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JacksonMaberry

A Markie, a Cremonese, and a Chinese walk into a bar...

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Well I got the Italian right!

I haven't been keeping my eye on modern Chinese stuff - I'm impressed.

The "Markie" really mystifies me. Are you quite sure of the date? There was an Albrecht in the 1920s but the label should read Johannes not Johann - Johann Albrecht is a modern trade name. 

Good game BTW!

Yes, you nailed the Cremonese before anyone else! I was impressed because I definitely felt it to be the tricky one due to the varnish. What gave it away?

As for the Albrecht, I suppose I couldn't possibly be certain with what knowledge I have presently, but the style and age seems right to me considering how long it has been in the family. I'm attaching a photo of the label. Damn I need to buy a luthier light from fiddledoug!

post-79096-0-91281800-1458682224_thumb.jpg

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I agree with Don about the ray flecks from good quartering  , could be sandpaper scratches ...but I see it in the upper bouts as well and considering the nature of the workmanship displayed and lack of color overall . I also see it in some spruce from time to time , much as in maple.

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Carl, Don, and James - thank you for weighing in on the rays. So am I to understand that the presence of such rays is indicative of quality wood properly prepared, but that the shoddy varnishing has amplified the effect in an unpleasant way? Thanks in advance. I just haven't really noticed this on a finished instrument before and want to understand it.

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depending on the shop .... lots of very fine fiddles are coming out of china , they have a culture that supports the violin in particular and have done there homework , and are going out to win in several competitions , something about the bridge , tipped me off. 

  Every one knows Cremmonese work has pins on the back, seems a bit obvious but that was my take , that and a sort of "devil may care" attitude in the general workmanship, but I also feel the wings seem to lack the dished areas and also seems to ride in the arch rather than below the arch , something I associate with German and Hungarian work that I have seen.

 on the markie the ribs run out to the ends of the corners .

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Violin B scares the Hell out of me.  I've been predicting this sort of thing for a few years now, and got bitten myself. :rolleyes:  It looks to me like whoever carved it has read Roger's papers and postings, the purfling in particular caught my eye.

 

It also never occurred to me that anyone would have a shiny Cremonese violin sitting around with a corner busted off.  :P  :lol:

 

The Albrecht looks scrumptious.  :) 

 

My resolve to purchase only what I can identify and avoid "Italian" has been considerably reinforced.  :lol: 

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Violin B scares the Hell out of me.  I've been predicting this sort of thing for a few years now, and got bitten myself. :rolleyes:  It looks to me like whoever carved it has read Roger's papers and postings, the purfling in particular caught my eye.

 

It also never occurred to me that anyone would have a Cremonese violin sitting around with a corner busted off.  :P  :lol:

 

The Albrecht looks scrumptious.  :) 

It is actually pretty frightening, I agree.

Regarding the busted corner, that is a source of Deep embarrassment - both for myself as a luthier in training who wishes he could fix it, and for Anna who did the damage with her frog during an impassioned rehearsal of the Bloch Simchas Torah... We don't have a ton of money, so we're saving to have it fixed.

He Albrecht is my personal favorite of the entire lot. I find it absolutely charming in both appearance and tone. <3

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Carl, Don, and James - thank you for weighing in on the rays. So am I to understand that the presence of such rays is indicative of quality wood properly prepared, but that the shoddy varnishing has amplified the effect in an unpleasant way? Thanks in advance. I just haven't really noticed this on a finished instrument before and want to understand it.

 

I think a lot depends on the specific piece of wood.  I have only seen this pattern strongly in one of my fiddles so far.  Your photo appears to show a lot of color in the swirls, which I presume is due to either some treatment to darken the grain lines or perhaps some light stain put directly on the wood.  The back photo of the violin also shows what appears to be a light stain in the flames, so that might be it (that's also what clinched the Chinese origin for me).

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Well I happen to like B the best only because it reminds me of my own fiddle in it's outline.  Except mine looks like it survived a couple of world wars and probably several smaller ones on the front lines.  :)

 

We've been leaving out the cat.  Definitely not a British Short hair, jaw line much too narrow.  Possibly a chartreux except for the green eyes, so I'm guessing a hybrid.

 

-Jim

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 that and a sort of "devil may care" attitude in the general workmanship,

 

I think you are being charitable - some features of the Italian violin are butt ugly and make me wonder whether the maker had formal training.

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Well I happen to like B the best only because it reminds me of my own fiddle in it's outline.  Except mine looks like it survived a couple of world wars and probably several smaller ones on the front lines.  :)

 

We've been leaving out the cat.  Definitely not a British Short hair, jaw line much too narrow.  Possibly a chartreux except for the green eyes, so I'm guessing a hybrid.

 

-Jim

I was wondering if anyone else was going to comment on my pride and joy - my cat!! She's just a shelter mutt, as far as I know. My first thought was Chartreux also, and she absolutely has the temperament for it, but the green eyes and a little white "star" on her chest allude to other influences.

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I think you are being charitable - some features of the Italian violin are butt ugly and make me wonder whether the maker had formal training.

