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Berl Mendenhall

Stradivari Tool (Square)

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It might be  a good example of how tools get passed on from one maker to other makers.

"OMG, you hear old Tony finally croaked?"

 

"Madonna!  What a loss to the craft   When's the auction??"  :lol:

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This does bring up a good question.  Just how much Stradivari's  shop relics were disposed of.  I mean things like everyday tools like knives, chisels, jigs for carving, planes, and such.  I expect Bergonzi had everything at one time and his family may have taken these everyday tools with them.  We'll probably never know now.  Too many different people have "owned" these tools and did with them as they saw fit.  I would hope all the tools in the museum are Stradivari's but the truth is, no one really knows.  Just because Ceruti donated those tools doesn't mean they weren't any more than they mean they were.  If Ceruti implied they were, then we have to go on that.    

I'm the one who used the word "imply."  Sacconi listed those particular tools knowing that they were from Ceruti.  Ceruti either said the tools came from Stradivari or he didn't.  The fact that Sacconi listed the tools in a list of Stradivari's tools IMPLIES he accepted them as coming from Stradivari.

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Does it really matter where they came from? They're violinmaking tools, aren't they? They came from violinmakers that's for sure.

Sadly yes it does matter.  Stradivari, the greatest violin maker of all time.  Ceruti, a good maker.  Nuf said.

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"OMG, you hear old Tony finally croaked?"

 

"Madonna!  What a loss to the craft   When's the auction??"  :lol:

 

I’ve seen similar in actual historical records.  Not for A.S. though.  His son sold the tools... a well known story.  Cozio up to the fire and I’ll tell it...  :lol:

 

In post #40, I’m referring to Pollens’ Stradivari book, not his forms book.

 

Stradivari - Page 261

 

Sacconi lists them as Strad’s on page 110:

 

Figg. 99 e 100 A. Stradivari: attrezzi per il taglio del solco dei filetti. Cremona Museo Civico. (Figs. 99 and 100 A. Stradivari: tools for cutting the purfling groove. Cremona Museum.)

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I’ve seen similar in actual historical records.  Not for A.S. though.  His son sold the tools... a well known story.  Cozio up to the fire and I’ll tell it...  :lol:

 

In post #40, I’m referring to Pollens’ Stradivari book, not his forms book.

 

Stradivari - Page 261

 

Sacconi lists them as Strad’s on page 110:

 

Figg. 99 e 100 A. Stradivari: attrezzi per il taglio del solco dei filetti. Cremona Museo Civico. (Figs. 99 and 100 A. Stradivari: tools for cutting the purfling groove. Cremona Museum.)

 

The purfling cutter (MS 679 and MS 680) were part of a donation by Giovanni Battista Cerani offered to the city of Cremona on 18 February 1893 and accepted by the City on 25 February 1893. These artefacts, some of which were to have come from the Stradivari family and some from Lorenzo Storioni were collected by G.B. Ceruti. G.B. Ceruti was Enrico's grandfather. G.B. Cerani (Enrico's son-in-law) inherited the material upon the death of  Enrico Ceruti. Ten years later he donated the inheritance to the City of Cremona. This donation includes items from Enrico Ceruti's workshop.

 

The Cerani donation includes the much discussed "pressure punch" as well.

 

Bruce

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The purfling cutter (MS 679 and MS 680) were part of a donation by Giovanni Battista Cerani offered to the city of Cremona on 18 February 1893 and accepted by the City on 25 February 1893. These artefacts, some of which were to have come from the Stradivari family and some from Lorenzo Storioni were collected by G.B. Ceruti. G.B. Ceruti was Enrico's grandfather. G.B. Cerani (Enrico's son-in-law) inherited the material upon the death of  Enrico Ceruti. Ten years later he donated the inheritance to the City of Cremona. This donation includes items from Enrico Ceruti's workshop.

 

The Cerani donation includes the much discussed "pressure punch" as well.

 

Bruce

 

 

 

Brilliant!  Thank you!  

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Sadly yes it does matter.  Stradivari, the greatest violin maker of all time.  Ceruti, a good maker.  Nuf said.

Even if they came from Stradivari he could have inherited them from some other maker and never used them for his own making. There is no way to know the significance of them even if they came from Stradivari himself. I have a bunch of tools that I never use so they don't mean much to me. I'm sure that most makers have stuff that they don't use, or have used in the past but not anymore. We just have to see what each tool does and decide the importance of it from our own judgement.

