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Amateur Dieudonne

The Crazy Paving Violin

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Some interest was expressed in more pictures of a particular violin in another thread.

So here are some more pictures :).

It is somewhat 'redder' than the photos show.

That it is French has been established.

As it is our favourite violin in both appearance and sound, I have formulated some theories about it, one of which is that the varnish was an attempt to replicate the Cremonese red varnish.  

http://stringsmagazine.com/a-look-at-parisian-violin-makers-approach-to-varnish/ 

https://www.thestrad.com/lutherie/what-is-the-secret-behind-stradivaris-red-violins/8128.article

As the red varnish recipe was lost at some point, this particular attempt at recapturing it, resulted in the craquelure we see here (which probably wasn't envisioned at the time of formulation :blink:). 

Can someone knowledgeable say whether the style is identifiable as that of any particular classical maker?

I mean F- hole, outline, arching.......I do have an idea about that but I do not want to prejudice any potential suggestions; I am far from competent in that matter anyway :ph34r:.   

Evan Smith, if you are reading this I loved your post on the other thread......... 'put up a parking lot' indeed!  :D

Hope you enjoy these new angles.

Please feel free to add photos to this thread of exceptionally craquelured violins!

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Thank You,,

I am watching this,, I really like this alot, more than alot.

It really adds another dimension to the entire object, it is fantastic.

Thank you for the pictures.

I would really like to be able to do this on a few of my fiddles!

It is in such pristine condition,,, just wow,,

Bet it feels real interesting to rub over it with your hand.

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Yep, it's definitely an alligator.  It's nice to look at as a decorative object, but it doesn't look very practical.  It looks like it hasn't been used much.

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I like the scroll very much, but I must confess that the rest of the instrument does not appeal. But Upon further reflection I would not re-varnish it. However, the violin in the other thread was far worse than this one.

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This question may have been asked, but I didn’t see the answer. Was this kind of result intentional? Did the maker know that this was what he was getting and it was what he wanted?

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This is not intentional!

I was thinking about the Lyon school until I saw the scroll. Now I wonder if it isn't a superior JTL, the sort of thing that would have been labelled Acoulon ...

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How about this one?  It was made in the mid 1980's and has been played continuously since it was purchased.   This sort of varnish scaling can happen pretty quickly, as it was like this when I first saw the fiddle over ten years ago. 

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@ Mr.Swan - not a JTL but it is a top end dealer/workshoppy type of instrument according to the label (1927)

Nice, no wonder you are so highly regarded in these matters :)

At this point can anyone illuminate/add insight on the 'paste' from Tarisio below about the trade relationship

(underlined) between the Guadagninis and Mirecourt? 

https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/browse-the-archive/makers/maker/?Maker_ID=232

'Second only to his great-grandfather G.B. Guadagnini in productivity, Francesco Guadagnini inherited the family workshop in 1881 at the age of 18. He ran the business successfully, with some help from his brother Giuseppe II, and although he continued the trade relationship with Mirecourt established by his grandfather Gaetano II, he soon became interested in violin making. The presence of workshop assistant Enrico Marchettiduring his father's tenure probably had a formative influence on Francesco's work. 

His best instruments, which date from the first decade of the 20th century, feature a hard yellow-orange layer of varnish with a reddish-pink on top and are on a contemporary version of a Guadagnini model. In Francesco's time the shop employed several young and talented makers, including Carlo Oddone, Annibale Fagnola, and Evasio Emilio Guerra, who probably inspired his best work. After 1912 his model remains much the same until about 1920, when it becomes more exaggerated and the varnish becomes hard and dark red in color. Though the peak of his output in quality is around 1900-1910, these lesser later instruments are much more common. Francesco's son Paolo followed in his footsteps, the last violin maker of the great Guadagnini dynasty.'

 

@ Rue - no, you may not devour our violin to satisfy your 'craze'  :)

BTW I like your vision of 'Grotesque'.....

@ La Folia - it is played every day and rosin wipes off clean and easy with a damp tissue. In what way does it look impractical?

Obviously a personal thing but it puts out some sounds (kind of like a super sweet horn hybridised with a violin) that I find 'to die for, Darling'   

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9 minutes ago, Amateur Dieudonne said:

...

@ Rue - no, you may not devour our violin to satisfy your 'craze'  :)

BTW I like your vision of 'Grotesque'.....

...

You're a brave man! ^_^

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1 hour ago, Amateur Dieudonne said:

@ La Folia - it is played every day and rosin wipes off clean and easy with a damp tissue. In what way does it look impractical?

