Sign in to follow this  
Mat Roop

what would you do ... Varnish & bass bar

Recommended Posts

12 minutes ago, A432 said:

According to the owner of the house it came out of, it had been stored in the attic for many years.

I apparently need to remind you that this sort of thing is filed under the heading, "provenance," and is highly valued.

Except by oppositional defiants with axes to grind.  :rolleyes:

Exceptional provenance "Stored in the attic for many years". Awesome.:rolleyes:

At Ebay there are several dozens a day to be found from "according to owners stored in the attic etc.", usually Strads and the like. You could make a fortune.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, A432 said:

According to the owner of the house it came out of, it had been stored in the attic for many years.

I apparently need to remind you that this sort of thing is filed under the heading, "provenance," and is highly valued.

Except by oppositional defiants with axes to grind.  :rolleyes:

Causation and correlation. Consider the difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Mat Roop said:

Hi Folks... 

I'm just getting to restoring a Ruggeri copy violin that I acquired several years ago. How would you proceed re the bass bar and varnish???

1- The bass bar is only 4.5 mm thick and 14.5 mm high including the top of 4mm thick at the center beside the bass bar... would you replace or reglue the existing which is unglued in places.

2-The varnish is heavily grained... do you think that the leathery texture is the result of the original varnish with the smooth parts being the ground, or is it a varnish applied at a later date.  I like the look of the distinct texture but it is rather exaggerated. ... What would you do (besides using it for firewood:))?? 

Thanks for your thoughts! ... Mat

ruggeribassbar1.JPG

ruggeribassbar2.JPG

ruggerilabel.JPG

ruggerivarnishback.JPG

ruggerivarnishtop.JPG

Strip the varnish with a sharp scraper and finish the process with alcohol to get to as much bare wood as possible - re-varnish it and make a new bass bar and fix the rest that is broken. - it´s not a valuable instrument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Causation and correlation. Consider the difference.

if any

In this case, given its history, and the certainty that it wasn't put away looking like that, the onus would necessarily be on anyone alleging non-causality. This is, of course, not forthcoming.

People ignoring common sense to automatically play "How do we know that we know what we know ?" has become a virtual disease across all fields over the last 50 or so years -- a sort of fashion that people have adopted.

So. Q : How do we know that it was correlational ?  A : We don't. And can't. Yet the theoretical possibility that it might have been is considered sufficient to overrule common sense.

This is not sound procedure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Has anyone here an idea what ingredient in the varnish or what kind of mixture in the varnish causes this kind of problem? 

All this was answered in the threads I linked to, one should only bother to read them instead of wasting time again in redundant discussions (it was suggested it's bitumen BTW).

The only things which can't be repeated often enough are:

- such violins aren't "factory made"

- they aren't "not very valuable"

- having some experience one can easily notice that there are many thousands of this "blackish craqueled varnish" violins out there, so that it's extreme unlikely, better to say impossible that they all were heated, burned, stored in a hot attic or whatever fancy tales are told

- stripping and revarnishing them is just irrational, better to say stupid, because this would  diminish their value from several thousands (or more) to next to nothing.

 

At least I suggest to take a look at Jan Spidlen's website, who is regarded not only as a fine maker but as one of the most knowledgeable experts on German and Bohemian violins; here the link once more: https://spidlen.com/cz-en/obchod/nabidka-nastroju/mitt1850vcl.php?l=en

He didn't only leave alone the blackish incrustation of the varnish exactly as it is, seeing obviously no devaluation or flaw in it and has sold the cello probably in the meantime, but gives a similar explanation like we gave here before. To make it easy I quote it:

"A handsome violoncello from Mittenwald (Bavaria), maybe work of Johann Knilling II (1822-1905) or one of his contemporaries. It is impossible to identify the author with certainty. At this time the violin makers in Mittenwald cooperated widely. Some made the rough work, some finished the instruments, others did the varnishing. The sales were almost exclusively provided by the big sale companies Neuner & Hornsteiner and Johann Anton Bader. The instruments and also bows were often supplied without any brand, depending on demand. More information on the Mittenwald violin making school is on the local Museum's site. Nevertheless, this is a very good instrument, made after the Stradivari model with ideal measurements. Noticeable is the thick oil ruby cracled varnish, reminding that of J. Hubička. The Cello has a few repaired cracks in the belly and ribs, incl. a sound post crack. It sounds very well. "

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If people weren't so busy abusively pimping their own ideas they might realize that this phenomena has a number of different causes, and the results are not all identical. For instance, the cello on Spidlen's site shows something very different from the violin under discussion, which is different from what you see on UK instruments, and so on. . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Blank face

Do I understand you correctly that you are saying the violin pictures by the OP with facsimile Ruggieri label is not factory made?

