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L. Prokop violin ID


Kallie

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Hi,

 

Any ideas on this one? Origin? Value? Is it just the usual again?

 

I bought it with intend on restoring. The white/yellow stuff on the ribs seems to be some crack filler that someone used to repair worm damage, but never touched up. Someone also seem to have varnished over the top and sides with clear varnish, and it seems rather blotchy in some places. Should I just leave the varnish alone, or is there a way I can "spread" it around more? Some places you can see it is rather thick with colour varnish, and not at all even.

 

I would definitely have to do quite a bit of touching up with the varnish, mainly in the parts where you can see the yellow/white stuff.

 

The violin has, as you can see, a 1 piece back, 2 piece top, and 4 fake(?) corner blocks. The bass bar is carved in, and the top is scraped smooth. No gauge marks like with some unfinished tops.

 

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing what you think. Sorry if the lighting is a bit bad.

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I've never seen a violin that bears this label that I wanted to sell or work on, much less keep. 

 

I'm not a fan of refinishing, but since it's already been done badly, perhaps you could do better, if your time is cheap or free! 

 

The violin, in the end, has little value, refinished well or poorly, but you can probably make it a decent playing instrument.

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I've never seen a violin that bears this label that I wanted to sell or work on, much less keep. 

 

I'm not a fan of refinishing, but since it's already been done badly, perhaps you could do better, if your time is cheap or free! 

 

The violin, in the end, has little value, refinished well or poorly, but you can probably make it a decent playing instrument.

 

Thank you. Im pretty sure I can make this into a decent, or even good sounding violin with proper strings and setup. :P Will have to see what it sounds like when the interior is repaired and it is all strung up and ready to play.

 

 

Any other opinions on this violin?

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Is this violin anything other than the ordinary violins bearing fake labels?

Since there are literally thousands just like it and with that label, one can hardly speak of a “fake label”. I'm sure though, that by now, you will be able to work out roughly where it was mostly made, even if it was finished in Chrudim

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Since there are literally thousands just like it and with that label, one can hardly speak of a “fake label”. I'm sure though, that by now, you will be able to work out roughly where it was mostly made, even if it was finished in Chrudim

 

I would say this is a Markneukirchen violin, built on the back (due to the long rib corners almost flush with the back plate, aswell as no real corner blocks), scroll fluting doesnt go all the way into the throat, no beestings with the purfling. Carved in bass bar. I would also think it was made after the 1900s, possibly around 1920s.

 

Is this correct? :)

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One should, I think, try hard to avoid categorically saying what is “correct” or not, rather one is always trying to work out what is most probable. I would suppose that you are not far off, except that, since Chrudim is Bohemian (i.e. K&K) and Markneukirchen was Saxon, it would have involved paying customs taxes as well as the higher Saxon wages for the Prokop firm to import these instruments from Markneukirchen. Since these were low priced school instruments, it seems almost a no brainier, that they would have been sourced on the Bohemian side of the border i.e. Schönbach or nearby. I am not sure to what extent these instruments were “finished” in Chrudim, many certainly seem to have their own characteristic varnish.

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One should, I think, try hard to avoid categorically saying what is “correct” or not, rather one is always trying to work out what is most probable. I would suppose that you are not far off, except that, since Chrudim is Bohemian (i.e. K&K) and Markneukirchen was Saxon, it would have involved paying customs taxes as well as the higher Saxon wages for the Prokop firm to import these instruments from Markneukirchen. Since these were low priced school instruments, it seems almost a no brainier, that they would have been sourced on the Bohemian side of the border i.e. Schönbach or nearby. I am not sure to what extent these instruments were “finished” in Chrudim, many certainly seem to have their own characteristic varnish.

 

Thank you very much for the excellent explanation.

 

One last question, if you wouldnt mind: To what extent has this violin's varnish been tampered with? Would you say it was completely re-varnished, or does some of it still look original? It would definitely appear as if someone brushed over the top and side with clear varnish, and maybe tried adding color before that. But the back looks in better condition, with no glossy appearance like the front.

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To me this violin looks completely 'done over'.

 

Thank you, Craig. :) 

 

It would be interesting to know when this was done. If it was done by the same person who applied the crack filler, then the filler wouldn't have been noticed, as it would be varnished over.

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Thank you very much for the excellent explanation.

 

One last question, if you wouldnt mind: To what extent has this violin's varnish been tampered with? Would you say it was completely re-varnished, or does some of it still look original? It would definitely appear as if someone brushed over the top and side with clear varnish, and maybe tried adding color before that. But the back looks in better condition, with no glossy appearance like the front.

It is foolish to try and judge varnish by pictures on a computer. The varnish on many Prokop fiddles is rather brittle and chippy, and requires ages of re-touching, causing one to wonder if it is worth it. I could rather imagine, that on your violin, someone in S. Africa decided to take a “short cut” and just re-varnished the lot.

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Thank you, Craig. :)

 

It would be interesting to know when this was done. If it was done by the same person who applied the crack filler, then the filler wouldn't have been noticed, as it would be varnished over.

 

Except, if and when you varnish over 'crack filler', it's most likely still visible.

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If anyone is interested, Ive been working for a while on the front plate, specifically the varnish. I tried to even it out more, as it was very uneven, and to spread the color around a bit. I also worked on removing that horrible shine it had, especially due to it being so uneven. Here are some pictures. Note, this is not finished yet, especially around the right F hole. I did NOT add/apply any more varnish to the violin.

 

These 2 photos aren't before and after. Just in different lighting.

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