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PhilipKT
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Hello All >> and especially member PhilipKT-

I inherited a violin from my father who took lessons on it in his younger days. Only recently have I taken a very close look at this instrument and much to my surprise I found  two labels inside (one near each f-hole, of course) that read as follows:

Label (1):

Made by Claude Goings

New London, N.H. 1828

Branded on top and back

Label (2):

9428

(The "94" is printed, whilst the "28" is handwritten in pen)

This has me curious and a little puzzled at the same time. There was a Claude (Comfort)Goings violin maker from New London, N.H that was born in 1836. I have seen one of his violins (dated 1888) that sold at auctioneer Skinner in 2007.

And there is where the confusion comes in. The instrument I have is dated before he was born. From some research I did, I discovered his father had the same name. There is nothing to indicate that he also was a violin maker.

Also, I am curious as to what is meant by "Branded on top and back" as printed on the first label mentioned.

I do intend to have it professionally evaluated, but in the meantime any input on this subject would be most welcome. 

Thanks for reading,

Mike

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13 hours ago, irobot said:

Hello All >> and especially member PhilipKT-

I inherited a violin from my father who took lessons on it in his younger days. Only recently have I taken a very close look at this instrument and much to my surprise I found  two labels inside (one near each f-hole, of course) that read as follows:

Label (1):

Made by Claude Goings

New London, N.H. 1828

Branded on top and back

Label (2):

9428

(The "94" is printed, whilst the "28" is handwritten in pen)

This has me curious and a little puzzled at the same time. There was a Claude (Comfort)Goings violin maker from New London, N.H that was born in 1836. I have seen one of his violins (dated 1888) that sold at auctioneer Skinner in 2007.

And there is where the confusion comes in. The instrument I have is dated before he was born. From some research I did, I discovered his father had the same name. There is nothing to indicate that he also was a violin maker.

Also, I am curious as to what is meant by "Branded on top and back" as printed on the first label mentioned.

I do intend to have it professionally evaluated, but in the meantime any input on this subject would be most welcome. 

Thanks for reading,

Mike

The likeliest explanation is that you’re misreading the label, and it actually says 1888, or something similar. If the date is accurate, I can’t think of a logical explanation outside the numbers being added to a blank label, in a silly effort by an ignoramus to make the violin older(making it older than the maker’s whole life is a giveaway indeed!)

The second label is most likely a dealer inventory number. Please post photos of violin and also the bow if there is one.

You can also contact Chris Reuning, of Reuning violins, who is an expert on New England violin makers.

edit: your name reminds me that there should be “three laws of Violinitics, but no one would ever be able to get past,”a dealer may not mislead a customer, or through inaction, allow a customer to be misled.”

:-)

Edited by PhilipKT
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17 hours ago, irobot said:

Hello All >> and especially member PhilipKT-

I inherited a violin from my father who took lessons on it in his younger days. Only recently have I taken a very close look at this instrument and much to my surprise I found  two labels inside (one near each f-hole, of course) that read as follows:

Label (1):

Made by Claude Goings

New London, N.H. 1828

Branded on top and back

Label (2):

9428

(The "94" is printed, whilst the "28" is handwritten in pen)

This has me curious and a little puzzled at the same time. There was a Claude (Comfort)Goings violin maker from New London, N.H that was born in 1836. I have seen one of his violins (dated 1888) that sold at auctioneer Skinner in 2007.

And there is where the confusion comes in. The instrument I have is dated before he was born. From some research I did, I discovered his father had the same name. There is nothing to indicate that he also was a violin maker.

Also, I am curious as to what is meant by "Branded on top and back" as printed on the first label mentioned.

I do intend to have it professionally evaluated, but in the meantime any input on this subject would be most welcome. 

Thanks for reading,

Mike

 

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Just now, Ron1 said:

 

I think the "9428", because of the way "94" is printed & the "28" is hand-written, is likely the year of making & the instrument number.  Which, if correct, would mean it was his 28th instrument, and was made in 1894.  That may fit better, time wise, with his years of making....

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4 hours ago, Ron1 said:

I think the "9428", because of the way "94" is printed & the "28" is hand-written, is likely the year of making & the instrument number.  Which, if correct, would mean it was his 28th instrument, and was made in 1894.  That may fit better, time wise, with his years of making....

Where do you see the photos?

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:47 AM, irobot said:

...I inherited a violin...I found  two labels inside...:...Made by Claude Goings...New London, N.H. 1828...

The 1828 date makes no sense, and I can't explain it.  I have seen several violins by Claude Goings.  He was a Civil War veteran and a carriage maker as well as a violin maker.  The New London Historical Society has constructed a recreation of his violin workshop, and it has a carriage of his on display.  Considering that he probably had no formal training in violin making, his work is not too bad.  The Goings violin that Skinner sold in 2007 was in mint condition, so the price realized was probably top auction value at that time.  Skinner sold another Goings violin, with some condition problems, in 2015 for a little under $1000.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/17/2021 at 7:08 AM, Brad Dorsey said:

The 1828 date makes no sense, and I can't explain it . . . 

Yeah, neither can I. The labels are in good readable condition. There is no mistaking the "1828". The (standard courier) fonts on this label has the look (and nuances) of being done on a typewriter . . problem is - the typewriter had not been invented yet, although could have been done with whatever mechanical printing was available back then. It is very possible that the instrument was made in 1894 and someone goofed up on the "1828". See my other posts from today for more on the story. Really got me puzzled.

I learned about ten years ago that Claude changed his name from "Comfort" sometime around 1860. His father was born circa 1797, also named "Comfort".

I contacted the New London H.S. this past week to ask if the violin could have been made by his father. Still waiting to hear more from them.

I have not posted any photos yet, will try to have the sometime this week. It's proving difficult to photograph the labels. What I did was re-create them as accurately as possible. Take a look!

THANKS very much for the replies, it's much appreciated! 

claude goings label.PNG

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On 2/16/2021 at 5:09 PM, Ron1 said:

I think the "9428", because of the way "94" is printed & the "28" is hand-written, is likely the year of making & the instrument number.  Which, if correct, would mean it was his 28th instrument, and was made in 1894.  That may fit better, time wise, with his years of making....

Yep . . quite possible. The clues I have to work with would indicate being built in 1894.

Thanks very much for the response, see my other post from today

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By the way, I also saw the Goings auction listings from Skinner and Brompton's web sites. The one I have is in good to very good condition, although has what looks like hairline fractures on the top. Nothing has changed on it over the last 50 to 60 years. It is a little dusty, and needs to be cleaned up. Not sure it doing so would negatively affect the insurance/resale value any. 

So glad to have found this forum. I started research on this a long time ago . . . I was thrilled to find someone that owns one of these!

Edited by irobot
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