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Wouter

Violin ID (x2)

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Recently, I have been getting more and more interested in violin making (also thanks to this awesome forum!). 
A couple of days ago I decided to make my first purchase, 3 antique-ish violins. Since I am planning to repair 2 of them in the coming weeks, I would love your input on where they might come from (and also if they are "cheap" enough for me to do my first repairs on)!

As for the one that is in better condition; there (unfortunately) is a crack in the top underneath the tailpiece(see pictures), would a complete top removal be appropriate?  

 

1.thumb.jpg.e21b13e6f279566a6e5136840e798ee1.jpg

3.thumb.jpg.30058cdd77edcf2c07f4dcb43a5a6fdd.jpg

2.thumb.jpg.e922872d98c430ab549c274de0829961.jpg

10.thumb.jpg.2cdb54242253c83c6a57885a8bf3b7ef.jpg

9.thumb.jpg.f01e5f825bb87686d846e834b03ee03a.jpg

8.thumb.jpg.eae815e1e24972fbc1b6f76a59200304.jpg

7.thumb.jpg.63afbee0f13f825416beb28bc4f06c43.jpg

6.thumb.jpg.99ff769944a17787ebc8875f4ddfe0e5.jpg

5.thumb.jpg.12a54c485f704a9af626bf1e5303d41c.jpg

4.thumb.jpg.81362b91022d818b8867f236140bcf88.jpg

The crack:

11.thumb.jpg.f977b6623b92b9fdcfa4a45e4af5e592.jpg

 

Some more pictures of the older looking violin:

12.thumb.jpg.5246d09d0b50cd248e49ef34564ac308.jpg

16.thumb.jpg.b6d9aa37c7962ddd91b5dee248d10566.jpg

15.thumb.jpg.e650345a78be03538a33d083f3755910.jpg

14.thumb.jpg.aaa615369aeec76d9994c0a67ed6584b.jpg

 

The scroll seems too be very crooked, overall this violin seems to be more rougly made than the other one. 

13.thumb.jpg.748eceefea1c7048aa170e8265c3de95.jpg

 

I had to work with limited daylight so if neccesary I can make some more pictures tommorow!

 

 

 

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The one with the double purfling looks reasonably nice. Start with the other. No harm messing that one up.  I am no expert but the “good” one doesn’t look that bad off. If it were mine I’d probably take it into a shop and have the belly crack glued up and set it up.   

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I would suspect both to be markneukirchen violins roughly from 1880-1920, but of different qualities. The ugly one is ofcourse the lower Quality grade and of very Little value, in a good state and set up probably 200~400 Euros. It may have an integral bass bar and may be very roughly finished on the inside. If that is the case, it may be an excellent violin to Experiment on, cleaning up the Rough work inside. If the inegral bass bar does ist Job and is big enough, you an leave it, otherwise you may replace it.

 

The other one is what was sold as the maggini model, typical f holes, double purfling and extra turn of the scroll. It has a very nicely flamed back and also the other Wood Looks good, the Overall craftsmanship is much better. And apart from the not so significant crack, it Looks to be in unusually good shape, even the varnish Looks good, and the back I find very attractive. I would guess somewhere between 900 and 1200 Euros if properly Setup, Maybe a Little more if it sounds good as a bonus. The crack it has is probably a saddle crack, caused by the saddle that fits too tightly. You Need to Pop out the saddle and make a Little room on both sides, so that the spruce, which expands and contracts more than ebony does, has more space. The crack has probably been there for a Long time and stable. Once the saddle is reduced in size, if there is no other reason for Opening up the violin (knock on the lower block to see if the plates are still properly attached, the saddle crack may mean the plate has partly detached), I'd consider leaving it as it is, it will unlikely have any structural or acoustic effect. Just clean it thoroughly (use spit first, then, if necessary you an try something else, I believe Jacob Saunders proposed a leaning solution somewhere on the Forum. Make sure you do not get new dirt into the crack), and set it up. The fingerboard Needs a proper redressing and the nut too, but it Looks like there is enough Wood left for both to be preserved. The fingerboard Looks as if the violin was played a lot, which may mean that it sounds nicely. Personally, I'd only to the saddle myself and the cleaning as far as I can take it without it becoming dangerous, all just for the fun of it. For the rest that Needs to be done, I'd  take it to a lutier, as it is not so expensive but it takes quite some practise to become good at redressing a fingerboard and cutting a proper Bridge and Sound post. You are not unlikely to ruin the fingerboard or cause scratches to the violin with your first attempt, which for my taste is too risky on such a well preserved example.

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With my (very) limited knowledge, I came to the same conclusion regarding the origins of the Maggini model, thank you for your awesome response! The top is still firmly in place, so I don't think it needs to be reglued if opening up the violin is not necessary. I took your (also that of @Jrwillis, thank you for your input as well!) advice and called a local Luthier to ask how much the set-up would cost. He said around 180 euros for the soundpost  and bridge alone, that is without redressing the fingerboard and addressing the saddle problem. Is that a reasonable price or should I look elsewhere? 

