Guido

HOPF - yet again

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Guido   
On ‎11‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 3:01 PM, Blank face said:

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Sold out! Bad luck. Any idea for an alternative source? Did anyone ever copy or scan all or parts of it?

23 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Should be on it's journey to Australia. Will be a while. It was remarkably cheap. No big glossy photos?

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3 hours ago, Guido said:

 

Should be on it's journey to Australia. Will be a while. It was remarkably cheap. No big glossy photos?

I ordered from the same shop, unfortunately after a while they answered me that it's actually not available, too. Still looking for another source.

Surely it hasn't got so many glossy photos, but the main reason for it's price might be the un-italian subject and that the author isn't a worldwide known big fish.B)

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Guido   
16 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I ordered from the same shop, unfortunately after a while they answered me that it's actually not available, too. Still looking for another source.

Surely it hasn't got so many glossy photos, but the main reason for it's price might be the un-italian subject and that the author isn't a worldwide known big fish.B)

 OMG! That would leave me with no book at all.

I will just have to take a plunge on eBay and start a Hopf-plunge-thread to learn anything.

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carl1961   

You might already seen this link  http://old-violin.com/hopf.htm

this is a hopf I got a couple years ago, although very old it a knockoff copy, no top corner blocks and bottom corner block most likely fake covered, sound is mostly old timey and nasal. grafted neck and wood has worn or deteriorated grains in spots, sound post wing has a lift like most the hopf on link above, looks to be because of the overly thing top.  2mm at wing, I never took the top off.

 

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Guido   
6 hours ago, carl1961 said:

You might already seen this link  http://old-violin.com/hopf.htm

this is a hopf I got a couple years ago, although very old it a knockoff copy, no top corner blocks and bottom corner block most likely fake covered, sound is mostly old timey and nasal. grafted neck and wood has worn or deteriorated grains in spots, sound post wing has a lift like most the hopf on link above, looks to be because of the overly thing top.  2mm at wing, I never took the top off.

Thanks for the link. I don't know the seller or his reputation. I wonder if any of these are the 'real' deal. I'll have a good look and see what I can learn.

[ Edit: Looks like our friends from Portugal again!!! ]

 

Regarding your Hopf: It looks old. Maybe it's old enough to pre-date the cottage industry? I also don't usually associate a thin top with mass production. Can you get an indication from the overall weight?

Regarding the blocks I have to ask the stupid question: Wouldn't all Hopf violins, incl. the fine old ones of select family members, have been built on the back?

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1 minute ago, Guido said:

 

Regarding the blocks I have to ask the stupid question: Wouldn't all Hopf violins, incl. the fine old ones of select family members, have been built on the back?

Yes

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carl1961   
13 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Yes

So when built on the back they leave the corner blocks out or just happens the on I have is just a old factory copy?

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Guido   
8 minutes ago, carl1961 said:

So when built on the back they leave the corner blocks out or just happens the on I have is just a old factory copy?

Building on the back does not require corner blocks. They are not part of the building process. They may or may not be inserted before the violin is closed to (a) help avoid the rib corners coming apart (although that doesn't seem to much of a problem) or (b) betray origin.

Someone else would have to say if the fine old Hopfs (or other fine violins from the area before the emergence of the cottage industry) would usually have corner blocks inserted for reason (a) above or if they are known to come w/o blocks, too.

Regarding your violin only having lower blocks (easily visible), one might speculate the motivation may have been (b).

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carl1961   
2 hours ago, Guido said:

Building on the back does not require corner blocks. They are not part of the building process. They may or may not be inserted before the violin is closed to (a) help avoid the rib corners coming apart (although that doesn't seem to much of a problem) or (b) betray origin.

Someone else would have to say if the fine old Hopfs (or other fine violins from the area before the emergence of the cottage industry) would usually have corner blocks inserted for reason (a) above or if they are known to come w/o blocks, too.

Regarding your violin only having lower blocks (easily visible), one might speculate the motivation may have been (b).

Thanks Guido, 

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16 hours ago, carl1961 said:

So when built on the back they leave the corner blocks out or just happens the on I have is just a old factory copy?

Nothing is “Left out” (or "left in"), but if you study the various techniques

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/328919-violin-id/&do=findComment&comment=594080

you will realise that no corner blocks are necessary or would serve any function.

This has nothing to do with the difference between a Craftsman made “Meistergeige” or a “Dutzendarbeit” or any quality divisions whatsoever

 

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carl1961   
42 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Nothing is “Left out” (or "left in"), but if you study the various techniques

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/328919-violin-id/&do=findComment&comment=594080

you will realise that no corner blocks are necessary or would serve any function.

