Delabo

beyond economic repair ?

Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

This has nothing to do with the suposition that violin resorers are stupid, and that guitar/gamba restorers were born with some sort of silver spoon in there visage.

I don't think anybody was implying that. However, old Gibson Mandolins, for example, can be extremely valuable and can suffer the same types of damage as violins (spruce tops, maple ribs and backs). Yet there are expertly-skilled luthiers who specialize in fretted instruments who won't touch anything in the violin family and there are expertly-skilled violin luthiers who won't touch anything fretted. The OP's instrument is a hybrid. 

I would think that if the top were shrinking on this violin, it would be pulling away from the binding, but I don't see evidence of that. If it were, there would be the challenge of refitting the binding to the top as well as the top to the the ribs. My guess is someone with lots of experience in repairing fretted instruments that have bindings around the top and back like this would be better experienced to handle such a repair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

I don't think anybody was implying that. However, old Gibson Mandolins, for example, can be extremely valuable and can suffer the same types of damage as violins (spruce tops, maple ribs and backs). Yet there are expertly-skilled luthiers who specialize in fretted instruments who won't touch anything in the violin family and there are expertly-skilled violin luthiers who won't touch anything fretted. The OP's instrument is a hybrid. 

I would think that if the top were shrinking on this violin, it would be pulling away from the binding, but I don't see evidence of that. If it were, there would be the challenge of refitting the binding to the top as well as the top to the the ribs. My guess is someone with lots of experience in repairing fretted instruments that have bindings around the top and back like this would be better experienced to handle such a repair.

Generally speaking, and there are exceptions, the level of work in the fretted world is not at the level that is expected in the violin world. I've restored many old Gibsons, so I straddle both worlds. On the old A models that have the shrinkage at the neck block area, a lip of overhang is considered acceptable. If someone wanted that lip gone, you would re-bind the back. The binding on the Chanot that we are looking at here is much more complicated and most fretted instrument repair techs wouldn't touch it. Of note: on an F-style mandolin, you almost never remove the top for such repairs, and you almost never are able to salvage the binding when you remove the back. I've pressed out mando top arches with a partial plaster cast, ribs still attached.

The instrument as a whole looks pretty good, and although the repair is complicated by the lack of overhang, fix it if you enjoy playing it. The low value given for it is very related to the modifictions (removal of the orig. bridge and such) and shouldn't deter you from having it fixed if you enjoy it. As a vehicle for profit and investment, not so much.

I like Rue's way of looking at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You say that this instrument is dated c.1835 and some one else refers to it as a Chanot. I would think that if either of these things were true the value would be considerably more than you are saying. While these things are certainly a good example of a better idea that wasn't they are none the less pretty cool and if original should be worth the effort to repair it. Definitely a nasty job though and I think the Guitar or Gamba maker might be the way to go.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Jacob described, the problem with all the ribs/plates flush constructions is, that due to the shrinking process there will be after a while "too much rib for too less plate". At guitars this is a very common problem, it can appear after very few decades of aging.

Having to handle this problems many times before, my solution was to add wood at the binding. It means, at the places where the rib outline starts to become too wide, you need to separate the whole binding or just stripes of it from the inner plate and add fine stripes of identical (looking) material to the binding. The variation of width might result in a slightly irregular appearance, but usually this effect is very small, in each case it's the minor disadvantage compared with adding wood inside the plate, planing down the ribs or other options.

Reg. the OP, I agree with Nathan and others, that it's an instrument of "cultural value", even the missing original bridge could be replaced, and worth conserving it, beond any tonal preference. Sometimes it can be enough to open the outer bouts partially to release tension and glue cracks and bar together again from outside. Then I would separate plate and binding, glue again both parts to rib and lining (binding fitting exactly to the outline) and fill the eventual gaps neatly with stripes, dark wood matching the present dark stripes. The same procedure is possible after removing the whole top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your replies.

The consensus seems to be that a repair of sorts is possible but it is going to cost a lot .  Perhaps it explains one reason why chanots idea never took off,because of the need for repairs down the line. The classic violin with overhanging plates is so much easier to repair !

I think my best course of action is to put it back in its case and retire it to the attic (the traditional home of old violins) and forget about it.

Out of interest,although there is no evidence that the top has ever been off,there is damage to the wood purfling at the neck root where it looks like someone tried putting a knife  in and had better thoughts about it !  Do you think that this would be the best place to attempt a repair ? Hopefully the ivory multi binding would come off the with top plate and remain intact. The damaged purfling could be removed and fitted with new when replacing the top. 

DSC_0130.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Delabo said:

I think my best course of action is to put it back in its case and retire it to the attic (the traditional home of old violins) and forget about it.

I hope that this was not serious. Attics are where old violins go to be slowly tortured and ruined. If you're not going to repair it or pay to repair it, why not sell it to someone who might? This violin might do well in a Tarisio T2 auction.

9 hours ago, duane88 said:

I've restored many old Gibsons, so I straddle both worlds...

Interesting comment - Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/4/2017 at 9:36 AM, Delabo said:

Many thanks for your replies.

