Sign in to follow this  
Televet

Interesting Ferdinand Gagliano at Ingles and Hayday

Recommended Posts

Beyond my reach but fascinating nonetheless. I have left a hint for Santa but I suspect I might get a new music stand instead.

 

http://ingleshayday.com/auction/october_2016/9024-a-violin-ferdinando-gagliano-lot24.html

 

and interview with Balthazar Soulier about the violin

 

http://ingleshayday.com/blog/article/1365-an-immaculately-preserved-violin-by-ferdinand-gagliano.html

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They is why we keep going to yard sales to someday find our very own Gagliano for twenty dollars or so. A very interesting article, thanks for posting it for us.

While we all laugh about "attic Strads", there's a lot of good stuff in the $3000 to $30K range, all by obscure (so far as the public is concerned) makers, generally neglected and in need of repairs, that turns up at estate sales and such for pennies on the dollar.  Antique dealers/auction managers who'll spot many valuable collectibles at 100 yards and price them accordingly (because they have excellent cheat books on them listing current prices and ID criteria) regularly miss good benchmade violins while overpricing a Juzek or some damn thing.  Go figure.  :lol:

 

FWIW, there's a good friend of mine who has a profitable sideline scrounging misidentified jewelry at yard sales, and selling it to gold buyers and/or jewelers, depending on what it is.  He generally makes $200 to $400 a week doing this.  Sometimes he gets lucky and makes much more.  It's always worth looking, when you know what you're looking for

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and then again...

 

Someone local was collecting violins for years (from eBay)...had about 300 that the estate is now liquidating.  I looked at one marked 'antique'.  It wasn't remotely old.  They think most, if not all, of these are low-end Chinese - and most will need to be set-up correctly.  However, many play and sound fine, so they will passed on to kids as intermediate instruments or whatever...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and then again...

 

Someone local was collecting violins for years (from eBay)...had about 300 that the estate is now liquidating.  I looked at one marked 'antique'.  It wasn't remotely old.  They think most, if not all, of these are low-end Chinese - and most will need to be set-up correctly.  However, many play and sound fine, so they will passed on to kids as intermediate instruments or whatever...

How bizarre, and very, very sad.  :(  At least some good will come of it.  <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope so!  <_<

 

Do you think part of this type of collecting is the 'lottery' mentality? Or just an inherent belief that all violins are valuable and will only increase in value as they age?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel that buying 300 of anything, when a few will do, betrays some sort of compulsive behavior.  I apologize for thread hijacking, but let's explore this a little.

 

I wanted some nice violins to play (and had a plan as to how to do that most economically, given my skillset), required some "beaters" to learn specific violin repair on, "won the lottery", sold the bycatch to pay for the excursion, and quit buying. I've done the same thing with antique weapons, which I use in martial arts and reenacting. At the same time, these items have given me endless hours of joy in researching about them, practicing with them, working on them (satisfying my crafting urges), and appreciating them as an art form (I also maintain a small dealing/repair presence in them because it's fun). When not in use, they decorate.  Make sense?

 

Some people collect a lot of similar items with a purpose.  A professional mineralogist may amass thousands of unique hand samples of rare species, particularly if they write about them.  Same goes for paleontologists and fossils, or archaeologists and points or potsherds.  People of means may do the same with fine art or whatever interests them..  When they croak, the stuff gets left to museums and trusts, which was often the intent to begin with.  Think "Dumbarton Oaks" or the Hearst collections, etc.  Nothing strange here.  Same goes for amassing an investment portfolio of something either inherently or marketably valuable with an eye to turning it eventually (as much, as a user, rather than a collector, I loathe the practice when applied to antiques).  Collecting a thousand identical gold bars makes perfect sense.  :lol:

 

Now, OTOH, one sees people amassing objectively worthless things in the manner you describe, or a great many expensive/valuable things with no eye to use, sale, or conservation.  Skipping over the rather obvious (and easily understood) case of vain and tasteless status object display compensating for childhood deprivation :rolleyes: , one sees a phenomenon smacking of OCD, addiction, fetishism, and similar psychopathologies.  Your person with the 300 Skylarks or whatever might have simply been ignorant as to their value, granted, but more likely, IMHO, was either actively deluded about them, or else was a short putt from the ranks of "cat ladies", string-and-old-newspaper hoarders, and the like.  Someone needed family support and professional help, but didn't get it, and probably wasted a huge amount of resources on their obsession.  I find that unutterably pitiable.  :unsure:

 

Anyone reading this, if the subject of the last paragraph reminds you of the behavior of someone close to you, show them love, and get them help:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent post!  :)

 

...which leads me to think more :ph34r: ...segueing to pricing...

