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James M. Jones

Tenor viola Id

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It has to be at least a bit interesting.  That sucker is HUGE!!  20.5"!  Good Grief. Perhaps a Ritter instrument from the second half of the 19th century.  As I understand it Ritter was not a maker but rather got instruments made by others.  The color of the varnish is quite like my teachers viola (18.75") but the model, arching, and outline are quite different .This is Him playing his ritter.

 

DLB 

fullsizeoutput_2321.jpeg

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28 minutes ago, Addie said:

They are: Mk-Sch, Salzkammergut, amateur.  The model doesn't do anything for me... :mellow:

LOL , figured as much, The model is a little less than intriguing ,Any clues as to possible dates?   As Dwight points out though,It is not entirely without interest for a guy like myself,who is still learning lots, might make a good restoration project if there is no great value , Mostly it's all solid ,with only one bad crack in the back, It has been altered sometime presumably in the 1940's to have a cello end pin and possibly some shenanigans about the neck. The owner is considering having it up and running just for the fun of it. 

Dwight, never heard of Ritter , Mind sharing who that was? 

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1 hour ago, Dwight Brown said:

It has to be at least a bit interesting.  That sucker is HUGE!!  20.5"!  Good Grief. Perhaps a Ritter instrument from the second half of the 19th century.  As I understand it Ritter was not a maker but rather got instruments made by others.  The color of the varnish is quite like my teachers viola (18.75") but the model, arching, and outline are quite different .This is Him playing his ritter.

 

DLB 

fullsizeoutput_2321.jpeg

Dwight, I've never heard a Ritter in person. Did you ever get a chance to handle your teacher's Ritter?

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One might augment Addie's list with the South Bohemian, as well as the Silesian makers of the 2nd half of the 18th. C. as well as the early 19th C., where these very large Violas filled out the middle spectrum of the harmony in the folk music. They were only used in the first position, hence the short neck. Indeed, you would render it useless, should you replace the neck with a new one with the modern ratio between neck length and body stop.

 

For identification purposes, some details would be necessary. Does it have a through neck, or a top block? How high are the ribs? Does it have corner blocks? Is the purfeling inlayed or painted (or scratched)? Does it have an integral bass bar, or a stuck in one? etc.....

 

One may disregard the “Ritter Viola” out of hand, since that has nothing to do with it.

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Jacob, I always wondered also about the stop ratio on the ashmolean viola:

http://www.ashmoleanprints.com/image/1056166/gasparo-gasparo-da-salo-bertolotti-viola-late-16th-century

Was it also common on smaller sizes or just on tenores?

Dwight, your teacher is a giant, the ritter looks like a violin with him. Reminds me on the viola joke what's the difference between violin/viola (no difference, but violinist's have bigger heads).

James, what a nice monster!

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7 hours ago, Andrew McInnes said:

Dwight, I've never heard a Ritter in person. Did you ever get a chance to handle your teacher's Ritter?

I really never did more than hold my teacher's Ritter.  I did play a few notes, but that's all.  Mr. Hollamd was 6'7" in his prime and was first string quarterback at Indiana University.  He even got some interest from the NFL!  I didn't suppose that the viola Mike is working on had anything to do with a Ritter, I guess just the size put me in mind of it.  The Ritter is quite like a very large violin and not very viola like in outline.  It takes a really big person to deal with it. It has a very powerful tone that carries very well. I missed the last time he played Harold in Italy with it, would have liked to be there.

DLB

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1 hour ago, match said:

Jacob, I always wondered also about the stop ratio on the ashmolean viola:

http://www.ashmoleanprints.com/image/1056166/gasparo-gasparo-da-salo-bertolotti-viola-late-16th-century

Was it also common on smaller sizes or just on tenores?

 

I think one relatively often sees large and very large old violas here. Whenever one gets to see one with an original undisturbed neck, they rarely seem to be much longer than a violin neck. I believe that this should be seen in conjunction with the Viola literature, which doesn't seem to be particularly challenging technically, until, for instance that bloke Haydn invented (?) the string quartet, and all of a sudden, the violist of the second half of the 18th. C. had to do some serious practice. Interestingly from that point on, these large, and super large violas seem to have died out, and almost nobody, throughout the whole of the 19th C made large violas. My thesis would be that up to the mid-18th C, the viola part was essentially to fill out the harmony in the middle of the ensemble in the first position, rendering the modern neck/body stop ratio useless. After all, the people in earlier centenary's were considerably smaller, as I discovered (once again) at the weekend, when I went here with my son http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Burgruine+Aggsbach+bilder&qpvt=Burgruine+Aggsbach+bilder&form=IGRE&first=1&cw=1386&ch=654

 

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I think Jacob's read of viola size history is about right.  Another wave hit with the music of the late 19th century that called on the viola to play much harder orchestra parts (R.Strauss, Don Juan, Don Quixote, etc, There are flashes of brilliance earlier such as Berlioz Harold in Italy, and the Mozart Sinfonia Concertant.  I do have the drawings for the Ashmolian viola if anyone needs  measurements taken off it.