I admit it isn't the most carefully made thing I've seen, but I have to admit it is leaps ahead of the other two in terms of performance.

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I was wondering if anyone else was going to comment on my pride and joy - my cat!! She's just a shelter mutt, as far as I know. My first thought was Chartreux also, and she absolutely has the temperament for it, but the green eyes and a little white "star" on her chest allude to other influences.

If her hair is as soft as rabbit hair you know she has some Chartreux heritage.  I don't know of any other domestic cat with that combination of guard hair color and texture.

 

-Jim

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Interesting how different our perspectives are ...

The Italian violin just looks ... Italian. Very bold in design, disdainful of antiqueing, interesting arching, artistic nicks in the f-holes, moving swiftly over some details (like the button!), the absolute antithesis of contemporary violin-making! Very nice scroll.

The Chinese violin is anonymous - I thought it was MK because it aspires to exactly the same things as something like a 1930s Roth might have aspired to ...

The MK (if that is in fact what it is) is a perfidious creature - very pretty but ultimately a kind of fake. Lacking in depth or originality. Soft and fuzzy.

So the only one which has any kind of spiritual value is the Diguini ...!

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The scroll is so surprisingly conventional that it feels out of place on that body.  Who made it?

When we last had it worked on at David Stone in Seattle, he made a point of instructing his main assistant about the scroll of the Digiuni. I wish I could remember what he had said...

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I have to admit I am very confused about the "Markie". I can't really fit it in with anything else I've seen from Markneukirchen in the 1920s, though I possibly haven't seen the highest level of work.

I have a feeling the label might be spurious. There was a Johannes or Hans Albrecht working in MK at the time - an apprentice to Oskar Prager apparently. He would have been 27. But the label would say Johannes not Johann, and the work is very far from what one might expect from a young VM recently out of the Oskar Prager shop.

There was one VM called Johann Albrecht, but he worked in Fussen in the 1700s. Similarly a Johannes Albrecht from Krems around the turn of the 18th century.

So if the name is spurious, perhaps the Markneukirchen bit is too ...

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The easiest way would be to ask the Markneukirchen museum about this name, if there was such a maker.

BTW it could be anything, a trade name, a dealer, an owner, or just fantasy.

The violin it self with "screw driver" antiquing, rib joints at the end of plate corner etc. fits very well into the Mk/Schb school, the only question is the period (pre/after war).

Reg. buttons, if this is a modern Cremonese button, the real Cremonese tradition must have emigrated to China, of course :) .

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Interesting how different our perspectives are ...

The Italian violin just looks ... Italian. Very bold in design, disdainful of antiqueing, interesting arching, artistic nicks in the f-holes, moving swiftly over some details (like the button!), the absolute antithesis of contemporary violin-making! Very nice scroll.

The Chinese violin is anonymous - I thought it was MK because it aspires to exactly the same things as something like a 1930s Roth might have aspired to ...

The MK (if that is in fact what it is) is a perfidious creature - very pretty but ultimately a kind of fake. Lacking in depth or originality. Soft and fuzzy.

So the only one which has any kind of spiritual value is the Diguini ...!

Hi Martin,  I'm just trying to focus on one area to help train my eyes.  Can you discuss the C-bout archings of the tops.  To my eyes, the Italian from edge to the inner edge of the f holes, and the blending of the c-bout into the upper and lower bouts has a graceful transition.  The markie c-bout recurve is abrupt like the shaping of clay by pinching the c-bout arch with your fingers forming what I think of as a chicken breast shape.  Finally the Chinese has no recurve in this area at all, or small enough not be noticeably from the photo.  Any comments o my aboservations or a different way of looking at these violins (all better than mine) are appreciated.

 

-Jim

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As for the Albrecht, I suppose I couldn't possibly be certain with what knowledge I have presently, but the style and age seems right to me considering how long it has been in the family. I'm attaching a photo of the label. Damn I need to buy a luthier light from fiddledoug!

Re: the putative “Markie”

That isn't German handwriting, most particularly the “1” of the date ( 1 926). Also the other handwriting (letters of the alphabet) in Germany of the 1920's would have owed far more to the Kurentschrift style. More probably than not some American wholesaler just stuck some apocryphal made up name in. Also it is not really possible to have much of an opinion where the scroll was made, from a picture at a 45° oblique angle.

 

Sorry if I am beeing miserable once again

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Re: the putative “Markie”

That isn't German handwriting, most particularly the “1” of the date ( 1 926). Also the other handwriting (letters of the alphabet) in Germany of the 1920's would have owed far more to the Kurentschrift style. More probably than not some American wholesaler just stuck some apocryphal made up name in. Also it is not really possible to have much of an opinion where the scroll was made, from a picture at a 45° oblique angle.

 

Sorry if I am beeing miserable once again

You're quite right. That's not a German '1'.

But what does that mean? That it's fake or that someone was making their one's differently? I remember when I starting crossing my 7s. Canadians are not taught to do that in school...but quite a few of us think it's a good idea and have picked it up on our own...

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