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A well cured Saxon Hamm? Maybe so!


Violadamore

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I have no doubt about the area of origin here, but am curious about the maker

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Excellent-Antique-Violin-Christ-Gottfried-Hamm-c-1790-w-Bill-of-Sale-from-1937/331022537141?_trksid=p2047675.m2109&_trkparms=aid%3D555012%26algo%3DPW.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D17721%26meid%3D1272159649535871567%26pid%3D100010%26prg%3D8208%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D200961520174%26

 

http://www.amati.com/maker/information-on-hamm-christian-gottfried-violin-maker-in-markneukirchen.html

 

Christian Gottfried Hamm (a son of the much better known Johann Gottfried,Hamm) was born in 1774.  He'd have been 16 years old in 1790, so 1790's, I'll buy..  I'll defer to Jacob, of course (whom I hope has a comparison example), but this one looks rather refreshingly probable to me on the face of it.  (Straps on some Kevlar, dons ear protection, and puts a reinforced concrete wall between herself and Vienna :lol: )

 

P.S., I'm not defending the usual purple prose, however :rolleyes:

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I wish people would stop citing Amati.com as an authority, since it is anything but. All that that site does is to list thrice plagurized obsolete information, whilst diligently ignoring any up-to date research. The fact that he was born 10.11.1774 is recorded in the “Taufbuch” and was copied correctly by Lütgendorff, and thus all his copyists since. Lütgendorff mistakenly records his death on 29.08.1834 which was actually that of the death of Carl Wilhelm Hamm. This (wrong) date has been repeated in all literature since. The date of C.G.Hamms demise has, to date not been found, neither has that of his wife, leaving me to wonder if they died away from Neukirchen. The latest documentary record of him is when he burried a daughter on 05.03.1817. He was accepted as a member of the Innung (guild) 07.06.1797.

 

C.G. Hamm’s violins seem quite rare, since up till now I have only seen one single one, from 1822, which is in the museum in Markneukirchen. You can see s/w pictures of this violin on page 371 of the 1st volume of the Zöbisch books, which I told you to buy for yourself ages ago.
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I wish people would stop citing Amati.com as an authority, since it is anything but. All that that site does is to list thrice plagurized obsolete information, whilst diligently ignoring any up-to date research. The fact that he was born 10.11.1774 is recorded in the “Taufbuch” and was copied correctly by Lütgendorff, and thus all his copyists since. Lütgendorff mistakenly records his death on 29.08.1834 which was actually that of the death of Carl Wilhelm Hamm. This (wrong) date has been repeated in all literature since. The date of C.G.Hamms demise has, to date not been found, neither has that of his wife, leaving me to wonder if they died away from Neukirchen. The latest documentary record of him is when he burried a daughter on 05.03.1817. He was accepted as a member of the Innung (guild) 07.06.1797.
 
C.G. Hamm’s violins seem quite rare, since up till now I have only seen one single one, from 1822, which is in the museum in Markneukirchen. You can see s/w pictures of this violin on page 371 of the 1st volume of the Zöbisch books, which I told you to buy for yourself ages ago.

 

It was a readily available link with an example of the same style label, you'd rather I cited Corilon's entry?  I was actually hoping that you had one of his violins on hand to photograph.  I figured if anybody did, you would.  Oh, well :lol:

 

Thanks much for your info :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

so is this a real Hamm or not?

I can't tell, and Jacob doesn't seem to think so.  The sole known example doesn't apply too well here, IMHO, being 30 years or so later.  All I'll say is that the violin is Saxon, not implausibly of the general period imputed to it, and probably worth what was paid in terms of age and quality, unless of course, it sounds like crap. Perhaps the buyer will stumble across this thread and share their findings with us.

 

As far as circumstantial evidence goes, it's been returned once, but that could be for anything (or nothing).  The documentation seems genuine, but means little, particularly as we don't have a clue who J.M. Edler (611 Washington St., Boston, Mass.) was who allegedly vouched for the authenticity to this Walter Louis Davis (of Plymouth, MA) who sold the violin back in 1937/38.  I'd love to see more on all this, perhaps someone will come forward who knows something.

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I can't tell, and Jacob doesn't seem to think so. 

 

I'd love to see more on all this, perhaps someone will come forward who knows something.

 

I apologise for being a killjoy again, but I would be beware of somebody who might “come forward who knows something” on the subject of early 19th.C Markneukirchen masters, just as I am regarding those who “come forward” and know the latitude, longitude and species of the tree used centuries previously.

 

A few observations re early 19th C Markneukirchen makers:

 

Amongst the numerous makers who lived there at the time, the apparent favorite method of signing a violin was with a stamp in the inside of the back, normally with the initial letters of both Christian names,and the surname, often with devices, such as stars, Christmas trees etc. between, as well as sometimes above, below and either side of the three digits. When a label was used (additionally), it was most normally stuck onto the inside of the treble middle bout rib (where one tends not to notice it, if one doesn’t know). These original labels have in numerous cases been “repotted” by some busybody to the “proper" place.