 

Most of these items have been deemed to be of little worth...yet, the prices I see them selling for often seem very very high.  Around here, at obscure auctions, decrepit cheap violins I might have bid $50 on, just to dissect or experiment with...are selling for $250 - $500 or more...and NONE are playable, all would need expensive, expert repair that just isn't worth it.

 

So...now we have an item that is grossly over-valued.  The buyer obviously doesn't think so...and will eventually find yet another buyer.  So..then am I wrong, and this stuff really IS worth the going price?  Is this the new 'market price'?  :mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So..then am I wrong, and this stuff really IS worth the going price?  Is this the new 'market price'?  :mellow:

Just a minute...........

 

[smilingly accepts a check from the bemused father of a budding Paganini, and coos, "Thank you sooooo much, Mr. Brown.  I hope that Johnny enjoys his new treasure more than that Chinese atrocity that Bubba tried to foist off on you.  Anything else you need, here's my card."]  

 

What was your question again?  :lol:  B)

 

Could be, if so, blame me   :P .  I've been preaching, "Need a good violin cheap?  Learn luthiery, buy rubbish, and fix it!", for years now. and it seems to be happening.  IMHO, there's less good material than there used to be on eBay, and the bids go higher faster.  None of the parts suppliers are going broke either.  Once you scrape off the effects of seller greed (which doesn't explain the trend in zero start auctions ending higher) and buyer ignorance (which is presumably nil in most buyers with 3 to 4 digit feedback numbers who habitually bid on promising fiddle carcasses), I see an underlying increase in busted violin1 prices probably based on good old "supply and demand". :)

 

 

1.  And other stringed instruments as well.  To whoever sniped that viola d'amore off me the other day in the last second, may your hemorrhoids grow to the size of footballs, you @#$%^&*()_ !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It continues to fascinate me.

 

Auctions, and auction thinking/mindset, continue to fascinate me...

 

I do remain at a loss however, where all the 'affordable' stuff is though, if not at auction...(and I don't mean high-end auctions)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got around to looking at the Ingles & Hayday article and listing, and it is really insteresting to see an 18thc. violin in such original condition. I wanted to share a couple of thoughts that popped into my head to see what other Mners think.

The first is just how much of the "Gagliano style" seems to continue right through the 19th and 20th centuries, thinking of makers like Postiglione and Contino. Sure, they had Gaglianos around for inspiration, but there's something else, even when they start using Del Gesu inspired outlines and f-holes that the Gaglianos never used, that feels more like, "that's just how we've always done things here in Naples."

The other is a bit of a pet-peave. I&H keep talking about original "baroque" condtition, but can't we stop using that term like a universal catch all? I don't think any musicologist would call 1789 a "baroque" year. We're firmly into the classical period with Haydn and Mozart in Austria, and Cimarosa down in Naples. At this time Pique and Lupot were already making their very "modern" style violins in Paris with morticed necks, and I believe the Mantegazzas were "modernising" Count Cozio's collection over in Milan. The Tourte brothers were already making pretty much modern style bows.

With its thick plates and extra long bassbar, I'd bet this Gagliano was strung up with extra heavy duty thick strings, and must have been quite a screamer when it was played!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Michael,

just a thought about "baroque" vs. "modern", which should IMHO in the violin making context strictly separated from any (cultural) historical time line.

There were, as you mentioned, different styles used at the same period at different places - just think of the Vogtland makers, who started to use "modern" construction methods very much later.

 

I would think of "baroque violin" more as a terminus technicus than as a historical defined period.

 

Furthermore, Ferdinando Gagliano, who was born in 1724, was surely trained at a historical period which was nothing than (late) baroque.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BF,

I think there's a danger in neglecting the idea of what were people playing when that instrument was made. I'd like to believe there was constant back and forth between players and makers, that in fact there were players among the makers and makers among the players all throughout the history of the violin, so that makers would respond to players' needs, and players and composers would exploit the instruments' capacities. If one looks at that Ferdinand Gagliano, and compares it to something like the violino piccolo of the brothers Amatis in the NMM, there's over 150 years of evolution in violin playing between the two. Just calling them both "baroque" seems to be oversimplifying things immensely. Geissenhof was nailing on his necks after 1800 and Ceruti screwed at least one neck through the block and ribs in the mid 1800's. We wouldn't call these violins "baroque," would we?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two main problems:

 

The first is, that the form of violin (making) wasn't homogenous at all before ca. 1850, nor playing styles. An interesting last years's Cozio essay told that "Research has revealed that the famous Saxon court orchestra at Dresden did not use ‘modern’ bows in the French style before 1851.", for instance. There was, of course, no singular form of "baroque violin" or a continuous linear developmentof playing style, which was proportional to changes in violin construction, Different forms existed at the same time in different, sometimes in the same places.

