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Violin With Purfling Inlaid on Top of Edge?


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I bought this at a local auction yesterday, and after examining it at home I realized that it was not what I had thought it was.

What is unusual about it (to me) is that the edges are broad and the purfling was inlaid at top of the edge. The fluting along the edges is quite shallow. Also, the corners are pointier than I am used to seeing in Markneukirchen wares.

There are blocks in all corners, and the linings don’t appear to be inserted into the blocks. The scroll fluting does not go the "bitter end” of the throat, but stops a few mm before. The scroll is petite and attractive. The bottom rib is two peices. LOB is 360mm. The only label is a repair label from c. 1917.

I did not pay much for it, but I want to decide whether to spend anything more to get it repaired and set-up.

So, is this another fiddle by an autodidact? Or another variation of “the usual?”













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That's quite "the usual" in my eyes, straight forward Markneukirchen/Schönbach trade built on the back (typical bottom notch under the pin), maybe late 19th century.

The Mirecourt trade sometimes used a similar purfling "top of the edge" and corners, so I'm wondering who copied whom and when.

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7 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I'm guessing that's just a trick of the photos you picked; if you take a look at the both C-bout pictures above, you'll see that the joints are in fact two-ribs thick, with broad glue joints visible in the middle.

Ah, yes, you are quite right now that I look again at the other photos.

This reinforces my belief that I made in a post yesterday about being careful of buying violins based on photos as they can be quite deceiving at times.

I asked this question because I do have a violin where the ribs really are as thin in real life as Georges look to be and I have yet to identify it.

Three different opinions from experts have ranged from  -  Italian  -  to English -  (my luthier) and finally -  (Amati auctions ) German !


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@Blank face

Fortunately, you see enough of a variety of these in real life such that this variation in the edging and purfling is not unusual to you whereas it is to me. Thanks for sharing your insights and experience.


This is one of those violins where the primary indication of BOB is the rib miters, and they are quite thin. In addition, the lower rib joins are slanted slightly and not perpendicular with the top rib joins, another indication of BOB. Nevertheless, this violin has "blocks" in all 4 corners and the linings appear to stop at the "blocks".

If there are real blocks inside, then they may have been placed there by the repair person when the top was off to cleat the saddle crack. The only way to tell for sure is to take off the top.

Thanks for joining the discussion!

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2 hours ago, martin swan said:

I think this approach to purfling originated in Saxony - I had a “Guetter” from around 1830 which had this style of edge/purfling. it then cropped up on Caussin school instruments before being readopted by the MK trade and then again by one Mirecourt shop around 1910.

Yes, I forgot Georg Adam Gütter;) (s.photo), but there's a Chappuy from 1780 in the Tarisio archive, showing the same purfling and exaggerated long corners. https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/property/?ID=8823

So this might be a feature common to both origins since the 18th century?


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  • 3 years later...

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