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Is this Italian?


GoldenPlate
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I've been too busy to visit for several months. It seemed like this place had changed pretty much, but I guess not as much as I thought. I really don't mind people questioning an auction listing, but I agree with Vathek that it would be much more productive to say, "Do you think this is really Italian? To me it looks more like ABC because of XYZ." Then we could have a more reasonable discussion.

 

The same with Hendrik's comment. We could all learn more if he could elucidate on which characteristics do not look like Storioni school and which characteristics seem more Austrian.

 

But I am glad that there is a general lack of venom in any of the posts. And to tell the truth, I had been actually been missing some of Caspce's questions! But it was more than made up for on the wonderful thread on the "Sleeping Beauty Bow Stick". Lots of great speculation from Fiddlecollector and Violadamore, and then the purchaser showed up to clarify the mystery. Even if Salchow can't get ever identification perfectly correct, it seems like everyone was in the same neck of the woods. And the buyer said that (when re-haired and re-frogged) that it sounded and played great! It's nice to hear these stories.  :)

 

Thanks,

Charlie

 

EDIT: Oops! I forgot to credit Martin also, for asking a reasonable question in a polite manner.

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Yawn ...

Do you have some specific reason to doubt it?

Quoting from the listing:

"After some research, it was decided that the original maker of this instrument would be nearly impossible to determine. However, it is possible to speculate as to its origin. While I am not an expert in 18th century Italian violins, my consignor is quite expert, has a significant library of violin reference books and several of his expert colleagues gave their opinions on this violin as well."

In other words, the seller has NO IDEA what the hell this is but is yet willing to guarantee "They were able to determine, and I will guarantee the following: It is certainly from the 18th century and also positively made in Italy. It was made by a maker strongly influenced by the work of Lorenzo Storioni and that is particularly evident in the unique scroll and model."

In such cases the burden of proof belongs to the seller, not to people like caspace. Of course, in your specific case, caspace started a thread where plenty of reasons were provided to doubt your attribution of "Homolka" and later "Workshop of Strnad."

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It seems you have no opinions of your own.

 

I'm not the only one to find your constant highlighting of eBay offerings irritating.

 

Do you ever buy anything?

 

Do you ever purchase anything based on your own judgment or is it always after canvassing the opinions of others.

Glenn

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It seems you have no opinions of your own.

 

I'm not the only one to find your constant highlighting of eBay offerings irritating.

 

Do you ever buy anything?

 

Do you ever purchase anything based on your own judgment or is it always after canvassing the opinions of others.

Glenn

The Auction Scroll

Scroll through this forum to discuss upcoming instrument auctions, both on and off line. A great place to discuss current Ebay instrument listings

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Even if Salchow can't get ever identification perfectly correct, it seems like everyone was in the same neck of the woods. And the buyer said that (when re-haired and re-frogged) that it sounded and played great! It's nice to hear these stories.  :)

 

 

Hi Charlie,

You see it didn't take long to get this bushfire under way!

I think I've probably misunderstood you, but I would like to defend Isaac Salchow. However, it seems more sensible to do it on the thread about the Pajeot : http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/327894-sleeping-beauty-violin-bow-stick/page-2

Post 26

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Yawn ...

Do you have some specific reason to doubt it?

I am yawning, too, about this groundhog day, but I'm going to answer your question, Martin:

There are lots of specific reasons -   at first (i) the incoherence of the description mentioned by Flyboy (and it would be more impressive without the specific aggressive undertone and the somehow childish "tit for tat" behaviour). I would like to know something more about this "brescian wood", too (it must be related to Brazil wood).

Second (ii) the use of the two different terms of "Storioni school" and "influenced by Storioni". IMO, if there is a Storioni school at all, it starts about 1800 with Ceruti - and the features like sharp and high edges, and the specific varnish are not visible at this instrument. On the other hand "influenced by St." can mean everything and nothing, especially nothing about the land of origin. It's also possible to say "influenced by Guarneri" or "influenced by italian makers" about every box. Those quoted  "experts" are acting not reliable, not really.