 

DLB

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7 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

One might augment Addie's list with the South Bohemian, as well as the Silesian makers of the 2nd half of the 18th. C. as well as the early 19th C., where these very large Violas filled out the middle spectrum of the harmony in the folk music. They were only used in the first position, hence the short neck. Indeed, you would render it useless, should you replace the neck with a new one with the modern ratio between neck length and body stop.

 

For identification purposes, some details would be necessary. Does it have a through neck, or a top block? How high are the ribs? Does it have corner blocks? Is the purfeling inlayed or painted (or scratched)? Does it have an integral bass bar, or a stuck in one? etc.....

 

One may disregard the “Ritter Viola” out of hand, since that has nothing to do with it.

Thank you Jacob, The Viola measures 40-41mm throughout the ribs, measured over the arch upper bout 243mm,cc's 170, Lower bout 300, The top is still on but There appears to be a upper neck block , upper and lower linings not let into the lower corner blocks, purfled .  The back is two piece slab cut , has a greenish ting I associate with poplar , and has a very small birds eyes. 

Dwight . I'm very interested in the measurements Ashmolian drawings , I figure a tenor viola would be a good stepping stone to cello. 

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I am very interested to see that your teachers chin is on the 'wrong' side of the tailpiece.  I have been holding my 18 inch viola on the wrong side for several years now.  Interesting to see another person who came to the same idea. 

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2 hours ago, go_oa said:

I am very interested to see that your teachers chin is on the 'wrong' side of the tailpiece.  I have been holding my 18 inch viola on the wrong side for several years now.  Interesting to see another person who came to the same idea. 

I think you are right.  i use a center chinrest now.

DLB

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Back to the OP question, who, where and when, I freshly acquired something which could shed a light on it. If not, it might demonstrate the difficulties, even to give a rather vague answer.

Here we have the relatively rare example of a genuine signed object (a violin, not a viola) which leaves one usually, similar to the OP, scratching one's head. It's built with a through neck, veneered fingerboard, no linings except in the C bouts (where they are most easily visible) and back, sides and neck/scroll made of cherry or a similar fruitwood; the "purfling" a single inked line, and the maker never minded a big knot in the neck, but fluted the scroll's front to the "bitter end".

Before reading the internal inscription (like I'm usually doing at last) I guessed, in order of probability, Silesia, Salzkammergut and "Allemannisch" (what means Black forest) first half or mid of the 19th century.

IMG_6763.JPG

IMG_6764.JPG

IMG_6765.JPG

IMG_6766.JPG

IMG_6767.JPG

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6 minutes ago, Blank face said:

 

Before reading the internal inscription (like I'm usually doing at last) I guessed, in order of probability, Silesia, Salzkammergut and "Allemannisch" (what means Black forest) first half or mid of the 19th century.

 

 

 

 

don't discriminate against the Scottish:)

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1 minute ago, jacobsaunders said:

don't discriminate against the Scottish:)

Don't want to discriminate anybody, I took into consideration also the poor British Islands during the continental blockade as well as some Hill-Billy North AmericanB).

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In fact, as hardly could be expected, it was without any reasonable doubt, made by a certain W.Flügge in the town of Wrechow, which was till the end of WW II part of the district Königsberg (not the actually Kaliningrad), today at the very western polish border and named Orzechów_(Cedynia).

The year is easily to spot at the photo, and it was the 32nd work of this obviously prolific, but nowhere mentioned maker. Not to decide IMO, if he was an autodidact or had some (basic) training at one of the above mentioned regions.

IMG_0953.JPG

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2 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

The other possibility, of course, could be that “No. 32” could be his address (“Konskriptionsnummer”)

Yes, like Mathias Neuner or some Vogtlands. OTOH, details like surfaces, corners etc. make me think that the maker had some experience and it wasn't the first and only he made.

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