 

A further strategy that is not unusual, was for them to use the previously described stamp on the upper outside back, beneath the button. I have for instance, such a violin in my workshop stamped “*C*F*M*” (Christian Friedrich Meisel) beneath the button, a signing method that would seem to beggar future manipulation (although I’m sure some have tried).

 

A third method of signing a violin, used sometimes by these makers was a pencil inscription on the inside of the belly. Again, I have an example in my workshop, a very pretty violin with ivory edges (around the scroll too), which I would have sworn was from the beginning of the 19th.C, until I stumbled upon the signature

 

post-24603-0-41060900-1381850993_thumb.jpg

 

- Johann Gottlob Heberlein/Violinmacher und Musicus/in Neukirchen/ 1845. This violin well demonstrates how treacherous it is to guess a rough date, since they all started to learn making as 13 year olds, and were still doing much the same in their old age as 70 or 80 year olds. It would almost make more sense to divide these masters into generations, rather than dates.

 

A further complication is that the more successful workshops, such as Schönfelder for instance,  judging by the sheer number of existing instruments evidently had a good number of employees. I have in my workshop two Schönfelders, both with the characteristic stamp in the centre of the back as well as a label on the inside treble middle bout rib (frustratingly both with a faded out year!). One of these has the original corner blocks as I described in point 3 here: the other (equally original) has no corner blocks whatsoever. Evidently made by different individuals, but both genuine “Schönfelders”.  Ergo, should one find a violin of this area/period without a label/stamp, or with a dodgy label, a worthwhile attribution to a particular individual will not be feasible.

 

There are also plenty of instruments from this place and time with no signature whatsoever. Many of these were “labeled up” in the later 19th century, sometimes even accurately. I have even seen such later labels that were glued over, and thus obliterated the original stamp, which leads one to wonder about the sanity of violin tinkers sometimes.

 

I am not foolish enough to assert that none of these makers inserted (genuine) labels in the “normal” “proper” place, without any stamp, I just cannot think of an example, and not for want of thinking. Thus, I do not feel able to say that the Hound Hamm is not a Hamm, nor that the Caspace Ficker is not a Ficker, neither that they were a genuine “Hamm” resp. “Ficker”. In both cases I would like to see a stamp though, otherwise I would think that any sensible grown up, should be happy to accept an attribution to a place and period, rather than clinging to a questionable name.

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Jacob, this once I'm glad that my wording was vague, because it inspired you to post the magnificent lecture above (in stereo, no less), which clears up several points on pre-Dutzend Saxons, but, my "knows something" was intended in respect to this specific violin and its individual history only :lol: .

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attachicon.gifICF.jpg

Ficker (label probably a replica, with "chrismas trees")

 

 

Dear BF,
Thanks for your gallery. Re. the Fiker label, that you suggest might be a replica: you might also like to consider the possibiity that it was originaly glued to the inside treble rib, and was “repotted” (umgetopft) by some busybody, to the “proper" place. After all, how dare the Neukirchen makers glue their labels in a different place than Stradivari?

 

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Dear Jacob,

I was under the impression, that the wear of the typograph looks more fitting to the "Tapetendruck"(lithographic) than to "Buchdruck", but with a big zooming it looks, as if you are right and the letters are pressed deeply into the paper.

But here is another label from a Meinel at the "right strad-ish place" from an unopened violin:

post-57937-0-99004200-1381918462_thumb.jpg

 

Ofcourse, it was a bit more in the middle of the back than "the usual".

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  • 4 years later...
On ‎10‎/‎15‎/‎2013 at 4:17 PM, Blank face said:

post-57937-0-88523100-1381878607_thumb.jpg

Ficker (label probably a replica, with "chrismas trees")

Reviving this thread just because the similarity of these two stamps/labels might be interesting to some of us here. Except mine is missing the top line of the label (with the name). I might have guessed that the label is newer than the fiddle too. But as Jacob pointed out it could have been moved and cleaned up at some point

 

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FWIW, I had a nice Saxon violin years ago that Bill Monical had identified as "Hamm family."  That's as close as he could get.  It was labeled as a Jais.  Very nice playing and nice looking instrument.  As I recall,  it had BOB construction,  the integral neck had been replaced with a mortised neck block, and  the head may have been a replacement.  (I wasn't sufficiently knowledgeable back then to look for the presence or shape of corner blocks).

Similar to the subject violin?

Richard

thumbnail_DSC02547-2.jpg

thumbnail_DSC02546-1.jpg

thumbnail_DSC02550-1.jpg

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