Sign in to follow this  
mmmm

Violin ID? 18th Century?

Recommended Posts

Dear experts (and others ;), I recently acquired this violin which is truly excellent sounding...and I'm wondering if any of you had some thoughts on origin or even maker.  It has a label inside which I assume is bogus:  "Mathias Thier, fecit, Viennae Anno 17..."  It also has a W.E.Hill and Sons stamp on the fingerboard G738 (which I guess may, or may not, refer to the violin).  I've seen what the Hills wrote about it, but thought I'd get some opinions before revealing that.  Thanks in advance!

And apologies for my louy pictures...IMG_6232.thumb.jpg.86b2cef3991a8a5ca1d5266abf86115d.jpg

 

IMG_6217.jpg

IMG_6218.jpg

IMG_6219.jpg

IMG_6220.jpg

IMG_6226.jpg

IMG_6227.jpg

IMG_6228.jpg

IMG_6229.jpg

IMG_6231.jpg

IMG_6234.jpg

IMG_6235.jpg

18thcenturylabel.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like a 19th c Mittenwalder to me.

You might be able to find the present holder of the Hill Archives and see if, for a fee i am sure, obtain what instrument in the Hill Archives is linked to that number. It might tall you nothing, it might help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like its about 200 YO. Is this the one that was recently on Tarisio? Looks kind of like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, deans said:

Looks like its about 200 YO. Is this the one that was recently on Tarisio? Looks kind of like it.

Yes it was :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Hills serial number on the fingerboard identifies it as "French Mirecourt 1780" which surprises me, as I didn't think it was French.  Anyway, I'm just curious as to what it might actually be...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You seem to have a talent for photographing so, that all the bits I want to look at are in a shaddow!

 

One should remember, with Mathias Thir, that it was a fairly large workshop, and that he supplied violins for 6 Gulden, and others for 12 Gulden and that the quality varies for this reason. Also be carefull with the label, since these are generally hand written to immitate print, as I explained in my recent post about Widhalm. I could well imagine that it comes from the Thier Workshop, although I would need to have the oppotunity to have a closer look. It looks to me as if it needs taking apart to repair all those badly glued cracks. If you do, I hope you post pictures of the inside.

 

Viennese violins are not a competence of the Hills, it would probably be more entertaining to read their opinions on Irish home rule, or something similar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that an ungrafted neck?  Label appears pre-1850.  Varnish appears Viennese.  I’m sure this is the obvious, so I’ll keep my mouth shut and let Jacob do his thing. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

You seem to have a talent for photographing so, that all the bits I want to look at are in a shaddow!

 

One should remember, with Mathias Thir, that it was a fairly large workshop, and that he supplied violins for 6 Gulden, and others for 12 Gulden and that the quality varies for this reason. Also be carefull with the label, since these are generally hand written to immitate print, as I explained in my recent post about Widhalm. I could well imagine that it comes from the Thier Workshop, although I would need to have the oppotunity to have a closer look. It looks to me as if it needs taking apart to repair all those badly glued cracks. If you do, I hope you post pictures of the inside.

 

Viennese violins are not a competence of the Hills, it would probably be more entertaining to read their opinions on Irish home rule, or something similar

That is hilarious...(re: the Hills).  I really should have someone at least fix up those cracks, and if I ever have the top taken off I will photograph the cr*p out of it.  Until then, is there a particular shadowy bit that I can try and capture?  I was hoping and thinking it was a Thier violin of some sort.  I sure wish you had a shop here in NYC Jacob ;).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, ClefLover said:

Is that an ungrafted neck?  Label appears pre-1850.  Varnish appears Viennese.  I’m sure this is the obvious, so I’ll keep my mouth shut and let Jacob do his thing. :) 

I believe the neck is grafted...

Share this post


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

That is hilarious...(re: the Hills).  I really should have someone at least fix up those cracks, and if I ever have the top taken off I will photograph the cr*p out of it.  Until then, is there a particular shadowy bit that I can try and capture?  I was hoping and thinking it was a Thier violin of some sort.  I sure wish you had a shop here in NYC Jacob ;).

If you live in New York, you should go and visit Bass Clef, and have him let you read his book „Franz Geissenhof und seine Zeit“ which I bullied him into buying. There is a whole chapter on the Thir Family (also in English Translation) and Mathias Thier pictures from page 230 until page 237.

 

The thought of me having a shop in New York makes me shudder and is decidedly science fiction, although a good freind, Julie Reed is there. We sat next to each other for years, first in Munich, then in Bremen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jacob moving to New York - what a thought ...

They think they’re hard over there but I don’t think they could handle Jacob’s type of tough love!!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Jacob moving to New York - what a thought ...

He's got the right shirt, not quite checkered, but close enough

167111_eb.jpg

Share this post


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

He's got the right shirt, not quite checkered, but close enough

167111_eb.jpg

You will be gratified to learn, that a very good freind and collegue, who worked for years for his uncle in Salt Lake City, gave me a genuine checked American violin makers shirt for Christmas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally wouldn't dismiss French provenance without having a thorough look. The scroll seems to fit that school, cornerwork, especially back purfling mitres, and somewhat thicker purfling also look French to me.

I am struggling more with the ff's.  Inside work would be interesting to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll stay tuned on this one. I would ask mmmm if there is any chance the ribs are let into a groove in the back plate. This would make it French for sure,I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, David Holbrook said:

I'll stay tuned on this one. I would ask mmmm if there is any chance the ribs are let into a groove in the back plate. This would make it French for sure,I think.

I thought they were, there was just a hint of a groove on back corners.

The other clue would be the wood provenance of the belly, of course:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The really give in to separate german/austrian from french would be the construction; inner mould with linings inserted into the blocks versus built on the back (as desribed in another recent thread) with linings cut or glued over them.

In my eyes it looks like a typical south german/austrian, or better "Danubian" instrument from the early 19th century, which could be a Mittenwald "Verleger" as well as a Vienna/Thir workshop or something else; all not far away from each other stylistically. I would trust Jacob how to separate it. The varnish isn't particular "Viennese", but was used widely during this period, nearly all over Europe, even in Schönbach. I thought that this was clarified long ago.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience even sloppy made Mittenwald rib joints, becoming partially unglued (and there seems to be a crack in the rib), can look this way; but usually we are expecting things to be what we are used to see, I'm supposing. I would wait what the OP can tell us about the inside work.

Share this post


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

In my experience even sloppy made Mittenwald rib joints, becoming partially unglued (and there seems to be a crack in the rib), can look this way; but usually we are expecting things to be what we are used to see, I'm supposing. I would wait what the OP can tell us about the inside work.

I was talking about the ribs inserted in the back!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Ratcliffiddles said:

I was talking about the ribs inserted in the back!

Now I got it - the small rectangular grooves, partially filled. That would be quite unusual with Mittenwald or Vienna. But did they still make it this way in the assumed period (1800 +x)? And what about it being british?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really can't see a British fiddle.  Some French violins definitely have ribs inserted in the back well into the 19th century, although I think this fiddle is before 1800.

I am getting used to the idea that ff's could be French too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it Looks like a cheaper Thir to me, perhaps with a different scroll. It is, I think a bit pointless arguing about out of focus pictures. I think the ribs are just falling apart,  and would need to see inside.

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
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.