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Even if they came from Stradivari he could have inherited them from some other maker and never used them for his own making. There is no way to know the significance of them even if they came from Stradivari himself. I have a bunch of tools that I never use so they don't mean much to me. I'm sure that most makers have stuff that they don't use, or have used in the past but not anymore. We just have to see what each tool does and decide the importance of it from our own judgement.

 

What is the point you're trying to make ?

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Peter KG, on 22 Aug 2013 - 2:16 PM, said:snapback.png

 

I might get bullied for this question, but why do makers use a graduation punch tool? I can understand it speeds up if someone would do serial production of violin plates. But with the help of  todays graduation gauges it's a matter of minutes to work down to a fairly even thickness of lets say 3,5 - 4 mm.

 

 

 

You can just by using your fingers get fairly close graduations.

 

Other uses ...

From Michael Darnton's website:

markribs1.jpg

 

markribs2.jpg

 

I see! It is a clever tool after all, even if I don't use it. Torbjörns point is also considerable (even if you kind of use this tool upside down :)) Let's use the tools we need. Most makers only use a fraction of the tools in their workshop.

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Even if they came from Stradivari he could have inherited them from some other maker and never used them for his own making. There is no way to know the significance of them even if they came from Stradivari himself. I have a bunch of tools that I never use so they don't mean much to me. I'm sure that most makers have stuff that they don't use, or have used in the past but not anymore. We just have to see what each tool does and decide the importance of it from our own judgement.

I have tools that I never use, and I have passed on tools to other makers. :mellow:

 

Also some here probably can contest to having lots of tools when they were in the early stages of their violin making career, and then having that number gradually being reduced as they gain more and more experience. ;)

 

Since Stradivari had a fly swatter in his shop, none of us who were 'flies on the wall' have survived, so I think the real value of these tools is how they are fuel for the imagination.   So dream on. ;)

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What is the point you're trying to make ?

Apart from potentially having come from Stradivari's workshop, and as such having the status of 'relics', their importance is in disclosing past working methods. The fact that they were "custom" handmade means that they show quite clearly the users intent. This to me is the real value.

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There is definitly some silly love relationship with tools. Maybe we need them as toys substitute as grown ups? I am very attached to my home made tools. I recently bought a new Stanley plane and a finger plane. But I'm not willing to let go of my home made graduation caliper yet, NO.

 

And every Contemporary violin maker should have an Ipad, If you don't like tuning it can be used as a Square :rolleyes:

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Breathes there a maker with a soul so dead,

Who to himself has never said,

"Oh to be a fly on Stradivari's wall,"

Or wished to pick up the 'phone

and give him a call?

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Breathes there a maker with a soul so dead,

Who to himself has never said,

"Oh to be a fly on Stradivari's wall,"

Or wished to pick up the 'phone

and give him a call?

Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled,

Now this Will dares bruise our head

Wi' verses whence all grace has fled

And scansion blasphemy!

 

(If you're gonna slaughter a Scots poet, do it with style :P )

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I might get bullied for this question, but why do makers use a graduation punch tool? I can understand it speeds up if someone would do serial production of violin plates. But with the help of  todays graduation gauges it's a matter of minutes to work down to a fairly even thickness of lets say 3,5 - 4 mm.

 

Unless you are using a machine it won't be faster than Strads method.

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Unless you are using a machine it won't be faster than Strads method.

 

I can understand that, they had a violin factory over there didn't they? For us who makes a couple of instruments per year (I make one per year) this tool does not give much time saving. You have probably written somewhere how this tool was most likely used.

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Hi Violadamore,

 

Using the description plate below the squares, which is 10 cm. wide, I get:

 

Large square, long side 22.4 cm. , short side 10.2 cm. If you set the square on the wide base (short side) the angles from horizontal are 45° (45°) and 75° (15°).

 

Small square, horizontal side (top of the photograph), 5.9 cm. and vertical side (to the left) 5.45 cm. The angle is roughly 45°.

 

"MS 700 and MS 701 Two squares with a base, wood, one with the initials C.B., probably of Carlo Bergonzi." My translation.

 

Both squares have a widened base like machinist squares so that they can stand vertical.

 

Bruce

 

Yes this is an important point these squares must have been made to stand vertical. I'm a bit late on this discussion, but for me the really interesting tools are the forged tools. One in particular is a genuine masterpiece of the blacksmiths art. (16 di 21 on the link). When I first saw it, it took me a long time to work out how it had been done and how it worked. Open one side and the other side opens to the same distance. It is also proof that Strads thicknessing methods were not as accurate as many would have us believe.

 

As NewNewbie has so nicely shown us decorations on tools were often very elaborate. I have several books on the subject. Even the Romans decorated their tools, especially planes. I will read on, its a nice thread. 

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