Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

What Model Is This a Copy Of?


Kirk Hunter
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Here's a list of the most frequently copied models: (The order reflects the originals' approximate time in making history, oldest first.)

 

1. Maggini

2. Nicolo Amati

3. Stainer

4. Stradivari ( "golden period," ie, ca 1700 and later.)

5. late del Gesu (1740 - 44 or 45)

 

This is clearly not a Maggini model.  I don't know enough about Stainer to say anything other than this maker didn't use Stainer f-holes.  So, on very little evidence I'd exclude Stainer. 

 

We're left with N. Amati, golden period Strad, and late del Gesu.  The corners remind me more of N. Amati and del Gesu than they do of golden period Strad.  However, the f-holes don't look elegant enough to be trying for Amati and look too refined to be late del Gesu.  They're not-so-carefully-cut Stradivari f holes.

 

I think this model isn't on the above list, but is a del Gesu trying to be a Strad, ie, one of the early del Gesu models, like the ca 1730 Kreisler del Gesu at the Library of Congress.

 

Hope this starts a fruitful discussion by those who know more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a list of the most frequently copied models: (The order reflects the originals' approximate time in making history, oldest first.)

 

1. Maggini

2. Nicolo Amati

3. Stainer

4. Stradivari ( "golden period," ie, ca 1700 and later.)

5. late del Gesu (1740 - 44 or 45)

 

This is clearly not a Maggini model.  I don't know enough about Stainer to say anything other than this maker didn't use Stainer f-holes.  So, on very little evidence I'd exclude Stainer. 

 

We're left with N. Amati, golden period Strad, and late del Gesu.  The corners remind me more of N. Amati and del Gesu than they do of golden period Strad.  However, the f-holes don't look elegant enough to be trying for Amati and look too refined to be late del Gesu.  They're not-so-carefully-cut Stradivari f holes.

 

I think this model isn't on the above list, but is a del Gesu trying to be a Strad, ie, one of the early del Gesu models, like the ca 1730 Kreisler del Gesu at the Library of Congress.

 

Hope this starts a fruitful discussion by those who know more.

Well, it doesn’t seem to be any of those does it. I don’t think the term “copy” (of anything) is really justified. It seems more likely that someone has bought himself a nondescript “white” violin and made a hamfisted job of “antiquing” it (with a screwdriver it would seem?). If the “white box” comes from Bubenreuth, Szeged, China or elsewhere would be a suitable topic for a fruitless argument.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it doesn’t seem to be any of those does it. I don’t think the term “copy” (of anything) is really justified. It seems more likely that someone has bought himself a nondescript “white” violin and made a hamfisted job of “antiquing” it (with a screwdriver it would seem?). If the “white box” comes from Bubenreuth, Szeged, China or elsewhere would be a suitable topic for a fruitless argument.

 

That answers the question of this fiddle's origins, but doesn't answer Kirk's question of model -- "Does anyone have any idea as to what model or maker it most closely resembles?" -- unless the answer is supposed to be that this fiddle is unrelated to any model of violin ever made before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That answers the question of this fiddle's origins, but doesn't answer Kirk's question of model -- "Does anyone have any idea as to what model or maker it most closely resembles?" -- unless the answer is supposed to be that this fiddle is unrelated to any model of violin ever made before.

 

I think it's related to ALL of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kirk,

 

It's a nice looking violin, with probably standard dimensions, and the antiquing looks acceptable, not overdone.   It looks well set up, as much as one can judge from the photo of the top.  If you like the tone, then you have a successful violin in tone and appearance, regardless of model.

 

Getting back to model, what does the label state?  Does it give any indication of a model?  I'm not suggesting that label determines model. It doesn't.  But it would be interesting to know what historical model the manufacturer was associating with the fiddle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Skiing Fiddler:

 

Actually, there is no label, but what appears to be some very illegible pen marks.

