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Perry Violin?

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Hey all,

This violin has now moved through 2 local pawn shops. They claim it's by Thomas Perry. I can't believe that it is. No purfling, poor craftsmanship, no apparent work on the neck/scroll (no grafts) but it appears more contemporary, poor Perry brand on back, etc. Perhaps a later German copy?  I welcome your thoughts! (There are some very nice old repairs to the body, including an very well done butterfly patch at the sound post, but this instrument has had a tough life). There aren't many good pictures here but have a look if you are interested.

http://asheville.craigslist.org/msd/5986579699.html

 

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The photos are pretty useless for recognizing much of anything, but there are Perrys of different grades, and painted-on purfling is not uncommon. The button photo doesn't look wrong, but I wouldn't conclude anything from that.

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In my experience, the model of the low grade Perrys (scribed on purfling, plain wood etc..) is similar to that of the better ones, which doesn't look like that violin.

Although there may well be other models he used, or had made by others and stamped, of which that fiddle could be one.

Doesn't look great to me..

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Thanks for the feedback. It's still available at the local pawn shop if anybody wants to drop $1,450 for a "Violin Perry 1802" with tons of repairs, front and back! (I don't...hehe)

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This is a Perry I have on my bench, although this one is unpurfled, it is a nice one, with fine quality Alpine spruce. some don't.

I would never rely on a "PERRY" stamp (or any other) to "guarantee" authenticity.

IMG_9977_zpsxhvlnhyx.jpg

IMG_9979_zpsv2bx5aov.jpg

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17 hours ago, uguntde said:

This is a Perry I recently saw and played. Much better work than the violin shown above. It also had a good tone.

It looks like an early 20th century Vogtland with fake (scribed) cracks and artificially wear, corresponding with the fake graft.

Sorry to disagree, but the OP looks much more interesting in my eyes. If the body ain't an old english violin, could be an early Salzkammergut also.

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Neither  the pawnshop  fiddle nor the Uguntde's look anything like Perrys  to me. It amazes me that there were so many cheap things made in Germany  and branded Perry. I see a couple a year, and  hate having to  explain them to the owners.

Really  if the brand doesn't look exactly like Peter's it's wrong.  Usually  they're  numbered on the button  too, and the number agrees with that on the label.

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I agree, it is obvious that Perry's instruments look different - I looked at the Perry violins in Brompton's archives, almost all of them without proper purfling.

There are others that look better made, like this one: http://a440violinshop.com/products.asp?catId=11&subCatId=21&id=689

But the edgework of the violin that I posted is also not typically German, and quite accurately made.    Why would a German firm use an Irish label? Were Perry's instruments once quite expensive?
Is it possible that the Perry & Wilkinson firm had cheaper violins made for them which they then stamped?

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I suppose  it was easy to brand a name on the  backs of fiddles, hoping that the punters would believe that  they  were in some  way  copied  or based on famous  makers. Even today, on these forums, people talk about  their 'Amati or Stainer copies' , when in fact they just have fiddles that someone  stuck a silly  label in. You see these  German Perrys (and Dukes) from the late 1800s on. Yours is pretty  typical of a  late one.

I don't think the Perry shop ever imported and branded cheap stuff.  There were plenty of poor  craftsmen here to make  whatever they needed, and they employed several either as out workers or in the shop. The only exception  I have seen is a perfect late violin, with the correct  brands and numbers, and lots of Perry  features, that looks like it was made in Mittenwald. Either  they had it made there, or a Mittenwalder  came to Dublin and made it here. The brands are  under the varnish. 

Some of the best Perry's  are really fine. I have a sneaking suspicion that they aren't  necessarily his own work, maybe even Wilkinson's, but I've no idea  really. I know  that  Wilkinson was capable of very fine work, although  the historians have him down as a pup, who piggy backed on the great master's genius, eventually bringing  the  shop to wrack and  ruin. 

 

 

 

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Hi Conor,

Am I right in thinking that Tobin made some Perrys? Also, are you aware of any violins being supplied to Perry by the Furbers? Both suggestions came up quite recently ...

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10 hours ago, uguntde said:

 

But the edgework of the violin that I posted is also not typically German, and quite accurately made.    Why would a German firm use an Irish label? Were Perry's instruments once quite expensive?
 

You're right - looking a bit closer, your violin appears to be more likely a Mirecourt violin, sort of Caussin school. The scribed cracks are a bit irritating, never realized that this was done there, too.

It could be usefull to look at the stamp under UV light to see, if it's covered by original varnish or is a later attachment.

Reg. fake british brands, a customer once showed me an instrument he acquired from a very reputable english shop - it was nothing else than a cheaply made Schönbach with a thickly graduated belly and dreadful purfling. Just a halfmoon at the button area was replaced with an older part, bearing a Thompson stamp. He told me that it was sold as genuine, wondering about the ugly sound.

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2 hours ago, Blank face said:

You're right - looking a bit closer, your violin appears to be more likely a Mirecourt violin, sort of Caussin school. The scribed cracks are a bit irritating, never realized that this was done there, too.

