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21GibsonA

Hopf age dating. Any guesses?

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Howdy.  A kind woman in my neighborhood gave me an old violin that belonged to her father.  I will come out RIGHT NOW and say that i am not expecting this to be an "original hopf."  I gladly accept that it was made in a factory and labeled as hopf.  However, i am curious if anyone can help me pin down some specifics, especially a rough gauge on the age. The inside of the back is smooth, but the inside of the top was very roughly done. Purfling is real.  It has hopf stamped on the back button and inside, has a built in bass bar, no corner blocks, and a through neck.  (I opened it up because the neck was extremely loose. I was not expecting to find a through neck on this one).  Any guesses on trying to narrow down the date/origin?  Thanks.  

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Edited by 21GibsonA

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Looks a bit like mine, which also had a worn out fingerboard (not quite as bad, though) and the original ca. 1800 neck angle - still has the neck angle, but a new fingerboard.

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4 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

"Dutzendarbeit" ca. 1870 - 1880

Would that be "Schonbach"  Dutzendarbeit ?

Thru neck and integral bass bar ?

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Thanks for the replies so far.  Yes. The fingerboard DEFINITELY got used ALOT.  Would you mind elaborating on Schonbach Dutzendarbeit?  I come from more of a mandolin background so am just now delving into the histories of violins.  Also, if it helps at all, the fingerboard is not a solid block. It looks like some sort of softer wood with the harder (ebony? Fake ebony) veneered on top (a couple mm of wood)

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9 hours ago, Delabo said:

Would that be "Schonbach"  Dutzendarbeit ?

Thru neck and integral bass bar ?

“Dutzendarbeit” was by no means exclusive to Schönbach. In fact “Cottage Industry” which is the nearest English translation, was the basis of all manufacturing industry throughout 19th. C. Europe in every branch. The violin could be from anywhere in the Saxon district of Vogtland, or the Bohemian district of Egerland.

 

9 hours ago, 21GibsonA said:

Thanks for the replies so far.  Yes. The fingerboard DEFINITELY got used ALOT.  Would you mind elaborating on Schonbach Dutzendarbeit?  I come from more of a mandolin background so am just now delving into the histories of violins.  Also, if it helps at all, the fingerboard is not a solid block. It looks like some sort of softer wood with the harder (ebony? Fake ebony) veneered on top (a couple mm of wood)

Typically, the fingerboards from the area would have a pine core, veneered with pear wood, which was painted black (“Ebonised”). Schönbach was a Sudeten-Deutsche town on the Bohemian (Austrian) side of the border, opposite Markneukirchen. In the later part of the 19th. C. they delivered as many as 500,000 violins p.a., finished or semi-finished to the Markneukirchen wholesalers who supplied the world. After WWII they were banished, and many are now in or near Bubenreuth in Germany. The Czech name for Schonbach is Luby https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luby_(Cheb_District)

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From the side view picture it appears to be beech with pearwood on top. Almost all of the wear is from fingernails and not under strings - perhaps female player?

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Jacob, thank you for the references.  Very very interesting. Do you have any books you would recommend for someone just starting to get into the history of violins?  (I would prefer some light reading before getting in too deep).

Yes, the fingerboard wear is very interesting!    Thank you so far for all of the info.  I am new to the forum (very active in mandolincafe.com, but new here).  I'll bet people are always showing their instruments 'asking if they are worth millions.'  I personally am much more interested in the history of these awesome works of art (especially the human aspect).

My grandfather, born in 1898, was supposedly a pretty avid fiddler in Western Canada.  He died when i was 9 so i never got to see or hear it.  Unfortunately the family sold his fiddle at an estate sale around the same time.  To this day I wish i had it.  Next best thing is getting a fiddle from someone else's relatives.  The fiddle in this post fiddle belonged to the father of an elderly lady that lives in my neighborhood.  She found it in the barn with a ca. 1890s Buckbee banjo that she also gave me (Banjo has been reduced to an extremely worn out neck and rim).   Pretty cool finds for sure! 

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32 minutes ago, 21GibsonA said:

Jacob, thank you for the references.  Very very interesting. Do you have any books you would recommend for someone just starting to get into the history of violins?  (I would prefer some light reading before getting in too deep).

Personally, I think the best book to introduce oneself to the history of violin making, is the first volume of Lütgendorffs lexicon. It is however written in 19th C. Austrian German. Assuming that that might be a problem, a shorter introduction, in English, would be to read the lecture given by Mr. Weishart at the VSA About violin making in the „Musikwinkel“, which I reproduced here:

 

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