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Three13

Unusual VSO

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I spotted this VSO with some odd features and couldn’t help myself - it’s got the original through-neck and a slightly wedge-shaped fingerboard.

The sides and back appear to be plain maple, and the purfling is white paint applied to a shallow channel. There’s painted flame under red varnish. The top is pinned, both top and bottom, while the back has what looks like a later pin below the button. The original saddle appears to be ivory and is inlaid halfway into the table. It’s clearly built on back with tiny corner blocks.

It has a Norwegian repair inscription, and I recall reading about a Scandinavian violin with an odd wood (mahogany?) back and white purfling somewhere, so my guess is that it’s a cheaply made thing from that part of the world.

Has anyone seen this combination before? 
 

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I saw this one too. Looks like a typical Saxon build, but I suspect its something else. Possible candidate for a period set up.

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I find that you do the fiddle a serious disservice with the expression “VSO”. To me, is seems to be an extreme Saxon violin, early 19th C. The saddle is perfectly typical. Does the ivory shield have any writing, a close up would be nice. Also a close up of the scroll profile please.

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It has all the features of a Georg Adam Gütter, early 19th century. Both model with small bone saddle and painted flames are quite typical, the small scroll, too.

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48 minutes ago, Blank face said:

It has all the features of a Georg Adam Gütter, early 19th century. Both model with small bone saddle and painted flames are quite typical, the small scroll, too.

Where is the picture of the scroll?. I was thinking of Hamm

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48 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Where is the picture of the scroll?. I was thinking of Hamm

At the first and second photo of the 2nd post I'm seeing a rather small and narrow scroll. Don't know if the Hamms made painted flames and this kind of saddle?

Though it would be interesting to know if the lower rib is one piece, a feature which could point to a Hamm, also a fully fluted scroll.

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12 minutes ago, antero said:

One piece lower bout?

It's extremely rare to find a one piece lower bout at Markneukirchen built on the back instruments, as less as a fully fluted scroll, but Hamm family was obviously an exception.

IMG_7686.JPG

IMG_7684r.JPG

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The bone "saddle" does not look like a saddle to me - it looks like a piece of bone sitting (glued?) on the top, and there may be a small piece of ebony inserted in the top underneath it. Is that typical?

I can't tell for certain if it is a one-piece bottom rib or not.

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16 minutes ago, antero said:

So Hamm's saddle is mainly (always) bone?

Let into bot few mm-s?

The form is one of the often used in Saxon Bohemian making of the period. Some were bone, others ebony or different hardwood as far as one can tell from the preserved examples (many were replaced due to several reasons. I've seen Hamm family violins with both bone and wooden saddles.

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22 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

The bone "saddle" does not look like a saddle to me - it looks like a piece of bone sitting (glued?) on the top, and there may be a small piece of ebony inserted in the top underneath it. Is that typical?

I can't tell for certain if it is a one-piece bottom rib or not.

Of course it's a rather flat piece of bone, let in only half of the thiknes or less. This form is often seen at Gütter family violins (if still original).

I can not see a piece of ebony under the saddle of the OP, it seems to be inserted into the edge as I described.

 

IMG_5616.JPG

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4 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Of course it's a rather flat piece of bone, let in only half of the thickness or less.

The OP's does not look to me like it is set-in at all. And is there a tiny well-worn ebony saddle underneath it?

The bone looks stuck on top to try to prevent further erosion damage to the top edge by the tailgut

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Darkened belly spruce wood under the saddle, due to sweat, dirt and wear. Once more, this type of saddle was perfectly common, like easily to spot at my photo above.

Zuschneiden_4.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Darkened belly spruce wood under the saddle, due to sweat, dirt and wear. Once more, this type of saddle was perfectly common, like easily to spot at my photo above.

The OP's is quite different than the one you posted, which is neatly inserted, but I'll take your word for it.

If the OP's piece of bone is a saddle, then it appears to be utterly ineffective for its intended purpose.

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Maybe it's hard to see at the photo, but to me it looks as if the upper belly edge is very close to the edge of the saddle and it's inserted 1/3 - 1/2 into it. I bet that you would see similar notches in the bone as in the wood beneath it when you're taking off the tailpiece, maybe due to the long time use of a metal tail gut..

Of course this sort of saddle is often object of heavy wear, breakage and is lost very easily, so most of them are replaced now.

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9 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I find that you do the fiddle a serious disservice with the expression “VSO”. To me, is seems to be an extreme Saxon violin, early 19th C. The saddle is perfectly typical. Does the ivory shield have any writing, a close up would be nice. Also a close up of the scroll profile please.

My apologies for characterizing it that way.

The scroll fluting ends at about 7:00, the saddle is pretty neatly inlaid into the edge, just at the depth where it is it’s widest, and the bottom rib is one piece. Here are some more images:

 

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784B4EE6-1897-45DB-8E69-83326394A044.jpeg

B0A91B80-0DEC-48F7-8A21-1467A0BAA55D.jpeg

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