 

As to tone, it's really good.  The A is a bit "dark" for me, but I usually like violins that are exceptionally bright.  The criteria I use to judge are:

 

1 - Responsiveness and projection (Notes should practically "jump" off the strings with very little bow effort, and volume [projection] should be powerful.)

2 - Evenness across strings

3 - Brightness (Brighter is better, but never "tinny, shrill or thin.")  

4 - Size (Must have a "big" sound without being "tubby")

5 - All of the above must yield good recordings.  (Since most all of the violin/viola work I do is via the Internet and programming, the fiddle MUST record well!)

6 - "Gotta have it" (Upon playing the thing, it makes me want to play it more.  

 

Some of my other really good-sounding instruments that recorded well really "bugged" me whilst I was actually playing them.  This one not only meets all of the above, but I actually love playing the beast.  My ONLY teensy quibbles are wishing the A string had a little more "bite" above 3rd position, and that the G string would be a tad clearer above the A-5th position.  It should be noted that I've owned REALLY expensive Italian violins before (over $100K) and this one still sounds and records better than any so far.  Just wish the visual aesthetic was a little less "hamfisted".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wish the visual aesthetic was a little less "hamfisted".

Dear Kirk,

I you would excuse me making a purely linguistic enquiry. Does the expression “ham-fisted” sound at all strange in American? I have had difficulty with American jargon on this forum before and since you have parroted it twice, I was just wondering. It is a perfectly normal expression in the ENGLISH language. Here in Austria I would say “patschert” instead of “ham-fisted”. It would be exceedingly “patschert” for instance, if Ski were to stab his modern violin dozens of times with the sharp end of a screwdriver and rub dirt into the dents to feign the appearance of an older instrument (go on Ski, get it out of your system).

On a violin note: There are many impossible violins that sound really good, just as there are beautiful (expensive) ones that sound like rubbish, so one is well advised to avoid conflating the two issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Kirk,

I you would excuse me making a purely linguistic enquiry. Does the expression “ham-fisted” sound at all strange in American? I have had difficulty with American jargon on this forum before and since you have parroted it twice, I was just wondering. It is a perfectly normal expression in the ENGLISH language. Here in Austria I would say “patschert” instead of “ham-fisted”. It would be exceedingly “patschert” for instance, if Ski were to stab his modern violin dozens of times with the sharp end of a screwdriver and rub dirt into the dents to feign the appearance of an older instrument (go on Ski, get it out of your system).

On a violin note: There are many impossible violins that sound really good, just as there are beautiful (expensive) ones that sound like rubbish, so one is well advised to avoid conflating the two issues.

Hamfisted means "clumsy" or "awkward".  I had never heard that particular word before.  And yes, I would agree it's pretty hamfisted.  But I've seen a LOT worse, too!  The best sounding of all of my violins previous to this one were:

 

1 - Jay Haide

2 - Gennaro Vinaccia

5500-1f.jpg

5500-1b.jpg

Sebastian Klotz

DSC00273.JPG

DSC00275.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[Ham-fisted] is a perfectly normal expression in the ENGLISH language.

 

 

It's a perfectly normal pejorative expression in English.  But this is a nice looking fiddle.  Why would one want to be pejorative?  Does the antiquing here compromise the structural integrity of the fiddle?  I wouldn't think so.

 

 . It would be exceedingly “patschert” for instance, if Ski were to stab his modern violin dozens of times with the sharp end of a screwdriver and rub dirt into the dents to feign the appearance of an older instrument (go on Ski, get it out of your system).

 

 

Thank you for your concern for my well being.  The process you recommend would only diminish that well being, not enhance it.

 

I'm no fan of antiquing.  I'm happy to let a new fiddle look like a new fiddle -- no doubt a minority position.  About a dozen years ago I commissioned violins from two professional makers, and requested straight, unantiqued varnish for each instrument.  One maker, who otherwise does beautiful, subtle antiquing, took me at my word and produced a straight varnished fiddle I just love.  The other maker apparently didn't believe anybody would want a straight varnished fiddle and produced a sort of shaded violin, which I returned.