Last (iii) I cannot see many italian features (of which I know, without thinking that I'm an "expert" at all) on this violin, especially the edgework looks rather flat and narrow, the varnish too pale. It seems more probable, that it's a dutch or east austrian (Salzkammergut) wanna-be-italian.

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I've been too busy to visit for several months. It seemed like this place had changed pretty much, but I guess not as much as I thought. I really don't mind people questioning an auction listing, but I agree with Vathek that it would be much more productive to say, "Do you think this is really Italian? To me it looks more like ABC because of XYZ." Then we could have a more reasonable discussion.

 

The same with Hendrik's comment. We could all learn more if he could elucidate on which characteristics do not look like Storioni school and which characteristics seem more Austrian.

 

But I am glad that there is a general lack of venom in any of the posts. And to tell the truth, I had been actually been missing some of Caspce's questions! But it was more than made up for on the wonderful thread on the "Sleeping Beauty Bow Stick". Lots of great speculation from Fiddlecollector and Violadamore, and then the purchaser showed up to clarify the mystery. Even if Salchow can't get ever identification perfectly correct, it seems like everyone was in the same neck of the woods. And the buyer said that (when re-haired and re-frogged) that it sounded and played great! It's nice to hear these stories.  :)

 

Thanks,

Charlie

 

EDIT: Oops! I forgot to credit Martin also, for asking a reasonable question in a polite manner.

 

Charles you have a point .  But talking about Brescian wood is well beyond silly.  And the fiddle is so  unlike Storioni / Ceruti that even I  - violin enthousiast with not much knowledge -  can tell just comparing with pictures of  real Storionis and the one "School of Storioni I have seen/played  at Wilders in Banff.   The arching is what struck me first  it is completely unlike  Storioni. Then the c-bouts , upper bouts  and overall shape as well as the edging and varnish: none of this looks like Storioni, Ceruti. But you are right it is better to point this out, so others can react. The good thing about this kind of forum is that it rightly will put prospective buyers on guard.

 

Maybe a good educational point for beginners like me: Storioni's arching looks more like Strads'. This fiddle's arching of the top looks more "Stainer" inspired.

 

It doesn't look Dutch, particularly the corners do not look Dutch at all.

 

With regards to Austrian: I am completely out of my depth.   It looks a bit like an Austrian fiddle I knew, particularly the shape of the upper bouts and the overall shape. Other than that it doesn't look like most Schonbach fiddles to me that being the most likely alternative. So that's all I can say.

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A comparison with the unquestioned Storioni in the NMM collection, as well as the illustrations in the Dilworth article at Brompton's does lead to more questions.  I direct attention to the scrolls in particular, as the offering states :"....strongly influenced by the work of Lorenzo Storioni and that is particularly evident in the unique scroll....".

 

...

 

http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/Violins/Storioni/3359Violin/3359StorioniViolin.html

 

http://www.bromptons.co/reference-library/articles/article-3897-lorenzo-storioni.html

 

Please, if you would, someone explain, influenced how??  And what analyses or particular visual characteristics were used to assign the wood to a Brescian source?  Inquiring minds want to know :) .

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Personally I cannot see how the "unique scroll and model" was strongly influenced by L Storioni. Maybe someone can help me out with this one...

By the way, it doesn't really matter who the consignor is. Since Pahdah is not naming out this "expert", his and his "expert colleagues" opinion are pointless. The expert can be mickey mouse.

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I also see a Germanic hint in the arching (look at the top corners), and of course a Brescian Da Salo-like model.  If the label is original, wouldn’t that point to those early 19th c. “Füssen-diaspora” Italian copies?  

 

Addie = profoundly inexpert.  

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It seems you have no opinions of your own.

 

I'm not the only one to find your constant highlighting of eBay offerings irritating.

 

Do you ever buy anything?

 

Do you ever purchase anything based on your own judgment or is it always after canvassing the opinions of others.