This has nothing to do with the difference between a Craftsman made “Meistergeige” or a “Dutzendarbeit” or any quality divisions whatsoever

 

thanks jacobsaunders, I would think no corner blocks would affect the Air volume , also gives me the impression of, laziness, faster production, I looked again in this HOPF I have and see no top block, the neck heel extends and is also the top block. ( could not find my mini camera) 

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10 minutes ago, carl1961 said:

 I would think no corner blocks would affect the Air volume , also gives me the impression of, laziness, faster production,

Just goes to show how dangerous "thinking" is

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carl1961   
13 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Just goes to show how dangerous "thinking" is

Yes True, but if David Burgess left his corner blocks out, don't you think it would effect how people looked at his violins.

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^It would depend on how open-minded they were.  There's no doubt it would be a fine violin.  There's a real strong historical association between no corner blocks and low quality, though.

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No, it is merely the outcome of the technique used. I’m sure that you would manage to make a cheap & nasty violin, however you did it

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10 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I’m sure that you would manage to make a cheap & nasty violin, however you did it

It would be nasty, but it would cost me an arm and a leg.  Probably a couple of fingers too.

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Guido   
7 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Nothing is “Left out” (or "left in"), but if you study the various techniques

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/328919-violin-id/&do=findComment&comment=594080

you will realise that no corner blocks are necessary or would serve any function.

This has nothing to do with the difference between a Craftsman made “Meistergeige” or a “Dutzendarbeit” or any quality divisions whatsoever

 

Jacob, how far does it go? The 17th and 18th century violins from the Voigtland where built on the back and this traditional way of building in this region influenced how violins were later mass produced in this area. How 'similar' are the old ones to the mass produced ones (apart form the obvious quality difference). Would the old ones usually have integral bass bars, through-necks, even scroll flutings and deltas as we are used to checking on our 'Markie" list?

And with the corner blocks again. I understand they are not a necessary part of the building process. However, they may have been inserted before closing the box to prevent the ribs separating at the corners, no? Is this something we usually see on the 17th and 18th century violins (like the Ficker and Schonfelder you mention) or are many or some of them w/o blocks in their original state? To get back to Hopf; would a Caspar or David Hopf have corner blocks?

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8 hours ago, Guido said:

 To get back to Hopf; would a Caspar or David Hopf have corner blocks?

Caspar David Friedrich Hopf (1774-1840), important romantic painter. Was known for leaving out the corner blocks, resulting in a voluminous perspective.

 

Caspar David Friedrich Hopf- Das_Eismeer.jpg

The experts are unsure, if the brand could be a later attribution.

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Guido   
31 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Caspar David Friedrich Hopf (1774-1840), important romantic painter. Was known for leaving out the corner blocks, resulting in a voluminous perspective.

 

Caspar David Friedrich Hopf- Das_Eismeer.jpg

The experts are unsure, if the brand could be a later attribution.

That's just brilliant!

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9 hours ago, Guido said:

Jacob, how far does it go? The 17th and 18th century violins from the Voigtland where built on the back and this traditional way of building in this region influenced how violins were later mass produced in this area. How 'similar' are the old ones to the mass produced ones (apart form the obvious quality difference). Would the old ones usually have integral bass bars, through-necks, even scroll flutings and deltas as we are used to checking on our 'Markie" list?

And with the corner blocks again. I understand they are not a necessary part of the building process. However, they may have been inserted before closing the box to prevent the ribs separating at the corners, no? Is this something we usually see on the 17th and 18th century violins (like the Ficker and Schonfelder you mention) or are many or some of them w/o blocks in their original state? To get back to Hopf; would a Caspar or David Hopf have corner blocks?

I feel sure I have written about this before.

 

One should appreciate that (for instance) 18th C. violin makers lived in a pre-google world, and joined our trade as ca. 13 year olds, who were instructed in the parochial making tradition of whichever area they were born too, and proceeded to use that building method for an entire lifetime. I find it pretty dim that there is a prejudice that one of the two main strands of “tradition”, (either the mould & nailed on neck, or the built on back with through neck) would be “primitive” and thus died out, and the other sophisticated and survived, to be stupid, since both methods were primitive and both died out (or do you nail necks on?)