 

Even as someone who doesn't favor antiquing, I don't find the antiquing in Kirk's fiddle especially objectionable.  Like Kirk, I've seen fiddles much more strongly antiqued.  I can remember one fiddle from a contemporary maker which had so much faux soot in the corners that you couldn't see about a half a cm of either branch of the purfling.

 

I've heard of makers using drive way gravel to antique their violins and getting good results.  That makes using a screw driver look like a pretty delicate operation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best sounding of all of my violins previous to this one were:

 

1 - Jay Haide

2 - Gennaro Vinaccia

 

 

Kirk,

 

I admire your goals, standards, and objectivity in selecting your instruments.  You seem willing  to ignore the name and any prestige it might carry and select a violin based on what your tonal needs are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a perfectly normal pejorative expression in English.  But this is a nice looking fiddle.  Why would one want to be pejorative?  Does the antiquing here compromise the structural integrity of the fiddle?  I wouldn't think so.

I was beeing pejorative about stabing the shit out of a modern violin with the sharp end of a screwdriver and rubing dirt into the dents, in a vain attemt to feign age, even should you prefer gravel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Skiing.

 

Ask anyone who knows me that I'm almost OCD about sound on the instruments.  I've luckily had the occasion to try out even the BEST of the "name" violins, including Strad, Guarneri, Balestrieri, Guad...and on and on.  To this day, (soundwise) I would still have passed on all but ONE, even if their price would have been only 5K.  For sound, I'll only pay around that.  For investment, that's a whole different story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The “Screwdriver Method” of antiquing has a long tradition. You can see it often enough all the way back too, for instance cheap 19th C. Schönbach “Dutzendware”, sometimes (in their hurry) with ridiculous uniform 2 scratches on each of all 6 ribs. Even the middle bout ribs, where in the normal run of events a violin would hardly get scratched at all, has the same uniform scratches. Similarly the OP violin has a preponderance of dents under and around the tailpiece and chin rest where one would in real life hardly manage too scratch ones violin at all, similarly, the f wing is pretty bashed, although the edgework and corners are intact. I could go on. This is, in my opinion, the brainless school of violin antiquing, that brought us Celli with chin rest wear etc. Although, I suppose if Ski thinks it's “nice looking”....... :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Although, I suppose if Ski thinks it's “nice looking”....... :rolleyes:

 

Yes, I do think it's a nice looking violin  The outline is pleasing.  The f-holes aren't ugly.  The flame of the maple in its one piece back is strikingly strong.  The spruce top is of a uniformly straight grain and of uniformly medium width. The varnish looks to be of good quality.  The antiquing looks ok.

 

Does the antiquing look like natural wear to someone who knows violins?  A lot of violins valued at tens of thousands of dollars more than this instrument would fail that test.

 

But violins don't have to pass that test.  They just have to look old to a naive audience sitting 20 or more feet away.  This violin would pass that test.

 

Now, if any of those folks upset with the antiquing of this instrument can show me that the antiquing has harmed the structural integrity of the instrument, the strength of the plates, then that would be important and something more important than a trivial debate about the antiquing.  I don't think the structural integrity of the instrument has been compromised by the antiquing.  This kind of "screwdriver method" of antiquing has, after all, a long tradition, we are told.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jacob is right about it being beaten up intentionally to look old.  And in some ways it sure is hamfisted.  But I also must add that I have seen violins with MUCH more aggressively-executed and much worse-looking antiquing.  I especially hate those little black "dots" that you see on most of them.  Here's an example of what I mean by "black dots":

shen_dots.jpg

 

At least the one I originally posted does not have that, or very little of it.  Here's a side/scroll shot of the original violin:

side.JPG

 

 

And about marks near/under the tailpiece.  Those happen a lot naturally as well.  I've even accidentally scratched a violin with a loosened tailpiece where the tuner hit the surface.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...