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Egidio Santos

The one from Turin (ID)

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Hello!
Hope you guys have som fun by looking at old instruments that are not saxon dutzends ;)
I just received this violin, shipped from Torino, Italy. I'm planning to fix it up and add to my tiny collection, but would be nice to know more about it before i start doing anything.
It seems to be french or italian, probably 19th century? Came with a really old piece of rosin, stamped G. Ghys, made in france around 1908 (http://iremus.huma-num.fr/marques-instruments-musique/547) which hints that this instrument has been around at least since then...

 

The arch is high and some deep wide channels that remind me of some Turin, Venice or french makers, no labels and no other writings inside besides some pencil markings for positioning the bassbar and the rib outline.

Curiously, theres a soundpost crack on the back which has been repaired long time ago, the crack looks pretty bad but in reality it is very shallow and it doesn't go trough the plate.

Really appreciate any kind of info that you guys can add or that can help to identifying the origins of this guy.
 

Thanks in advance! 

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2 minutes ago, deans said:

Did it come wrapped  in some old cloth like this?

Image result for shroud of turin

Yes, but it smelt bad and i threw away...

The shipping label says Turin tho, perhaps i can use that to wrap something.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

Perhaps you should study "Saxon boxes" a little more thouroughly

What do you see in this one that qualify it as a Saxon box?
I can't see any of the characteristics of the other Saxons i've seen, and the high arch reminds of Stainer copies but everything else is different...

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I hate to say it but I would probably have described this as "Caussin Shop"  :ph34r:

The post crack in the back is a killer I'm afraid - even if it doesn't appear to go all the way through, that will be because a) the crack pushes outwards and is therefore neater on the inside and b) there's no varnish on the inside to mess up 

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First look at the front and the edge-work and I was thinking Saxon of the type that got labelled "Schweitzer" in the US, but the scroll, rib mitres and interior make me think along the lines of what Martin is saying. Not much to do with Turin or Venice, I'm afraid. 

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13 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I hate to say it but I would probably have described this as "Caussin Shop"  :ph34r:

The post crack in the back is a killer I'm afraid - even if it doesn't appear to go all the way through, that will be because a) the crack pushes outwards and is therefore neater on the inside and b) there's no varnish on the inside to mess up 

Makes sense, my guess of Turin was for 2 reasons, one is that the previous owner family lived there, and second that to my not so trained eye it shares many similarities with the Giovanni Celoniato 1726 made in Turin.

About the back crack, besides the value kill, if its seamlessly repaired, it shouldnt affect the sound that much right?

vio.jpg

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16 minutes ago, Michael Appleman said:

First look at the front and the edge-work and I was thinking Saxon of the type that got labelled "Schweitzer" in the US, but the scroll, rib mitres and interior make me think along the lines of what Martin is saying. Not much to do with Turin or Venice, I'm afraid. 

Venice was a long shot but Turin as i heard shared some similarities with French makers but im not familiar with them.
Besides the instrument physically coming from there, all the accessories are clearly french...
 

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19 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I‘m afraid it has a belly post crack and a bassbar crack, too.

The top is actually in a really good condition, the bassbar crack is pretty stable and can be easily hidden.
And that doesnt really look like a post crack, its very superficial and it comes from that bump under the tailpiece, on the inside there is no sign of post crack.

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13 minutes ago, Egidio Santos said:

The top is actually in a really good condition, the bassbar crack is pretty stable and can be easily hidden.
And that doesnt really look like a post crack, its very superficial and it comes from that bump under the tailpiece, on the inside there is no sign of post crack.

The post crack is showing on the back, the long crack where it looks like someone scraped the varnish and then did a bad varnish touch up, and or more likely the repair at one point looked ok when it was fresh, but many years and neglect have taken the toll in the uneven patina of that area which has clearly been fuxed twith. The crack at the button isn't something I'd be thrilled about either.

I suppose what it really comes down to is how much you paid for it and do you think you got an ok deal or not.

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4 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

The post crack is showing on the back, the long crack where it looks like someone scraped the varnish and then did a bad varnish touch up, and or more likely the repair at one point looked ok when it was fresh, but many years and neglect have taken the toll in the uneven patina of that area which has clearly been fuxed twith. The crack at the button isn't something I'd be thrilled about either.

I suppose what it really comes down to is how much you paid for it and do you think you got an ok deal or not.

That is a really bad touch up, and it seems last layer was done recently, although the patch wood by now has almost blended with the original which means the crack has been there for a while...
At the end i still satisfied with what i got, although it will be a lot of work to get it to a nice good looking state.

