actual color of the 1716 Messiah Strad


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not telling, it hasn't been polished and overcoated and polished...

True. But that only explains (mostly) the issue with the varnish, not general workmanship discrepancies. There are several weird things. Sometime between 1980 and 1997 someone may have altered the instrument by etching the wrong form letter into the scroll box. And the f holes are so different too. That article is fascinating if you haven't seen it. I'm sure everybody has.

And...perhaps there is a genuine "le messie" but she may not be on display. That possibility is there.

Would love to hear opinions of the info/evidence presented in the new Pollens book too. This is a missive to R.Hargrave in particular and to everyone in general.

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For me orange of the Messie looks quite blunt against the Blunt. :mellow:

 

When I saw it for the first time, I was quite disappointed after having seen a few Strads on auctions before. It looks orange in any light, from any angle. The two were next to each other in subtle light in the Ashmolean's special exhibit in August, and it was no different.  I took a flash light, to enhance the somewhat dull illumination provided by the museum.

 

It is perfect in its proportions, a perfect Stradivarian scroll, perfect edgework, but the orange varnish is not what we got used to see on old instruments. Not at all like the Archinto or Blunt, let alone the Viotti-Bruce. The Tarisio pictures conceal this somewhat, but they are also very badly taken, reflections all over etc - sorry Tarisio.  Better ones here:

http://www.allthingsstrings.com/layout/set/print/Instruments/HISTORY2/Antonio-Stradivari-s-Greatest-Hits-on-Exhibit-in-England

 

No modern maker would dare to sell such an orange colored instrument. Doesn't help that it is reported to have a lousy sound. I sometimes feel violin enthusiasts and some makers adore a failed creation from the master's hand.

 

For me the real beauty in the Ashmolean is undoubtedly the Lupot. If I was a maker, this is what I would try to imitate, but not the Messie.

 

Let's seen how I get away saying this in this forum. :unsure:

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"After three years of intense study, starting with the work of Einstein, Feynman and others, NoUVIR defined the photon

Thanks.  To those of us who didn't invent the photon, the Web site does look a bit bizarre.  By the way, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam uses Philips LEDs, so I'm not too concerned.

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When I make something I use the florescent's to generally make things visible in the shop so I don't bump in to things and I generally do the work under incandescent bulbs to see what the color looks like and get fine detail. The yellow and red spectra are mostly missing from modern made bulbs. Even the full spectrum tubes don't do the trick for me. The direct sunlight is not possible in my shop but Incandescent approximate it the best. Why is it that so many of the honest old trades rely on old technology and materials that are on their way to histories dust bin?  It was always hard to make a living and it keeps getting harder.

 

Oh well enough belly aching. Here's yet another shot of the top of the Messie taken with a hand held with just the ambient Ashmolian lighting from the 90's. As I recall it was a mixture of sunlight from the windows and  florescent's but i could be wrong about the later. 

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 less thickly laid on than usual in violins of the same period.

 

That's interesting, I wonder how thick they originally applied the varnish..

 

 

from the Nouvir site...  a photon is an electron / positron pair orbiting each other...   WTF  ?     LOL  

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Different photos from the web certainly do give wildly different impressions.

 

attachicon.gif1716 Le Messie Strad b corner.jpg attachicon.gif1010031503e1feb5490f7f8ab1.jpg attachicon.gifIMG_1707.jpg attachicon.gifIMG_1710.jpg attachicon.gifIMG_1764.jpg attachicon.gifMessiahF varnish detaill very odd - Copy (4).jpg attachicon.gifratcliff Messiah b.jpg

 

 

 

My guess would be a reddish brown stain into the courser features of the wood, then an intense brilliant yellow staining. Over this a reddish somewhat brownish colored glaze that, depending on lighting, sometimes dominiates but at other times lets the under colors shine through.

 

I'm in the varnishing stage at the moment and these images are really interesting and inspiring. It's amazing how different light and angles brings forth such a color palette and different shades. How do you think the varnsihing technique would have been, several layers of varnish + oil paint color glazes + varnish again?

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I may have sold a few. ;)

You, Strad, del Gesu, Guadagnini to mention a few.

At this summers Strad exhibition I was really lucky to view  exhibits with some of the top guys and girls around.

