Sign in to follow this  
JoeG

Violin ID

Recommended Posts

Here's an old battered and shattered violin whose maker could probably be identified without too much difficulty.

The label appears to have been removed, if it was ever labeled at all.

The images have been reduced to 50% original size.

Will post some pics of the head asap.

 

 

Thanks in advance for any help offered,

JoeG

 

 

 

[edit] Though not readily visible in the front view, there is a notch to the north end of the peg box.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure Peter could dendro that ...

The outline looks Mittenwald, maybe late 18th century, but there's a lot missing that would be handy to see.

Looks nice!

Hi Martin,

 

Do you have any suggestions as to which areas should be pictured?

My photography skills aren't that great, but am willing to receive instruction.

 

Notch in the north peg box wall.

 

 

Belly underside.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting fiddle. Pictures of the throat and back of the scroll and pegbox would help also since you have the top off pictures of the blocks and linings. Did it have one piece upper or lower ribs? Also interesting to look carefully at the varnish and see if the scroll matches the rest. Hopefully Mr. Saunders will put in his two cents after the rest of us have kicked it around a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, now I see the photos of the scroll I haven't a clue ...

The angle of the bassbar is extreme in the extreme - what's that about?

It looks like there's a ghost line from an earlier bar.

Definitely not "the usual." Late 18th c. wouldn't surprise me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, now I see the photos of the scroll I haven't a clue ...

The angle of the bassbar is extreme in the extreme - what's that about?

All I know is that someone from the north east (now deceased) gave the violin to me after letting someone else "restore" it, in the not too distant past.

At least that's what I was told by the last owner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very nice looking 18thc. fiddle. The "chapel" in the top of the pegbox can be found in different schools, like "Vieux Paris" and Venice for instance. I'd need to see the ribs, outside and inside, if possible, and the back of the scroll, how it terminates at the throat, a closeup of the purfling. I'd tend to think Paris 1750 or earlier from what i can see here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very nice looking 18thc. fiddle. The "chapel" in the top of the pegbox can be found in different schools, like "Vieux Paris" and Venice for instance.

 And Mittenwald also. We need to see how it was constructed, corner blocks, linings, rib area at saddle/endpin. Agree with nice and well preserved, but bassbar and patch definitely recent and amateurish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting fiddle. Pictures of the throat and back of the scroll and pegbox would help also since you have the top off pictures of the blocks and linings. Did it have one piece upper or lower ribs? Also interesting to look carefully at the varnish and see if the scroll matches the rest. Hopefully Mr. Saunders will put in his two cents after the rest of us have kicked it around a while.

 

Will try to take some decent views of the blocks, linings and other areas of the interior.

The earlier repair work to the button area seems fairly well done (apparently grafted & veneered).

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Mittenwald also. We need to see how it was constructed, corner blocks, linings, rib area at saddle/endpin. Agree with nice and well preserved, but bassbar and patch definitely recent and amateurish.

The sound post patch appears to have been done at the same time as the button graft & re-necking of the violin.

 

 

The "bar" is rather different but not amateurish at all. It is the end result of a very ignorant and inconsiderate person.

 

Here are a few pictures of the interior:

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sharpened linings laid over the blocks appear to be french, Mittenwald would have inserted linings and blocks which would cover more of the outer ribs than the inner.

Agree, that the patch looks much older as the bar. But it's wide grain could lead to problems when it comes to up and downturns of humidity. Also it seems to be not very even, beside that it's probably simply glued on the surface, not inserted. From outside it looks fine.

Maybe the bar is neatly done and fitted, just a bit off-the-wall reg. position and length :D

"Amateurish" is an improper denomonation, right, some amateurs are doing much better work - I used it just for shortness. Apologize!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upper spruce linings look like replacements. Center bout lower bass spruce/pine lining has worm track, and may be original. There are filled worm holes on the lower center of the back, but can't be sure around the center bout. The bass side willow lower/lower bout lining looks like a replacement. Top block definitely a replacement, lower block similar, so probably a replacement as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upper spruce linings look like replacements. Center bout lower bass spruce/pine lining has worm track, and may be original. There are filled worm holes on the lower center of the back, but can't be sure around the center bout. The bass side willow lower/lower bout lining looks like a replacement. Top block definitely a replacement, lower block similar, so probably a replacement as well.