The reason I am asking if it is beyond economic repair is because I paid £420 for it a few years ago,and I had it valued a few months back at just £200.

For £200, I'll take ten, please!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

If you're not going to repair it or pay to repair it, why not sell it to someone who might?

Plenty of guys would like to have this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should look for a more serious valuation, this sum is ridiculous. Maybe he wants to get it by himself for small money.

First thing to work out is, if it's a genuine Chanot or at last from the period and "circle", what could tell you someone like Rampal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the scroll I'm thinking this originated somewhere from what is now Czech Rep. But a good one, and an actual Chanot model (not just a random cornerless model).  But that's just a feeling, it could be a Chanot, either way its worth fixing IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, deans said:

Looking at the scroll I'm thinking this originated somewhere from what is now Czech Rep. But a good one, and an actual Chanot model (not just a random cornerless model).  But that's just a feeling, it could be a Chanot, either way its worth fixing IMO.

I won't be so sure about the scroll - there were different types, varnish and edgework don't look bohemian IMO.

Different types of Chanot scrolls are here

http://collections.nmmusd.org/Violins/1800-1849/Chanot.html

http://collections.nmmusd.org/Violins/Chanot/10011/Chanot10011.html

http://collections.nmmusd.org/Violins/Chanot/1287/Chanot2.html

http://collections.nmmusd.org/Violas/Chanot/10395/Chanot10395.html

some not very different from the OP I guess.

A Maline was discussed here

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I won't be so sure about the scroll

I'm not so sure either, just going by certain "look". Weak I know, but I'm pretty sure there are copies of Chanots that are based closely on originals. A good look at the neck set might be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to look at is the shadow of the former tailpiece on the top. I believe it should show repaired teardrop-shaped pin holes, as you can see on the one at the Smithsonian. http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_605652 It would be a funny thing to recreate if you're just making a cornerless violin. If your goal is really counterfeiting, why bother making a complex, unusual instrument when you could fake something more conventional and more valuable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Tom Fid said:

unusual instrument when you could fake something more conventional and more valuable?

These guys made copies of all kinds of things, and I don't believe their motivation was always counterfeiting or faking.

I'm just being suspicious, could be a Chanot, but I've been down similar paths before.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Delabo said:

. ..

I think my best course of action is to put it back in its case and retire it to the attic (the traditional home of old violins) and forget about it.

...

Aw. Sad option!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, deans said:

These guys made copies of all kinds of things, and I don't believe their motivation was always counterfeiting or faking.

I'm just being suspicious, could be a Chanot, but I've been down similar paths before.......

Hi,

My violin is not a Chanot,it has the internal firebrand of "Maline". As I am sure you are aware the "Maline" family were French Mirecourt lutheriers. Whether this particular Maline was making violins on behalf of Chanot,or was merely copying them,I do not know. But I believe that Chanot patented his violin,and this one seems identical to his,and so it seems unlikely that Maline would go down that route. But who knows ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The lost brother of mine!

My Maline has a pencil inscripción saying it was made in 1831. Could you see if tour has the same inscription?

I had to repair a line in mine and I open the down bout and return to glue it without problem. To glue back the ivory edge I use strings round the body. One parte of the ivory was deformed and I unglue it, soack it in water and glue it back again.

I think it is not as dificult as you think. Try not to open all at one time.

could you make a picture of the repaired part where the original strings must be inserted? Your looks like it has not varnish under the ebony piece where the strings were placer with the top.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As we have now two branded Maline of the Chanot model, it seems undisputable that they made them. Some research could show up in which relation they were to the inventor, maybe they had a sort of agreement. I won't reason about a particular number, but the value should be in a region where a repair is economical here (to answer the OP question).B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This post is an example of why I build my guitars like violins with an overhang lip, as this makes pulling the top very easy as compared to a "bound" or binded edge as seen here andas is standard on guitars....

This looks like a Chanot and is well worth restoring IMO, if it is,  however based on it's guitar like construction I would think a topnotch guitar repair person would be a better choice,simply based on the fact that the ones who are good have the ability to deal with binding removal and such.They do it more and see it more as most violins are not built as such.

Edit not a Chanot? if a copy I'd rethink my advice...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jezzupe said:

if a copy I'd rethink my advice...

I wouldn't, if its a good fiddle its a good fiddle, copy or not. Assume it would cost $1000- 1500, I don't think I'm too far off. The OP seems to have a certain amount of passion for the instrument and misses playing it. If you can get that level of enjoyment for that amount of money in the violin world you're a winner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Dwight Brown said:

Given that he deals in a range of instruments and he is a VSA member I wonder if Fred Oster in Philadelphia might not be a good resource for this instrument.

 

DLB

I'm not sure how far he is from the sf bay area,but I know Bruce Sexauer and Tony Lane work together often , basically a top guitar guy and violin guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, deans said:

I wouldn't, if its a good fiddle its a good fiddle, copy or not. Assume it would cost $1000- 1500, I don't think I'm too far off. The OP seems to have a certain amount of passion for the instrument and misses playing it. If you can get that level of enjoyment for that amount of money in the violin world you're a winner.

I would'nt hesitate to spend 300 mIOTA on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.