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Dear Forum Members and Readers,

 

Short version:

I am seeking to acquire an old Viennese style tailpiece as shown in the photo below. Please message me here if you have one or have a lead for me or if you don't have an account and are reading, email me at EdHeidegger@gmail.com.

 

Longer version:

If you have followed the ups and downs, highs and lows, twists and turns of the Plunge thread, you might have noticed that a couple of years back my uncle gave me my late grandfather's old Viennese master violin, made in 1778. Since receiving it I have had it identified, authenticated, and restored/repaired into fine form, with a lot of help along the way from noted forum members, one in particular. The main repair (done by an old friend) was fixing the angle of the neck.

 

I do very much want to bring the violin back to an as-close-to-authentic state as possible. I believe the pegs to be pretty old. The tailpiece that it came with is modern. I have since acquired an older tailpiece sort of like that in the images but it has been identified by an expert as a later german mass-produced tailpiece that was modified to slightly resemble the tailpieces in the image below. Simply put, I would be overjoyed to be able to bring further post-baroque originality to this instrument that is very meangingful to me and my family.

 

I am asking the help of the wide-reaching arms of the forum members and those reading to put me in touch with someone who has an old Viennese tailpiece like the ones shown in the photos. Thank you in advance for reading this post and for your comments, even if you cannot help me with my quest. Even a discussion about the tailpieces below would be appreciated. Please message me if you have any leads. If you are reading and don't have an account, please email me at EdHeidegger@gmail.com.

 

I am also interested in old Viennese violin fittings (pegs, buttons, etc.) but the tailpiece is my primary item of interest.

 

Cheers

 

viennese-violin-tailpieces-vienna-austria.jpg

post-66674-0-99463600-1435977398_thumb.jpg

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Hi Dwight,

 

I imagine a tailpiece maker could fashion a new one for me. If after trying for a long long time and not being able to find an authentic original one, I would consider having one made. I appreicte your post and interest. Hope you are doing well.

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A few thoughts on period Viennese Tail pieces:

The pictured tail pieces in the OP are all typical of Viennese Tail pieces of the 18th and early 19th C. The attachment “tail-gut” goes through the bottom side of the tail piece from the underneath, in contrast to a modern tail piece where the tail gut enters through two holes drilled in the bottom end of the tail piece. For this reason, the lower end of the tail piece is higher above the belly, which can be useful with some rather more extreme arching’s, since there is no need to worry that the tail piece might fowl on the belly (prominent on the “whys does my violin have a rattle” check list!) further the bottom saddle need only be like an ebony replacement of the edge, where as a modern one might have a total height of up to about 7 or 8 mm (still higher, and there is a danger of “cantilevering”). A further difference, is that hardly an “over the tail piece” style chin rest will be attachable. For this reason, Bass Clef's aspirations might require him having an “authentic” bottom saddle as well, not to mention him ditching his chin rest. Should he have a “modern” bottom saddle, and wish to avoid having to have it changed, an alternative would be to search for a tail piece such as the one illustrated on page 136 of his Geissenhof book, which is slightly later (perhaps mid 19th C.) but still “period” and such as one might expect to find on an old Viennese violin.

I would expect an original authentic Stadlmann tail piece to be of pine, with a ebony veneer on the front. The metalwork, of silver wire, soldered to the silver shield (various shapes). Cheaper examples of the time can be of a solid cheaper wood , e.g. pear, stained black, with brass metalwork. Original Viennese tail pieces can occasionally be found in the junk boxes of violin makers who got exasperated trying to attach a modern chin rest. It is possible of course to make one, although fairly expensive to get a silversmith to do the metal work. From the pictured ones, I would doubt the authenticity of the top left one, and the two bottom right ones, since I have only come across genuine ones with a large hole and a slit, to thread the string onto, so I have the suspicion that the three with four tiny string holes are just slaves of the contemporary “baroque violin” lore.

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On 4. 7. 2015 at 4:38 AM, BassClef said:

Dear Forum Members and Readers,

 

Short version:

I am seeking to acquire an old Viennese style tailpiece as shown in the photo below. Please message me here if you have one or have a lead for me or if you don't have an account and are reading, email me at EdHeidegger@gmail.com.