 

The second, somehow a consequence of the first, is that we don't have a clear defintion how to separate "baroque" violin from "modern". Terms like "transitional", "classical" or "romantic" might help, but aren't clearly defined, too. We surely might agree on what is definitely nothing than baroque and what's clearly modern (mostl by neck angle and fingerboard), but there's a very big realm we call in german Grauzone (area of grey).

 

I don't have any problem to accept this F.Gagliano including it's constructional features as baroque, but won't be so dogmatic to reject somebody's objections. Just take it as an evidence that things aren't as easy as often believed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't have any problem to accept this F.Gagliano including it's constructional features as baroque, but won't be so dogmatic to reject somebody's objections. Just take it as an evidence that things aren't as easy as often believed.

I think we agree precisely on your last point! My intention was precisely to suggest that it's not simple, and calling everything with a nailed on neck (or a through neck) "baroque" might be blurring some important details!

BTW, I have some issues with that article on the late use of "classical" bows in german orchestras. There are things we can't know without a time machine, but I didn't find the evidence cited in the article sufficient to support the claim. There's plenty of documentary evidence that German violinists (like Spohr) were using Tourtes and Tourte inspired bows well before the period cited, and C.W. Knopf among others were certainly making thoroughly Tourte inspired bows by then. If star soloists are coming to your town to perform, as a professional violinist you'll want to know what they'res using. The evidence cited in that article is merely that in the catalogues of Mnk suppliers, one could still order "Viennese style" bows, assumed to mean Cramer style (hammer head/open frog), in the 1820's, but you could order Cramer style open frog bows from Mirecourt right into the 20th century! That doesn't mean any serious violinists were using them! As to the Saxon court orchestra, the author only says "research has shown," so there must be another article about that that I haven't seen. 

I was at Ben Hebbert's a few weeks ago, and he was showing me a lovely "swan head" 1775-ish Tourte. Ben is really big on Paganini iconography and he was pointing out how in one of the most well known portraits of Paganini, he seems to be holding a bow with a pronouced, thin swan's head, like the Tourte he was showing me; He was surprised that Paganini would be playing such an "obsolete" bow at a time when much more "modern" bows were available. I pointed out that Paganini was one of the big users of the Vuillaume metal bow. There are some glowing endorsement letters from Paganini still preserved. The long thin swan head in the portrait would more logically be a Vuillaume metal bow, but of course, we can't really know without a time machine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting back to the Gagliano in question, the long bassbar recalls the oversize dimensions given by the Hills in the Stradivari book for an original Gagliano bar, but if I remember right (don't have the book in front of me) it was for a late 18thc gagliano like Ferdinand or Joseph. Do we know that Gennaro, Nicolo and Alessandro also used such long bars? There is overstand and set back to the neck, which doesn't seem to have been tampered with other than a reshaped neck root. Did the earlier generations of Gaglianos also set their necks like this? The sparse evidence that exists suggests that there was an evolution of these specifications all through the 18thc, all across Europe, regardless of whether the neck was nailed on, integral with the block, or morticed. That's one of the reasons I don't like slathering all older instruments with a "baroque" brush.

Other neat details are the "preventative" spiral peg bushings and the "preventative" cleats. With Ferdinand, we're looking at a third generation violin maker, so one can imagine him reacting to the typical repairs that had been coming into the family workshop for the last 90 years ot so...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a baroque necked Gennaro Gagliano in the collection of the Berlin Musikinstrumentenmuseum, and (although I don't know if it was manipulated before) I was surprised from the beginning about it's "set back" neck angle.

 

Bass bars and original necks are (or were) in the Schreinzer collection. The nck labelled as Montagnana looks as if it has much overstand; one of the others is supposed to be another Gennaro, and i would bet it's the last.

 

The tablets with 18th century bassbars (mostly from Mittenwald and Vienna) show a wide range of variations, the last including N. Amati, Carcassi and two Gagliani, Ferdinando and Nicola , though it's hard to read the blurred inscriptions.

 

post-57937-0-89248000-1477165441_thumb.jpgpost-57937-0-48400600-1477165464_thumb.jpgpost-57937-0-01092700-1477165481_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BF,

Thanks for posting those images! Just to be clear, we're not in disagreement about anything substantive. Like you, I'm very interested and anti-dogmatic about these questions, aware that the old makers did things in many different ways, and what I was raising with my comment about calling a 1789 violin "baroque" was a complaint against over simplifying. That Ferdinand was probably doing things very much as he was taught by Nicolo and Gennaro is certainly highly probable, and I can also accept that we call his method "baroque" as if it differs from the previous generation, it is a matter of a few millimeters or a few degrees here or there, I actually don't remember the Gennaro from my last visit to the Berlin museum, but I'll be back next weekend, and I'll take a good look! 

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.