Im thinking about reworking the post crack and remove the red shellac that was applied above the original oil varnish, but it will be a challenge :)

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"to my not so trained eye it shares many similarities with the Giovanni Celoniato 1726 made in Turin"

Honestly not seeing a significant similarity...

cel.jpg

Celoniato/Celonatus violin

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1 hour ago, Egidio Santos said:

The top is actually in a really good condition, the bassbar crack is pretty stable and can be easily hidden.
And that doesnt really look like a post crack, its very superficial and it comes from that bump under the tailpiece, on the inside there is no sign of post crack.

Of course these look like a perdfect sondpost crack beside a bassbar crack; sometimes they can be hard to spot from inside, but can open up more wide with time.

Is there a patch at the back's soundpost region or isn't? In each case it would have to be carved out, the crack had to be cleaned and closed in register in a cast before fitting another (better) patch, most probably the same had to be done with the belly. So it might be questionable if the instrument (which will be heavily devaluated in each case) is wort the costs or effort.

I guess what Deans wanted to say was: An old rag from Torino is rarely the holy Shroud of Turin, an old violin purchased there isn't very often made by the school of Torino.

 

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57 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

 Well I am a little disappointed, I thought the F holes looked kind of neatly done.

Wasn’t a bad violin at all from the start, just what is called „tradey“, but not Turin made and now unfortunately in a heavily devalued condition.

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14 hours ago, Blank face said:

 

Of course these look like a perdfect sondpost crack beside a bassbar crack; sometimes they can be hard to spot from inside, but can open up more wide with time.

Is there a patch at the back's soundpost region or isn't? In each case it would have to be carved out, the crack had to be cleaned and closed in register in a cast before fitting another (better) patch, most probably the same had to be done with the belly. So it might be questionable if the instrument (which will be heavily devaluated in each case) is wort the costs or effort.

I guess what Deans wanted to say was: An old rag from Torino is rarely the holy Shroud of Turin, an old violin purchased there isn't very often made by the school of Torino.

 

Yeah i'm sure i will be working on this instrument, if not to sell it later but to improve my skills. :)  Besides, i'm a hobbist, no time or price pressure here, i will slowly work on it for several months until i consider it good enough for playing again.
 

I don't think i overpaid for the instrument (and a really nice bow) so i'm already happy about it xD

Also, i never said it was made in Turin, i explicitly said "shipped from Turin" ;)

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On 1/21/2020 at 7:44 PM, Egidio Santos said:

Venice was a long shot but Turin as i heard shared some similarities with French makers but im not familiar with them.
Besides the instrument physically coming from there, all the accessories are clearly french...

You're absolutely right that there were certain periods where Turin makers had a certain closeness to French makers. The earlier Turin makers, late 17th century to mid 18th century, worked in a similar style with a similar method to what we call "Vieux Paris" makers, and two of the best known makers in Paris from the mid 1700's were Castagneri and Gaffino, both originally from Turin. Later, after Napoleon annexed Piedmont, French makers like Lete-Pillement, Joseoh Calot and Pierre Pacherele set-up in Turin and the entire 19th to early 20th century Turin school of making has a strong French influence, from Pressenda to Oddone. Surviving inventories show that big violin shops like the Guadagnini family's shop were "importing" French violins from Paris or Mirecourt to sell in Turin, so it's conceivable your violin was originally sold in Turin and spent its life there.

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5 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

You're absolutely right that there were certain periods where Turin makers had a certain closeness to French makers. The earlier Turin makers, late 17th century to mid 18th century, worked in a similar style with a similar method to what we call "Vieux Paris" makers, and two of the best known makers in Paris from the mid 1700's were Castagneri and Gaffino, both originally from Turin. Later, after Napoleon annexed Piedmont, French makers like Lete-Pillement, Joseoh Calot and Pierre Pacherele set-up in Turin and the entire 19th to early 20th century Turin school of making has a strong French influence, from Pressenda to Oddone. Surviving inventories show that big violin shops like the Guadagnini family's shop were "importing" French violins from Paris or Mirecourt to sell in Turin, so it's conceivable your violin was originally sold in Turin and spent its life there.

That's a solid piece of history, thanks a lot! Can i find this kind of info in books? Any references? :)

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The best book on the subject to read would be the Turin volume from Eric Blot. It won’t alter the fact that you have a dustbin-ready “Caussin school” knackered French trade fiddle though.

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