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More on the Messiah Strad, Le Messie


Todd2
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Well part of the problem is that the Hills employed a large number of French craftsmen, although I don't know when this started, perhaps it was later than these fittings. I did rescue one or two partially turned peg heads from the skip after the fire. These were clearly meant to be finished like those on the messiah, but I never saw anyone even capable of doing such work when I was with the firm. The recent history of the family is shrouded in mystery and even half truths. The 'bow inserts' controversy being just one.  

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Oui
 
I had some correspondence with Mr. Cooper's daughter several years ago about his collection. At that time the estate was still being organized. Even for a psuedo-historian it's imperative to keep notes. I keep them - I just don't know where they wind up.  I'm afraid that I lost the contact information. Do you know if he bought them at auction?

 

Are you related?

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Okay...if the violins  arrived at Vuillaume's without fittings - is the style of fittings put on them the fashion of the day...or something reserved for upper class instruments...or something Strad would have put on his own instruments?

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Oui

 

I had some correspondence with Mr. Cooper's daughter several years ago about his collection. At that time the estate was still being organized. Even for a psuedo-historian it's imperative to keep notes. I keep them - I just don't know where they wind up.  I'm afraid that I lost the contact information. Do you know if he bought them at auction?

 

Are you related?

[That's interesting,it would be great if you can locate this correspondence.

G.A. Chanot was a brother of Frederick William Chanot, ( my great grandfather)./quote]

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I am pretty sure the Messiah has those fittings when Vuillaume exhibits three Strads in the Paris exhibition.  Can't remember which book shows the photos.  I believe that most of the fiddles Vuillaume received from the Tarisio estate were sans fittings. 

My bad memory.  1872 South Kensington Museum.  the Strad Messiah Issue, page 46 has the photos. 

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Did he antique a copy of an original that had no wear? Are the copie's corners rounded off though use or were they made that way? Is this a dumb question? I'm not firing on all cylinders today. :unsure:

 

There were quite a few instruments left when the Strad workshop was sold. Since times were hard in Cremona during this period, perhaps it was simply an instrument that, along with the others, was not sold. We revere it now because it looks new, but back then they were all new. And before a debate starts about why it might not have sold. Please remember that, for many reasons, a lot of great instruments have not sold immediately.

But now, please don't let us get into another is it isn't it debate. Any one who still thinks it isn't after all that has happened these last few years, doesn't deserve a voice on this site.

I too thought so. My first impression was that it was much more similar to the Lady Blunt than to the Messie. Apart of the usual wear due to the playing ¿how can the edgework be so different? The Messie is much more crisp and this one is more rounded. Sorry Roger for not deserving a voice here but I'm afraid I am one of those who still think that there is something entirely wrong with all this case. Something doesn't match. Simply. I apologize for my lack of knowledge. I hope I will have enough time and patience to learn enough to change my mind. Till then... I can only apologize...for expresing my opinion.

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Okay...if the violins  arrived at Vuillaume's without fittings - is the style of fittings put on them the fashion of the day...or something reserved for upper class instruments...or something Strad would have put on his own instruments?

These fittings are French or French school. (Possibly made for Hills) They are NOT Italian and NOT original baroque fittings. They are in fact nothing like the kind of fittings that Strad would have used, even when he was being flamboyant. As I had said, somewhere in my head I had this voice telling me that they were made by Vuillaume (or someone in his workshop). However, although this violin appears to be in pristine condition, like most violins, the Messiah has been through the usual changes. The Messiah was one of about one hundred violins (probably not all bowed instruments) that were still in the Strad shop when Antonio died in 1737. Paolo Stradivari eventually sold it to Cozio de Salabue in 1775. Guadagnini, who occasionally worked for Cosio, appears to have been the first violin maker to open the Messiah. The violin was then sold to Tarisio. In 1854/5, the Messiah was sold by Tarisio's family, to Vuillaume who 'modernized' it. He certainly replaced the bass-bar, because the Hills replaced his bar; declaring Vuillaume’s bar to be too weak. (The original Strad bar is in the Ashmolean museum.) Vuillaume also lengthened the neck. The Hills purchased the violin from Alard’s (Vuillaume's son in law), family in 1890. These fitting were applied some time after the violin had been converted to modern. Exactly when I don't know, but it makes sense that Vuillaume was responsible for them. 

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