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Old Scottish violin


bungling_amateur
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I was visiting a friend recently and hanging on their wall was this rather sad old fiddle. I thought it looked a bit interesting so I quizzed them about it, aparrently it had belonged to their grandfather (this would put it back to early 20th century), and he had brought it from Scotland over to Ireland, and it was not new when he had it (not sure if he got it from an older relative or bought it secondhand - I can ask)

 

I spotted the old-style neck and the aparrent inscription monogrammed onto the front? The neck is loose and wobbly, I told them it was interesting and that they should look after it.

 

DSCF3254.jpgDSCF3277.jpgDSCF3256.jpgDSCF3262.jpgDSCF3266.jpgDSCF3272.jpg

 

I have a lot more closeups if people want to see them. Looking forward to hearing your opinions on this thing!

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The model is quite narrow for Saxon.  And we don't know if it's a through neck or if the neck is nailed or screwed.

 

We need more images: corners, scroll...

 

The overstand hints at early-to-mid 19th c.

 

There were quite a few minor makers in Scotland at that time, but Collinson also says (that William Matheson says) that Saxon violins were imported into Scotland by the boatload throughout the 19th century.

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I like to think I can see a bit of the Aberdeen school in this - in particular the way the scroll wall is quite concave as it approaches the top of the volute. Though you also see this on Degani ...

And the very small scroll eye ... Cramond, Ruddiman, Murdoch etc.

The purfling doesn't make me think of Saxony, and the back is quite credible for mid-19th century Scottish.

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Scottish- Edinburgh makers that I found-  Hardie, Kennedy and Macintosh.  I guess Edinburgh is in Scotland?

At the risk of repeating myself :) there were a lot of minor makers in Scotland at this time. You can read about quite a few of them here:

https://books.google.com/books?id=XBgQAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Baptie+musical+scotland&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qzw4Vd64GY-4ogSnj4DwDA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAQ

Although some of the material is dated...

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Martin, what about the ffs? The diagonal elongation of the lower eyes is a rare thing, but found on some early English instruments. Not the usual Mk/Sch Stainer-Klotz caricature, anyway. And the faded purfling... have you seen that on other Scots fiddles? Mk/Sch would be a gradational fade.

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At the risk of repeating myself :) there were a lot of minor makers in Scotland at this time. You can read about quite a few of them here:

https://books.google.com/books?id=XBgQAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Baptie+musical+scotland&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qzw4Vd64GY-4ogSnj4DwDA&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAQ

Although some of the material is dated...

I found 9 more makers in just the first 50 pages.

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In my eyes there's absolutely nothing, what would exclude a Saxon violin from the mid 19th - neither the faded purfling, nor the scroll, the narrow pattern and the wood of the back. That's all very common with this origin, they can vary in a quite wide range.

But for that I'm not very familiar with scottish violins, I can't see anything what would exclude this also -_- .

The blackened maple fingerboard could even give evidence for a Salzkammergut (if it's oriinal).

 

The violin has a certain charme, so I'm curious.

 

 In fact, we need more detailed photos, like mentioned above, from scroll, rib joints, neck heel etc. A through neck is easy to recognize at the narrow and squarish end block, but I'm guessing, that's what we see here. The neck looks like beech.

 

When there are many 19th scottish makers to be found, how can we know, if they really made violins or just finished and sold some imported boxes, as it was usual at this time in other places?

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Blank Face,

 

it's really not common to find rehashed Schoenbach boxes with Scottish labels. Scotland had a very strong violin-making tradition (professional and amateur) which tended to be linked to the equally strong musical tradition - the rules of construction tended to follow the English makers, with over-generous blocks and big edges, often adding a few belt and braces/protestant refinements such as huge screws through the top block or down from the fingerboard to secure the neck. By the mid-late 19th century a lot of pattern-makers had moved into violin-making - their woodwork was exquisite, and raised the bar for Scottish making in general.

 

So the fact that this could conceivably be a Saxon violin has me thinking now that it probably is a Saxon violin, simply because it isn't quite idiosyncratic enough to be Scottish. The corners and the blocks would be decisive for me in this case, one way or another.

 

I am no big authority (that would be David Rattray) but I have seen a few hundred Scottish violins, and with almost all of them it is VERY obvious that they were made by the maker in question, and not always in a good way! There are some commercial makers/dealers whose output is suspiciously high - James Hardie, Willamson Blyth, John Marshall for instance all sold "refinished" violins to pad out their own work, but it wasn't normal practice, and pretty much unheard of pre-1880 or so.

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I believe the question is, in heart of hearts, a Scottish fiddle

 

String it up and try some of the Wm Marshal compositions (legato bow and left hand articulations) If it is select, it will show

 

Just looking at the pictures ~ there may be something there

 

If so, value???? priceless (as a family heirloom )

 

Jim  

Edited by seammc
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So the fact that this could conceivably be a Saxon violin has me thinking now that it probably is a Saxon violin

 

That's quite a sentence to write in big letters at the top of this website :D:lol::P !

 

Although it's a sympathic thought, that it is a scottish violin as long it has a scottish heart, a brave one, no matter where it was born :wub: .

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