 

I just don't see France here at all. I always assumed that  these were cheap German from the twenties or thirties, with their  dyed varnish and thin rounded edges. I think you can always  see at least a hint of French edge cutting technique, even in their cheapest fiddles. 

 

Martin, I find myself  questioning  everything that's  ever been written  about the Perry family and their businesses.  Id like to  get together  with  a few of the makers here to put  together  as much real evidence  as we can, and nail down  who made what.  

In the early days, people felt free to write authoritatively on the Perry  shop  history, knowing very little indeed about it. We have all the nonsense  about Perry  making 4000 instruments, Wilkinson  relabelling them when they came back for  repair, Amati model v Stainer model and so on. So the ramblings  of an enthusiast, who knew nothing about  how violin making or shop politics work, became the basis for the  likes of Henley. 

When I came to this trade there were several people  researching  Perry. Trouble was that they were jealously guarding what they'd found from one another, and again, just one of them really had a good  enouge eye, and real knowledge  of the trade, to make any worthwhile  judgements on what was really  what. And good old fashioned elitism meant that one man, who was selling more instruments  than the rest of us put together,  wasn't even consulted.

Yes, I've seen  violins that were reputed to  have Tobin heads, and I was told of some he signed inside, but he would have  been  working  closely to the  shop models.  I can't  say I could easily  distinguish one of his from all the others.

The Furber thing? Never heard of it but I'd like to hear more. I can't  say  I have  seen any evidence  for  it, but I don't know  Furber  work that well. 

 

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53 minutes ago, Conor Russell said:

I just don't see France here at all. I always assumed that  these were cheap German from the twenties or thirties, with their  dyed varnish and thin rounded edges. I think you can always  see at least a hint of French edge cutting technique, even in their cheapest fiddles. 

 

 

 

 

For your excuse;), you're not alone at all with this misinterpretation.

Of course the Caussin school" features are some kind of idiosyncratic within what is generally considered as "french" - it was discussed recently and very eloborated here

especially Martin made some very characteristic points. Even the construction sometimes can look very similar to Mnk, too.

The violin from Uguntde is, to complete the mess, not a typical example, but model, wood, the nice varnish and just the purfling with black outer and broad white middle stripe at the narrow rounded edges are clear evidences IMO.

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Sorry Blancface, I just don't see it. And for what it's worth, I think the violin in the other thread is German too.

'Caussin school' violins, as I know them, tend to  have  darkened textured wood, all a bit rounded off, with a clearish orangy brown varnish, crudely antiqued and given a good dose of burnt  umber that sits in the grain and between the f holes.

The violin  here has none of the characteristics I would expect, but just looks like a cheap German with analine dyed varnish (which I think is far from nice) brutally antiqued. The purfling says to me that they must have run out of the stuff with the really narrow  white stripe, and bought some more.;)

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25 minutes ago, Conor Russell said:

The purfling says to me that they must have run out of the stuff with the really narrow  white stripe, and bought some more.;)

Just to be a pedant for one very exceptional occasion; The purfling with the very narrow white strip in the middle was one (a popular one) of the wide range of purfling's offered by the “Adermacher”. When one observes this sort of purfling, it is merely a clue to look for 8 or 10 other Saxon features and is not conclusive evidence on it's own. Also, goodness knows how much of the stuff the Adermacher carted down to the post office, and sent to anywhere in the world.

 

I agree with Conor re: provinence of the fiddles, although I don't find the “Craigs List” pictures show enough for me to get dogmatic about it.

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So we can agree to disagree on the UG fiddle, but agree that it has nothing to do with Perry. Reg. varnish I should better have written "comparatively to the usual opaque and chippy varnish of the Saxon", and stated, that it's not typical - crude antiquing, missing blackening and scribed cracks were making me think that it's german in the first moment, too. Maybe a late runout from the Laberte or JTL shop, though I won't rigorously exclude that it's german "inspired" by the Caussin style.

The narrow stripe purfling I found at last at a 1930s mid-England amateur violin.

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Hi Conor

Here is a Perry I have, rather pretty model and very crisp work but unpurfled. The inner work is original - you can still see the nail-hole in the top block. Interestingly the top and bottom blocks are spruce or pine, the corner blocks look like willow, but the linings have a bit of flame to them and are either sycamore or some other white-ish wood with a bit of flame ...

cc12perry-violin-front.thumb.jpg.674cdbab01c810b0cc16b6af03c424b0.jpg

 

cc12perry-violin-scroll.thumb.jpg.df9756484a44168fc5989ead26094544.jpg

cc12perry-violin-side.thumb.jpg.d8c825b8a315da63088b0c4558a12915.jpg

cc12perry-violin-back.jpg

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Thanks for all the replies. Just a note, the pawnshop instrument that started this discussion has no purfling of any kind. Nothing inlaid, drawn, scribed, painted, or otherwise, just plain wood. I appreciate all the pictures. Interesting read this thread.... 

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