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Snagged my next mystery project at the local thrift


Madmox

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So i picked up this violin at a thrift store because i am a sucker for an old violin and even moreso when they are damaged or in pieces to get inexpensive repair practice. This one has some conundrums that have me a little perplexed. The only reference i've found to this label was one Christies Auction where a violin with the same label sold, and a reference on a Russian art forum to the luthier Lev Dobriansky. What makes this a little strange is the back looks like David Hopf is carved into it, its pretty rudimentary for a stamp. The inside of the top plate has had the bajeesus cleated out of it and the bass bar is glued in, not carved in which isn't what i would have expected for a normal german Hopf copy. Its fully lined and blocked with a one piece back. There is no neck splice either for what its worth. Anyway i'd love your opinions of this somewhat bizarre mix matched violin. And because its also kind of fun to ponder a violins history my guess is that was a violin that was in someones family, that someone decided to have repaired and set up in order learn how to play. The case had a new bow that doesn't jump out at me as being particularly expensive, though it is fully lined also but the carving isn't anything special or fine.

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39 minutes ago, Rue said:

For some reason...I  think this one is cool.

Congrats - and keep us posted.

Sound clip requested! :)

I don’t play yet, but when I get it to the front of the queue and back together I’ll find someone or be able to muddle my way through something. Speaking of which I really do need to get signed up for lessons. 

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There's nothing mysterious about this violin. Looks like a mid 19th century Hopf model Klingenthal with a usual brand, maybe made by a maker named Hopf, maybe not. I see a very usual through neck and the also usual small log pseudo corner blocks at a built on the back construction. The label seems to refer to a regraduation, which includes the replacement of the original bass bar.

The only mystery remains what was the idea behind setting the cleats this way.

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Clearly the cleats in this orientation did not prevent the cracks from reopening.  If the cleats were properly oriented and did prevent the cracks from reopening, would the stress to the top plate causing the cracks just shift to the next weakest spot?  It has me wondering if the underlying cause of the cracks is what needs to be addressed.  Is the top plate too strongly glued on so instead of a seam opening to relieve stress the plate cracks?

Thanks,

Jim

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Look at that. I am already learning things. I should have joined this forum long ago. Interesting the path it took though life and that someone thought enough of it to have it pulled apart and have it blocked, regraduated and a new bass bar installed. By a Russian luthier no less. 

This russian art forum has his history or at least what I have been able to find. It would appear he was invited to Germany to make repairs to Prince Ludwigs violins and was appointed chief curator or Czar Nicholas II’s collection of violins. 

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21 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

Clearly the cleats in this orientation did not prevent the cracks from reopening.  If the cleats were properly oriented and did prevent the cracks from reopening, would the stress to the top plate causing the cracks just shift to the next weakest spot?  It has me wondering if the underlying cause of the cracks is what needs to be addressed.  Is the top plate too strongly glued on so instead of a seam opening to relieve stress the plate cracks?

Thanks,

Jim

That’s an interesting observation Jim. I’ll go through and correct the wonky cleats and pull the top plate also and reglue both top and bottom to hopefully relieve and stress they glued into the construction and solve that little problem

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1 hour ago, Blank face said:

There's nothing mysterious about this violin. Looks like a mid 19th century Hopf model Klingenthal with a usual brand, maybe made by a maker named Hopf, maybe not. I see a very usual through neck and the also usual small log pseudo corner blocks at a built on the back construction. The label seems to refer to a regraduation, which includes the replacement of the original bass bar.

The only mystery remains what was the idea behind setting the cleats this way.

Ditto. I'd say that the "David" was added later. Looks like the luthier who put the cleats in was pretty incompetent.

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16 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Welcome to MN, Madmox! I like the tailpiece - much more ornate than the usual flowery inlay.

Thanks. I’ve been a lurker here for a few years now and finally just got my act together enough to register. I am really glad to be here. 

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4 hours ago, Madmox said:

Look at that. I am already learning things. I should have joined this forum long ago. Interesting the path it took though life and that someone thought enough of it to have it pulled apart and have it blocked, regraduated and a new bass bar installed. By a Russian luthier no less. 

This russian art forum has his history or at least what I have been able to find. It would appear he was invited to Germany to make repairs to Prince Ludwigs violins and was appointed chief curator or Czar Nicholas II’s collection of violins. 

Odessa is in southern Ukraine, but the label has Warsaw handwritten in Polish after it.

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5 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

Clearly the cleats in this orientation did not prevent the cracks from reopening.  If the cleats were properly oriented and did prevent the cracks from reopening, would the stress to the top plate causing the cracks just shift to the next weakest spot?  It has me wondering if the underlying cause of the cracks is what needs to be addressed.  Is the top plate too strongly glued on so instead of a seam opening to relieve stress the plate cracks?

Could top-cracking stresses come from some failure of the through-neck design or implementation?

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8 hours ago, Addie said:

The usual through-neck that was regraduated and blocked in 1904 by Viola d'Amore's great grandfather.   :rolleyes::lol:

There was an entire process involved.  Nowadays I no longer use lightning striking the lab for revivifying the violin (fewer cracks), and replaced the original secret mixture with something less dependent on beet juice and vodka.  :ph34r:;):lol:

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On 1/26/2018 at 5:04 PM, LongNeck said:

Could top-cracking stresses come from some failure of the through-neck design or implementation?

If something always breaks the same way it means the design/material selection is no damn good.

Any good cabinet maker would never ever glue together different woods with different grain directions like a violin has.

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On 1/26/2018 at 5:01 PM, FiddleDoug said:

Did you take the back off? The front is usually taken off for repairs, and it's usually not a good idea to take the back off, except as pretty much a last resort. In any case, the front will need to come off to repair the cracks properly.

Unfortunately the back was off when I got it. But since it is, I’ll clean up the old glue and get it put back on. C’est La Vie 

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On 1/26/2018 at 5:45 PM, Madmox said:

Interesting the path it took though life and that someone thought enough of it to have it pulled apart and have it blocked, regraduated and a new bass bar installed. By a Russian luthier no less. 

This russian art forum has his history or at least what I have been able to find. It would appear he was invited to Germany to make repairs to Prince Ludwigs violins and was appointed chief curator or Czar Nicholas II’s collection of violins. 

I'd say that Mr. Dobriansky has nothing with this violin, because the label says: "Tone and timbre perfected according to the procedure discovered by L. Dobriansky" etc.

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On January 26, 2018 at 5:46 PM, Violadamore said:

There was an entire process involved.  Nowadays I no longer use lightning striking the lab for revivifying the violin (fewer cracks), and replaced the original secret mixture with something less dependent on beet juice and vodka.  :ph34r:;):lol:

Well, your location is good for thunder storms, but the price of copper for anodes that go through the roof has gone through the roof...

But anyway, how are the experiments with the Mountain Dew going?  ^_^

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13 minutes ago, Addie said:

Well, your location is good for thunder storms, but the price of copper for anodes that go through the roof has gone through the roof...

But anyway, how are the experiments with the Mountain Dew going?  ^_^

If you haven't you guys need to read Mrs. McWilliams and the Lightning by Mark Twain. Hilarious. :)

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