varnish, the wood and the precision of the handcrafting.

Generally the Mittenwald "industry" used the traditional inner mould, they needed more time to produce the instruments as the saxon/bohemian producers and had a better quality.

 JacobS will surely give some more valuable information later, perhaps a good translation of the very informative german newspaper he added before: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-44437259.html               .

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Jacob, if it were in my shop, I would remove the screw, make sure the neck fit is good and hide glue it. I've seen what CAN happen when the neck cannot separate from the block and it is not pretty. Often the screw is insufficient anyway but makes separation a little more difficult.

 

Thanks for the advice. You are right. I will plug and re-cut the mortise.

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This looks really nice - as Blank Face says, the value depends on a lot of factors, but the condition looks very good, and the varnish isn't badly craquelled or distressed. I would recommend someone to insure this violin for around £3000, because that's what it would cost to walk into a shop and buy a similar instrument. In South Africa I would think the insurance valuation would have to be higher, given the increased difficulty of finding a replacement.

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Yeehaa...that's quite hectic. I'll pass on your recommendation to the owner, and many thanks.

 

In the meantime, I've cleaned off the PVA on the back/rib join, and taken out the neck. The fit of the root in the mortise with all the PVA removed will definitly require a plugged and re-cut mortise.

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This looks really nice - as Blank Face says, the value depends on a lot of factors, but the condition looks very good, and the varnish isn't badly craquelled or distressed. I would recommend someone to insure this violin for around £3000, because that's what it would cost to walk into a shop and buy a similar instrument. In South Africa I would think the insurance valuation would have to be higher, given the increased difficulty of finding a replacement.

Agree, I like this type of varnish. The cheaper Mittenwald instruments wear an ugly dark, water and glue based varnish. This looks like a copy after Landolfi, I found this type sometimes before. Possibly one of the "Verleger" owned a Landolfi violin and let his workers copy this pattern.

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