How did a reddish violin look when new in the 1690 - 1785 era - Cremona?


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colophony and rosin are both cooked 'sap' (more correctly called balsam or oleoresin, the thick sticky stuff that comes out of a wound in a tree)

 

Making varnish from rosin vs oleoresin can result in very different products.

 

I believe that 'greek pitch' is the oleoresin of a pine.

 

Amber is ancient fossilized oleoresin

 

The oleoresin of a tree constitutes, among other things, the tree's immune system. It is designed to trap and inhibit insect infestation , it contains anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. The volatiles that evaporate from the oleoresin of pine trees constitute the solvent turpentine but also serve to signal surrounding trees to mount an immune response in reaction to their neighboring trees' distress.

 

Oded

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Sometimes I start thinking that maybe the exact composition of varnish is not only hard to detect scientifically, but perhaps of little significance.

 

Perhaps the less specific more global choices of material, and our methods of application are more significant.  Like general ratio of resin to oil, instead of exact numbers and specific resins.   Or if the resins are on the secco side (Amber, copal, sandarac) versus the gummy side (mastic, rosin, balsams, Fulton’s instipated turp, etc), instead of exact resins and measures. Choice of viewing varnish as a dried liquid film akin to modern paints and finishes, or as a dried slurry akin to old tempera practice.  Or oil varnish versus spirit versus emulsions.  Or choices about having color in the varnish versus near or in the wood versus combinations of these.  And choices of consistency, pigment wetting, and drying behavior based on how solvents are used, more than on which solvents are used. Etc.

 

Maybe there is no perfect or ideal varnish recipe, just more and less pleasing applications using the whole range of options available to us?    A good cook benefits from using the best ingredients, but can manage with lesser stock.  A poor cook can ruin the food starting from either great or bad ingredients.  Our pleasure in the end depends more completely on the artfulness of the cook than on any exact choice of materials or recipe.

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As I first thought this is more complicated than could imagine.

First I don't know if these these violins where actually red. But some I have some thoughts.

 

-Red coloring matter has been found in these violins by analysis.

 

-Joe Robson, Michael Molnar and I am sure others have seen a deeply pigmented red de Salo Violin - the "red violin" is not a myth.

 

-Coloring woodwork red was a time consuming procedure employed at the era for fine labors.

 

-These Strads DG's etc. could have been lighter colored and something (such as metals) in the top coat made it oxidize more, but why only the top coat, why didn't the exposed (by wear) ground not darken as much? Why did the much older Amati's and early Strads did not darken as much?

 

-What about fading? The Betts thumb scratch on post #4, that says a lot. Even my previous theory of the acidity of the resin or iodine content acting on the red coloring matter along the centuries and fading it goes down the drain.

 

-And the yellowing of the linseed+conifer resin film, did that contribute to a more orangy look? (edit)

 

I know nothing, but the red being worn does make some sense to me, rosin varnishes do wear easily, and as Mikiemax has said his violin has lost some redness after a simple clean up, think about hundreds of years of cleanup.

 

A quote: by Perry Hurt, Conservator for Regional Conservation Services and Noelle Ocon, Associate Conservator of Paintings - North Carolina Museum of Art

Very few original resin coatings exist today; by nature resins discolor, undergoing a chemical change causing yellowing and have therefore been removed through previous campaigns of restoration.

 

A Primer for the Materials, Methods and Techniques of Conservation

At this point my mind and limited experience with Photoshop Lightroom has taken me to these Lady Blunt pict modifications (red + pink+ blue etc), first pict is the original Lady Blunt, the others is what I think it may have looked like back then. (at the moment) Critiques, suggestions are welcome. - - edit

 

I do know I will never achieve something like this, but it's an exercise.

Plans are worthless but planning is everything - Dwight Eisenhower

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post-41255-0-56995100-1393415884_thumb.jpg

post-41255-0-43740600-1393415964_thumb.jpg

Edited by carlobartolini
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As I first thought this is more complicated than could imagine.

First I don't know if these these violins where actually red. But some things stick out for me.

 

 

 

See making madder lakes #82 #86 - these pictures are perfect examples of red a looking varnish that don't distract from the beauty of the wood. This varnish is not about showing off the colour in the varnish it is about showing off the wood.  

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colophony and rosin are both cooked 'sap' (more correctly called balsam or oleoresin, the thick sticky stuff that comes out of a wound in a tree)

 

Making varnish from rosin vs oleoresin can result in very different products.

 

I believe that 'greek pitch' is the oleoresin of a pine.

