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JacksonMaberry

Branding Bridges - why we stamp them, when it started

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8 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Hadn't thought of that for a reason to stamp them... but one never knows.  We're not getting any younger after all... we may need name tags to recognize our spouses eventually!  :) 

Bad idea! My spouse did not react well to branding......

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4 hours ago, Tets Kimura said:

@Andreas Preuss can correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems far less common to stamp bridges here in Japan. I suspect it's something to do with the traditional craftsman's mentality. 

Soetsu Yanagi ... There is an entire universe in his writing

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14 hours ago, MarkBouquet said:

My luthier brands the soundposts he installs. Is that common? I appreciate it. He's saying "I take responsibility for this work."

I am sure I have seen it, but it is not common.  I agree with your assessment about taking responsibility for the work.....society needs more people in general to take responsibility for their work.

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Someone should be (probably already is) collecting superannuated branded bridges. I'm willing to part with mine stamped "George W.Hudson" for slightly less than the price of the violin it used to adorn. I'm also pleased that Andrew Fairfax's brand appears on another of mine, currently in use.

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Jeffrey, my reference to identifying one's own work was a response to that suggestion by someone several posts above you.

As far as I know, stamping a bridge is to identify the dealer who sold your friend that wonderful violin he has, so that the friend will come in to see what else that dealer has. I think I can observe that shops that depend on sales of expensive violins virtually always have brands on their bridges, while the guys without brands are almost always the little shops who live by repair and their own making. Who wouldn't want their little billboard on a Strad, there to be seen every time another player looks at the instrument? 

Those not in the business probably don't know that instruments being switched around between dealers for short specific trials with one of shop B's customers have to leave home shop A without a brand or the bridge will either be de-branded or replaced with dealer B's bridge. This happens all the time in the business. Because a bridge is definitely a little billboard.

In the other direction, when I do someone a favor and cut a bridge for a total garbage violin, I will often not stamp the bridge. Not because the bridge isn't good, but because I don't want my shop associated with that type of instrument. Billboard placement.

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13 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Those not in the business probably don't know that instruments being switched around between dealers for short specific trials with one of shop B's customers have to leave home shop A without a brand or the bridge will either be de-branded or replaced with dealer B's bridge. This happens all the time in the business. Because a bridge is definitely a little billboard.

My first experience with this was a Storioni a colleague asked to show to one of his customers.....it returned with my bridge and the brand was filed off.....I must say not only did my bridge look different, but from then on, that colleague as well.

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40 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Jeffrey, my reference to identifying one's own work was a response to that suggestion by someone several posts above you.

As far as I know, stamping a bridge is to identify the dealer who sold your friend that wonderful violin he has, so that the friend will come in to see what else that dealer has. I think I can observe that shops that depend on sales of expensive violins virtually always have brands on their bridges, while the guys without brands are almost always the little shops who live by repair and their own making. Who wouldn't want their little billboard on a Strad, there to be seen every time another player looks at the instrument? 

Those not in the business probably don't know that instruments being switched around between dealers for short specific trials with one of shop B's customers have to leave home shop A without a brand or the bridge will either be de-branded or replaced with dealer B's bridge. This happens all the time in the business. Because a bridge is definitely a little billboard.

In the other direction, when I do someone a favor and cut a bridge for a total garbage violin, I will often not stamp the bridge. Not because the bridge isn't good, but because I don't want my shop associated with that type of instrument. Billboard placement.

Very interesting perspective! I appreciate it. 

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A friend has a rather poor and battered instrument that she's had for decades and brought over from Australia with her when she came to the UK.  I always think the best thing about it is the bridge, stamped "A. E. Smith"  :-)

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On 11/30/2019 at 10:40 AM, matesic said:

Someone should be (probably already is) collecting superannuated branded bridges. I'm willing to part with mine stamped "George W.Hudson" for slightly less than the price of the violin it used to adorn. I'm also pleased that Andrew Fairfax's brand appears on another of mine, currently in use.

https://www.violinbridges.co.uk/

 

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Worth noting  that  it's  easy  to  have brands made up. 

There was a chap here who had a brand from a famous shop, and was happy to  improve his stock  with it. Also someone  putting  trade fiddles through  an auction  house with Italian  labels, and matching  bridge  brands!

I have a collection of brands for bows and violins that were made up in the thirties  I think, and  taken out of service  by my old partner when he bought  the remnants of the workshop. 

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2 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

1) Those not in the business probably don't know that instruments being switched around between dealers for short specific trials with one of shop B's customers have to leave home shop A without a brand or the bridge will either be de-branded or replaced with dealer B's bridge. This happens all the time in the business. Because a bridge is definitely a little billboard.

2) In the other direction, when I do someone a favor and cut a bridge for a total garbage violin, I will often not stamp the bridge. Not because the bridge isn't good, but because I don't want my shop associated with that type of instrument. Billboard placement.

1) Yup. True.  I've seen a number of my bridges come back without it's brand, and I will leave the bridge without one if doing a job for another dealer, if they wish it. I frankly am thrilled if I get a good fiddle with a nice bridge stamped by someone else. Less to do.  :)

2) I can see that... and have done the same... though it doesn't usually happen for me these days, luckily... 

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On 11/30/2019 at 2:47 AM, David Burgess said:

I haven't stamped  bridges for about 30 years now. Nothin' against those who do.

Yes, it could be argued that I am too embarrassed to do so. :)

Yeh...me too...I don't stamp because I think it just looks utterly vulgar. I put my ID and the date under the arch out of sight

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2 hours ago, Melvin Goldsmith said:

1) Yeh...me too...I don't stamp because I think it just looks utterly vulgar. I put my ID and the date under the arch out of sight

 

26 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

2) I wasn't planning on it at first, but I was convinced to be reasonable. 

1) I don't find pride in ones work "utterly vulgar", but would encourage those who do, not to brand the bridge (or label their instruments). I won't hold it against you.

2) I frankly think there is little difference... If I still made instruments. I'd label them.  I restore, so placing my name on the bridge indicates my involvement and is reversible (new bridge by someone else)... and maybe there's even a small commercial advantage if my work is  well thought of.  I've also enjoyed examining the approaches of others, and the brand aids in that.

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As an aside, David also initials his Bass bars, in a spot visible from the F-hole( and the bottom block as well, probably the top block too, though I’ve never looked)

 

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4 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

As an aside, David also initials his Bass bars, in a spot visible from the F-hole( and the bottom block as well, probably the top block too, though I’ve never looked)

 

Must be a different David.

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I put my brand on the bridge, as a guarantee (and responsibility) for having made it personally, unlike others who have the set up made from someone else, a not so remote eventuality on newly made violins.

I don't consider it vulgar, but rather refined, I consider it vulgar to leave the manufacturer's brand to indicate that expensive bridge blanks are used.

Unless vulgarity is in the design used for the brand....

 

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Now I'm confused. I thought:

1. If you fit a blank bridge - and it has the manufacturer's brand on it - you leave that brand.

2. If you fit a blank bridge - and it has no brand in it - you leave it blank.

3. If you make your own bridge from scratch - then you either put your name on it, or leave it blank.

So...are there another options?

4. Erase an existing brand - and leave it blank or re-brand it? Hmm. 

5. Stamp your name on a blank blank? But you didn't make it, you just fit it.

FWIW, as a customer - I like a bridge brand.

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4 minutes ago, Rue said:

2. If you fit a blank bridge - and it has no brand in it - you leave it blank.

Fitting a blank requires considerable skill. I would certainly put my name on such a bridge.

how many makers make a blank from scratch anyway?

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