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Kevin Kelly

Friday fun

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It's Friday.  I thought I'd change the subject and show something I think is interesting.  A few months ago I was perusing the cd of the catalogue from the Stradivari Museum and came across something that caught my eye.  A bit of effort turned up this little tidbit.

Below are two images.  The first is a template from the Stradivari Museum (MS786) and the second is a CT scan of a del Gesù violin (I won't say which one, because I don't know who owns it now).  The measurements I have for the lengths are 346 mm and 345.8, so I scaled them as accurately as I could in Illustrator. 

 

 

MS786.png.4daea1d9c778ecc81dd6a44d89413bae.png1309659266_CTdelgesu.png.6d34ecf3a30616d70231118ec20bff55.png

and here they are overlaid

1423139292_ms78641delgesucomp..png.d3f9c8acbb484f981a1538da89ddbc6d.png

 

Interesting, no? 

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Interesting, Yes!  I probably have the information at home but not where I'm at.  Even my google-fu has failed me.  Is the template the Amati Grand pattern?  Please put me out of my misery, what pattern is this?

-Jim

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It says "Ceruti workshop" in the catalogue.   All I know is what you see above (I do know it's not an Amati grand pattern).  I thought when I first saw it that it looked like a Guarneri viola, and checked the image against the Primrose - it was very, very close, except for the lower corner location.  Then I had to get the book out to read the description, because there is no info other than the images on the cd, and saw that it was violin size. I knew that this particular violin has those viola-like proportions, so I checked it out, and voila...

 

 

Interestingly, as an aside, it is also very similar to the "Obi-1" violin that was designed by committee at the Oberlin workshop in 2014.  

1254763773_Obi-OneMS786.png.bc59ed632a9cee83d07ae2632ed7dd6c.png

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This is something far more than coincidence. Either one pattern was incorrectly attributed to the wrong maker, or del Gesu was using Strad's form; which might show that there were closer ties between these two makers than what was previously believed.

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11 minutes ago, Bill Yacey said:

This is something far more than coincidence. Either one pattern was incorrectly attributed to the wrong maker, or del Gesu was using Strad's form; which might show that there were closer ties between these two makers than what was previously believed.

I think it's very interesting, and of course the most interesting explanation to me would be that it's a del Gesù artifact that ended up in the collection, but another explanation could be that it's a tracing of an existing instrument (maybe even this very one?)  that was done by someone else at a later date. In any case, I think it's hard to argue that it's anything other than a template for a del Gesù violin.

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The discrepancies in the upper C bout shapes are those which I see as being the most emblematic of the differences between Strad and Del Gesu. Also, one appears to be a form outline, and the other an outline with ribs attached, so the differences in how far the curves extend into the corners on actual instruments will be somewhat blurred in this comparison.

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Great find, Kevin! The lack of compass marks or lines indicates that it has been traced from an existing mould or rib outline? The most apparent explanation would be that it's for copying an existing mould, no? Or is it just for study purposes?

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6 hours ago, Torbjörn Zethelius said:

Great find, Kevin! The lack of compass marks or lines indicates that it has been traced from an existing mould or rib outline? The most apparent explanation would be that it's for copying an existing mould, no? Or is it just for study purposes?

I am at home now, and don't have my catalogue here, but I think the description says that there are compass marks and also the initials of Ceruti written on it - so maybe it was a tracing of a rib outline from an existing violin, made for reference. It looks like the kind of template I make before making a mold, except that I use aluminum.

Not to get too far out there with this, but here's the comparison of the del Gesù violin with the Primrose viola that I mentioned above.  They are obviously not the same size, and were made 44 years apart, going by the labels.

837085050_primrose41delGesucomp..png.fd25a9983254b6078295547cfe66ec99.png

You can see that the design is the basically the same, with the exception of the location of the lower corners

 

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I wonder if it’s possible that either Strad or Guarneri had the other’s violin in the shop for repair and thought the pattern was interesting and made a tracing. Given how close they were to one another, it seems like they must have had many opportunities to see each other’s work. 

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