 

With the built-on-the-back method, (by no means exclusive to Saxon) corner blocks were optional, whereas, building on a mould they are essential. When the built-on-back brigade fitted blocks, they generally have an equilateral triangle plan view, and do not fit to the back (“stuck in afterwards”). Whereas many Schönfelder et al have such corner blocks, many do not. With the development of the violin trade from craft to industry during the 19th C. and the surfeit of parsimonious customers (to this day), the pressure was always to work cheaper and cheaper, and to this end more and more entire working steps were left out. I can't work out exactly when, but with the increasing industrialisation, the outside mould superseded the “Built-on-back” method (pre WWI?), since it lent itself more to industrial mass.production.

 

Bottom line of all that is that anyone who tells you that a David Hopf has, or has not corner blocks, doesn't know what he is talking about.

 

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Guido   
1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

I feel sure I have written about this before.

Bottom line of all that is that anyone who tells you that a David Hopf has, or has not corner blocks, doesn't know what he is talking about.

You have indeed written about this before. Several times I believe.

I have no quality prejudice regarding building methods. It seems fairly clear to me.

I'm just interested to know in more detail what exactly the 13-year old would have learned in 18th century Voigtland. You have cited two examples where violins had corner blocks inserted to help keeping the rib ends together, unilateral triangle, all good. I'm just wondering if this is in any case part of the building method that was indoctrinated into the local teenagers. Or were there some makes who did and others who didn't?

Similar, the through-neck. With my limited trade fiddle experience I see that BOB violins can have a through neck or an upper block. Just curious to have it spelled out. Have all 18th century Voigtland violins with an original neck a through-neck?

Similar, the integral bass bar. I see BOB trade fiddles with integral or glued in bass bar. Just curious what the original tradition was. Integral?

In summary, If I'd look at an all original 18th century Hopf or other violin from the region, would I expect a through-neck, unilateral corner blocks and an integral bass bar? 

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Guido   

Just looking at Hopfs. Those two are both supposed to be David Hopf, late 18th century. Is that possible? Or is it a case of just about every nice Hopf being attributed to a hand full of family members and the rest gets nothing?

comp back.jpg

comp scroll.jpg

comp front.jpg

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Guido   
On ‎11‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 3:01 PM, Blank face said:

With this fiddle, though I would agree that it's an outstanding example, starts the confusion; in regards of my references and experiences it's more like the model of Friedrich Erdmann or Carl Christian Hopf than of one of the several David named makers (which are very different to each other). The reason for this confusion might be, that, as a stereotype, each good Hopf was ascribed to a legendary "David Hopf", although there were more than one of this name and fine instruments were made by other members of the family, too. Not to mention all the Vogtland instruments made by others but attributed to Hopf. often branded later, just to give them a well sounding name.

Sorry, Blanc face, I must have been too focused on the books at the time.

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1 hour ago, Guido said:

You have indeed written about this before. Several times I believe.

I have no quality prejudice regarding building methods. It seems fairly clear to me.

I'm just interested to know in more detail what exactly the 13-year old would have learned in 18th century Voigtland. You have cited two examples where violins had corner blocks inserted to help keeping the rib ends together, unilateral triangle, all good. I'm just wondering if this is in any case part of the building method that was indoctrinated into the local teenagers. Or were there some makes who did and others who didn't?

Similar, the through-neck. With my limited trade fiddle experience I see that BOB violins can have a through neck or an upper block. Just curious to have it spelled out. Have all 18th century Voigtland violins with an original neck a through-neck?

Similar, the integral bass bar. I see BOB trade fiddles with integral or glued in bass bar. Just curious what the original tradition was. Integral?

In summary, If I'd look at an all original 18th century Hopf or other violin from the region, would I expect a through-neck, unilateral corner blocks and an integral bass bar? 

18th. C Vogtland violins (inkl. Hopf) with an undisturbed original neck, have a through neck (and a carved rather than glued in bar), as do (for instance) Heinrich Jacobs in Amsterdam, some English/Scottish ones, those from Salzkammergut, the very early Füssen ones as well as others that would cross my mind if I sat down to think. The carved bar sort of died out with the invention of the Thau milling machine. When I did one, I discovered that a carved bar is more difficult and time consuming to do than a stuck in one.

 

PS- re the two above pictured fiddles. It should be clear that people like (for instance) Schönfelder or Ficker must have run large workshops with numerous journeymen, due to the volume of instruments that still exist 200 years later. I have a hard time taking people seriously who try to tell me which individual made which one. The question to ask oneself would be if they could be from the same (or near) workshop, rather than the same person

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Guido   

This one was on ebay recently and sold for 322 Euro.

On the upside: looks old; the purfling does not look commercial; scroll and neck appear much younger (modernisation?); outline is not as square as the factory Hopfs one usually sees.

Is it the 'usual' or did I miss out on something here?

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