 

Longer version:

If you have followed the ups and downs, highs and lows, twists and turns of the Plunge thread, you might have noticed that a couple of years back my uncle gave me my late grandfather's old Viennese master violin, made in 1778. Since receiving it I have had it identified, authenticated, and restored/repaired into fine form, with a lot of help along the way from noted forum members, one in particular. The main repair (done by an old friend) was fixing the angle of the neck.

 

I do very much want to bring the violin back to an as-close-to-authentic state as possible. I believe the pegs to be pretty old. The tailpiece that it came with is modern. I have since acquired an older tailpiece sort of like that in the images but it has been identified by an expert as a later german mass-produced tailpiece that was modified to slightly resemble the tailpieces in the image below. Simply put, I would be overjoyed to be able to bring further post-baroque originality to this instrument that is very meangingful to me and my family.

 

I am asking the help of the wide-reaching arms of the forum members and those reading to put me in touch with someone who has an old Viennese tailpiece like the ones shown in the photos. Thank you in advance for reading this post and for your comments, even if you cannot help me with my quest. Even a discussion about the tailpieces below would be appreciated. Please message me if you have any leads. If you are reading and don't have an account, please email me at EdHeidegger@gmail.com.

 

I am also interested in old Viennese violin fittings (pegs, buttons, etc.) but the tailpiece is my primary item of interest.

 

Cheers

 

viennese-violin-tailpieces-vienna-austria.jpg

post-66674-0-99463600-1435977398_thumb.jpg

Hello!

I have a questions. How is catch the tailgut in this type of tailpiece? What is this small rectangle on bottom?

Thanks!

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18 hours ago, Húslař said:

But I think tailgut made from gut (and ebony rectangle).

 

I don't know if I'm understanding you right, but this sort of tailpiece works with metal wire tailgut only. There's no ebony rectangle, what's visible under the metal plate is the bottom end of the tailpiece, if it's that what you meant.

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1 hour ago, lpr5184 said:

Is the wire also silver?  Silver is soft. Wouldn't it be prone to stretching?

Sultana23.jpg.c5facf20316f5d67a5755a0690c1cfa1.jpg

I think the danger of wire stretching and breaking, causing several injuries, led to the abandoning of this construction.

But I'm very curious to see more of this tailpiece, too, and more of the violin - is it your's? It reads "Sultana", from the other thread?

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The instrument's owner is Colm Mac Con Iomaire. It will be featured in the Perry Sultana thread I have started, The photos were taken by Conor Russell and shared with me.

I'll post more of this fiddle as I progress through the build but here are two more of the tailpiece.

Eric- These are the same ones I sent to you awhile ago.

I'm  interested making a similar tailpiece and was curious about the silver wire used. It seems to be holding up fine on this fiddle. Conor would know more about that though.

Thanks for the info BF.

Sultana7.jpg.432afd6378c066f99dc5c9880362733c.jpgSultana6.jpg.1fca958d58028256969939508f821678.jpg

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On 9. 9. 2017 at 11:12 AM, Blank face said:

I don't know if I'm understanding you right, but this sort of tailpiece works with metal wire tailgut only. There's no ebony rectangle, what's visible under the metal plate is the bottom end of the tailpiece, if it's that what you meant.

:) You have true. My eyes was wrong. :D

Thanks!

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Very interesting project, of course!  I would consider making or having made a spruce core, ebony veneered replica of the type Herr Saunders describes. I might be able to supply you with some plan drawings to get you close, if you choose to take it on yourself. Another member here has written a really nice tutorial on making a Baroque fingerboard in a similar style that outlines the veneer technique you'd want to use. 

I would, personally, be quite leery of using the alloy wire tailgut, because if it happens to "give", the snapped wires could put an eye out. As long as you're willing to be somewhat flexible on authenticity, I'd start by doing as Saunders suggested and replacing the saddle with a flush edge piece, then use a nice thick tailgut, ~2.5mm, to secure the tailpiece. There are a few ways you can tie the tailgut, and if you choose to go that route I'd be happy to show you some photos. Best of luck! 

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4 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Very interesting project, of course!  I would consider making or having made a spruce core, ebony veneered replica of the type Herr Saunders describes. I might be able to supply you with some plan drawings to get you close, if you choose to take it on yourself. Another member here has written a really nice tutorial on making a Baroque fingerboard in a similar style that outlines the veneer technique you'd want to use. 

