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Guido

Not an Andreas Quiz

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I really liked Andreas' quiz on G Gadda. I guess people take different approaches to identification, be it the familiar-face-in-the-crowd type or the sum-of-the-details approach.

Both have some relevance for me. If I have an idea on an overall impression I can then substantiate with details; if not, I have to start with some details and hope they give me an idea which direction to research.

Here is an example of an unknown fiddle: this scribe line on the plate can be found in all eight corners. Anyone familiar with this practice?

scribe.jpg

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2 hours ago, Guido said:

I really liked Andreas' quiz on G Gadda. I guess people take different approaches to identification, be it the familiar-face-in-the-crowd type or the sum-of-the-details approach.

Both have some relevance for me. If I have an idea on an overall impression I can then substantiate with details; if not, I have to start with some details and hope they give me an idea which direction to research.

Here is an example of an unknown fiddle: this scribe line on the plate can be found in all eight corners. Anyone familiar with this practice?

scribe.jpg

It looks like file marks that result from filing back of the rib ends on a BOB (built on the back construction method) violin.

The object being to make the violin look like it was built using a mold.

 

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I would think they are positioning marks which would have served the same purpose as pins. But maybe I’m wrong.

The question is: Has anyone seen this before?

Maybe just an individual’s spontaneous idea, but more likely part of a method of building violins particular to a certain school?

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1 hour ago, Guido said:

I would think they are positioning marks which would have served the same purpose as pins. But maybe I’m wrong.

The question is: Has anyone seen this before?

Maybe just an individual’s spontaneous idea, but more likely part of a method of building violins particular to a certain school?

The luthier would have to be pretty ham fisted to make such deep and obvious marks just to position his ribs correctly  ?

A simple pencil mark would be enough.

Have you looked to see if it has all the usual signs of being built around a mold ?

Are the ribs mitred or pinched and filed filed down ?

BlankFace has explained before how they sometimes filed back the ribs quite deeply, so its not enirely my own idea, ( although I will take the  credit if I am right :lol:), but at the end of the day I am just guessing.

 

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When I worked in the workshop of Marc Rosenstiel in Grenoble he once showed me a violin where there was a deep needle mark located at all four rib corners on the back. He explained to me 'I don't know who made the instrument, but this is made in France.'

It seems that this was a Mirecourt technique but usually done in a way that the needle point would completely disappear.

The markings on your violin could be a variation of the same technique.

 

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It they were file marks, I'd expect the ends of the ribs to be back of them, but the rib in the picture extends over them. Plus, the point is sharp!

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I think we need to see the whole violin. These lines could mean different things, file or position marks, depending of the construction method. Never noticed them consciously before. Could be also an idiosyncratic feature of an autodidactical made instrument.

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3 hours ago, martin swan said:

I agree with Delabo - these are just clumsy file marks from a rapidly built BOB violin.

Perhaps show the rest of it and we will see if we are right!

So what was filed? The rib corners look pretty pointy and not flattened at the ends. :(

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I agree that in the case of this corner it doesn't seem a viable explanation because the rib corner appears to just past the file line, but we don't know if the top's been off ....

Generally you would file the whole corner flat with something quite aggressive and then work it to a bit more of a point with something more delicate, perhaps using a bit more care at this stage.

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IMHO, somebody might have had the rib garland off the back and those marks were cut as a reference for putting it back.  Not a practice I'd like to see spread.  I agree that we need to see the rest of the violin to put the whole thing in perspective.  :)

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Are the ribs set in a groove in the back ?

They seem to be visible into the slot which would not be the case if they were sitting flush on the back.

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4 hours ago, Delabo said:

Are the ribs set in a groove in the back ?

They seem to be visible into the slot which would not be the case if they were sitting flush on the back.

The ribs sit flush on the back and are not let into a channel.

5 hours ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, somebody might have had the rib garland off the back and those marks were cut as a reference for putting it back.  Not a practice I'd like to see spread.  I agree that we need to see the rest of the violin to put the whole thing in perspective.  :)

Good idea, but unlikely as the marks are on both the back and the belly.

5 hours ago, martin swan said:

I agree that in the case of this corner it doesn't seem a viable explanation because the rib corner appears to just past the file line, but we don't know if the top's been off ....

Generally you would file the whole corner flat with something quite aggressive and then work it to a bit more of a point with something more delicate, perhaps using a bit more care at this stage.

I don't think the top was off, but even if, the marks on the other side are similar with the tip just reaching into the line.

The file mark idea from trimming the rib joints doesn't seem to hold in my opinion.

On ‎12‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 8:42 PM, Delabo said:

The luthier would have to be pretty ham fisted to make such deep and obvious marks just to position his ribs correctly?

