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Violin ID, F.A. Glass brand


Jeff White
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Friedrich August Glass is a name appearing in some of the "usual" Dutzendware of the late 19th century. I have no idea what the "un" does mean at all.

The fiddle itself looks quite idiosyncratic with the broad fluted edgework, though surely saxon. I've got the feeling, that scroll and button don't belong, the workmanship just doesn't match the body.

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When the customer first brought  in the  violin, my first gut reaction was to dismiss the "idiosyncratic" styling and I told her I thought it reminded my of Klingenthal/Mark area and was Dutzendware of the mid to late 1800's.  The fluting kept bugging me (4.3mm edge thickness) and  a few other things  too.  I'll take a closer look at the button, just saw it as a horribly botched job.  Just wanted to run it by you guys to be sure, thanks for your input.

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  • 1 year later...
On 11/11/2018 at 12:45 AM, Blank face said:

Friedrich August Glass is a name appearing in some of the "usual" Dutzendware of the late 19th century. I have no idea what the "un" does mean at all.

The fiddle itself looks quite idiosyncratic with the broad fluted edgework, though surely saxon. I've got the feeling, that scroll and button don't belong, the workmanship just doesn't match the body.

I can't remember, but I THINK it is George H who recently posted (or talked about....) another one of these.  George?  Would be interesting to compare the scroll/body details.  The owner (over the "lockdown") brought it in for the work. Here are some pics, here only REAL complaint when brough in was the neck tilt going to the bass side! BF's latest contributions on the Kling thread got me reinvigorated about the Klingenthal  area.  Wish I read German.

Belly1 Before.jpg

Belly2_After.jpg

Neckset and Rib1 Before.jpg

Neck and Rib4 After.jpg

IMG_5372.jpg

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It was another member referring to a Hopf branded instrument which was allegedly a FA Glass like someone told him because of it's dark brown varnish (at least that was how I understood it). This seems a bit odd.

Like I wrote in the other thread, there were several Friedrich August named members of the Glass family in the 2nd half of the 19th and early 20th century, so it would be hard to cfind out who exactly is meant with this brand. Or it's just a fancy trade name similar to the names used in Mirecourt, when a firm bought the right to use it from a heir. There was an older FA Glass in the period around 1800 branding his signature under the button, maybe it was meant to cause confusion with this more reknown maker?

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So this has piqued my curiosity (or inflamed my ignorance... your choice).

If the edgwork on these is idiosyncratic compared to "the usual", then would it be something specified by the buyer who then applied the fantasy label/stamp or is it a characteristic of a particular maker? If unique to a particular source of dutzendarbeit, then wouldn't we see this style with other facsimile labels? Perhaps that is common - I just haven't handled enough instruments yet to know.

Does anyone know if the presence or lack of the "F.A. Glass" stamp under the button indicates anything? Newer vs older? Different dealers? Or is it completely insignificant?

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Henley lists 3 separate makers named Friedrich August, or Friedrich A Glass.  The first two worked at Klingenthal; (1) c 1790 which seems too early for your example (2) worked between 1830-1860: "Violins that continue to improve as the years pass by. Outside the class known as 'commercial'. Concentrated on producing the Stradivarian model, nevertheless it is a Tyrolised version. Workmanship not matchless but certainly quite good. Yellow brown varnish."   He also gives some label details and notes: "Sometimes branded 'F, A, G'."

(3) was born at Klingenthal but established at Altona, 1892. He died in 1906. His entry reads: "Beautiful violins, considerable originality, everything completely homogeneous. Arching moderately high, and of most delightful sweep to allow for the particularly wide flattish grooving. Thicknesses of the wood and the acoustical attunement of the back and belly most scientifically gauged. Various shades of finely textured oil varnish, yellow, red and dark brown. Spirit varnish for the cheaper instruments."        No mention of any branding.

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7 hours ago, TJ Fuss said:

So this has piqued my curiosity (or inflamed my ignorance... your choice).