I would, personally, be quite leery of using the alloy wire tailgut, because if it happens to "give", the snapped wires could put an eye out. As long as you're willing to be somewhat flexible on authenticity, I'd start by doing as Saunders suggested and replacing the saddle with a flush edge piece, then use a nice thick tailgut, ~2.5mm, to secure the tailpiece. There are a few ways you can tie the tailgut, and if you choose to go that route I'd be happy to show you some photos. Best of luck! 

"if you choose to go that route I'd be happy to show you some photos"

Yes, show us. ;)

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On 9/9/2017 at 2:11 PM, lpr5184 said:

The instrument's owner is Colm Mac Con Iomaire. It will be featured in the Perry Sultana thread I have started, The photos were taken by Conor Russell and shared with me.

I'll post more of this fiddle as I progress through the build but here are two more of the tailpiece.

Eric- These are the same ones I sent to you awhile ago.

I'm  interested making a similar tailpiece and was curious about the silver wire used. It seems to be holding up fine on this fiddle. Conor would know more about that though.

Thanks for the info BF.

Sultana7.jpg.432afd6378c066f99dc5c9880362733c.jpgSultana6.jpg.1fca958d58028256969939508f821678.jpg

If you decide to make a similar tailpiece, for a violin, consider making two and mailing one to me. Message me if this might be a reality and we can talk. Your consideration is much appreciated. Anyone else reading this that can make me a replica of the tailpiece style in the OP, please post or message me. Thank you.

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1 hour ago, BassClef said:

If you decide to make a similar tailpiece, for a violin, consider making two and mailing one to me. Message me if this might be a reality and we can talk. Your consideration is much appreciated. Anyone else reading this that can make me a replica of the tailpiece style in the OP, please post or message me. Thank you.

Do you want the silverwork including the wire as well?

 

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1 hour ago, lpr5184 said:

Do you want the silverwork including the wire as well?

 

Silverwork, yes. wire, maybe not if it's dangerous to use. What do you think? What are your plans for the one you will produce? Thanks for responding. It will be used on a modernized old Viennese instrument. It should be functional, with option for fine tuners, but have the look of an 18th century Viennese style tailpiece.

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22 hours ago, BassClef said:

Silverwork, yes. wire, maybe not if it's dangerous to use. What do you think? What are your plans for the one you will produce? Thanks for responding. It will be used on a modernized old Viennese instrument. It should be functional, with option for fine tuners, but have the look of an 18th century Viennese style tailpiece.

I don't have any solid plans yet for making a tailpiece just some ideas. I'd like to keep as much of the spirit of the tailpiece as possible by copying the outline and shape. I don't think I will use a silver wire but instead make the underside like a modern tp with the holes coming out of the back. I may or may not copy the silver rectangle piece and  also may inlay some mammoth ivory like the original.

These are just ideas. Making one may prove to be too difficult. Have you tried asking R. Hansell? They make baroque tailpieces and I think they may do custom work.

 

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Here is an Original (I am pretty sure) tail piece belonging to a Stadlmann Cello that I have in bits in my cupboard. The Cello would be from 1780ish, and remains in it's original state, although it has proved tasty for wood worms. The “tail gut” is made of 2mm diameter silver wire, which was soldered onto the squarish silver plate. This tail piece and “gut” is the best part of a quarter of a millennium old, and (should you ignore a little tarnish) in perfect nick. As such, I would qualify any worries that silver might stretch or break that might have been expressed in this thread as abject bollocks. Some previous owner (presumably) has had his initials engraved on the silver plate. The wooden part is made of some fruit wood, I think pear, although that is a little difficult to be dogmatic about because of the black stain. The front surface is a roughly 2,5mm thick ebony veneer.

 

To save anyone’s time, I will not be parting company with it:rolleyes:

 

 

Foto 1.JPG

Foto 2.JPG

Foto 3.JPG

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An option for silver wire may be a silver alloy.  Using my google-fu there are multiple options such as agcu (coin silver) that retains most of the optical and corrosion resistance properties with increased tensile strength.  Unfortunately, I didn't understand the tensile strength numbers as far as how much tension would break the wire and the amount the wire would stretch.  Here some information.  Maybe someone else can make better sense of it than me.  http://www.doduco.net/media/34482/silver_silver_alloys__englisch_24-10-2011.pdf

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