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My Ebay Violin


GoldenPlate
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Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately I have to pay someone to fix it. I am quite certain the repair fee will be more expensive than what this violin actually worth.  :(

I feel that you know exactly what I would respond to that,with beginning with, "Be sure that your soundpost retriever, setter, and rotator shanks are all covered with shrink or tape............." :P    Good fiddle, definite keeper, wonderful opportunity to at least learn some.setup basics :)  My being desperately curious about the sound has nothing to do with it of course ............. :lol:

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I feel that you know exactly what I would respond to that,with beginning with, "Be sure that your soundpost retriever, setter, and rotator shanks are all covered with shrink or tape............." :P    Good fiddle, definite keeper, wonderful opportunity to at least learn some.setup basics :)  My being desperately curious about the sound has nothing to do with it of course ............. :lol:

Oh yes, the sound; very mature and dark, which is expected.

I have decided to get it restored probably the beginning of next year :)

Perhaps I should ask Jacob to fix my fiddle (if he's willing too)   B)

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I’m afraid that I already find dividing these instruments into Markneukirchen or Klingenthal an almost insurmountable challenge. Putting specific names to individual violins is a task that I will have to leave to the on-line colleagues. :)

 

I agree, that the sheer number of old saxon makers, the big workshops (as you mentioned) with many different collaborators and the long period of similar working manner makes it useless to ascribe an individual instrument to an individual person (except it has a genuin brand or label, although even in this case it might be only the sign of a workshop).

 

The only use is, that an instrument bearing a reknown name shall sell higher as the same instrument without a name (and not only online)!

 

OTH, I find it very interesting (as a kind of sport) to investigate, in which style an old saxon violin was made, and there are significant differences between, for instance, Hopf, Hoyer, Ficker, Hamm, Meinel or Meisel style, albeit it can not be a proof for the person, who built a particular instrument.

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I agree, that the sheer number of old saxon makers, the big workshops (as you mentioned) with many different collaborators and the long period of similar working manner makes it useless to ascribe an individual instrument to an individual person (except it has a genuin brand or label, although even in this case it might be only the sign of a workshop).

 

The only use is, that an instrument bearing a reknown name shall sell higher as the same instrument without a name (and not only online)!

 

OTH, I find it very interesting (as a kind of sport) to investigate, in which style an old saxon violin was made, and there are significant differences between, for instance, Hopf, Hoyer, Ficker, Hamm, Meinel or Meisel style, albeit it can not be a proof for the person, who built a particular instrument.

Several of the later Dutzends passing through my hands have shown signs of parts standardization and interchangeability at the neck/body level at least, and what looks like an inspector's pencil mark of some kind on the mating surfaces of the neck heel and dovetail.  It would certainly be interesting to know what the different factories' workflows looked like.

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I've always wondered where people buy the old trade violins they resell and if that "place" might be a much better venue to use instead of ebay.

Thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, people bring them to antique dealers, etc.  They seem to sprout up in old attics like mushrooms, the problem is tracking them down in an efficient fashion.  That's where online sources become valuable.

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Here is a violin which is in a rather similar state to caspace's - it's had a lot of work, but it's the sort of thing I would snap up in the knowledge that it will most likely be a great playing fiddle. Since old "germanic" instruments are the mainstay of The Auction Scroll, it might be time to expand our vocabulary a bit.

 

This violin has a two-piece bottom rib, no inset saddle. It has smallish symmetrical corner blocks (upper and lower). 

It has rib edges meeting in the middle, and the corners pretty much form a line with the top and bottom plates.

The scroll is very upright with a tiny central eye and a rather short "throat" with the fluting continuing right into the throat.

This sort of violin crops up in auctions all the time, and is generally described as "Tyrolean" or "of the Klotz School".

It didn't come via Ebay - it belonged to an old gentleman in Peebles, who played on it all his life.

Maybe Jacob could hold back for a few posts, while the rest of us flail around .... :)

 

My answer is in a sealed envelope in Violadamore's handbag.

 

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My guess on this is that it's one of those Viennese/Austrian things that Jacob lectured on a while back that's so hard to pin down to a particular maker.  I'm not guessing date except "before 1860".  Anywhere close?

 

Martin has asked me to keep my trap shut, although I am fairly confident that I know what that is :)

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Martin has asked me to keep my trap shut, although I am fairly confident that I know what that is :)

 

I have a vague guess, too (hadn't we a private conversation about those origin a longer while back?), but it makes me wonder, when you say "crops up all the time" in what kind of auction? And "Klotz", not "Kloz" school? Are those the auctions, where you need a handbag? Or a hat?

And what's the prize?

 

Edit: May be the prize a journey to Tyrol? (2 persons, bed & breakfast)

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Well, I just receive the violin today.

Quite some nasty old repairs that were not described in the listing (in-accurate description)

Anyway, here they are. Please feel free to comment (criticize :D ) more.

I haven't played on it, because the sp falls off during transportation

 

Caspace from the pictures it looks like the bridge could be moved a little to the treble side . And maybe have the bass side of the bridge straightened a bit as it is warped  ( hopefully without breaking it).

