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Robb

Repair question- button repair/neck graft

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I'm sure you are right about that. I know there has been some discussion about how cracks can impact value so I was curious about how button repairs and retouching affect value. I would assume a well done graft would not impact the value.  I know repairs can affect how easy or difficult it is to sell especially if noticeable or poorly done. I plan to keep and play this instrument if it sounds good to me. However I'm not getting any younger and some day I'm sure it will be sold.

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10 hours ago, Robb said:

Jacob, I don't disagree but one is advertised at Frank's Violinos  in South America for $8000.00 if I calculated the exchange rate correctly. Also according to one individual on Violinist.com they purchased one from Ifshin Violins in 2017 for $9000.00.  I would assume it was in top condition. I have no idea why people have some violins by this maker priced at this level other than he has a reputation for good sound(I know violins aren't priced based on sound). There are a number of older American violins  by what are considered good makers selling or advertised in the $7-10,000.00 range or more that not too many years ago would have been much less. So how does one price antique violins ? I know this has been discussed many times before. Reputation ,workmanship, rarity,not sound, someone considered an expert says it's good,etc.

I agree with you that appraising the retail price of any violin is a vexed question. I also agree that searching for a reference instrument that has been sold elsewhere is a feasible, possibly the only approach, although one should take particular care that the instruments are truly comparable. Re. modern American violins, I am surely the last person to ask, since it is neither an area of expertise or interest of mine. However I have certainly never noticed any anecdotal rise in their values. Having said that I have no idea, I always split American violins into 3 groups; 1. Businessmen who imported (mostly from Markneukirchen) finished instruments, and glued their label in, 2.self-taught local woodworkers, who’s instruments range from very amateurish to quite good and 3. trained violin makers, who emigrated to America as such, and brought their respective European “school” with them. I have never heard of Mr Kaufmann from San Jose, but think he could probably be shelved into category 2. An European rural self-taught violin, particularly one with condition issues, would not command much of a retail price, so I suppose you Americans will have to judge the pecuniary value of American “local patriotism” yourselves.

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18 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

One nevertheless rather wonders, upon which planet it could retail at 8 to 9,000 Dollars though

Jacob, If you find an odd place on this planet with enough odd people some odd violins sell for pretty odd high prices. 

:rolleyes:

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9 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Jacob, If you find an odd place on this planet with enough odd people some odd violins sell for pretty odd high prices. 

:rolleyes:

Better not to bank on it though

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A truly magnificent label, with Stradivari looking over his shoulder! Is the verse a bible quote, or did he make it up himself? Suely the best part of the violin The only label that crosses my mind that even comes close, was the Russian one from Marjanenko, interestingly from the same year, which I illustrated here https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/315974-any-good-russian-luthiers/&do=findComment&comment=840407

 

For the repair, I would carefully cut the top block out, soak the button crack and scrub out the dirt, re-glue and possibly patch it from behind. I think I would remove the dowel, and replace it with a “same grain” bush, then re-comstruct.

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2 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

A truly magnificent label, with Stradivari looking over his shoulder! Is the verse a bible quote, or did he make it up himself? Suely the best part of the violin The only label that crosses my mind that even comes close, was the Russian one from Marjanenko, interestingly from the same year, which I illustrated here https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/315974-any-good-russian-luthiers/&do=findComment&comment=840407

 

For the repair, I would carefully cut the top block out, soak the button crack and scrub out the dirt, re-glue and possibly patch it from behind. I think I would remove the dowel, and replace it with a “same grain” bush, then re-comstruct.

Not only Stradivari but also his mother is watching from the photo. Very emotional and poetic, unique label.

 803098310_20190907_232710.thumb.jpg.c4b15b7e5f959524e6c5e2edd742a801-Copy.jpg.32d78f1f96e8d3ffbeefd64357b24ca0.jpg

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16 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

A truly magnificent label, with Stradivari looking over his shoulder! Is the verse a bible quote, or did he make it up himself? Suely the best part of the violin The only label that crosses my mind that even comes close, was the Russian one from Marjanenko, interestingly from the same year, which I illustrated here https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/315974-any-good-russian-luthiers/&do=findComment&comment=840407

 

For the repair, I would carefully cut the top block out, soak the button crack and scrub out the dirt, re-glue and possibly patch it from behind. I think I would remove the dowel, and replace it with a “same grain” bush, then re-comstruct.

Agreed, no way I'd do a graft for this. In that area, you could hide a well matched bushing in there with retouch. that varnish (a lot of american others too)is opaque(ish) and you could hide a lot under it.  MAN, that pegbox is wide!!!!(if the nut area IS 24mm).  That violin looks totally legit to me (do I get some cred since this is my town.....B)).  I'm surprised by the $.  That price range is usually for better known American makers and some lesser IF they are from the Boston area (late 19C). But, if Ifshin priced it that high, well, maybe.  Maybe Jays' was super nice, I wouldn't price it in that range, personally.  Cool violin though.  I like those.  Problem is, they are hard to sell.  

