Seng

violin ID: one piece lower rib & linings over blocks

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Hello all,

This is my first post, but I’m beyond grateful for how much I’ve learned by reading through MN forums archives over the last year or so. 

I’ve had this violin for about 25 years and I’d deeply appreciate any insight as to it’s origins and approximate age. My 9 year old son is just starting to play, and while this is still quite a ways off from being an appropriate size for him, I’d like to get a sense whether or not it’s worth investing to get it properly repaired.

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Length of back is 360 mm. 

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It has blocks at all four corners, and the linings go straight over the blocks.

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Lower rib appears to be one piece and I don't see evidence of a notch (but maybe I'm not looking in the right location?)

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The neck length is 124 mm (baroque or transitional length?)

Upper bout width is 172 mm 

Lower bout width is 202 mm

Bass bar appears to be glued in.

The neck block is rectangular (squared off at and has corners, unlike the curved shaped ones I’ve seen on other violins) and from what I can see from the separation at the button, the neck appears to be morticed into it. 

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The tail block is also rectangular.

I’m assuming the brass plates on the outside of the pegbox indicate repair, but I haven’t attempted to pull them off to confirm this.

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It’s unlabelled and I’ve been unable to locate any markings whatsoever.

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There are seam separations at the button and along the lower rib and as-such, the neck angle is more shallow than it would be were it repaired properly. 

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Let me know if there are other images or details that would be helpful.

Thank you so much in advance for any info and thoughts you’re willing to contribute!

warm regards,

Bill

NJ, USA

Here's a gallery with additional photos:

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0OGFssfGG8YpLz

Edited by Seng
text edits

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Hi Ron, Thanks for the bump!  Still hopeful someone will chime in, and would be very grateful for any insight/opinions :)

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It looks like a budget JTL (the stain at the upper block covers probably the stamp), something like Garini. The "flames" at the ribs appear to be painted on, the few inside flames are weaker and different, so I'm not sure if the lower rib is really one piece. A fine joint line is visible, I'm supposing. Linings over the blocks indicate the usual outside mould construction.

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The scroll looks like a poorly-carved Markie scroll: unfinished fluting in throat, delta at base of back, and blackened pegbox interior. The flame on the scroll also looks painted.

I'd recommend looking at purchasing a different violin for your son. I don't think that any money spent on this one could be considered an "investment."

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Thanks so much for the replies! While it's certainly possible that I've been fooled by faux flames all these years, I'll just have to take another look. I'll see if I can post some more images (possibly a video that shows the degree of chatoyance.) I'll also look very closely again at the lower rib and see if I can verify without question that it is indeed on piece. Many thanks again -- very much obliged! :) 

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On 7/9/2017 at 4:56 PM, Seng said:

I’d like to get a sense whether or not it’s worth investing to get it properly repaired.

Bottom end violin manufacturing has improved greatly in the 100 or so years since your violin was made. 

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Some things about it strike me as amatuer American.......though it seems most American amatuer violins seem to be an inside mould.

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Hi All, 

I had a chance to examine the lower rib with an 8X loupe and removed the saddle (it was loose anyway) and I can't find even the slightest hint of a seam so I really believe it's one piece. I've attached a couple of other images taken in bright sunlight, including a shot that shows the neck joint a little more clearly. To me, it appears to be angled much lower than what one would expect on modern violins, which along with the short neck length led me to think it might be a transitional neck (or maybe more likely just a misinformed amateur luthier?)

Blank Face, I've seen some pretty convincing faux flames on other instruments and I'm certain that the flames on the back, ribs, and scroll here are the real deal. I also see them on the inside of ribs and back through the f-holes, although I'm not having much luck photographing this inside the violin and will take another swing tomorrow. 

GeorgeH, I had the same thoughts regarding the scroll fluting which looks like it stops at 7:00 (at best), is very wavy along the back, and comes to a delta (more like a scalene triangle) but I'm not so certain the inside of the pegbox was blackened. To my admittedly untrained eyes, it looks like it could just be natural patina. 

Jeff, I'd wondered about American roots and would love to hear more of your thoughts. Any characteristics in particular that make you think American? 

I'm so grateful for all the insight and comments–can't thank you all enough! 

Bill

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