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I have a vague guess, too (hadn't we a private conversation about those origin a longer while back?), but it makes me wonder, when you say "crops up all the time" in what kind of auction? And "Klotz", not "Kloz" school? Are those the auctions, where you need a handbag? Or a hat?

And what's the prize?

 

Edit: May be the prize a journey to Tyrol? (2 persons, bed & breakfast)

 

I would be fairly relaxed calling this a violin from Silesia, or more exactly from the Böck family in Wölfelsdorf, from ca. the 1820’s (I’m sure you meant that, didn’t you?).

 

For the others: This part of Silesia was a Sudeten German enclave, the Sudeten Germans were driven out after WWII, and Wölfelsdorf is now called “Wilkocin” in Poland

 

Wölfelsdorf, population 250, is here, a bit South of Habelschwerdt

http://www.grafschaft-glatz.de/karten/meyers/meyers-2.htm

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In fact I thought of the Wölfelsdorf/Glatz region, but not of Böck/Beck, which family worked much better, but of a later workshop in this country.

There was a violin production untill the mid of the 19th, using similar patterns and scrolls, but these violins are not so often "cropping up", probably not in Scotland.

Now we can count this out, can we?

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I don't make any great claims for this fiddle ... it is very tatty, but it's an example of something slightly out of the ordinary (not Mittenwald or Schoenbach).

I had put it at more like 1840, and in comparison to the images of the Johann Georg Beck/Boeck in Blank Face's link above, it's true that it's slightly unimpressive. The scroll in particular lacks the nice open curve where the front face of the pegbox meets the volute.

I'd be very keen to see Jacob's example, and will quickly concede that it's MUCH nicer ^_^

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I don't make any great claims for this fiddle ... it is very tatty, but it's an example of something slightly out of the ordinary (not Mittenwald or Schoenbach).

I had put it at more like 1840, and in comparison to the images of the Johann Georg Beck/Boeck in Blank Face's link above, it's true that it's slightly unimpressive. The scroll in particular lacks the nice open curve where the front face of the pegbox meets the volute.

I'd be very keen to see Jacob's example, and will quickly concede that it's MUCH nicer ^_^

 

It was a big surprise to me this-morning, as I switched my computer on, to find that BF had linked to (albiet pretty ropey) pictures of my Böck.
 
The give aways with this school of making are    
1) The outline, with the very round open middle bouts with their rather stubby corners
2) the rather straight pegbox, followed by a rather awkward scroll, which looks a bit “stuck on afterwards” with hardly any throat.
 
When comparing/identifying violins one cannot look for carbon copies, but has to identify general attitudes, bearing in mind that several familly members were involved in violin making over a period of decades. Whenever these violins appear at auctions, without their original label, they are always wrongly described, the "not Markneukirchen, not Mittenwald" dilema being universal. Grafschaft Glatz no longer exists, and its tradition seems destined for a collective memory hole.
 
One should not forget that Martins example is rather the worse for wear, after decades of playing in a scottish pub(?), (which will be why he finds it “slightly unimpressive”) so that one can only really look at the outline from the back. Martins description of the rib structue (post #59) accuratly describes my 1822 Böck in detail.
 
This instrument would originaly have been of the through neck/ribs built on the back variety, on mine one can still see the “cat walk” at the top of the inside back to which the original neck had been attached. The corner blocks will have been inserted by Böck into the already finished rib corners, and will presumably not fit well in the parts where one cannot see, a clue for this being (on his) the cracks in the rib which do not stop where the block would be inside.
 
If the violin belongs to Martin, I hope he will be willing to go to the expense of having someone repairing it nicely for him and send it back into circulation as what it is.
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Now I'm surprised, that it's your violin visible on the linked website. I hope, it hasn't incommode you.

But it demonstrates, that this violins are rare.

I once had a very similar looking Beck with it's very dark varnish reminding of Vienna.

In addition, the arching of this violins usually are a bit square-edged and high, possibly they worked later in the 19th century after the more "fashionable" flat archings.

There were, as described on the website, much more makers (24 known) in this area, and surely they made cheaper "trade violins", when the business became harder, caused by the saxon/bohemian competitors.

This one was identified by a "local conoisseur" (not a regular expert) for me as a basic, but  typical Wölfelsdorf:

 

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I can't guarrantee, that he was right, but it seems to be probable.

 

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Well a few red faces here perhaps! 

Anyway, I'm not prepared to go as far as to sell mine as a Böck, though I am sure it's a very close relative. Interestingly a very fine early 20th century Silesian violin I have shows a similar "stuck-on" mini-scroll, although there are no other points in common.

Unfortunately I can't go to town on the repairs, as it belongs to the daughter of the previous owner, and she prefers to sell it pretty much "as is". Very hard to price something like that, but it's not going to fall apart and the sound is excellent - trad players in Scotland (as Jacob has hinted) regard such condition issues as badges of pride, so I think it will find its level as a superior campfire violin. In the meantime I will enjoy playing it ....

Thanks for the stimulating and informative discussion. Is it true that Böcks can be very long? The violin I have is on the small side in all respects (back length, width across the body, stop length ....).

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