If the edgwork on these is idiosyncratic compared to "the usual", then would it be something specified by the buyer who then applied the fantasy label/stamp or is it a characteristic of a particular maker? If unique to a particular source of dutzendarbeit, then wouldn't we see this style with other facsimile labels? Perhaps that is common - I just haven't handled enough instruments yet to know.

Does anyone know if the presence or lack of the "F.A. Glass" stamp under the button indicates anything? Newer vs older? Different dealers? Or is it completely insignificant?

TJ, As mentioned before I have a violin that looks like the one you posted above. Mine has the HOPF brand which is not significant to the maker. I had a very reputable appraiser tell me it was built around 1900 by F.A.Glass. The Glass family violin makers goes back in Klingenthal to Johann David Glass 1723-1772, Fredrich August Glass (1) 1774-1833, Fredrich August Glass (2) 1796-1857, Johann August Traugott Glass 1819-1896 and Fredrich August Glass (3) 1866-1906 who as mentioned above ended up in (Altona) Hamburg. There was a long dynasty of the Hopf family that was also from Klingenthal that goes way back. I have to think there was some connection between the two families and the fiddle from TJ and mine were built on the HOPF model. I know this proves nothing on identifying the violin above but I hope it shows validity of the Glass family. 

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5 hours ago, vathek said:

My understanding is that all those stamped as the O P's were late 19c factory instruments. I believe FAG 3 had a factory where these were turned out.

The third FA Glass just sold violins from the Markneukirchen/Schönbach trade, bought in a Dutzend, like hundreds of other dealers and without any particular specs, except that he glued in his firm label. The both others made some more, some less nice instruments in the style of the Vogtland and used a three letter brand or their name (s.below, various spelling was common during the period). Zoebisch shows a rather nice one, though unbranded. Henley's writing is the usual hearsay and advertising record he got from his Markneukirchen wholesaler friends or copied from Lüttgendorf and should be ignored.

I'm doubting that bothe the OP nor TJ's have anything to do with one of this tree, more probably it's a trade name used by somebody else like I tried to explain above.

glas.JPG

glass fa Geige_Detailfotos 022bearb.jpg

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Thank you all for taking the time to share information - especially after I hijacked Jeff's thread. I realize my violin is pretty insignificant compared to the goodies many of you get to see. Walk before you run, eh?

As Terry posted, it seems that the idiosyncratic edgework wasn't necessarily unique to violins with the Glass label so I won't hang any significance on that (although, I rather like the look).

The part that has me confuddled is this: in my previous thread, Jacob described it as possibly "a good Saxon violin from mid 19th C. with one of these facimile labels" [with link to a prior thread]. Wouldn't mid 19th C. put it in the working range of F.A. Glass II ? Is it probable that a dealer in trade instruments would be using a facsimile Glass label while Glass (II) was active? Or was that standard operating procedure?

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  • 1 year later...
On 10/19/2020 at 12:20 AM, TJ Fuss said:

I posted a short time ago about a "Fried. Aug. Glass" labeled violin that was deemed a likely facsimile label. It has that same broad, swooping edgework but no branding stamp below the button.

_12A6062.jpg

_12A6065.jpg

I have an almost twin to your instrument by FA Glass (sort of the third). Probably a bit better loved in the past, but clearly the same instrument.

I admit I did everything wrong in my Ebay purchase, I travelled 200 miles to see a violin I hadnt heard, was unplayable and had been neglected on the top of a wardrobe for the last 10-15 years. However, it felt "right" in hand and I loved the way it looked. I paid £170 plus about £50 in petrol.

I replaced the heavyweight Jnfeld (Infeld) metal tailpiece and the horrid little bakalite Hill-style chinrest with decent quality rosewood and added Larsen Tziganes. And I cleaned and cleaned, but only with Hidersol. The first photo shows the original fittings and a set of Violinos that really didnt work for it.