A simple pencil mark would be enough.

I do not understand the reason or rhyme with those (positioning) marks either, but I'm quite sure whoever made the violin was not ham-fisted and probably not even an autodidact. Here is another shot that includes purfling and back corners.

IMG_2185.JPG

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This rib joints look mitred,  the purfling joints assymetrically pointing to the middle bouts, so Andreas could be right with it being a French method of centering an outside mould made rib garland.

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9 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

When I worked in the workshop of Marc Rosenstiel in Grenoble he once showed me a violin where there was a deep needle mark located at all four rib corners on the back. He explained to me 'I don't know who made the instrument, but this is made in France.'

It seems that this was a Mirecourt technique but usually done in a way that the needle point would completely disappear.

The markings on your violin could be a variation of the same technique.

 

I thought it was just me with my limited experience,... but I'm genuinely surprised that no one has seen scribe lines like this before.

Do I understand correctly that the marks one the French violin were needle holes to mark the rib joint position rather than lines like I have here? And only on the back?

French could be an interesting lead. My violin also has cleats along the back centre seam.

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10 hours ago, martin swan said:

...clumsy ...rapidly built...

I was more hoping for "spontaneity" and "urgency" :D

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18 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

So what was filed? The rib corners look pretty pointy and not flattened at the ends. :(

There would be no point in flattening the rib ends because the BOB join mark would still be visible in the center and show how it was made (pinched together).

But initially one would file down the pinched together ribs aggressively until you are below the rib ends. In doing this a clumsy maker with a triangle shaped file might push too far into the edge of the rib creating the marks we see.

The next job would be to make the pinched rib center mark look mitred toward the center bout by gently filing away the side of the rib to a point and create the illusion that it was made on a mold.

 

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49 minutes ago, Delabo said:

But initially one would file down the pinched together ribs aggressively until you are below the rib ends. In doing this a clumsy maker with a triangle shaped file might push too far into the edge of the rib creating the marks we see.

Sounds reasonable.  But then we should see the same file marks on the back as well, or not? At least faintly. 

(If this guy were sitting in my shop I would have smacked him in the face because after filing in the top once he repeated the mistake on the other corners.)

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21 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Sounds reasonable.  But then we should see the same file marks on the back as well, or not? At least faintly. 

(If this guy were sitting in my shop I would have smacked him in the face because after filing in the top once he repeated the mistake on the other corners.)

If it was a cottage industry violin then its quite possible that a child was given this job to do just this one time and dad never let him do another one.

If it was a Mirecourt factory violin then the poor lad got the sack. :lol:

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27 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Sounds reasonable.  But then we should see the same file marks on the back as well, or not? At least faintly. 

(If this guy were sitting in my shop I would have smacked him in the face because after filing in the top once he repeated the mistake on the other corners.)

… eight times. Every corner, back and belly. I would still think it was done with intent, so as to mark the rib joint position.

In any case, the violin is not BOB, so the whole filing back of corners is a bit of a hypothetical idea.

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21 minutes ago, Guido said:

In any case, the violin is not BOB, so the whole filing back of corners is a bit of a hypothetical idea.

The method I have suggested is not hypothetical, I have a saxon violin circa 1800 which shows clear evidence of being constructed in that manner. I have checked it for clumsy file marks and they are absent.

But having determined that your violin is either inside or outside mold it now has to be explained why an experienced luthier would mark his pristine violin in such a manner ?

The idea that its for rib positioning does not hold water for me. Marking a new violin in such a way and then not erasing the marks before applying varnish seems non professional.

As this is a quiz It starts to point to your violin being autodidact made.

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39 minutes ago, Delabo said:

 

But having determined that your violin is either inside or outside mold it now has to be explained why an experienced luthier would mark his pristine violin in such a manner ?

The idea that its for rib positioning does not hold water for me. Marking a new violin in such a way and then not erasing the marks before applying varnish seems non professional.

As this is a quiz It starts to point to your violin being autodidact made.

I don’t know. One idea I have might be a bit far fetched, but:

I’m a sucker for tool marks. I like it when scrolls have centre scribe lines and things like that. Maybe the maker of my violin thought it would make the violin interesting or give an artisan impression if he left those marks.

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43 minutes ago, Delabo said:

But having determined that your violin is either inside or outside mold it now has to be explained why an experienced luthier would mark his pristine violin in such a manner ?

The idea that its for rib positioning does not hold water for me. Marking a new violin in such a way and then not erasing the marks before applying varnish seems non professional.

A Mirecourt factory made violin can be both pristine and professional as well as showing tool marks of the production process at the same time. They weren’t made by a single maker to get a reputation.

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