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BassClef

Pietro Tatar Hand-cut Miniature Violins (parts) (photos)

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Dear Maestronuts,

I present to you my latest acquisition for discussion and ridicule. I also am seeking information regarding anyone who worked in Tatar’s Manhattan violin shop “Cremona Violin Shop” or anyone else who can certify these as being made by Pietro Tatar. The seller’s story is compelling and seems legit, and as silly as it may seem I still want to get these certified. Pietro has/had a son named Peter Tatar who was until a few years ago working in the Nashville, TN area. I can not locate him, any leads?

So here is the information that the seller provided in the listing and then further through a message:

_______________

Rare Miniature violins by Pietro Tatar. 

( he was head of the Cremona School International School Violin making).

Incredible cut mini scroll ! 

Pietro (Peter) Tatar

Violin maker
(1909 – 1973)

Born in Bátaszék, Hungary. Pupil at the Cremona International School, then a teacher there until 1958. In 1959 he emigrated to the USA, first working in Yorkville, then in New York City from 1965. Instruments based on Stradivari and Guarneri models with a spirit varnish.  His violins sell in the thousands of dollars.

He was also known and famous for making Miniature Violins.

These Violin Miniatures # 1 and # 2, I was told by a noted Cello and violin maker,  were made in the Pietro Tatar Violin Workshop in NYC circa 1965,  and sold as miniature violins in the white,  to be finished & varnished.  Pietro, cut all the wood, and the fingerboard, tailpiece, bridge, and tuners were made of plastic.

I purchased these from Pietro's widow, Santa Tatar, many years ago in the Bronx, NY.

Tops are solid spruce with a solid maple back, solid maple back. solid maple neck. 

Measures: Top of spruce is 4 & 3/8ths Inches.

Back of Maple is 4 & 3/8ths Inches.

Tuners: 1/2 inches in length.

End pin:11/16ths.

____________________________

 Made about circa 1965. NYC.

 #1 - the scroll is cracked. and 3 tuners missing.

 #2 - ribs cracked(easy repair) and 1 tuner missing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I met Tatars wife, thru a friend of mine who was a violin player. His wife's name was Santa Tatar. She was a really nice person. I believe she has since passed. I went to her apartment, a long time ago, maybe in 1997. I do not remember the address, except it was in the Bronx, NY. Pietro was famous for making miniature violins. I do not remember how the Plastic pieces were made.
But I have an idea, also in the Bronx, NY, there was a famous violin maker, mario Maccaferri and he was also famous for making the Maccaferri plastic guitars, and plastic violins. I believe there was a good chance Pietro, knew Mario Maccaferri and had him make the plastic
pieces.... I remember Santa telling me he sold these miniatures in his NYC shop, as a kit, for his customers to finish them on their own.

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To clarify, the miniature violin posted by respected forum brother Nick Allen is not made by Tatar.

Here are images I found online of a mini violin that was alleged to be made by Tatar. Can anyone with a good eye for these things see anything similar between these images and the ones that I have acquired?

14019729677806_b-1.jpg

Screen Shot 2019-10-19 at 9.28.45 AM.png

14019729583853_b.jpg

14019729672478_b.jpg

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A very idiosyncratic feature of the blank violins is the rib garland carved fron a single piece. As far as I can tell the instrument at the photos has it, too, while Nick's example looks like made with bent ribs.

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On 10/19/2019 at 11:03 AM, Blank face said:

A very idiosyncratic feature of the blank violins is the rib garland carved fron a single piece. As far as I can tell the instrument at the photos has it, too, while Nick's example looks like made with bent ribs.

Amazing, thank you. Nick’s example is of another mini violin but not one claimed to be by Tatar so your observations are very helpful in verifying the very believable account passed on by the seller.

Luckily, someone on my apartment floor had disposed of this display case this morning and it is quite well suited for this set of Tatar Miniature Violin parts.

Any suggestions on how to keep the parts from moving around once hung up vertically? Sewing pins would seem to work fine with the bigger pieces but the tiny ones are the main challenge I am facing. Do I stick them in putty then pin the putty in place? I don’t want to use any glue and I’d like something that would be stable in the long term.

89FF16E3-1942-4D62-9009-9F4883DB8A80.jpeg

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12 minutes ago, BassClef said:

Any suggestions on how to keep the parts from moving around once hung up vertically?

Looks very nice and could fit well into every professional violin shop.;)

To hold the tiny pieces in place you could either use double adhesive tape or something like this, don't know what's the English name https://www.priz24.de/foto-kleber-im-kartonspender-inhalt-1-000-stuck-herma-1071-4008705010719.html

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3 hours ago, Blank face said:

Looks very nice and could fit well into every professional violin shop.;)

To hold the tiny pieces in place you could either use double adhesive tape or something like this, don't know what's the English name https://www.priz24.de/foto-kleber-im-kartonspender-inhalt-1-000-stuck-herma-1071-4008705010719.html

With respect, I would not be using ordinary commercial products - look for museum/archival display supplies.  I'd avoid anything with adhesive that comes in contact with the pieces.

Regards,

Tim

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On 10/19/2019 at 3:31 PM, BassClef said:

To clarify, the miniature violin posted by respected forum brother Nick Allen is not made by Tatar.

Here are images I found online of a mini violin that was alleged to be made by Tatar. Can anyone with a good eye for these things see anything similar between these images and the ones that I have acquired?

14019729677806_b-1.jpg

Screen Shot 2019-10-19 at 9.28.45 AM.png

14019729583853_b.jpg

14019729672478_b.jpg

Hello. This is my miniature violin was :) . This is 100% Pietro Tatar. Include label and bass bar. Made in 1958

Edited by diloszan

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This is my first post... I think I can add to this thread.
I lived in the neighborhood where the Tatar family lived from '86 to '96.I own a completed miniature violin plus I have several sets of the parts.

P Tatar and family lived in Upper Manhattan... Broadway and Dongan Place across from Ft Tryon Park and the Cloisters museum. I knew his son Van from the neighborhood. Sometime around 1990, I believe that Tatar's widow passed and his son was selling a few things from the estate. I bought a piano, a Dremel type shaft driven drill and a box of Dremel bits, a completed miniature violin plus several sets of miniature violin parts. That area looks much like the Bronx.

Mr Allen's miniature certainly looks like mine. The parts the user Bass Clef look like mine also. I'll see if I can find mine later. Mine is signed and I think it's dated inside. I'll get out my loupe tomorrow and check.

I think Van probably still lives in NYC... I ran into him just before I moved out of Manhattan in 2013.
Update: Label inside says P. TATAR Cremona 1958 (all printed except for the "8" in pencil.


 

Tatar 1.jpeg

Tatar 2.jpeg

Tatar 3.jpeg

Tatar 4.jpeg

Edited by Plectrum Banjo

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Thanks so much for posting these, exact match to mine so this is solid confirmation as to attribution. Did you get any information as to whether Tatar himself cut and made the kits with his own hands? This really made my day Cheers!

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2 hours ago, Plectrum Banjo said:

Since these kits come with molded plastic parts, and the tops and backs are plywood, I doubt that the pieces were cut by Tatar, though I don't know that for sure.

Glad I was able to help!

Even the complete example you posted are fit with molded plastic pegs and bridge that match exactly the ones in the kits. Seems possible/likely that he cut both and included the plastic parts that were pre-made elsewhere, no?

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