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I was looking closely at my mother's old violin today, and realized that something I'd always considered to be damage on the top actually looks like writing, perhaps by some method of engraving or stamp.  It just looks too "regular" to be simply damage.  I'm attaching a picture and wonder if anyone out there has seen similar.  I cannot make out what it says.



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I noticed that the marks align with the grain in a way that would happen if something pointed were dragged across the wood (or the wood were dragged).  I imagine such marks could be caused if the violin had an unfortunate encounter with a music stand in an orchestra pit.

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I also want to know every bit of history of my violins...from the maker, to the provenance...etc.

However, I realize not every little mark on it - that I can't easily attribute to wear and tear - might be more than just added wear and tear. I really can't see the/any maker putting little secret 'dings' on their instruments.

Factory instruments? Nope, who has time when you are churning them out? Small shop? Likewise. One-maker? Well, we know who the maker is, so why would he/she bother?

What percentage of the violins out there are from factories/small shops/cottage industries? 90%? What percentage of those are 'just violins'? 99%?

I love the mystery and mystique too...but sad as it is, I don't think there's much of it out there, especially in these mass produced instruments...

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^Yes, and I see now that it wouldn't have necessarily have to have been hit by the bottle.  I don't have the training some of you guys have yet.

Soon, you'll be able to easily differentiate between markings left by a serrated beer bottle cap, damage from an errant corkscrew, and zipper damage from becoming a little over-enamored with a violin. :lol:

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