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Three13

Beech linings?

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Are these linings beech? I see what appear to be flecks, but feel more confident identifying beech when I’m looking at a bigger, flatter surface. Whatever it is, it looks like it doesn’t work as easily as willow:

 

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57 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Looks like beech to me. Are you going to show us the rest of the fiddle. While it's open, you could take some good pics of the corner blocks?

I’ll try and take some tonight. 

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Here they are. I tried to get some shots of the tool marks on the inside of the back, as well as a good shot of the purfling, which is very narrow. The white seems like beech, but is so thin that I can’t say with absolute certainty. The blacks are fibrous, and seem to expand to fill gaps where they appear, but is sunken a bit below the level of the white.

The rib height is odd - around 28-mm near the bottom, but a bit higher at the corners and neck block.

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A very nice fiddle to wake up to this morning. The corner blocks and the general woodwork are typical of this Füssen diaspora/Vienna/Prague/Bavaria area work of the late 18th C. but I was surprised with the varnish, so that I wonder if it was always that colour. Beech linings are rare in this school, walnut considerably more frequent and pine usual. I never the less remember a Sebastian Rauch of Breslau with beech linings and a Tishy Ölmutz, but I am pretty sure your fiddle is neither of those. Perhaps BF has noticed some other maker with beech linings, it would be a great short cut to identification?

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2 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Perhaps BF has noticed some other maker with beech linings, it would be a great short cut to identification?

I noticed beech from time to time at some Mittenwalds, more from the 19th, or Florentine makers, also Scheinlein should have used it instead of the usual walnut at some occasions. But probably the OP isn't one of these. I like the scroll, the short throat could indeed point to some Füssen trained maker, although the whole craftmanship appears to be consistently rough. Surely there was a more brown varnish before, now only present in the scratches and C bout recurve.

Is there no belly to this violin?

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2 hours ago, Three13 said:

The belly appears to be later. Any idea what the purfling’s blacks could be made of? 

I have always found it fairly futile to try and tell which wood a purfling stripe is made of, since one has such a minimal amount of wood to look at, except sometimes when it’s obvious. My old boss in Munich always used to (sarcastically) answer this question by saying “Erdbeerbaum” (Strawberry-wood), upon which we would all snigger to ourselves whenever anyone took him seriously, since everybody with his brain switched on knows that strawberry's don’t grow on trees. One day we were astonished when someone brought us a picture of a real Erdbeerbaum from the botanical gardens in Stuttgart, because it seems that there is such a plant in actual fact

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3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I have always found it fairly futile to try and tell which wood a purfling stripe is made of, since one has such a minimal amount of wood to look at, except sometimes when it’s obvious. My old boss in Munich always used to (sarcastically) answer this question by saying “Erdbeerbaum” (Strawberry-wood), upon which we would all snigger to ourselves whenever anyone took him seriously, since everybody with his brain switched on knows that strawberry's don’t grow on trees. One day we were astonished when someone brought us a picture of a real Erdbeerbaum from the botanical gardens in Stuttgart, because it seems that there is such a plant in actual fact

It doesn't look like wood - with a 10x loupe, it looks like the maker used layered strips of some kind of fibrous, grassy material that was dyed black. 

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1 hour ago, Three13 said:

It doesn't look like wood - with a 10x loupe, it looks like the maker used layered strips of some kind of fibrous, grassy material that was dyed black. 

Could be whalebone, an interesting feature. I remember that fiddlecollector once showed an old dutch violin with beech linings, but it had a built on the back construction like they used to make there. So maybe you had to look for a Füssen or Mittenwald immigrant working in the Netherlands.

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I am not sure about beech. Looks a bit porous to me. 

Below a quick shot from my wood stock showing the quarter cut side of beech.

For best comparison I taped the surface to show how it looks on approximately the width of a lining strip.

image.jpeg

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