 

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The rough looking one looks like it might have painted on purfling. Its most probably a schonbach or German of some description.

What wood is the back made form , is it maple or something else ?

I am almost certainly wrong but its always possible for this sort of violin to be country made English.

 

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I would expect to pay approximately $200-300 usd to get it up and rolling.  Perhaps a little more depending on what else needs done.  Nice looking older fiddle in the end tho

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7 minutes ago, Jrwillis said:

I would expect to pay approximately $200-300 usd to get it up and rolling.  Perhaps a little more depending on what else needs done

I would estimate €800 to €1,000 to properly repair the double purfeled one, and tell you that the other one isn't worth doing.

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12 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I would estimate €800 to €1,000 to properly repair the double purfeled one, and tell you that the other one isn't worth doing.

We aren’t working on a strad here.  Perhaps outside of Austria one could find a shop to repair the instrument to a working order for significantly less. For 1000 euro repair bill it would be hitting the dustbin.  

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25 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Violinists all seem to think that violin makers should work for free

I’ll agree with that.  However, part of the underlying theme here is that you don’t take your ford to a Ferrari dealer (and vice versus)

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23 minutes ago, Jrwillis said:

I’ll agree with that.  However, part of the underlying theme here is that you don’t take your ford to a Ferrari dealer (and vice versus)

In Jacob’s case, best to you use an Austrian car brand... such as... ummm... hmmm... BMW manufactures many of their parts there? 

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34 minutes ago, Jrwillis said:

I’ll agree with that.  However, part of the underlying theme here is that you don’t take your ford to a Ferrari dealer (and vice versus)

Ok, lets ignore the dustbin ready one, and concentrate on the double purfeled one:

 

You will have to clean it inside and out, remove the saddle, open the belly for the bottom third, wash the crack out, glue the crack, fill the crack and retouch it, re-glue the belly edges and re-glue the (shortened) saddle; shoot the fingerboard, re-glue and re-shape the nut, fit new pegs, fit a sound post, carve a bridge, poss. make a new end button, glue anything else that is open, minor retouching, put new strings on, clean the tailpiece and make a new tail gut, and that is what I see from a cursory look at some photos. That would come to about 800 Euros, with a wiggle room up to one thousand, about 200 of which would be the cost of materials (new strings, new pegs, bridge blank, and sundry bits and bobs)

 

There is no reason for your violin maker to work for nothing, just because your violin is no better than it is.

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Re: the ugly one, normally everyone asks if the fluting stops at 6:00, on this one it stopped at about 4:45 and by 6:00 was already at the pub with a few under its belt. 

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Ofcourse I have the utmost respect for luthiers and I am not suggesting to underpay anyone. The main goal for me is to have a playable instrument without breaking the bank too much (poor student here!), or have some fun and learn some things attempting to repair the instrument myself (or both :P). If the total cost of the repairs would be nearing the total value of the violin, it would not be worth it for me to be spending a lot. The violin has no sentimental value to me and then I'd rather attempt the repair myself. 

From your post, I take that you think it best to repair the saddle crack, @jacobsaunders?

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1 hour ago, Wouter said:

Ofcourse I have the utmost respect for luthiers and I am not suggesting to underpay anyone. The main goal for me is to have a playable instrument without breaking the bank too much (poor student here!), or have some fun and learn some things attempting to repair the instrument myself (or both :P). If the total cost of the repairs would be nearing the total value of the violin, it would not be worth it for me to be spending a lot. The violin has no sentimental value to me and then I'd rather attempt the repair myself. 

From your post, I take that you think it best to repair the saddle crack, @jacobsaunders?

Yes, the crack needs repairing

If you are determined to "repair" something yourself, you should try your hand at the dustbin-ready one, and you will realise that violin repairing isn't something you do a three year apprentiship for for nothing.

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2 hours ago, Wouter said:

The main goal for me is to have a playable instrument without breaking the bank too much (poor student here!), or have some fun and learn some things attempting to repair the instrument myself

Two very different things, and you're not going down the right path on either. if you want a playable instrument without breaking the bank there are excellent choices in Chinese instruments that will probably be way better than this fiddle.

If you want to learn to repair violins you have to learn from somebody else, and your investment in tools and equipment will also be well out of your student budget.

I suggest learning how to play, a lot more fun than spending your mornings hunched over a sharpening stone. Look what its done to Jacob.

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1 minute ago, deans said:

I suggest learning how to play, a lot more fun than spending your mornings hunched over a sharpening stone. 

Haha, you do know how to sell the trade!

Although I get what you both are suggesting, I am not talking about taking the whole violin apart. Considering what @baroquecello said, it should be possible to repair the instrument without taking it apart too much. Restoring cracks using patches seems difficult for me right now, but cutting a soundpost to the right size and resetting it, as well as cutting a premade bridge to the right dimensions should be doable.

I do have a lot of woodworking tools available to me (oh the joy of having family that comes from the farm!), and I am pretty handy if I do say so myself. 