Then who made it?

To my understanding using names of old Italian violin makers for violins which were produced in the 19th century generally belong to the class of divided labor manufacture. Call it factory or cottage industry. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

If people weren't so busy abusively pimping their own ideas they might realize that this phenomena has a number of different causes, and the results are not all identical. For instance, the cello on Spidlen's site shows something very different from the violin under discussion, which is different from what you see on UK instruments, and so on. . .

Agree that the crackling at the cello looks different from the OP. But I can assure you, that I've seen several times both sorts (the pearl alike "pimples" and the "alligatorskin")  at the same instrument. So I won't speculate about the exact caus(es), but rather state that the often claimed cause "heat" based on an optical similarity to something like burned wood is misleading.

The first thread I linked to above had a crackling very similar to the OP here, and it was assumed a long time to be a Mittenwald, too (what the OP based on the inside work is), but turned later out to be more probably English, just due to the different construction. So there might be an easily to distinguish difference neither.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

C'mon, this isn't really that hard: two different phenomena means two different causes, even on the same violin.

FWIW, I once worked on a violin like the OP's. It had been in a house fire, and the owner was giving it up for lost, but checked anyway.  

Every resin has its own specific pattern of degradation, as do different situational causes. Trying to boil things down to one cause is overly-simplistic, but then getting territorial about it as in this thread is just juvenile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

@Blank face

Do I understand you correctly that you are saying the violin pictures by the OP with facsimile Ruggieri label is not factory made?

Then who made it?

To my understanding using names of old Italian violin makers for violins which were produced in the 19th century generally belong to the class of divided labor manufacture. Call it factory or cottage industry. 

 

I don't want to become semantic, but in my eyes is a difference between a factory with big halls, many workers doing the same action at the same time in many different steps (this was more the way Mirecourt was doing it, the catalogues often are showing it in pictures) and small cottages with crafts(wo)men. How the Mittenwald "Verlegersystem" worked was described here before by me and in the quote of Spidlen. No, not "factory" IMO.

Furthermore I would deny that one can tell by the use of a "fake italian" label how a violin was produced. That would be a much too easy approach. The type of label the OP is featuring I have seeen before at several 19th Mittenwald, that's right.

What's puzzling me more than sematical seperations is that this type of varnish being discussed here leads automatically to conclusions like cheap nasty "factory" made. That's simply not true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To @Michael Darnton's point, heat exposure can damage varnish in exactly this way, and I don't think that one should automatically dismiss this possibility and assume that it is always passive varnish failure over time. 

The attached picture is a door that was exposed to heat showing varnish blistering.

 

bubbled_varnish_from_heat.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

C'mon, this isn't really that hard: two different phenomena means two different causes, even on the same violin.

FWIW, I once worked on a violin like the OP's. It had been in a house fire, and the owner was giving it up for lost, but checked anyway.  

Every resin has its own specific pattern of degradation, as do different situational causes. Trying to boil things down to one cause is overly-simplistic, but then getting territorial about it as in this thread is just juvenile.

 

15 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

To @Michael Darnton's point, heat exposure can damage varnish in exactly this way, and I don't think that one should automatically dismiss this possibility and assume that it is always varnish failure over time. 

The attached picture is a door that was exposed to heat showing varnish blistering.

 

bubbled_varnish_from_heat.jpg

 

All this points are valid, and one should consider that "heat" is a catalysator accelerating processes which can happen also without it, just more slowly (I'm not a chemist;)) Nice door, leave it as is:).

There might be real burned violins showing similar phenomenas, but it's just a fact of long-time experience, that basically all instruments of certain origins and with this particular varnish are showing this appearance, some more, some less distinctive. It's not a coincidence that we have this discussion the second or third time now, so one might excuse me being a bit impatient (especially if certain posters are involved, coming up earlier with some odd opinions).

The territorial aspect applies more to the "strip and revarnish" arguments causing me some sort of allergical reaction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I don't want to become semantic, but in my eyes is a difference between a factory with big halls, many workers doing the same action at the same time in many different steps (this was more the way Mirecourt was doing it, the catalogues often are showing it in pictures) and small cottages with crafts(wo)men. How the Mittenwald "Verlegersystem" worked was described here before by me and in the quote of Spidlen. No, not "factory" IMO.

Furthermore I would deny that one can tell by the use of a "fake italian" label how a violin was produced. That would be a much too easy approach. The type of label the OP is featuring I have seeen before at several 19th Mittenwald, that's right.

What's puzzling me more than sematical seperations is that this type of varnish being discussed here leads automatically to conclusions like cheap nasty "factory" made. That's simply not true.