Glenn

 

Glenn,

 

Serious question for you.  Are you more irritated at caspace who admittedly isn't particularly loquacious, or windbag sellers who knowingly and repeatedly make irresponsible listings on ebay (or other venues) that someone like caspace has to point out?

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Well, it does look as if it was built off of an internal mold (Upper and Lower Bout ribs appear to overlap C-bout ribs, and the back corners do overhang the rib outline). Perhaps that is (at least) 1 reason for an Italian attribution? 

I think it could possibly be influenced by a Storioni model - but as others have pointed out, that doesn't mean much. The flat outline of the scroll head cause by sawing directly into the shallow throat, and the plain wood throughout (with original exterior patches used to repair defects on the back) are both good indicators that this instrument was assembled hastily using cheaper materials.

Overall, the best reason to buy this instrument seems to be that it could perhaps be Italian. Personally, I'd think twice about investing too highly in that attribution as it seems it may be difficult to prove upon resale. I also would like to know how they were able to narrow the source of the maple down to the Brescia region. 

Can anyone else point out some hints that I missed?
Thanks,
Joel

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The more that I look at this, the more I see it coming from someplace closer to Klingenthal than to Cremona or Brescia based on various details (especially scroll, bottom rib, saddle area, corners/edgework, and back), when compared to online details of known 18th century Italians,  but I'd be willing to accept the time frame based on the condition (corduroy texture) and some aspects of the construction (neck graft)..  Anybody see major problems with this analysis?  I'm here to learn :) .

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It doesn't look Dutch, particularly the corners do not look Dutch at all.

Sorry, but why don't look the corners dutch? Compare an older post about Cuypers:

 

The one illustrated is dated 1790. One of my favorite Cuypers violins. I have one dated 1779 apart in the shop presently, and later on (1805) out "on the street", so to speak.

I very much like Cuypers violins, and am familiar with some very fine sounding ones. I think they're really excellent choices, especially considering their price range in relationship to violins of similar vintage from "that other origin". They do tend to have a scrolls that only a mother would love (maybe an acquired taste?), but so do some other rather highly regarded instruments I can think of. smile.gif Cuypers heads are certainly not boring.

Really not enough printed/illustrated material on Cuypers, and for that matter, Jacobs and other fine dutch makers. Especially tough to find are are nice detailed photographs. Maybe that will be remedied at some point, eh?

Cuypers ff hole & purfling corner detail (from a different violin). Note the but jointed purfling corners:

attachicon.gifCuyperscorners.jpg

This corner, F-hole and purfling look very similar (except the pointed out purfling joint), also the varnish. I don't have in my mind, that the discussed violin is by Cuypers (Cuypers is much better), but it seems to be more influenced by this maker than by any italian. Possibly a rustic dutch maker from the early 19th.

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Sorry, but why don't look the corners dutch? Compare an older post about Cuypers:

 

This corner, F-hole and purfling look very similar (except the pointed out purfling joint), also the varnish. I don't have in my mind, that the discussed violin is by Cuypers (Cuypers is much better), but it seems to be more influenced by this maker than by any italian. Possibly a rustic dutch maker from the early 19th.

 

OK.  At risk of shoving my  foot further in my mouth here we go:

looking carefully at the Cuypers' corners I see definite differences with the e-bay fiddle.

 

As you pointed out where the purfling meets the Cuypers has butt joints.

 

Dutch corners are more pointed. That is more noticeable on the lower corner if you look carefully at the Cuypers. The" Genuine and Rare Italian violin" does not have as steep a slope coming in from the lower bout.

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I see and understand, what you're talking about. I was more looking at the edgework and the purfling, the general form of the F-holes and the wide space between them, not to mention the long and narrow pegcase - all this reminds me of what I've learned to be dutch from the turn of the 18th to 19th century (BTW, there's a fine Cuypers in the Museum of my town, which I used to admire - I have to go there once more, for the corners). But if you're sure, that the pointed corners define dutch violins without exception, the erhrmm... fine violin can't be dutch (nor italian).

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