The general consensus was that Le Messie is significant for it's state of preservation. It seemed coherant with other models but not in the same class as violins like the Alard or Boissier Sarasate which an experienced eye  can immediately see will play better. 

It's an old fashioned view that Strad was a sole creator . I always have to laugh when  I hear theories that JBV made Le Messie...It's a bit of a pigs ear of a violin and JBV would have done 'better'.

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You, Strad, del Gesu, Guadagnini to mention a few.At this summers Strad exhibition I was really lucky to view  exhibits with some of the top guys and girls around.The general consensus was that Le Messie is significant for it's state of preservation. It seemed coherant with other models but not in the same class as violins like the Alard or Boissier Sarasate which an experienced eye  can immediately see will play better. It's an old fashioned view that Strad was a sole creator . I always have to laugh when  I hear theories that JBV made Le Messie...It's a bit of a pigs ear of a violin and JBV would have done 'better'.

The idea is also that relying on JBV for the entire backstory of Le M is problematic in itself. If it were a court case then there would be a reasonable doubt as to it being genuine. There are too many problems. Dendro, f holes, magically appearing identifying marks.

Me...I don't find it that exciting to look at either way. I'd rather have my eyes on a Serafin.

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Are you mormon? They're good at hiding stuff. :P As for Pollens' work, it says more about him than about the Strad which they call 'Le Messie'.

Have you been in my underwear drawers? How could you have figured it out?

Oh...and I think Pollens' work says he's thorough... no matter what anyone else thinks.

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I'm in the varnishing stage at the moment and these images are really interesting and inspiring. It's amazing how different light and angles brings forth such a color palette and different shades. How do you think the varnsihing technique would have been, several layers of varnish + oil paint color glazes + varnish again?

 

Peter,

Take a look at the last photo in post #7.  This is the maple under hi intensity light.  Any patches of "oil paint glazes" would show up a cloudy areas in this kind of light.

Joe

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Apropos of nothing, or maybe something. 

 

I used to work in a museum that had a large gallery about the size of half a city block on one floor. It was a permanent history exhibition with stage after stage of dioramas and displays of of cultural objects which contained the history of the region from prehistory to post moon landing. This hall had well over one thousand light bulbs, various floods and spots of different intensity. There was a storage room for light bulbs with map on the wall charting out which bulbs were in which position in each stage. Every single morning someone had to walk through the entire hall before the museum opened and look for burned out bulbs. This job was easier if you first consulted the map and looked at the time chart dates and calculated which bulbs areas where the oldest. You looked there first. 

 

Then you made notes about which stages had burned bulbs, retrieved the lift, drove it around picked up several bulbs and plugged them in. 

 

Nothing in the hall looked like the color it really was.  If an object had to go to the conservation dept. or to a shop to measured for a new mount of case everything looked totally different in shop light. Could not see a damn thing in that dreary place. But that is the deal, you had to go around with light meter a measure the light to ensure the objects would get too much light. Once the bulb intensity was set you just change them, but setting up new exhibits you have to measure the light and design the cases and room to the light intensity standards set by a conservator or your own working knowledge of the objects. Color often goes out eh window. 

 

Twice I had to visit another museum and was taken into object storage underground to do some consulting on storage.  They showed me a section of the museum that was seldom seen, a bottom basement area behind a secure door then behind a chain link fence. Several 50 gallon drums sitting in fenced of cubicle, each one had human remains of Peruvian indians that had been collected in the 1920's. The "materials" had not been unpacked.....and NAGRA ( North American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act)  rules did not strictly apply, South American remains. 

 

Same museum another storage room, three rare and beautiful Aleutian skin boats (kayaks) were hanging in rope slings from the ceiling. Each one was bending and folded over the rope under its own weight... bad storage, very bad. An Egyptian model ship from a royal tomb was duty a sitting on a box in big metal shelf. 

 

Messiah's color? Just be glad it still exists. 

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Peter,

Take a look at the last photo in post #7.  This is the maple under hi intensity light.  Any patches of "oil paint glazes" would show up a cloudy areas in this kind of light.

Joe

 

Agreed, 'Oil Paint' glasses aren't going to cut it.   Nevertheless, I wouldn't exclude pigment particle glazes as a candidate material/method.   Very small particles can be separated out of a pigment using levigation.  If you use a varnish solvent for levigating, you're on your way to some very good glazes.

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