I recently (Feb '22) took the instrument in its now playable state to a highly reputable UK auction house for an assessment, supposedly with a view to entering in an auction. They said Circa 1900, German factory violin, small button, medium-high arching, delicate neck, original varnish, dark colour, good condition, sweet tone, good projection. Auction estimate £5-800, possibly £900 if someone tried it and it felt right to them. Nice, they said, not special or valuable, but a really nice 120 year old violin.

In its current condition, I adore this violin. I play it, poorly, daily. Its not for sale and I dont think I would ever be parted from it. I love its sweet tone and sharp response, I love the way it vibrates in my hand and sustains a long note, I particularly love the sympathetics. The Tziganes suit it perfectly with their relatively low tension and I think that the rosewood fittings look lovely.

You can clearly see the dots, I am a beginner/improver, but I am a convert to finding old violins over the newer alternatives. I am currently looking for "the right" Murdoch because I love the idea of the social history that accompanies those particular violins.

I keep promising myself that I will spend a few hundred pound and have it "fettled" by a professional "fettler" (luthier) but that would not add value, except to me.

I think that a nice find, if you like the way it sounds, does make you love the violin a little bit more, but only if you play it enough.

IMG_20210904_205852310.jpg

IMG_20220318_223136404.jpg

IMG_20220318_223147036.jpg

IMG_20220318_223231862.jpg

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5 hours ago, Nekon said:

I have an almost twin to your instrument by FA Glass (sort of the third). Probably a bit better loved in the past, but clearly the same instrument.

I admit I did everything wrong in my Ebay purchase, I travelled 200 miles to see a violin I hadnt heard, was unplayable and had been neglected on the top of a wardrobe for the last 10-15 years. However, it felt "right" in hand and I loved the way it looked. I paid £170 plus about £50 in petrol.

I replaced the heavyweight Jnfeld (Infeld) metal tailpiece and the horrid little bakalite Hill-style chinrest with decent quality rosewood and added Larsen Tziganes. And I cleaned and cleaned, but only with Hidersol. The first photo shows the original fittings and a set of Violinos that really didnt work for it.

I recently (Feb '22) took the instrument in its now playable state to a highly reputable UK auction house for an assessment, supposedly with a view to entering in an auction. They said Circa 1900, German factory violin, small button, medium-high arching, delicate neck, original varnish, dark colour, good condition, sweet tone, good projection. Auction estimate £5-800, possibly £900 if someone tried it and it felt right to them. Nice, they said, not special or valuable, but a really nice 120 year old violin.

In its current condition, I adore this violin. I play it, poorly, daily. Its not for sale and I dont think I would ever be parted from it. I love its sweet tone and sharp response, I love the way it vibrates in my hand and sustains a long note, I particularly love the sympathetics. The Tziganes suit it perfectly with their relatively low tension and I think that the rosewood fittings look lovely.

You can clearly see the dots, I am a beginner/improver, but I am a convert to finding old violins over the newer alternatives. I am currently looking for "the right" Murdoch because I love the idea of the social history that accompanies those particular violins.

I keep promising myself that I will spend a few hundred pound and have it "fettled" by a professional "fettler" (luthier) but that would not add value, except to me.

I think that a nice find, if you like the way it sounds, does make you love the violin a little bit more, but only if you play it enough.

IMG_20210904_205852310.jpg

IMG_20220318_223136404.jpg

IMG_20220318_223147036.jpg

IMG_20220318_223231862.jpg

Welcome to MN!!  Congrats on having a beautiful violin that you are happy with.  :)

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3 hours ago, Rue said:

I love happy partnerships! :wub:

And that is what matters most to me, the partnership. :)

For the statisticians, this violin is 0.5mm narrower in the neck than my chinese starter violin (Hidersine Vieneza "outfit" bought during the first UK lockdown in May 2020) but for me it is a difference that makes this violin "my" violin.

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