 

Amber is ancient fossilized oleoresin

 

The oleoresin of a tree constitutes, among other things, the tree's immune system. It is designed to trap and inhibit insect infestation , it contains anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. The volatiles that evaporate from the oleoresin of pine trees constitute the solvent turpentine but also serve to signal surrounding trees to mount an immune response in reaction to their neighboring trees' distress.

 

Oded

 

 

I'm fond of that idea. Like a Red alert. . .

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The oleoresin of a tree constitutes, among other things, the tree's immune system. It is designed to trap and inhibit insect infestation , it contains anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. The volatiles that evaporate from the oleoresin of pine trees constitute the solvent turpentine but also serve to signal surrounding trees to mount an immune response in reaction to their neighboring trees' distress.

 

Oded

 

What this web site doesn't teach us ain't worth learning. Anyone know why I keep getting adverts for 'Psoriasis', and what it is?

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Psoriasis is a very common skin disease. As for why you receive advert, the answer is very simple. they know everything about you, even things you don't know yourself... :)

I myself sometimes receive adverts about how to easily add 1 or 2 inches. But I am 1m75 and I feel absolutely fine like this.... :)

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mudder root  :blink:  :D

 

OK since we're talking red...... I was extracting red color from cochineal using lemon juice as the solvent. I got a nice color and pretty good extraction (intensity) But then I forgot about the jar, when I rediscovered it some weeks later, a fungus had grown inside and transformed the color into a deep deep red violet red.

 

Makes me think about the first person who ate blue cheese or Limburger or drank coffee. I try to remember that microbes are our friends. :wub:  :P  :D 

 

Oded 

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Psoriasis is a very common skin disease. As for why you receive advert, the answer is very simple. they know everything about you, even things you don't know yourself... :)

I myself sometimes receive adverts about how to easily add 1 or 2 inches. But I am 1m75 and I feel absolutely fine like this.... :)

I'm mostly getting popup ads on Maestronet about toilet bowl cleaners. scratcheshead.gif

 

Do I need to hook the suckah up to a water supply and a drain, or somethin'?

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I know why. Its because on my MN profile I gave my age as 104 years.

Strange.  At the age of 104 I would have thought people would receive adverts for coffins, soul sale or insurance against vampire hunters... :)

Believe it or not once I was in a plane and read one of these books they usually provide in the seat back. Inside one of these books I saw a very serious advert for an insurance company selling insurances against werewolves!

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Strange.  At the age of 104 I would have thought people would receive adverts for coffins, soul sale or insurance against vampire hunters... :)

Believe it or not once I was in a plane and read one of these books they usually provide in the seat back. Inside one of these books I saw a very serious advert for an insurance company selling insurances against werewolves!

 

You would not think that strange if you lived in my village.

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Hi,

This may be relevant to this topic! I'm an oldish man and just had a caterac operation on my right eye. Now my "good" left eye sees everything as a dingy faded yellow tinged colour. It is unbelievable!! My red violins look red with my right eye, and yellow with my left!

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I try to remember that microbes are our friends.

 

Oded 

 

I hope so - there are more microbes in your gut than all the human cells in your body.

 

You are just a bag that bacteria have hijacked for their transportation...

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Red wood hue is achieved in the transformation process of bio-chemical wood for the help of resin (gummi amoniacum, but not only) cooked in linseed oil. What is boiled longer, the darker shade. The intensity of the color is achieved in the process of rubbing the mixture on the wood.

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Wow, really well done Roger, your scroll is, well, perfect. I guess they don't call you Roger Hargrave for nothing.

 

Carlo, do see any history related to deriving "red'ish" colors from "purples". Like Han purple, Murex snails, Orcien moss?

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Jezzupe, you speak as if I knew anything about... anything..... I'm only a happy beer drinker who likes to turn book pages.

 

...Purpureo....I know only a little about it, very interesting subject, research that was  resurrected by a certain signore Amati in Modena in the 1700's,  it was not only a color, it was a manner to tint many colors in purple.. some of them:

 

- the black or profound dark.

- the livid  or sombre, called ferrugine (rust)

- the violet hiantino

- the tyrian red, a dark red, as blood

- the dark turquoise of the flower of hyacinth

- the pale turquoise of the flower of mallow

- the yellow of a flour from the flower of violet

- The piercing red color of the buccinum, whelk , the oxiblatta, the  leucoblatta

 

and mixes of the Tyrian red with any of the above mentioned colors...but that stuff, as far as I know stopped being used hundreds of years before the cremonese masters era.

 

Han Purple I do not know, but if Italy is the subject, chinese techniques should not to be ruled out, too much chinese influence coming through diverse paths in time, but for cremonese purposes, I believe Brandmair would have found it if there was any. Rocella tinctoria I know nothing about. 

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