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Saul Bitran

Guessing the maker of my Italian violin

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I bought my unlabeled violin in the 1990 from Israel Chorberg in New York; been using it since. It has a D'Attili letter that says "Italian, probably from the 1870s".    

Would any of you venture a guess as far as maker?  I would be very grateful.

Regards,

Saul Bitran

 

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Edited by Saul Bitran
Added pictures, letter

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Better pictures would help. Need good views of the scroll too.

Is that all the D' Atilli letter says? No reference to any region or city in Italy? And when was the letter dated? Does it have a picture of your violin , or a good description?

For better pictures: see 

 

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You need to post better pictures for anything conclusive to be said. 

 

It looks as if the rib corners go all the way to the end of the plate corners. That would be a typical trait of instruments that were built on the back, a technique used predominantly in markneukirchen and Schönbach until the start of last century. As the rest that I can see seems consistent with that, I vote for a saxon instrument of medium quality made in the last quarter of the 19th century. 

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Thank you, everybody, for your valuable input.  I have added several photos to my original posting, along with the Dario D'Attili letter, issued to me when I bought the violin, in 1989.

Edited by Saul Bitran

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Two things I notice from the certificate:

The back is of slab cut maple.
The top is of narrow to broad grain.

Violin in the photos doesn't seem to have a slab cut back, rather one cut very slightly off quarter. It's far closer to being quarter sawn than slab sawn.

The belly does have narrow grain in the centre, but I would hardly consider it to be broad elsewhere.

 

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Better pictures needed for sure.

 With out attached photos the certificate you have may or may not actually go with the violin. Did you get the paper from D'Attili yourself? I also notice that the paper is signed 1989 which was very late in Dario's career when he was not as astute as he once was.

I think any attempt to identify the origin of this violin needs to be approached with an unbiased eye and not rely too heavily on any previous assumptions.

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The pictures seem adequate to assert that the violin was made within 10km of Markneukirchen, around the last part of the 19th.C. I would rather doubt that the D’Attili paper belongs to the violin, because it doesn’t have a slab cut back, as stated on the certificate. I have never heard of Israel Chorberg. Perhaps, should he still be alive, he could explain this mystery.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

it doesn’t have a slab cut back, as stated on the certificate

Maybe Mr. D'Attili forgot to put on his glasses?;) The letter is addressed to the OP, not to an Israel Chorberg, so he should know for him self.

OTOH, with all respects, I heard and noticed at several auctions that these D'Attili papers, and maybe from the late period only like Nathan explained, are in a row with such of Mario Gadda and others of this calibre.

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 Dario D'Atilli at the height of his career was very knowledgeable and reputable. This I've been told by people well known in the violin business that knew him personally. Later in his life he started writing certificates that were not even close to reality. It appears he did not do this on purpose but simply  lost it. This became known and  he was approached by some not so scrupulous people to take advantage of this. Others may not have been aware.

I've heard it told that several top dealers including Charles Beare got so concerned that they decided together to approach him and ask him to stop writing any certificates .

I'm sure some that read here know more about this than I do.

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7 hours ago, hendrik said:

 Dario D'Atilli at the height of his career was very knowledgeable and reputable. This I've been told by people well known in the violin business that knew him personally. Later in his life he started writing certificates that were not even close to reality. It appears he did not do this on purpose but simply  lost it. This became known and  he was approached by some not so scrupulous people to take advantage of this. Others may not have been aware.

I've heard it told that several top dealers including Charles Beare got so concerned that they decided together to approach him and ask him to stop writing any certificates .

I'm sure some that read here know more about this than I do.

I’m stunned to learn this! Thanks.

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5 hours ago, Barry J. Griffiths said:

Can you explain how you bought a violin from Chorberg in 1990 and got a paper from D’attili in 1989? 

My mistake; I bought the violin in 1989. Thanks for catching this.

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