jandepora

Germany or French

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This is a fairly common type of commercially mass-produced violin that I think of as "Schweitzer type" because the ones that I see usually have Schweitzer labels dated 1814.  They are antiqued with some or all of the following features:  shaded crackled varnish, fake dirt, fake cracks, fake neck graft, fake peg hole bushings, ebony crown on button, ebony insert in ribs at end pin, pairs of ebony pins through back into end blocks, worn upper treble bout edges, worn back of volute, fake repair labels, etc.  They were made in Saxony around 1890 to 1930.  They may have all be exported to the United States, which would explain why yours does not seem familiar to Martin

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I find it at some point extremely difficult to separate between the Saxon/Bohemian, let's say, "pseudo Schweitzer" type and some Mirecourt shop "vernice vieux". Constructionwise I had enough clearly french Caussin-like stuff built on the back undeniable from eastgerman trade making. Reg. the OP it's IMO not exactly the same as what I know as german, the way the antiquing was done, how the purfling goes into the corners etc., and scrolling through the much JTL stuff at Viaduct can produce some affinities; OTOH, I agree that some features of the OP, ff, the ebony applications or scroll is what I'm usually associating with Mnk trade.

At least, I'm tempted to say, don't care if this or that, it's sure that we don't see neither a Schweitzer nor Amati.B)

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2 hours ago, jandepora said:

Then, if Germany, what workshop could make this one? Like Caussin in France, who was the makers in Germany?

 

I would say that your violin is (one of tens of thousands) of straight forward “Dutzendarbeit” trade violins, from the so called “Musikwinkel” at the end of the 19th. C. If you wish to inform yourself about the makers there, you could do no worse than read the lecture given by Mr Wisehart at the 40th. Anniversary of the VSA in 2012, “Violin Making in the Musik-Winkel of Bohemia and Saxony....”. I posted this lecture on Mn some years ago, but cant find it (help, anyone??). If you PM me your email, I could send it to you as PDF

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2 hours ago, jandepora said:

Then, if Germany, what workshop could make this one? Like Caussin in France, who was the makers in Germany?

 

Although this approach (loosely speaking) to antiqueing was developed by the brothers Caussin, by the end of the 19th century we would have to call it "Caussin School" since it had become a common Mirecourt product. I believe the Saxon trade copied the style since it was obviously popular.

What makes me say German here is more the preponderance of features - rib corners, purfling on the raised edge, scroll design, varnish, arching ... we might find any one of these features on a Mirecourt violin (except maybe rib corners) but not all together.

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35 minutes ago, martin swan said:

What makes me say German here is more the preponderance of features - rib corners, purfling on the raised edge, scroll design, varnish, arching ... we might find any one of these features on a Mirecourt violin (except maybe rib corners) but not all together.

Using the same logic I could say that such an accumulation of french features - style of antiquing, broad purfling jointed extremely neatly through the corners, fine pins, not blackened pegbox - is very unusual at a german violin of the period. I'm unable to judge varnish or arching by the photos. Still thinking that it's hard to decide this way.

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As far as I'm aware all French violins of this period were made with an outside mold, so the corner blocks would be the ultimate proof.

Re features, it's not so much logic as (for example) that although there is a Mirecourt model which sets the purfling up on a raised edge, it appears in about 1910 and is always accompanied by typical Mirecourt scrolls with flat eyes. The strange amorphous scroll doesn't relate to anything I've seen yet from early JTL or "Caussin Shop", and you would have to go back to about 1870 to find anything tradey which was vaguely similar in roundness. The later 1930s Laberte Stainer models had a very Germanic scroll, but super neat and stylised.

I do agree that here are some violins that appear with French labels which seem to involve Schoenbach parts, but if all the parts look German I would rather call them German than French :P

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I admit that the odd scroll is perplexing me most. Reg. construction and purfling I do rely (for example) on a genuine and undisturbed "Copie de Iofredus Cappa" featuring an unmisunderstandable built on the back construction combined with a very similar the way to do the purfling. How to date this, probably pre 1900, I'm still unsure, as well as I won't tell a certain date for the OP.

At least this would be, looking at all the details, a style of saxony violin which I'm completely unaware yet.

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7 hours ago, martin swan said:

The later 1930s Laberte Stainer models had a very Germanic scroll, but super neat and stylised.

 

I have seen once same style of scroll (but much better /cleaner work) on Sanctus seraphim model violin, probably from Cuesnon(as far as I remember)- around 1930ties. Was suspicious, but  it was confirmed as unmistakable french . But still I do not like those scrolls.

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11 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I posted this lecture on Mn some years ago, but cant find it (help, anyone??)

If this text is the one, please, send me the pdf to franc.andrejas@gmail.com, if it is not, please, send me the pdf :D Cheers, Franc

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10 hours ago, jandepora said:

Certainly in the hand it looks better than other dutzendarbeit violins. The varnish and workmanship...the work is neatly made.

I find the term Dutzendarbeit to carry a negative connotation, which duely applies to the vast majority of violins that would be labeled as such.

However, there is in fact a wide range of quality (and price) that would be called Dutzendarbeit.

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11 hours ago, Guido said:

I find the term Dutzendarbeit to carry a negative connotation, which duely applies to the vast majority of violins that would be labeled as such.

However, there is in fact a wide range of quality (and price) that would be called Dutzendarbeit.

I never see a Dutzendarbeit violin with this level of antiquity and that seems like French violins.

 

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16 hours ago, Guido said:

I find the term Dutzendarbeit to carry a negative connotation, which duely applies to the vast majority of violins that would be labeled as such.

However, there is in fact a wide range of quality (and price) that would be called Dutzendarbeit.

Dutzendarbeit is a technical term. It means a violin which was made "by the dozen". There is a relatively wide range of quality, but there's no getting away from the fact that these are objects made by people with no responsibility for the sound or for customer satisfaction.

So it's a bit of an oxymoron to say that "Dutzendarbeit" carries negative connotations. The term denotes low grade work, even if it happens to look quite pretty.

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4 hours ago, jandepora said:

I never see a Dutzendarbeit violin with this level of antiquity and that seems like French violins.

 

As several have said, the "JB Schweitzer ad forman Hieronymus Amati Pestini" violins would be the most common example of this type.

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10 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Dutzendarbeit is a technical term. It means a violin which was made "by the dozen".

Sorry to correct you, but, as several time was pointed to, it means "sold" in packs of a dozen. I won't agree either that there was always no responsibility for sound or satisfaction.

This way of trading instruments started very early in the 19th century, and exactly like you said, there were always many different qualities; top range can sell for some thousands today. Recall stuff like Juzek or Wolff brothers, widely discussed here before.

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