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Block Zones Strad only?

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7 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I've never heard of one of Saconni's violins. Does anybody know how well they compare with Strad's?

Those I've seen, after he came to the US, were quite nice. I don't think he made very many... there wasn't much money in it in those days.

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There was (is?) a Saconni violin in Cremona. I remember going to the Museum there, probably 25 odd years ago, and going into a room with a Strad, an Amati, a Guarneri and one other (Ruggeri?) exhibited in glass show cases. they were all an absolute revelation. In a further glass case, on the side of the room was a Saconni violin. In that company it looked really embarrassing.

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51 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

There was (is?) a Saconni violin in Cremona. I remember going to the Museum there, probably 25 odd years ago, and going into a room with a Strad, an Amati, a Guarneri and one other (Ruggeri?) exhibited in glass show cases. they were all an absolute revelation. In a further glass case, on the side of the room was a Saconni violin. In that company it looked really embarrassing.

Made in Rome, or New York?  His working style changed quite a bit after exposure to all the nice instruments in the Herrmann and Wurlitzer shops.

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Is it just me or do others see the platform pretty clearly at the lower block area of the colored scans posted by Marty on Sunday? The upper one seems less clear and as Michael points out the Strad plates I have seen certainly don't have a crisp, straight line delineating it but it does seem to be there.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Made in Rome, or New York?  His working style changed quite a bit after exposure to all the nice instruments in the Herrmann and Wurlitzer shops.

You seem to have immense trust in my memory, David, far more than I do. I do remember buying a book when I was there called “From Violinmaking to Music:The Life and works of Simone Fernando Saccono”, published by A.C.L.A.P. The book which was new then, was published in the early 80’s. It is the most emetic violin book I have ever come across.. There is a seemingly endless series of personal testimonials along the lines of “I bought a cake of rosin from Maestro Sacconi, and he seemed like really a nice guy”. The only testimonial that veered a little of the beaten path was from Rene Morel, who gave to protocol everything that Saconni had learnt from him!

 

Perhaps they still have the fiddle in Cremona, and someone from there could tell you the date and place it was made.

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Is it just me or do others see the platform pretty clearly at the lower block area of the colored scans posted by Marty on Sunday? The upper one seems less clear and as Michael points out the Strad plates I have seen certainly don't have a crisp, straight line delineating it but it does seem to be there.

 

I noticed that also Nathan, sort of comical, way too obvious.

Ed Campbell was adamant about them being there on the originals. Claimed he had seen them.

Spoke about them exactly as Michael Darnton described them, if you didn't know they are there you would most likely miss them, very subtle.

Not many originals left, like Jacob said he's never seen them, and I believe it, no doubt.

It has been rumored that some people see them everywhere, at the store, in their sleep, in their dreams, at the pizza parlor, at the pub,

and if you don't see them too, they might try to chase you into the corner,,,,,to get a good chewing out!

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Made in Rome, or New York?  His working style changed quite a bit after exposure to all the nice instruments in the Herrmann and Wurlitzer shops.

I think the Sacconi instrument in Cremona is the one pictured in his book (baroque setup decorated in the style of the Hellier Strad?) see p. 190. Honestly it has been 20 years since I visited Cremona so i'm not entirely sure

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2 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Is it just me or do others see the platform pretty clearly at the lower block area of the colored scans posted by Marty on Sunday? 

The graduation map on the Strad poster also shows that the treble side of the lower block is thicker than on the bass side... for the top only.  If there was indeed a "platform", then the graduations would get thicker as you get farther from the rib, and then suddenly drop off.  I haven't seen a graduation map showing anything like that, but often there is a thinner area near the lower end of the bass bar.

But, again... I can't see how any of this detail is a big deal in how the instrument performs.

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1 hour ago, Urban Luthier said:

I think the Sacconi instrument in Cremona is the one pictured in his book (baroque setup decorated in the style of the Hellier Strad?) see p. 190. Honestly it has been 20 years since I visited Cremona so i'm not entirely sure

You must be talking of a different book. In my ACLAP one that I referred to above, page 190 is a type written letter from Casals to Sacconi, apologising that he didn’t get around to saying “good-bye” at the airport.

 

Anyway, the point I was making was that when they put a Sacconi violin in a glass case, nest to Strad, DG, and Amati, it looked like something that had come free in a cornflake box.

