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Violin ID- interesting mix of flavors


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I recently fixed up this violin for a client. It is unlabeled and doesn't even show signs of ever having been labeled. It is obviously a Stainer body shape, and the antiqued finish and interior construction suggest a workshop violin (probably German, probably late 19th early 20th century), but from there it gets more interesting. The f holes are the most curious part to me and I was unable to find any exact matches. They most closely match those of Italian violins from the early to mid 1700s from makers such as Tecchler (1737), Tononi (1725), Carcassi (1752), Guidanti (1740), and Bairhoff (1757). I also found a Benjamin Banks from the late 1800s with similar style f holes, but none a perfect match. The holes are pretty short, parallel to the grain, fairly wide. The unique part though is the degree of turn in the upper ear of the holes.

 

Another interesting point is that the long arch is not Stainer, but more Strad. The rather large ebony alignment pins are also a bit unusual, they are also present on the top.

 

On a side note- when I received the violin, someone had converted it to have 5  sympathetic strings running under the fingerboard, through the bridge, and over the saddle, attached to hooks in the peg box and very small threaded pins in the end block like small piano pins for tuning. Sort of like a viola d'amore/violin hybrid.

 

I thought some here would enjoy discussing this one. Those f holes kept me up a few nights for sure. 

 

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You say it's a late 19th. c. German workshop violin, and then wonder about the influence in the ff's and arching... :lol:

If you want to know what it is, tell us the interior construction that you say you see.

Lovely varnish colour, BTW. I like the red brown.

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I wish I had taken pictures of the interior when I had it apart, but if you've taken apart many German workshop instruments, you probably have some idea of what is usual inside one of good but not the highest level quality. It is fully blocked, the top is well graduated with a bass bar positioned well and probably about a centimeter tall in the middle. The linings are spruce and well fit but not artistically done. Blocks same deal. Maybe I need to get one of those interior cameras, it's tough to describe this stuff with words.

 

The pins are indeed "cosmetic". One came out when I had it apart and they are basically like ebony "tacks".

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