Guido

Book Recommendations

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Guido   

I would like to buy some violin and bow related books. X-mas is coming.

What are the essential must-have books for:

- Reference/ Identification;

- Making;

- Restoration.

What are your personal favourites and why?

Also, any books out there you'd consider a waste of money?

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Guido   

I thought it might be beneficial for other to have some of the scattered book recommendations and discussions in one place. Apart form getting some recommendation myself this should be another purpose of this thread.

So far I have bought a couple of books that have been recommended here and there.

Resources that I have and I'm happy with are:

- Zoebisch: Vogtlandischer Geigenbau Vol 1 and Vol 2 (German). Volume 1 (up to 1850) has poor quality pictures but great info, volume 2 (after 1850) is much better and richer on pictures (I wish it was the other way around).

- Strobel: Useful measurments

- Strobel: Violin maker's notebook

- Stagg: Bow making and repair

On order are (as of today):

- Hopfner: Franz Geissenhof und seine Zeit

- VDG: Pfretschner Ausstellung 2010

- VDG: Nurnberger Ausstellung 2013

On the immediate shopping list are:

- Blot: Liuteria Italiana vol 1/2/3/4.

 

Are there any books you love for whatever reason?

I think I'll want to have a look at Brian Derber's Manual of Violin Making, and maybe Meyer's Berliner Geigenbau at this stage.

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All of these books are good except for Strobel's "notebook"  which I think I would be a little careful of (His" Measurements" are useful). I haven't seen Derber's book yet but if I was looking for some one to teach basic violinmaking I would certainly recommend him and would assume that his book is as well made as everything else he does. My library takes up about 50 square feet of shelves and there aren't many I don't use but I would say your next most important book for a dealer's reference would be the Brompton book of violin makers and the Sotheby's book of violin pin ups for an over view of classical style. By the way the Geissenhof book you mention is just beautifully done and should be a model for other books as far as real scholarship and inclusive covering of their subject.

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I enjoyed W A Silverman's "The Violin Hunter."  It is a fun-to-read non-technical violin book -- an embellished but mostly fact-based account of the life of Luigi Tarisio, the greatest collector of stringed instruments who has ever lived.

The book that I consult the most in my workshop is Strobel's "Useful Measurements..."

Harry Wake's books are a waste.

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I think I recall thread(s) on this so a search might be useful.  The Art of Violinmaking by Johnson and Courtnall would be near the top on the list of how to book.  Solid information logically presented, , good photo and impeccable credential of authors.  Violin Restoration by Weisshaar and Shipman is a must, even though some techniques may no longer currently be in favor, still an essential reference I think.  Violin Varnish Notes of Koen Padding and Gary Baese's varnish book (if you can find it) are great little books.   The Violin masterpieces of Guarneri del Gusu by Biddulph is quite  expensive but a great reference, not only for photographs, but amazing articles in the second volume.   Others may be better suited to make Strad oriented book Recommendations.   To my mind, these are the essential no brainer way to start a good library.  

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MANFIO   

For making Courtnall & Johnson '"THE ART OF VIOLIN MAKING".  Biddulph's two volumes about Guarneri de Gesù is a must have.

I made some tutorials about scroll carving and corner shaping that you can find in the internet.

Sei italiano per caso?

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Lest we forget Karl Roy's book. Not exactly a how- to manual, but has lots of historical information, tips and techniques.

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Guido   
1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

I remember K. Roy's book when it was still a twinkle in it's fathers eye but have never seen it in the flesh. Who is selling it?

These guys do:

http://www.holfter.com/Shop/main_bigware_34.php?items_id=177

Not sure if Germany is ideal in terms of shipping costs for you, but it will certainly be a regular customer there by the looks of it.

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58 minutes ago, Guido said:

These guys do:

http://www.holfter.com/Shop/main_bigware_34.php?items_id=177

Not sure if Germany is ideal in terms of shipping costs for you, but it will certainly be a regular customer there by the looks of it.

Ulrich Holfter is great.  Also, as I mentioned in another post,  both the Karl Roy and the C &J book are great but the new Manual of Violin Making by Derber is much better.  Think of it as C & J 2.0

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mood2000   

- Reference/ Identification; 

==================================

unfortunately there are a few books some of them you can't find them because out of stuck or very old editions , but i can mention what i know :

 

-   How to Tell the Nationality of Old Violins , published by " Balfour & Company , 1901 " .

-   The Red Book _ Appraisers Reference Manual of Authentic Stringed Instruments and Bows .

-   Violin Identification and Price Guide _ by Roy Ehrhardt _ in 3 different volumes ( Book No. 1 , 2 & 3 ) .

-    universal dictionary of violin and bow makers by William Henley .

 

also i'm looking for more books regarding to the ( Reference / Identification ) too .

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I want to add Brian Derber's The Manual of Violin Making. It is better than Courtnal and Johnson and competes well with Karl Roy's excellent book. Roy's book has much more on history and varnish making, but Derber shows much more about woodworking and craftsmanship.

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For a group of folk that sometimes has difficulty agreeing what color a blue sky is, the reviews of both the Derber book and the man behind it are unanimously good. I'll be buying a copy soon. 

-Jim 

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http://www.ipci-canada.org/

image.png.de07e7355a496489bae065bef1749595.png

-At over 1600 pages, including 1000 photographs, 300 technical drawings, and a CD ROM, this publication is "simply a must," - Joseph Grubaugh & Sigrun Seifert.

-"One of the greatest sources of information for anyone who is a fiddle aficionado." — David Burgess in The Strad

-"The ultimate work on stringed instruments." — Danish Museum of Music
 
-"This book makes a huge contribution to bow making and restoration ... an invaluable reference that will allow the craft to advance." — Paul Siefried
 
-"This book is a masterpiece, both in the information it imparts and the beauty of its presentation. It is invaluable." — Peter Oxley
 
-"Une inestimable somme d'informations ... une 'bible' pluridisciplinaire." — Cité de la musique, Paris
 
-"An encyclopedic, staggering collection of knowledge." — Roger Hargrave
 
-"A treasure trove of wisdom by a cast of contributors in the vanguard of today's renaissance of violin and bow making." — Strings Magazine, May 2011
 
-"This superbly executed work represents an enormous effort masterfully realized ... readable and beautiful; the index is good, the photography and illustrations crisp, the paper choice perfect, and the use of second colour terrific. The varnished paper jacket, laminated on the inside to give it the right weight, is a clever touch." — Alcuin Society Award for Book Design, Best Reference Book

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Guido   

Ok, I have ordered my Derber copy now, too. That means both Roy and C&J won't be a consideration for a long time to come. Maybe Roy after I have bought many other books...

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GeorgeH   
7 hours ago, Guido said:

Does anyone know if any of the two covers Arch Kested?

I did not see this maker in either book. 

They are both fabulous books. It seems that most (all?) the biographical material from Wenberg's book can be looked up on Amati.com, but you don't get to see the plates.

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I just got my bow books from the German violin makers association on The Nurnberger and Pfretschner families. Beautiful pictures of outstanding examples of their work. Some text with history etc. but deciphering German will take me some time. These are available from Holfter GmbH and arrived from Germany in about three days!

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