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Wester

Help in identifying violin

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Hi,

I knew very little about these instruments until I found this violin in my dads garage he considered it to be junk and rather than throw it I offered to take it in the hope of glueing it back together, having discovered how old it could be I instead decided to find out a little more before attempting an amateur repair. I have found it very interesting reading up on the subject in the hope of aging or even identifying who the maker may have been without success. There a lots of scribbles on the inside of the instrument some left by previous repairers including one that was carried out by a John Wilkinson of Barnsley in 1893.  

 

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I would not recommend doing an amateur repair - it looks to be a very nice violin and you might devalue it quite significantly.

First get an  appraisal - I would start with someone who knows something about English violins ...

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Yes I have gone off the idea of attempting a repair myself, however a professional repair is an expensive prospect at this stage too.

I had also presumed the instrument was English given it links to the north of England from both the repairer and also were I the instrument ended up. Does is look to be typically English or could it have been made elsewhere?     

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Martin is an excellent judge of these things - you'd do well to take his advice.

The scalloped neck and end blocks may help identify it, and - if it isn't completely illegible - the label. Just remember that a clumsy attempt to clean the label could wreck it.

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2 minutes ago, Three13 said:

Martin is an excellent judge of these things - you'd do well to take his advice.

The scalloped neck and end blocks may help identify it, and - if it isn't completely illegible - the label. 

Yes I think I shall. The label is a Strad label. Is it possible it may be covering the original makers label? 

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What length is the back ?

My first reaction was French, but Martin is the expert on French violins so I would have thought he would have said something.

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23 hours ago, martin swan said:

I would not recommend doing an amateur repair - it looks to be a very nice violin and you might devalue it quite significantly.

First get an  appraisal - I would start with someone who knows something about English violins ...

Nice looking violin.

Martin, do the equilateral corner blocks jibe with British? Is it BOB?

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Nice looking violin.

Martin, do the equilateral corner blocks jibe with British? Is it BOB?

I realise you didn't ask me, but with the Birtish, you have to remember the large quantity of Herron-Allen followers, who used an outside mould

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17 hours ago, Delabo said:

What length is the back ?

My first reaction was French, but Martin is the expert on French violins so I would have thought he would have said something.

Total length of the back is 37cm 

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11 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I realise you didn't ask me, but with the Birtish, you have to remember the large quantity of Herron-Allen followers, who used an outside mould

Your comments are always appreciated Jacob. I was thinking this was older than that.

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I admit I was a bit thrown by the wierd blocks and immediately thought "Heron-Allen", but knowing it has a Strad label of course Peter is right - it's a "Caussin School", probably early JTL, with some entertaining English "improvement".

The top block seems to show a very wide neck root which tapers inwards? Can this be right? If so I don't see how the neck can be original, but maybe there's a graft ...

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So the ubiquitous Caussin school appears again. It seems like recently I have been seeing a lot of violins attributed to them and they can be very different from each other. ???....

Also I have recently gotten interested in what I call Franco-English instruments such as the Chanots' , Langonet, Bailly etc. Did most of these guys stick to their French methods through out their lives? Was there a "native" British tradition working at the same time? For sure many of the later Hills' and Withers instruments I see from the decades either side of 1900 look very French to me.

Like wise hadn't really thought of the influence of Heron-Allen. Was amateur violin making common in late Victorian England?.Were there professional level makers influenced by Heron-Allen?

Thanks for comments

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18 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Although I could the accept the corner blocks as French, I am rather put off with the matching top and bottom blocks. This "Caussin" bloke seems quite a catch all

Exactly my point also. You type faster than me.

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It seems that the first word on the Strad label reads 'MODEL'. It is an English word, if this is of any relevance.

The length of the back is 37cm. Is it a small viola? 

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The top and bottom blocks are either replacements or "improvements".

It's actually an obvious place to remove wood if you want to take some weight out of a violin - though I would see it as one of these 're-inventing the wheel" modifications so popular with late 19thC Brits ...

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4 hours ago, Ratcliffiddles said:

It's clear to me that the top and bottom block have been altered, the remnants of glue on the inside front don't seem to mirror those of the current block shape

 

It looks to me as if the end blocks were influenced by the Stelzner patent. 

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The added curved notch in place of the central peak may be intended as an improvement on it or an evasion of it.

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Thanks for all the comments so far. I’ve investigated a little more into the end blocks and from what I can see there are no signs that there may have been another block fitted previously. The stain has left an outline around the block and stains the block itself 

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Edited by Wester

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32 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Really?!

Depends what you measure, the entire length including the small piece that the neck mounts is 37cm without that the measurement is 35.5cm 

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