As I said before, I do not have any emotional attachments to the instruments. So if the cost of repairing the instrument would be just as much (if not more) than the value, what choice do I have? 

 

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24 minutes ago, deans said:

 

I suggest learning how to play, a lot more fun than spending your mornings hunched over a sharpening stone. Look what its done to Jacob.

It taught him how to count

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Jacob's assessment  is  on the money

I never sold any of these 'Maggini' model  violins. Here, they were considered  too big, and we avoided  them completely.  I just pulled one out of my store, which I'm clearing out, and wondered would  I bother putting it together .

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14 minutes ago, Conor Russell said:

Jacob's assessment  is  on the money

I never sold any of these 'Maggini' model  violins. Here, they were considered  too big, and we avoided  them completely.  I just pulled one out of my store, which I'm clearing out, and wondered would  I bother putting it together .

Photograph it, and put it in a zero starting bid auction on eBay.   When one of us spots it, with the location in Ireland, and elevates it to public view on The Auction Scroll, you're certain to get lots of free advertising.  Be sure and write a hyperbolic description........  :)

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23 hours ago, Wouter said:

Recently, I have been getting more and more interested in violin making (also thanks to this awesome forum!). 
A couple of days ago I decided to make my first purchase, 3 antique-ish violins. Since I am planning to repair 2 of them in the coming weeks, I would love your input on where they might come from (and also if they are "cheap" enough for me to do my first repairs on)!

As for the one that is in better condition; there (unfortunately) is a crack in the top underneath the tailpiece(see pictures), would a complete top removal be appropriate?  

 

1.thumb.jpg.e21b13e6f279566a6e5136840e798ee1.jpg

3.thumb.jpg.30058cdd77edcf2c07f4dcb43a5a6fdd.jpg

2.thumb.jpg.e922872d98c430ab549c274de0829961.jpg

10.thumb.jpg.2cdb54242253c83c6a57885a8bf3b7ef.jpg

9.thumb.jpg.f01e5f825bb87686d846e834b03ee03a.jpg

8.thumb.jpg.eae815e1e24972fbc1b6f76a59200304.jpg

7.thumb.jpg.63afbee0f13f825416beb28bc4f06c43.jpg

6.thumb.jpg.99ff769944a17787ebc8875f4ddfe0e5.jpg

5.thumb.jpg.12a54c485f704a9af626bf1e5303d41c.jpg

4.thumb.jpg.81362b91022d818b8867f236140bcf88.jpg

The crack:

11.thumb.jpg.f977b6623b92b9fdcfa4a45e4af5e592.jpg

 

Some more pictures of the older looking violin:

12.thumb.jpg.5246d09d0b50cd248e49ef34564ac308.jpg

16.thumb.jpg.b6d9aa37c7962ddd91b5dee248d10566.jpg

15.thumb.jpg.e650345a78be03538a33d083f3755910.jpg

14.thumb.jpg.aaa615369aeec76d9994c0a67ed6584b.jpg

 

The scroll seems too be very crooked, overall this violin seems to be more rougly made than the other one. 

13.thumb.jpg.748eceefea1c7048aa170e8265c3de95.jpg

 

I had to work with limited daylight so if neccesary I can make some more pictures tommorow!

 

 

 

When you feel ready, repair the rather appalling Markie first, to learn on, and believe me, you've got an immense amount to learn.  Once you've wallowed your way through that, have sharp tools, know where to get hide glue and parts from, know what to do with them, and can perform a set-up, then consider the "Maggini".   Good luck!  :)

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23 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Photograph it, and put it in a zero starting bid auction on eBay.   When one of us spots it, with the location in Ireland, and elevates it to public view on The Auction Scroll, you're certain to get lots of free advertising.  Be sure and write a hyperbolic description........  :)

Impertinent to insinuate that Conor would waste his time tinkering with Ebay

 

10 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

When you feel ready, repair the rather appalling Markie first, to learn on, and believe me, you've got an immense amount to learn.  Once you've wallowed your way through that, have sharp tools, know where to get hide glue and parts from, know what to do with them, and can perform a set-up, then consider the "Maggini".   Good luck!  :)

A spiv siren luring some poor soul onto the rocks!

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33 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Impertinent to insinuate that Conor would waste his time tinkering with Ebay

 

A spiv siren luring some poor soul onto the rocks!

Time is money.  He'd probably clear at least a hundred Euros, which is more than he'd get pitching it in the dustbin.  Your first few postings are free, and it doesn't have to lead to a life of crime.  Anyway, I was hoping for a shot at his Maggini, plus some glorious fun on The Auction Scroll.  :P:ph34r:  :lol:

 

Why Jacob, what a delightful thing to say.  Poetic, even.  Who'd have thought.  I'm adding it as an additional title.  I stereotypically do most of my peddling off the back of a truck, after all.  :)

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Thanks for your suggestions everyone! 

As suggested, I will start by tinkering with the appalling dustbin one first, I'll see how that goes. 

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