Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Old Violin ID with Bow, Snakewood?


Pylorius

Recommended Posts

I recently purchased this violin, which I suppose may be some 19th century French workshop violin, & a bow with a stick that has some figure t appearing possibly as snakewood, no stamps or markings.The violin has square cleats on the back seam, and ebony pins, one at the neck block in the top, and another in the endblock area. LOB: 35.6cm, neck 130mm, stop 195mm. The top arch seems quite flat,purfling has very narrow blacks, and the scroll is fluted to the end. The neck block is rounded and not square shouldered, the label has no maker or country, but does seem to have 19th c. meshed/screened paper label. The case had a box of Vuillaume rosin with a pitch pipe, the case is a little different shape than the usual GSB ones, with brass latches and handle. The varnish seems antiqued a bit and I had troubles getting decent lighting,... Anyone have any ideas?

P3150002.JPG

11209742815217rr.JPG

P3150004.JPG

P3150013.JPG

P3150018.JPG

P3150060.JPG

P3150015.JPG

P3150054.JPG

P3150009.JPG

P3150010.JPG

P3150030.JPG

P3150033.JPG

P3150036.JPG

P3150028.JPG

P3150037.JPG

P3150031.JPG

P3150042.JPG

P3150006.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Looks like a (very) cheap Neuner & Hornsteiner. You could check it against the Mittenwald half of this check list:

 

you could use up the horse hairs, and then buy a new bow

Thanks Jacob, I do check off most of the boxes for Mittenwald upon closer scrutiny, I thought the dark varnish was obscuring the  bottom rib seam, but it is indeed one piece, and I take that the little notch under the saddle is this" Mittenwald notch" , and also four  equal lateral corner blocks. Some features this has that I did not see mentioned are the 5 back seam cleats which seam original to the construction, I see no signs of the top, belly or neck having been removed. Also, do the "pinched" lower wings on the FF's indicate anything in the quality or time period?The Jalovec book just says "from1812 Matthias Neuner, and later Neuner & Hornsteiner..." Would that place the violin at the middle 1800's ? Assuming the violin was imported, there is no country of origin on the label, which would make it prior to about 1890, and after 1812...but it does at least appear to be the type of paper that could have been used in the mid 19th c. The bow is dead straight, so I think I'll give it a whirl, I am still curious what type of wood the stick is made of, any clues?  Also , any good way to keep that endblock crack from turning into a soundpost crack?

P3150001.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could you post more close up photos of the bow, straight on side views of head and stick? It looks as if could be a sort of real snakewood/Amourette, not the painted-on imitation, although the colour would be a bit unusual. The frog looks nicely shaped, the head more roughly, but that's a common feature at Markneukirchen trade bows of the ca. 1900 period. Nonetheless not bad IMO.

The violin looks IMO more from 1920 or later, the varnish is probably sprayed on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Since the firm Neuner & Hornsteiner was wound up in 1930, you can safely assume that your violin was a little before that.

The case it is with looks to be of an 1800's style, and seems similar to this one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-VIOLIN-Neuner-and-Hornsteiner-Mittenwald-Baiern-1886-in-wooden-case-/132501846760?hash=item1ed9b9bae8%3Ag%3AXxEAAOSwmNxagI4q&nma=true&si=VZW8tp7q6kO%2FBaAL4dRpodSCkn0%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't take the time, but I'm supposing it lasts ca. 30 seconds to put a violin carefully from one case into another;), so a case never can be evidence for anything. You might see that the linked instrument has a different varnish, to say the least.

I'm still interested to see more photos of the bow, which gives IMO much more reason to take a closer look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I didn't take the time, but I'm supposing it lasts ca. 30 seconds to put a violin carefully from one case into another;), so a case never can be evidence for anything. You might see that the linked instrument has a different varnish, to say the least.

I'm still interested to see more photos of the bow, which gives IMO much more reason to take a closer look.

It is hard for me to get an indoor photo with the right light, the figure kind of moves  from different angles and straight on it doesn't show up with my indoor lighting, I have included another outdoor photo from earlier, the frog has two brass pins holding the metal piece with the eyelet. I will try to get some better lighting... there is some dark varnish in places that obsures the figuring, but it can be seen in the lighter areas.. as far as the age of the violin, the label is of the type of paper used up until the late 1800's, so that supports an earlier date, since this was purchased second hand, and not from an ebay seller or such, there seems little chance that a label was added recently, and since it's a cheaper violin, who would have ever likely made that effort to make it appear older. I know labels can be added by anyone, but if it was after 1891 it would also have a country of origin( according to the Mckinley Tarif act, so that also indicates at least a pre 1891 date...