However wasn't me who used the word 'nasty'. I said 'factory copy of a Ruggieri' 

With Respect, if you are going so much into word definitions l didn't say 'fake label' either. I said 'facsimile label' which is something else. (Actually you could pick on me here because more than often those labels don't even try to duplicate the fonts and their size from the original label, but as a matter of fact I don't know any better English word for that) Sorry to disagree, facsimile labels were constantly used as a sort of brand name in factory or home-industry made instruments. Flipping through some old Mittenwald, Markneukirchen or Mirecourt sales catalogues from the1920s and earlier will tell you all. Those labels were printed on cheap paper which turned yellow brown and the fonts usually don't match. The cut around the printed area is often very generous. 

 

Of course you can make a difference between factory and home industry. But in the end the result is the same: instruments where no one will ever figure out who participated in the making. So in my personal view there is no significant difference. One system puts all workers in one room called factory the other system lets everyone work at home.

For the crackled varnish itself I cannot say tgat it is as a such really beautiful but sure, when it is the signature feature of a maker (you are able to identify) one should not touch it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Sorry to disagree, facsimile labels were constantly used as a sort of brand name in factory or home-industry made instruments. Flipping through some old Mittenwald, Markneukirchen or Mirecourt sales catalogues from the1920s and earlier will tell you all. Those labels were printed on cheap paper which turned yellow brown and the fonts usually don't match. The cut around the printed area is often very generous. 

My posts weren't adressed at you only, so please don't take everything personally. Factually these "Modellzettel", how they were named often in a misleading way (because they usually didn't describe any sort of model, but were inserted just randomly) were used and printediny very different circumstances and used in bery differnt ways, too. The Markneukirchner sheets, for example shown in the Kauert book, could be bought by any person and inserted into anything, so it is a misconception that they would allow to deduct to a certain shop or factory.

There were particular sorts of labels with monograms, trademarks etc,, with Neuner & Hornsteiner, JTL or other signs giving some evidence, or defined model names of certain shops. Furthermore it's true that the lettering or sort of paper might tell you if it's from the type used in France or Germany, Mittenwald or Markneukirchen and a rough period, but this doen't necessarily imply that the violin whith such a label is definitely from the same origin.

Having said this, I wrote before that the OP's label is of a type I'm familiar with. Just in this moment I have an opened Mittenwald instrument on my bench featuring an identically printed label, just giving me the name of some "Giovanni Fiorillo Ferrara" Can't say if it's a real copy because I'm unfamiliar with this maker:P, but I know that it's a violin of early till mid 19th century Mittenwald origin I'm having through other features, and that's enough.

57 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Of course you can make a difference between factory and home industry. But in the end the result is the same: instruments where no one will ever figure out who participated in the making. So in my personal view there is no significant difference. One system puts all workers in one room called factory the other system lets everyone work at home.

I doesn't make much sense to argue here, but factually this sort of instrument, made in cooperation/division of labour is giving bread and butter to most of the violin dealers and restorers, the "fine" will add the fruit and meat. Being able to seperate between "cheap", "better" or "top grade" is essential, also to distinguish periods, regions, schools  and styles of making, also about the originality of the varnish. So mixing it all up as "factory or home made, all with facsimile Italian labels, no difference, all the same crap" is a luxury such a person (which I am) can't afford at all. Mind, I'm not saying that you implied this nor quoting any of your words. Just trying to make it more understandable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it's just a fact of long-time experience, that basically all instruments of certain origins and with this particular varnish are showing this appearance, some more, some less distinctive.

Interesting. And those instruments would be . . . (?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, A432 said:

 

 

Interesting. And those instruments would be . . . (?)

We have already mentioned Gilbert and Knilling as examples which are like this, except those that have been re-varnished. According to your hare brained hypothesis, all instruments of these makers have been subject to random heat excesses, whereas the instruments of other makers have escaped this fate. And you have the brass neck to pontificate about „common sense“.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to your usual sweet self, I see. Always refreshing.

basically all instruments of certain origins and with this particular varnish

So the above makers/places census = 2  (?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, A432 said:

 

 

Interesting. And those instruments would be . . . (?)

This was answered very extensively not only in this thread before, but also in both of the linked, external links, a quote of Spidlen etc etc., more or less the topic of the whole. Obviously you don't read, so another answer would be useless anyway.

Exactly such strangely unrelated posts are giving me the impression of talking to a robot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Blank face said:

 

Exactly such strangely unrelated posts are giving me the impression of talking to a robot.

Talking to a moron, more like

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a violin by the late John Sipe c. 1977 showing severe varnish failure. Apparently, this began happening on his violins during his lifetime, and he would re-varnish them gratis to replace the defective soft varnish.

8351805454013Chrd.jpg

2546322454013Chrd.jpg

8251640454011Chrd.jpg

8343163454011Chrd.jpg

3680461454013Chrd.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.