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jermen

Help with damage please no matter how cursory or brief!

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Hello,

Please could you let me know whether this violin is in playable condition or needing repair, or indeed beyond repair. There is a chunk missing under the chin rest and from one of the f holes. It is a fractional. Any approximate clues to age would also be welcome. Also is it likely to be German, do you think.

Many thanks!

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Edited by jermen

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There's nothing showing in your pictures that would make it unplayable.  But before pronouncing it playable, I would want to check bridge curvature, bridge height, nut height, fingerboard relief and peg fit.

It's likely to be German.  The "D 67" at the end pin suggests that the violin once belonged to a school district or music store rental fleet, which would make it a cheap one.

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The wood missing doesn't look like it is structural. If you are worried, take it in to a luthier, it might also be good to check the setup. Alternatively, take down the strings, remove the the button (what the tailpiece is attached to) and shine a light through the f-holes. If you see cleats (pieces of wood across a crack) while looking through the button hole, then you are probably good to go. Although the crack near the soundpost is concerning, if you find a patch underneath or cleats it shouldn't be too much of a problem. You will just have to be careful with temperature/ humidity changes and any bumps especially as it's a fractional and kids..... also keep a look out for any cracks opening or anything changing,

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Although not worth cleaning up those cracks, I’d love to see how a varnish professional would clean and retouch those cracks... it could be very informative for us dilettantes 

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23 hours ago, jermen said:

 Any approximate clues to age would also be welcome. 

 

65DFD1B8-6DF3-4663-9AF4-7C05F31BD67C.jpeg

 

Age of fiddle is before 1922.  I see holster case marks/scratches with no "Germany" or "Made in Germany" stamping at the chinrest rib location.  Though I can't see the label I'll venture to "guess" that yours is from the 1872 - early 1900"s time period.  I don't have the info. as to when an instrument needed to be stamped for shipment to the states, assuming you're from here in the first place.  Is yours earlier than 1872?  Anything is possible, I guess.

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I wouldn't take it down and look for cleats.  If you're worried about the cracks, just press beside them gently to see if they're open.   I'm with Brad, in that the pictures don't show anything that would make it unplayable.  Basic playability is bridge curve, string height, string spacing and so on, like he said.  You can't tell a lot about that from the pictures.  If you're a beginner player, let your teacher evaluate it.  If you're a beginner player without a teacher, that's hard in more ways than one I guess.

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8 hours ago, uncle duke said:

Age of fiddle is before 1922.  I see...no "Germany" or "Made in Germany" stamping at the chinrest rib location...

Absence of  "Germany" or "Made in Germany" from this location does not necessarily mean a violin was made before 1922.  It could have been marked in a different location such as inside on the label or directly on the back.  Or it could have been brought in as personal property rather than commercially imported.

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On 3/21/2019 at 4:11 PM, Brad Dorsey said:

Absence of  "Germany" or "Made in Germany" from this location does not necessarily mean a violin was made before 1922.  It could have been marked in a different location such as inside on the label or directly on the back.  Or it could have been brought in as personal property rather than commercially imported.

Truth be known is that the comment was to discourage Vda from making a bid via personal messenger to the o.p. 

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1 hour ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Do you think she would do that?

Why not?  Those type of instruments tend to keep her in her comfort zone. 

I thought some about my reply from yesterday.  If she wants it and can get it, then go for it.   

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18 hours ago, uncle duke said:

Truth be known is that the comment was to discourage Vda from making a bid via personal messenger to the o.p. 

 

3 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Do you think she would do that?

And what makes anyone feel that I need to make the first move?  :lol:

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Perhaps I am drawing an erroneous inference, but what would make anyone here question her integrity?  Certainly nothing I have ever read in any of her posts.  I think that comment was totally out of line and requires an apology.

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On 3/25/2019 at 2:41 PM, uncle duke said:

Truth be known is that the comment was to discourage Vda from making a bid via personal messenger to the o.p. 

Re Roger Hill's comment: I was sure Uncle Duke was kidding, or was being sardonic.  Now, not so sure, in which case, the comment was totally out of bounds.  Perhaps why email messages and postings can be easily misinterpreted or misunderstaood without the customary emojis. :D

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Dearest Vda, I hope you'uns along with your fiddle collection are enjoying the fine springtime temperatures that your state offers at this time of year.  Mostly just the good health because you can always get more fiddles like the one posted here for viewing assuming of course you need more.

Yes, that should do for a public, for all of the world to see, apology - no ill harm intended.. 

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The 'missing chunks' are minor, age before WW2 and for its origin Germany is very likely

Cheers!

Besides I have seen all sorts of 'unplayable' instruments in the hands of active violinists. The worst was actually not because of cracks or unglued bass bar or missing pieces. It had pegs so bad that I couldn't tune the instrument. (the player could tune it though!)

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On 3/27/2019 at 7:14 AM, uncle duke said:

 - no ill harm intended.. 

I will take you at your word that no accusation of misuse of the forum was intended

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On 3/28/2019 at 8:55 PM, Roger Hill said:

I will take you at your word that no accusation of misuse of the forum was intended

Rule #1 around here should be "trust no one" but for your sake and others who may of been offended, I'll type that there was no misuse intended. 

  What I'll do one day in the future is to order a few extra lengths of violin purfling and some extra varnish coloring agents just for you R. Hill, free of charge, simply because I feel you could or should have some use for them. 

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