P3150044.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Mittenwald Verleger system worked in a way, that parts or boxes in the white could be stored for a long time and finished /varnished and assembled with neck etc. at a later period. So the type of the label doesn't tell you always when the instrument was finished. And did private imports of violins did require a label according to the Mckinley Tarif act, too?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Blank face said:

The Mittenwald Verleger system worked in a way, that parts or boxes in the white could be stored for a long time and finished /varnished and assembled with neck etc. at a later period. So the type of the label doesn't tell you always when the instrument was finished. And did private imports of violins did require a label according to the Mckinley Tarif act, too?

 

That is assuming that it was made for export. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Blank face said:

The Mittenwald Verleger system worked in a way, that parts or boxes in the white could be stored for a long time and finished /varnished and assembled with neck etc. at a later period. So the type of the label doesn't tell you always when the instrument was finished. And did private imports of violins did require a label according to the Mckinley Tarif act, too?

 

I know it's not any proof, but it certainly doesn't exclude, it seems at least the case, the violin, and the bow have been together for quite sometime, and were donated to a second hand thrift where I purchased it, it's not an ebayer fluffing up his goods to look old, also the vuilluame rosin with dates of mid 19th c. is circumstantial, I definitely don't see a case like this from past 1900, but cases can sit around like parts and be switched any time, I suppose it's possible that long, long ago, in a galaxy far far away.... some person thought"oh I think i'll make this violin without a fingerboard look older by putting it in this case with this snakewood bow, let it sit around my house for decades and then donate it to a thrift to fool someone? Occums razor says no to that scenario compared to other evidence... The snakewood bow by the way, has a majical quality compared to the other bows I have, its a very articulat but warm attack, seems to like gut strings best, it has an interesting swell that kind of builds up on itself and is quite expressive, now I see some of the power of the bow, suddenly I have a whole new level . I used the old plug as a guide to recreate the historical hair amount, the cavity is very tiny, so it wasn't designed to hold much hair compared to more modern bows,  only used thread and rosin & no glue( I used some of the Vuillaume workshop rosin for kicks and luck!), I don't even glue the spreader wedge... so frogs or other animals were not harmed in this operation... One of my personal tricks you Duetschlanders may appreciate, I tame the hairs with a comb dampened with Gerolsteiner Mineral water, works exceptionally well...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/16/2018 at 2:54 AM, Blank face said:

Could you post more close up photos of the bow, straight on side views of head and stick? It looks as if could be a sort of real snakewood/Amourette, not the painted-on imitation, although the colour would be a bit unusual. The frog looks nicely shaped, the head more roughly, but that's a common feature at Markneukirchen trade bows of the ca. 1900 period. Nonetheless not bad IMO.

The violin looks IMO more from 1920 or later, the varnish is probably sprayed on.

 

P3160001.JPG

P3170007.JPG

P3160004.JPG

P3160006.JPG

P3160005.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Blank face said:

The colour looks like real snakewood now; the lesson is, never trust in colouring of digital photography;).

BTW, the head looks more neatly at the players side, another feature often seen at this type of bow. Nonetheless it's an interesting bow IMO.

Thanks for the info, I wouldn't have thought to look for a detail like that, is it the less smoothly curved chamfer as less neat or some other detail, I am very curious to know these kinds of things, any idea as to the time period?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Pylorius said:

 any idea as to the time period?

That's difficult to say, because styles were used over longer time preriods in this area. i would see the style, especially of the frog, roughly in the last third of the 19th century, but it could have been made around 1900, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Blank face said:

That's difficult to say, because styles were used over longer time preriods in this area. i would see the style, especially of the frog, roughly in the last third of the 19th century, but it could have been made around 1900, too.

That's good to know, some more details: the bow is 72.3cm long without the adjuster, which seems rather long, and the bow is a bit heavy, would this indicate anything in particular? It plays like a baroque bow, on resonance, but has a very powerful upbow...soft attack but very atriculate...

I picked up a second hand full spectrum lamp, so I tried a couple more photos with more accurate lighting, my camera is digital, but the zoom lens is analogue, so if the lighting is right it can be pretty accurate..interestingly, I tried that Vuillaume rosin expecting it to be dried up, but it grabs and articlates way better than my Liebenzeller, the outer part is crstallized but still clear and smooth amber within. Do you happen to know anything about the Vuillaume workshop rosin? Who made it, I wonder...also it improved the tone and playability of my other bows,WOW!, I'll be sad when it runs out...

P3180002.JPG

P3180005.JPG

P3180007.JPG

P3180008.JPG

P3180001.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...