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LongNeck

The nature of these stains on the top

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I'm looking at photos of an old violin online, trying to decide whether to drive to take a look at it. 

 

What can be guessed or known from these photos?

 

My main question is regarding the nature of the dark stains on the top.  I notice they have some sharp edges.  There are some light areas surrounded by dark areas.  The treble side of the upper bout is light colored near the edge, while the bass side is dark near the edge.

 

Also the finish on the fingerboard is uneven.  Is that from playing the E string in high positions?

 

Do you see indications of cracks?

 

Thanks for your help.

 

 

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post-53257-0-80810300-1407929794_thumb.jpg

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Some of these dark marks could be from years of dirt and rosin buildup. It should come off with a proper cleaning. The marks on the fingerboard is also most likely caused by rosin buildup.

 

There seems to be 2 cracks at the bottom of the left F-Hole, which seems to have been repaired. But Im speaking under correction here.

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What you see as "dark stains on the top" are heavy accumulations of rosin and dirt on top of the varnish, which also make the fingerboard apear to you to have an uneven finish.  A good cleaning will remove the dirt.

 

It looks like there's a badly repaired crack with varnish loss running out from under the chinrest.

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I'm looking at photos of an old violin online, trying to decide whether to drive to take a look at it. 

 

What can be guessed or known from these photos?

 

My main question is regarding the nature of the dark stains on the top.  I notice they have some sharp edges.  There are some light areas surrounded by dark areas.  The treble side of the upper bout is light colored near the edge, while the bass side is dark near the edge.

 

Also the finish on the fingerboard is uneven.  Is that from playing the E string in high positions?

 

Do you see indications of cracks?

 

Thanks for your help.

It depends what do you want it for and how much it costs, are you looking for something to do up or are you a violinist looking to buy and instrument to play.

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Thanks for the replies so far.

 

If the stains were from dirt and rosin, wouldn't they have indistinct edges?  But the edges are sharp and there are light spots surrounded by dark.  Are those features due to incomplete cleaning attempts?

 

If it's dirty rosin, how would you go about cleaning it, or might it be best to skip the cleaning?

 

I would also welcome remarks about the case.

 

I'll try to get the seller to send me some better photos.

 

Mainly I'm looking for a violin to play.  If it sounds decent now I would consider buying it and improving it later.  I have to drive a couple hours to get much selection of violins.

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From what I can see in the photos I surmise that it is the "usual", and that someone should have put their coffee in a more secure place when their cat was on their bench.  The inlaid tailpiece might be worth getting, and I'd be curious about any markings on the bow.  I wouldn't get one in this condition for a playing violin if they want anything close to retail, as you can't evaluate how it sounds without a set up.

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On the other hand, it looks like it was played by someone or by someones, frequently and continuously for quite a long while. Which does say something about its potential as a well playing, or perhaps a good sounding instrument.

 Are you familiar with the mechanics of making and putting on a new bridge, soundpost, and set of strings?, or will you have to take this beast to a repairman to get it playing again?

You'll certainly have to get the bows rehaired if you don't have another bow ready to go.

 

More and better photos are needed to get a more concrete opinion, but I would guess that this violin does have some potential (at the least) due to the fairly heavy use it indicates - by the dirt accumulation.

Which does look real and not faked. 

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On the other hand, it looks like it was played by someone or by someones, frequently and continuously for quite a long while. Which does say something about its potential as a well playing, or perhaps a good sounding instrument.

 

Yes, I can do a setup if needed, but the seller tells me the sound post is standing and the bridge is in the case. There is a Strad 1738 Cremona label.  Conversation with the seller indicates the fingerboard is ebony and the top seam is tight.  The seller said he didn't see any obvious problems with the pegs.  It's in a consignment shop, belonged to the consigner's grandfather.  Price is $100. 

 

I've been thinking the same as you, that it's a good sign that it seems to have had a lot of use by someone who knew how to play.  The music included is a first position method book though. 

 

Kinda worried about cracks.

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Yes, I can do a setup if needed,...........Conversation with the seller indicates the fingerboard is ebony and the top seam is tight............ Price is $100. 

 

I've been thinking the same as you, that it's a good sign that it seems to have had a lot of use by someone who knew how to play.  The music included is a first position method book though. 

 

Kinda worried about cracks.

$100.00 sounds about right to me.  Good luck, and have a nice drive  :)

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What is your question about the case? It is a double...likely for 2 violins. ..and needs a good dusting. I doubt it has much value on it's own...but that depends on how solid it is (latches, lining, bow holders, etc.)

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What is your question about the case? It is a double...likely for 2 violins. ..and needs a good dusting. I doubt it has much value on it's own...but that depends on how solid it is (latches, lining, bow holders, etc.)

 

Age, quality, value, and anythng it would indicate about those same properties of the violin and bows, if they had been with that case a long time.   And anything else that might be remarkable or interesting to the uninformed, thanks.

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Just generally;

$100 ?

For what's shown in the photo?

 

It looks like a deal to me. Then again, revitalizing old, well used violins and bows, is a large part of my job, and my hobby.

So, I'd be thinking that the violin, when reworked, and the bows (which just from the photo shown, seem to have some decent camber left in them.) are rehaired, and everything is cleaned up... well, I believe that perhaps i'd make perhaps a quick thousand on this item.

At least.

Then again, it would be guaranteed and well repaired.

If I was buying something like this for myself, I would apply the same repair- refurbishment energy to it. 

All in all, I can say that it looks like it would probably be worth the effort.

 

Would you have a valuable instrument, after spending your time and energy on a violin like this? 

That all depends on how you define value.

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Just generally;

$100 ?

For what's shown in the photo?

 

It looks like a deal to me. Then again, revitalizing old, well used violins and bows, is a large part of my job, and my hobby.

 

Thank you.  Yes, for what's shown.

 

I talked with the guy again, and he confirmed two cracks about a half-inch apart, from the bass f-hole to the bottom ribbing.  He said there were no cracks on the treble side.

 

Does that change your answer at all, and if not, what would you probably do about the cracks, if anything?

 

BTW, is it likely the bow hair was ruined by bow bugs?

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Thank you.  Yes, for what's shown.

 

I talked with the guy again, and he confirmed two cracks about a half-inch apart, from the bass f-hole to the bottom ribbing.  He said there were no cracks on the treble side.

 

Does that change your answer at all, and if not, what would you probably do about the cracks, if anything?

 

BTW, is it likely the bow hair was ruined by bow bugs?

  1. No.
  2. Fix them.
  3. Yes.

:)

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Does that change your answer at all, and if not, what would you probably do about the cracks, if anything?

 

  I'd take the top off, and repair it... a crack like this, would not deter me from buying (and then selling) such a violin

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