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Daniel Lelievre

Unusual (Italian?) Scroll

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Hello,

I just aquired this violin in a very bad shape. The good new is that it has no worm and nothing is missing.

I think it is Italian, late 17th or early 18th, but not sure. The peg box is very unusual, very Gragnani like, but it might not be original. There is an old, probably fake Sanctus Serafin label.

Would someone be able to help me a little bit in my search ? A proper restoration will be quite expensive and I need to know if it is worth the expense. In advance, thank you !

ASanSerafino08.JPG

ASanSerafino03.JPG

ASanSerafino04.JPG

ASanSerafino06.JPG

SanSerafino10.JPG

SanSerafino11.JPG

SanSerafino12.JPG

SanSerafino13.JPG

SanSerafino16.JPG

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Interesting violin. I'll be curious. At least it was build around an inside mould and had the neck nailed to the body. If it was one of the Germanic Fuessen derived schools I would have expected for Jacob to say something?

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That's a braintwister.

The varnish looks rather dry. And was this originally a violin with 5 strings? The wood for the upper corner blocks looks diffferent to the lower corner blocks. The whole thing looks like built on a mould. Rather flat arch. The clean purfling and well positioned nicely cut f-holes at least point to professional work. 

Somehow I can't put the pieces of the puzzle together. For those things I usually go with the exclusion method and sometimes some region can be pinned down. At the moment I don't have the time to do that. 

Any general measurements? A small area of ceaned varnish could help too. Anything under the false label?

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Andreas is right that the inside work doesn't look homogenous. There seems to be a sample of different woods of different age and species, so it's hard to tell what was original and what a later addition/replacement. For this reason I won't be sure that it was "built with a mould", a one piece lower rib was used with very different building methods, too.

In the actul state we have a few out of focus pictures only (from an online auction?) and some inside photos which are more confusing than enlightening, so there's not much to say. All opinions about origin can actually be speculative only, and as usual one should assume anything what's "south of the Alps" in the last place.

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18 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Thanks Jacob. However, if you look closely, these two are slightly different, and it is not due to a bad reproduction technique. I tried to find one looking like mine, with no success...

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18 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

That's a braintwister.

The varnish looks rather dry. And was this originally a violin with 5 strings? The wood for the upper corner blocks looks diffferent to the lower corner blocks. The whole thing looks like built on a mould. Rather flat arch. The clean purfling and well positioned nicely cut f-holes at least point to professional work. 

Somehow I can't put the pieces of the puzzle together. For those things I usually go with the exclusion method and sometimes some region can be pinned down. At the moment I don't have the time to do that. 

Any general measurements? A small area of ceaned varnish could help too. Anything under the false label?

Thanks for your comments, Andreas. Yes, the varnish is quite dry, not very deep. I will try to clean it and make a picture with some light reflection. I will also measure it and make extra pictures of each corner block.

Yes, there is a fifth peg hole which was later filled. Don't know if the fifth peg was there at first...

I did not want to take the false label off at this time. All I can say for sure is that this label was already moved (there is a trace of glue under, with the same dent as the label).

Edited by Daniel Lelievre

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8 hours ago, Blank face said:

Andreas is right that the inside work doesn't look homogenous. There seems to be a sample of different woods of different age and species, so it's hard to tell what was original and what a later addition/replacement. For this reason I won't be sure that it was "built with a mould", a one piece lower rib was used with very different building methods, too.

In the actul state we have a few out of focus pictures only (from an online auction?) and some inside photos which are more confusing than enlightening, so there's not much to say. All opinions about origin can actually be speculative only, and as usual one should assume anything what's "south of the Alps" in the last place.

Thanks for your help. As I said to Andreas, I will make pictures of each corner block in a way that they are more meaningful. I made all pictures myself. Except the inside details I took with an iPhone, the other one are hi-resolution 6000x4000, taken with a 400mm to avoid optical issues. The original are quite sharp, but Maestronet do not allow images bigger than 2 Mo. If this could help, I can send the original by we-transfer, or make better picture of selected part... I appreciate your help very much and I will make the pictures you need, of course !

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12 hours ago, Blank face said:

BTW, the photos are named "a SanSerafin ca. 1816", so I'd like to know what gives reason to assume a 17th/early 18th date now?

I am confused. The pictures I posted were named like "ASanSerafino03.jpg"... At this stage, and with your help, I have no idea if it is 17th or 18th century. All I know is it is quite old ! Also the wood, the 3 nails...

Edited by Daniel Lelievre

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4 hours ago, Daniel Lelievre said:

 I will make pictures of each corner block in a way that they are more meaningful.

If you are doing corner block pics, then please some of the birds eye view

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Here are some more pictures. I measured the top, tell me if you need specific measurements.

The varnish (thank to Andreas) is actually nicer than it appeared. I just delicately clean a small part of the top with a soft wet cloth, quickly dried it. It looks much better !

So I took a picture of each corner. I put them in this order : Upper right, lower right, lower left, upper left. The upper right corner is quite different from the 3 others and corresponds to the rib that seems to have been changed (although the wood looks the same).

Again, thanks so much for your help !

 

 

 

SanSerafino20.JPG

SanSerafino23.JPG

SanSerafino24.JPG

SanSerafino Upper right corner.JPG

SanSerafino Lower right corner.JPG

SanSerafino Lower left corner.JPG

SanSerafino Upper left corner.JPG

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6 hours ago, Daniel Lelievre said:

I am confused. The pictures I posted were named like "ASanSerafino03.jpg"... At this stage, and with your help, I have no idea if it is 17th or 18th century. All I know is it is quite old ! Also the wood, the 3 nails...

It's the photo of the scroll being named "......ASanSerafino08.JPG.9ca1876........". One of the reasons I assumed it to be taken from an auction website, they often name their photos this way.B)

Sorry that I misread it as 1816, not 1876. To be honest, I don't see features which would exclude such a time frame rigorously. The upper block has a quite different wood than all the rest of the inside work, so it is most probably a later addition/manipulation, and three white glue covered nails are proving nothing. The inside wood doesn't  look different from 19th century woods, too, just very dirty at some points, also the varnish, and I'm missing tool marks at the inside ribs which are often seen at 18th century (or older) violins. Just some first impressions, could be wrong.

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