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Nathan Gonzales

Violin Identification

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Hi,
I have a full size violin that was bought from Belmont Music Centre in 2013 for $20NZD and I was wondering if anyone knows anything about it, like age or country or anything.
It has a pattern carved in the scroll, and has an ebony fingerboard.
It has no label inside.
The case is made in W-Germany so I'm guessing it would be 1950s-1980s (assuming the case was the original for the violin), the music centre we bought it from got it second hand in the early 1990s.
Thanks!

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1030549 - 13-03-2020 @ 18.16.jpg

Edited by Nathan Gonzales

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It looks very Markneukirchen to me, or maybe Luby? The carving on the scroll looks more 1910-1920 to me, but it could of course equally well have been made after this to give it an appearance of ca. 1910...

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IMHO, a modern, stylistically homogenized, student violin.  Could be from any of "the usual suspects".  Matching that scroll carving with a model from some old wholesaler's catalog is probably your best bet.  Good luck.  :)

At that price, it's a bargain, whatever it is.  How does it sound?

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58 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, a modern, stylistically homogenized, student violin.  Could be from any of "the usual suspects".  Matching that scroll carving with a model from some old wholesaler's catalog is probably your best bet.  Good luck.  :)

At that price, it's a bargain, whatever it is.  How does it sound?

Thanks all for the information :-)

It sounds fine to me but I have only played two full size violins but it does need new strings since two of the stings haven't been changed since 2013 and the other two much longer, and they are not sounding as good.

Two other people have just told me its probably Markneukirchen and one said its from the early 1900s.

What are the usual suspects and where could I find any old wholesaler's catalogs? Sorry I dont know much about violin makers.

Edited by Nathan Gonzales

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Someone has just told me: "it is a typical German factory violin of the saxon school."

Does anyone know about these?

Do you still think its early 1900s?

Thanks

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7 hours ago, Nathan Gonzales said:

Someone has just told me: "it is a typical German factory violin of the saxon school."

Does anyone know about these?

Do you still think its early 1900s?

Thanks

"A typical German factory model of the Saxon school" is another way of putting what we have all said here. Markneukirchen is on the German side of the border, Luby is on the Czech side - and Luby was formerly called Schönbach. Both towns are in Saxony, and many instruments were made in BOTH; parts being carried from one town to another depending on who needed which pieces when. This area produced an astonishing number of instruments over a long period of time, most of them by a kind of cottage industry / factory setup but also purely factory based. There are some common traits which are fairly easy to recognise, and your violin ticks all the boxes. 

Even with industrial scale production, there are fashions in violin making which helps to get an idea of when a particular instrument was made. The Art Noveau-inspired carving on yours puts it post-1910 and pre 1940. I am not sufficiently familiar with the fads and fashions of the Saxon instrument industry to get any closer than that, but Blank Face knows what he is talking about - so 1930's it is.

 

I am a mere amateur here to learn, it seems I have begun to learn a little. :)

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9 minutes ago, Felefar said:

 Both towns are in Saxony, and many instruments were made in BOTH; parts being carried from one town to another 

Schönbach (now Luby) is not in Saxony, but in Böhmen (Bohemia), and was largly populated by "Sudetendeutsche"

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I’m surprised no one has asked about the bow. It’s probably nothing special, but even a “nothing special” bow from that era can be entirely rewarding today.

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36 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I’m surprised no one has asked about the bow. It’s probably nothing special, but even a “nothing special” bow from that era can be entirely rewarding today.

Probably because the violin-making members of the board all have a ca. 2 cubic meter sized box full of bows like that, that they rummage through once in a while, to see if there is one worth re-hairing

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2 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I’m surprised no one has asked about the bow. It’s probably nothing special, but even a “nothing special” bow from that era can be entirely rewarding today.

Take a look at the frog mounting ... tells you everything you need to know.

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3 hours ago, martin swan said:

Take a look at the frog mounting ... tells you everything you need to know.

It’s easy to see the stick is inletted all the way to the end. I don’t remember whether inletting all the way to the end was typically English or French( or neither) but I can’t see closely enough to tell whether or not it indicates a level of quality.

what am I missing?

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5 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Probably because the violin-making members of the board all have a ca. 2 cubic meter sized box full of bows like that, that they rummage through once in a while, to see if there is one worth re-hairing

Have I shared the story of Jays “box of bows”?

He had a vast pile of bows and was going to throw them away when his shop closed(“when he closed his shop,” heh-heh) because he didn’t have time to go through them, but I told him not to. I ended up saving maybe 30 complete bows and 8-10 worthwhile sticks.

So far, a few have been saved and are being used, but the rest went into another “when I have time” box.

(Sigh)

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Er...like...

We're all on house arrest...how much time do you need? :ph34r:

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7 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I’m surprised no one has asked about the bow. It’s probably nothing special, but even a “nothing special” bow from that era can be entirely rewarding today.

It didn't have a bow so one was just taken from another violin.  Its made in Japan. 

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What do you guys think of the bridge? 

Its bending towards the fingerboard even though the bridge feet are flat on the violin, do you think it needs changing and would it be worth it?

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Ive just uploaded a few more photos because I just saw the How to photograph an instrument for identifcation purposes post that I didn't see before.

I've also taken a couple of photos of the bow since people were wondering about it.

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Edited by Nathan Gonzales

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So far as I am aware, the style of mounting the bow with a half-round underslide that travels along a round recessed track in the stick was one of the many innovations of JB Vuillaume in the 19th century. Don't get me wrong - this is not a Vuillaume bow! For starters the frog looks to me to be a plain wooden one that had been ebonised. I would like to guess the country of origin. Suffice to say that I have 4 or 5 German bows in my "one day I will look at these" box with similar mountings. They all have fake ivory frogs and adjusters. In working order they look nice but are worth very little. 

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