 

If it cleans up OK, then I guess you can't ask for more.  It doesn't show signs of wear.  Most violins that have been played consistently over the years will show considerable wear on the varnish where it's contacted by the hand, and maybe by the shoulder.

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There are all kinds of crackle and I think almost always caused by drying from the surface down. The thicker the varnish the more likely it will crackle.  I like varnishes which crackle to some degree but think that anything that pulls so much as to leave bare wood showing has to be considered a failure. They can look good but usually only after much of the varnish is worn completely away.

I asked the question in the other current discussion of the M'Wald violin with the beaded up varnish what is the cause of such extreme crackle and would welcome any input from people who understand the science.

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21 hours ago, martin swan said:

This is not intentional!

I was thinking about the Lyon school until I saw the scroll. Now I wonder if it isn't a superior JTL, the sort of thing that would have been labelled Acoulon ...

Martin,

What is it about the scroll that precludes Lyonnais?

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2 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Martin,

What is it about the scroll that precludes Lyonnais?

The scroll eye is very small - also with the Lyons makers, generally the chamfer flares slightly into the eye of the scroll ... like a sprouting mung bean!1263462088_boulangeotscroll.thumb.jpg.f62f95d9561275262edc70d9c9fe9f3a.jpg

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On 1/27/2019 at 8:46 AM, Amateur Dieudonne said:

although he continued the trade relationship with Mirecourt established by his grandfather Gaetano II,

If you think about it, this is kinda important as Bromptons have archives with prices from a decade ago being about 20-30k GBP for Francesco. 

https://www.bromptons.co/reference/results/details/violin-by-francesco-guadagnini-turin-1937.html

Which way was this trade going?

Was it going both ways?

What, exactly was going?

If the Guadagnini workshop was sending early Fagnola, Oddone and Guerra's to Mirecourt.......well, there might be some extra styley French violins around.

If Mirecourt was being sent to Italy you could be paying Italian for 'made in France', no?

I have added a piccy of the crazy paver front herewith as there is none higher up the thread and a Brompton picture of an F. Guadagnini 1937 worth - estimate £40,000 - £60,000

Anyone like to compare the oval finials of the F's ? 

So what was this mysterieux 'trade relationship' with Mirecourt?

Is there any information to be gleaned from any of the writings of Mr.E. Blot?

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As I understand it the Guadagninis were dealing in antique instruments which they obtained from some individual/s in Mirecourt. I don't think there's ever been a suggestion that the Guadagnini family were using white violins obtained in Mirecourt.

 

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This is exactly what happens with Michelmann's varnish which is a cold mix of resin/oil.  I believe perhapts that if this is a cooked varnish,  it was insufficiently cooked.

Cooking should tie up a lot of the double bonds in the oil.  That is, cooking produces some of the polymerization. Better to do this when hot and liquid rather than when it is dry and on a violin.

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Bad varnish results are not unique to any particular school. It has happened on every continent and in every age since varnish was first made.

So long as we pour substances together from an old recipe and put them on fiddles and expect them to dry, this will happen.

It is chemistry, it can be explained, but the level of knowledge required to craft an oil varnish from scratch and be able to predict the outcome, especially over time, is significant.

 

"Hey, Luigi, look at this new varnssh. It's beautiful!" and Mario replies, "Yes, if it would only stay that way!"...

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On 1/28/2019 at 9:15 PM, martin swan said:

the Guadagninis were dealing in antique instruments which they obtained from some individual/s in Mirecourt

Thank you for that comment Martin. Is there any reference for the assertion or is it more anecdotal/apocryphal?

I see that a Mr E. Doring (USA) wrote a treatise on the Guadagninis....I wonder if there is any mention in there?

I wondered about this because I thought I could see Guadagnini influences in the Crazy Paving Violin (it is not 

labelled as having Guadagnini inspiration ). The label as pictured herewith is listed in the Lavest catalog on Roland Terriers site and the catalog also has a Guadagnini model listed.

I have read that Lavest (founded 1880) was not a maker but a dealer and that he purchased violins in the white and varnished in his workshop with a varnish recipe that was meant to duplicate the Cremona varnish. The exposition model Guarneri in the catalog lists red Cremonese varnish.

Interestingly, if my French is any good, there is a page at the front of the catalog where 'genuine old violins' are advertised as available.

The violin front pictured in this post is a Fagnola in the photo gallery on MN itself. Am I imagining the similarities with 

the Crazy Paver?

 

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