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I've seen a few Sacconi instruments. The later ones have been better, the earlier more like the usual 30s-40s modern Italian. In general, I think getting out of Italy and into good American shops was something he took immediate and full advantage of.

One later one, a copy, was so good that I was fooled into thinking I was looking at a real del Gesu that had been stripped and revarnished. In general, I don't think he was trying to fool anyone, and the instruments I have seen looked like he was playing with various ideas he had at the moment. In general, I'd class the better ones at the very best of modern making, the early ones as ordinary. At his best he captures a lot of golden-period details that most makers have missed.

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With the CT scans available now wouldn't the platform be visible as a thicker area if it's really there?     

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24 minutes ago, MikeC said:

With the CT scans available now wouldn't the platform be visible as a thicker area if it's really there?     

I don't know. There are some areas where the colors don't correspond with the thickness, like in the soundpost region on the top (unless one believes that the thickness of the soundpost patch area is about 1.5 mm). Perhaps the presence of glue can throw the calculations off?

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7 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

There was (is?) a Saconni violin in Cremona. I remember going to the Museum there, probably 25 odd years ago, and going into a room with a Strad, an Amati, a Guarneri and one other (Ruggeri?) exhibited in glass show cases. they were all an absolute revelation. In a further glass case, on the side of the room was a Saconni violin. In that company it looked really embarrassing.

 

4 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Perhaps they still have the fiddle in Cremona, and someone from there could tell you the date and place it was made.

 

4 hours ago, Urban Luthier said:

I think the Sacconi instrument in Cremona is the one pictured in his book (baroque setup decorated in the style of the Hellier Strad?) see p. 190. Honestly it has been 20 years since I visited Cremona so i'm not entirely sure

Yes, it's still here, made in 1941.  It's the one mentioned in the book, where he says it was made on the G form (the original?) with the method and varnish described in the book.

Now the comparison is even more embarrassing because the original Hellier is also on display in the museum.

However the workmanship is very good, it is the varnish that does not hold the comparison.

Some quick shots with my mobile phone, I'm sorry for the very bad quality.

But there is something strange because the card says that it was awarded a gold medal at the 1937 Cremona exhibition, so how is it possible that it was made in 1941?

I didn't have a flashlight with me so I couldn't read the label inside, maybe next time if I will remember.

1393097051_1-ViolinoSacconi1941MdV.thumb.jpg.f3c2f6bcc8f9466b5d491dbb44ddf2be.jpg611387531_3-ViolinoSacconiMdV.thumb.jpg.74af6c1a9493ca5bd59631947d978c2e.jpg609029227_2-ViolinoSacconiMdV.thumb.jpg.92a60277abf3468b588d9b988944a4cc.jpg

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22 minutes ago, Urban Luthier said:

Hi Davide That's the one i was thinking of yes. @jacobsaunders  I was referring to page 190 of the Segreti book, although i think the same instrument is pictured in the book you have also

Thanks, confusion cleared up. I was talking about the book "From Violinmaking to Music: The Life and Works of Simone Fernando Sacconi" published by the ACLAP in Cremona (definatly NOT recomended). I couldn't find this fiddle in that book, although it's scroll is on the dust cover.

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On 5/12/2019 at 5:35 PM, Michael Darnton said:

I have seen just one. It is no more literally there as a defined line than there is literally the line drawn around the edge about 6mm inside all around in Sacconi's drawing that represents the platform the ribs and linings are glued to. In both cases, those flat zones are gracefully blended in so that you don't see them as defined space. Take it more that straight out from the ends of the blocks is a thick zone that represents the thought of the block platform continued laterally, a little bump of an area where the main graduation pattern of the plate doesn't reach into. In that sense, it's the same soft blending line that goes all the way around inside the corner blocks and linings, more like there wasn't any intent to add discontinuity to that line by digging up around the sides of the end blocks.

If you didn't know it was supposed to be there, you wouldn't have seen it. It's the opposite of what a lot of amateurs and beginning makers do when they feel like they have to get that 2.5mm out as close to the linings as possible, and leave a sharp step around the edge.

Thanks for your description Michael.  This is very helpful. I had been leaving more of a defined line on my instruments. 
It may not make much difference tonally but it's nice to know how it was done.
Can you share any info on the condition or period of the Strad you're referring to?

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