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Thanks for  the information. I'm not supper concerned about the price especially if the instrument sounds good. I plan to play it awhile anyway. Maybe if I keep it another 10 years it will be worth at least a little more than I paid for it :D. I have several instruments by decent older American makers and enjoy having them and feel they are very good value especially when you can get them at bargain prices(less than auction sales.) I think they are more interesting than better quality Chinese violins( I have a few of these as well). I see a number of dealers listing American made violins by less known makers and asking as much $5-6000.00 or more in some cases so I guess they think they are worth something. But as you stated some things are hard to sell.

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I measured the pegbox and width at the nut again just to make sure using calipers and the nut width is 24mm and the widest part of the pegbox is 26mm. Must be my camera angle which makes the pegbox look larger.  

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Speaking of fancy labels, there was an English amateur maker of the 1920s (?) whose name escapes me – a reverend someone – who had a most impressive one. 

Answers on a postcard. 

Andrew

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3 minutes ago, rudall said:

Speaking of fancy labels, there was an English amateur maker of the 1920s (?) whose name escapes me – a reverend someone – who had a most impressive one. 

Answers on a postcard. 

Andrew

Yes, sure I've seen those. From Yorkshire somewhere, West Yorks perhaps?
The name escapes me at the moment.

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Block removed neck out with no issues. I plan to drill the dowel out of the neck and remove the screw  then repair with a plug matching the  grain. Now that the inside of the button is exposed it looks like it would need reinforcement . What do you think about this? The dark section looks like it broke through to the purfling. 

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I think the repair will now involve taking the button off if I can get it apart successfully regluing and reinforcing with a patch(looks like it was broken off and poorly reattached). I was thinking if I can't get the button apart to re glue I could remove material from the current button as is and make it flat(it is glued with an angle back toward the top) and put a facial piece of  matching wood on the outside and blend this in to the purfling region and also reinforce the back. I would then use an ebony crown to conceal the repairs. Ideas are welcome, thanks.

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13 hours ago, Robb said:

...the button..looks like it would need reinforcement...

The button definitely needs reinforcement.  I put up some pictures showing how I do it here:

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/316319-neck-repair/

In order to do it like this, you need to remove the back.  But I don't like the idea of having the rib structure separated from both plates at the same time.  So before removing the back I would fit a new upper block and glue it to the ribs only; separate the corner blocks and lower block from the back while the top is still off and you can work from the inside; reglue the top; and then remove the back.

Ideally, before patching the button you would clean the dirt, glue and retouching varnish out of the break in the button as Jacob suggested, so that when the job is finished the button break becomes invisible.  This might require separating the break and then regluing it.  You should not attempt this unless you are sure you can make it better.

 

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12 hours ago, Robb said:

I think the repair will now involve taking the button off if I can get it apart successfully regluing and reinforcing with a patch(looks like it was broken off and poorly reattached). I was thinking if I can't get the button apart to re glue I could remove material from the current button as is and make it flat(it is glued with an angle back toward the top) and put a facial piece of  matching wood on the outside and blend this in to the purfling region and also reinforce the back. I would then use an ebony crown to conceal the repairs. Ideas are welcome, thanks.

 

2 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

The button definitely needs reinforcement.  I put up some pictures showing how I do it here:

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/316319-neck-repair/

In order to do it like this, you need to remove the back.  But I don't like the idea of having the rib structure separated from both plates at the same time.  So before removing the back I would fit a new upper block and glue it to the ribs only; separate the corner blocks and lower block from the back while the top is still off and you can work from the inside; reglue the top; and then remove the back.

Ideally, before patching the button you would clean the dirt, glue and retouching varnish out of the break in the button as Jacob suggested, so that when the job is finished the button break becomes invisible.  This might require separating the break and then regluing it.  You should not attempt this unless you are sure you can make it better.

 

I would like to agree with Brad, and also think it would be easier with the back off the ribs & I would also do such a patch. Although we all have our own style of work, I for instance would glue (just a few points) the rib cage to one of the violin shaped bits of plywood I have for such occasions, and would use dentists compound rather than plaster as a counter form when fitting the patch. Possibly the most important part for doing a really good repair, is to make sure that you really have all the dirt out of the crack. I would do this by putting a bit of wet kitchen roll (paper) on the inside of the button, and on the outside a wool or cottton thread, using the capillary action with the other end in an egg cup of water. Then apply patience! I illustrated this on previous occasions, pictures 12 & 13 here for instance https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/330681-restoring-a-frank-violin-for-a-museum/&do=findComment&comment=633602

If the button falls off in the process, all the better, it will help you get every last speck of dirt out of the crack, and give you the opportunity to glue it back on dead straight afterwards. If you do such a patch, there is nothing to hide with an ebony crown. Ebony crowns can be useful if you want the neck a mm or two longer that it was before. but otherwise I wouldn't bother.

Banks button repair.jpg

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Thanks to both Brad and Jacob you have given me great information. I now have a much clearer plan on what needs to be done. Now the hard part- doing it. Thanks again.

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