 

Back lower bout inside:

 

 

Back lower bout outside:

 

{edit]

Back close, pin in worm hole detail:

 

Thanks for your input,

 

JoeG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of things to check the "frenchitude," are the ribs laid into a groove in the back? Are the ribs joined up the middle of the mitre? The "triangular" corner blocks and the linings do look "french-ish."

The ribs are NOT set into grooves in the back.

The mitres to the centre bout ribs are covered above and below, mostly concealing the joint at the point.

The interior blocks were made quite concave, as small as possible consistent with maintaining strength.

 

Back bass side upper corner / purfling / mitre detail:

 

 

Back bass side lower corner / purfling / mitre detail:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very nice looking 18thc. fiddle. The "chapel" in the top of the pegbox can be found in different schools, like "Vieux Paris" and Venice for instance. I'd need to see the ribs, outside and inside, if possible, and the back of the scroll, how it terminates at the throat, a closeup of the purfling. I'd tend to think Paris 1750 or earlier from what i can see here.

 

Initial comparitive analysis of the notch or "chapel" in the north peg box wall.

The term "chapel" is one I am not familiar with. Can you elaborate on this?

The right side depicts a Sanctus Seraphin violin.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could we get a shot of the CB straight down?  jeff

Sure thing, Jeff.

 

top view-upper treble side corner block:

 

 

top view-lower treble side corner block:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Initial comparitive analysis of the notch or "chapel" in the north peg box wall.

The term "chapel" is one I am not familiar with. Can you elaborate on this?

The right side depicts a Sanctus Seraphin violin.

 

attachicon.gifvln_id-14-notch-comparitive-analysis.jpg

The term "chapel" is commonly used by French violin makers to describe the notch at the top of the pegbox. Not a religious reference per se, just an analogy with the rounded top of a chapel.

 

Seraphin is the Venitian maker most noted for putting this feature in his violins, but it is very frequent among Vieux Paris scrolls, although not always 100% present. It seems it was meant to facilitate installing the a-string, much like the hole one sometimes sees in the back of the pegbox in some Prague, Regensburg and Venitian violins, to name a few. In other words, it's one of those features (like most, after all) that isn't definitive in deciding where a violin came from, but can be added to the list of observations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the sound post patch... It has been holding up for a very long time, not causing the top to crack again... do you really think that it should be replaced? Didn't the test of time show the repair is sound?

 

And the bass bar, seen on the thumbnail rather than on the large picture has an s shape, so not onbly is the angle way to extreme, but also is it crooked. May it have been placed at such an extreme angle in order to avoide being parallel to a bass bar crack or something?

 

And the repaired treble f hole.. that seems a rather new and badly done repair... redo or not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The term "chapel" is commonly used by French violin makers to describe the notch at the top of the pegbox. Not a religious reference per se, just an analogy with the rounded top of a chapel.

 

Seraphin is the Venitian maker most noted for putting this feature in his violins, but it is very frequent among Vieux Paris scrolls, although not always 100% present. It seems it was meant to facilitate installing the a-string, much like the hole one sometimes sees in the back of the pegbox in some Prague, Regensburg and Venitian violins, to name a few. In other words, it's one of those features (like most, after all) that isn't definitive in deciding where a violin came from, but can be added to the list of observations.

Can you upload an image of a violin head known to be from the Vieux Paris school bearing a similar mark, for my edification? I find it difficult to establish any connection whatsoever to that notch being an aid to the installation of the a-string. Would it not in fact be more likely that it is the remnant of a pre-drilled "depth" hole, for the purpose of inserting a small chisel to begin hollowing out the uppermost  limit  of the peg box.enclosure? I have personally never seen this feature on anything but old Brescian / Amati / Guarneri school instruments.

Share this post


Link to post
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...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.