Ebay Gand & Bernardel


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I find the best Bernardel-like feature of this ebay violin is the choice of wood for the back.

The peg holes look brand-new, freshly cut.

 

A real one here:

http://www.netinstruments.com/violins/violin/a-fine-violin-gand-bernardel-paris/image/39857.jpg/

or a Gustave Bernardel here:

http://www.brobstviolins.com/gallery/large.asp?I=26

The earlier Gand & Bernardels can be bright red, later Gustave prefered more subtle red tones.

 

They are all very similar: Wide prufling (1.5mm), amazingly accurate, the f-holes always have this slant from the outside, causing the reflection seen in the photos above. The walls of the peg box wide (too narrow and too rounded in the ebay violin). Also the scroll is very precisely shaped all the way around, even at its very end over the peg box, that is hard to access (I aways wondered how they did this, with a chisel from the ourside or with a bent chisel from the front). They are usually stamped on the back just in front of the blocks.  Linings very wide.

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I find the best Bernardel-like feature of this ebay violin is the choice of wood for the back.

 

With all due respect, you are comparing apples to oranges? The eBay fiddle bears no resemblance to G&B fiddles that own or have ever seen.  The f holes tell the story quite clearly. Why are you making comparisons? I don't see the point.  

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With all due respect, you are comparing apples to oranges? The eBay fiddle bears no resemblance to G&B fiddles that own or have ever seen.  The f holes tell the story quite clearly. Why are you making comparisons? I don't see the point.  

 

With all due respect, CCM, I believe all uguntde is suggesting is there is a similarity in the vibrant figure of the wood used on the eBay fiddle to that which selected by Gand & Bernardel and other French makers of the period... and I'd agree.  Very true one can find similar stuff on non-French fiddles as well.  Again, looking at authentic examples answers all the required questions of authenticity here.  There are now 4 to look at.  Thank you for submitting yours.

 

 

 

 

 Also the scroll is very precisely shaped all the way around, even at its very end over the peg box, that is hard to access (I aways wondered how they did this, with a chisel from the ourside or with a bent chisel from the front). They are usually stamped on the back just in front of the blocks.  

 

Under the volute?  Probably with a knife... as I believe Lupot did.

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There may be someone out there who knows what was in the varnish (in the notes eventually passed Caressa & Francais, then J. Francais), but I do not.  Whatever it is, it's a little sensitive to alcohol and reacts similarly to some sandarac based varnishes I've had experiences with, but that itself is not conclusive by any means.  I'm also not sure of the material used to accomplish the color, though I do have some notes about of the lakes/pigments supposedly favored by a few other 19th century French makers, though I'm not sure I'd share them as facts (I'm not sure they are).  Most make sense and I've played with a few of them.

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It's a keeper.

Indeed.  It came out the estate a somewhat famous studio musician who on occasion played with Heifetz.  This G&B has no cracks that I can see.  I even checked with a friend's endoscope. I have other bows/instruments from the same estate and it is apparent that he was very a discerning collector who befriended some of the finest dealers and makers of his day.

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I was told by a French maker that the pigments in the Gand & Bernardel, and Caressa & Francais instruments included red lead, and that many of the varnishers suffered from heavy metal poisoning.

I have also heard that heavy metal was involved, but I'd assumed it was white lead which was used in the color extraction process.  Never considered red lead, but I suppose that makes a good deal of sense.

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I have also heard that heavy metal was involved, but I'd assumed it was white lead which was used in the color extraction process.  Never considered red lead, but I suppose that makes a good deal of sense.

Would it lead to health issue for the player? 

 

I remember some brass instrument would have a warning sign on that issue (usually lower end)

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Another toxic bright red pigment that used to be very common is cinnabar, more commonly known in the arts as vermillion or Chinese red.  It's the major ore of mercury, but most of it used as pigment is made commercially by combining metallic mercury with sulfur to better control the purity.  If you don't chew on your violins or throw them in the fireplace, these heavy metal pigments shouldn't be a major hazard, particularly with the well nigh universal modern use of chin and shoulder rests..

 

Cadmium pigments are far less toxic than either lead or mercury based pigments and have often been used in place of them.  Again, eating them or using them as incense is a bad idea :lol:

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Lead oxides once in linseed oil or any other varnish are not of any danger. The red lead oxide is what is is typical old fashioned red car primer. Most people have touched it at some point. Water solubility of the compounds is not very good, this is why it makes nice crystals, and the substances is less likely to be toxic if insoluble. 

So don't worry about Gand violins ...

 

All of these substances are dangerous to work with, especially the powders must not be inhaled.

I would not prefer any Cadmium salt or oxide over those of lead.

Violin makers may not be aware of typical lab regulations: a chemist would use any such substance only under a certified hood. I think it is best not to use them as powders. Of course, no food in any area were chemicals are used.

 

Interestingly, when Gustave Bernardel worked on his own in his later years (from 1892 until about 1901) he never used bright reds again. All these violins are more subtly colored.

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