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Violin_2018

Civil War Era Violin?

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All,

I have an old violin stored in a wooden violin box that seems to be customized for this violin.  Attached are the pictures.

The violin has no bridge but soundpost is standing.  All strings are missing.  The tail piece looks old and hand-made by wood and is detached from the endpin.   Pegbox has four pegs in there but do not seem to be a matching set.  There is no visible marking inside the violin to help determine make/model/origin of the piece.

The back of the violin is interesting.  It has a drawing of some kind of a pledge in the lower bout.  13-stars on the flag with the Eagle flying.  I believe the Eagle is holding a banner that says E pluribus unum (out of many one).  I suspected this is from Civil War era but research on internet came up pretty empty as it seems band instrument (e.g. bugle, drum) would be more common back then with very limited information on violin.  I saw another similar violin online but that one has a lion head scroll whereas this one is a regular scroll.   

I would appreciate if you can offer me some more information on the piece.  How rare is a piece like this?  

Thanks,

MW

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Violin_2018

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Unfortunately, there's nothing special about it.  The back is a decal and I remember a thread where several people here have fiddles with the same decal.  The only interesting thing would be whose idea was those decals.    If you want a player, a new instrument would cost less than getting that one up to speed, and would be a better player too.

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Can you post some clear pictures of the case? It might be more interesting.

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There were some War Between The States ("Civil War", as the Yankees would have it) veterans still living when this fiddle was imported from Germany.  Does that count? :ph34r::lol:

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34 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

There were some War Between The States ("Civil War", as the Yankees would have it) veterans still living when this fiddle was imported from Germany.  Does that count? :ph34r::lol:

War of Northern Aggression, as we grew up with. Nothing civil about it.

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1 hour ago, duane88 said:

War of Northern Aggression, as we grew up with. Nothing civil about it.

Well, I usually use that phrase, but I was being civil. :lol:

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On 5/10/2018 at 3:09 AM, Bill Merkel said:

Unfortunately, there's nothing special about it.  The back is a decal and I remember a thread where several people here have fiddles with the same decal.  The only interesting thing would be whose idea was those decals.    If you want a player, a new instrument would cost less than getting that one up to speed, and would be a better player too.

Bill,

Thanks for taking the time and response to the post.

Would you happen to have the link to the thread that you mentioned.   I am hoping to understand the period of time when such decal/insignia first showing up on violins and that would help lock in the approximate age of the instrument.  From there, be able to determine the origin/make of the instrument based on geo-political events at the time.

I am curious about the decal/insignia as well and trying to figure out what that represents.  Would that represent a particular branch/regiment of the Union (states) government and if so, which one?

I did some search on the internet and came up pretty empty on something equivalent.  The closest I get to his this one on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Violin-1860-American-Civil-War-/332494677620

Difference is the one listed has a lion's head scroll while mine has a regular scroll.  It would seem if its Civil War time, a regular scroll would make more sense from a budget/cost standpoint.

I am not thinking to turn this a a player for reasons you pointed out.  Ran that idea with a luthier and confirmed that.  Although this may have more antique value then value has a player.

 

MW

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I’m afraid that to my eye this is a very ordinary late 19th c Schoenbach violin with an entirely unrelated artwork pasted onto the back with the intention of making the violin more interesting than it is ...

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Thanks for sharing the pictures and information! 

I found another example of Civil War violin in the American Civil War Museum Collection: http://moconfederacy.pastperfectonline.com/webobject/8E86BBEC-2250-41DE-ABF6-469170627406

It seems from looking at the top that the one in the museum is different from the one in terms of the type of wood use, wood grain and varnish.  

 

MW

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1 hour ago, mood2000 said:

from the violin identification and price guide book _ Vol. 2 by Roy Ehrhardt 

the violin made in c.1895

 

Roy vol-2 .jpg

Thanks for the information.  Its just amazing to see the information in the book.  Would the book mention where the violin was made and other information associated with it?    From searching on the internet, I do not see many of these shown and do not seem to be common. 

I tend to think this is made in Europe and the patriotic insignia was put on for American market.  From the luthiers I talked to and in contact with, they tend to think this is mid to late 19th century era unit.   I think the unit was originally built with the patriotic insignia in the back.  The handcrafted wooden case and tailpiece could be indicative of the owner who may not have access to commercially available violin case and tailpiece due to where the owner lived and environment.

MW

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It appears C.G.Conn was a company that focus on band instrument.  If the price guide book is showing violin under C.G.Conn, what is the chance that another company made the violin and C.G Conn just sell those?

MW

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CIVIL WAR POW MADE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT - Hand Made Violin in pine and mahogany, made in 1864 by Cpl. Jackson W. Clark of Co I, 9th Maine Volunteer Infantry, originally from Glenborn, Maine; enlisted in Bangor 9/21/1861; promoted 10/18/1861; captured 8/25/1864 at Weldon Railroad, VA; died 12/2/1864 of starvation in the rebel prison at Salisbury, NC. Aged 31, he had been a cooper. In display case with plexi cover, having photo of his original paper label that is inside the instrument.

----------------------- 

Link

https://www.lofty.com/products/civil-war-pow-made-musical-instrumemnt-hand-made-violin-in-pine-and-mahogany-made-in-1864-by-cpl-jackson-w-clark-of-co-i-9th-maine-vol-1-g3fz

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