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Interesting Old Violin Identification! Post your Thoughts!


W.C.
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Hello Guys! 

I am new as a poster but not as a reader. This is a great forum btw, love all the discussions going on. I am a violinist and a violin aficionado (not a pro luthier of course). I recently came across this interesting looking violin, and I am having trouble identifying the origin of it. Since almost all the violin shops around are closed, I haven't gotten a chance to get a professional opinion on it.

The violin is definitely of a finer quality than those trade violins, and has some good old repairs on them, including a considerable amount of cracks in the front, f hole repairs, and a grafted scroll (the scroll seems like it's from a much later era). I want to say that the entire neck is not original because the area on the back around the heel seems suspicious, but again I am not sure. It seems to be re-varnished as well, with some traces of a darker varnish left behind at some spots. It looks fairly old, and I don't see signs of antiquing. The craftsmanship and repair work are pretty great, in my opinion.

Here is the interesting part. The violin bears a N.Lupot label. The label refer to a Lupot 1792 violin (when he was still in his father's shop in Orleans). I don't see anything wrong about the label, as the wording and style definite match the original Lupot labels from that time. However, the violin, in my opinion, hardly resembles any of Lupot's work. Lupot was a hardcore strad follower (before leaving Orleans), but this violin's pattern does not look like any Stradivari's or Lupot's other works at all. Actually I think the pattern looks more Gagliano or Guadagnini, with a wider waist and f holes. Also I can't be sure but I don't think this violin has a whalebone-inlaid purfling, which is another Lupot signature.  There is also great possibility that this could be a "bad" German copy ("bad" meaning doesn't look like a Lupot, lol). This could also be a French copy? I am just not sure at all. Let me know! Your opinions will be very helpful~

Below are some pictures of it~

I can't really get a clear picture of the label, but it looks exactly like the first one on the last image.

Best,

William

Front.thumb.jpg.c965d4c4de370f53f928734dd1e7cb33.jpgBack.thumb.jpg.91aa5a9d1b28442493b5066bd6ffc8ab.jpgSide.thumb.jpg.0e2e6e782626c79bca98ceff601a7ad2.jpg1151662287_ScrollSide2.thumb.jpg.5fc98e91cbbb26a60dc8eaf38e9518ed.jpgImage.thumb.jpg.8aa235e3e57728c93876db0f4e5d0d45.jpg447680547_lupotlabel.jpg.27ef1101c5d32dd3319819987ec520fd.jpg

Edited by W.C.
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Forget about Lupot.

Your statements are all over the place.

So lets correct what I know from the top of my head.

After Lupot left Oreans he started to make Strad copies. 

You can't throw a Gaglano model and a Guadagnini model in the same pot. They are completely different and the pictured violin is clearly neither a Guadagini model nor a Gagliano model.

I don't know where you got the idea that Lupot used whalebone purfling. At least to my knowledge never on his Strad copies where he meticously imitated every feature which can be detected on Strads. (so no whalebone)

The quality of the repairs is mediocre given the fact that you can still see the crack lines on the top.

Doesn't look like revarnished. The dark spots can be accumlated dirt. (for a definite answer I would have to examine it myself)

Any defined reasons to say that the scroll doesn't belong to the body? 

The violin is simply mislabeled by someone, though it doesn't look like a typical factory made instrument. 

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Sorry as a new member I have limited number of posts each day, therefore I have to go with a long long post to reply to everyone...

Thank you so much for sharing, really learned a lot valuable lessons.

 

13 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Forget about Lupot.

Your statements are all over the place.

So lets correct what I know from the top of my head.

After Lupot left Oreans he started to make Strad copies. 

You can't throw a Gaglano model and a Guadagnini model in the same pot. They are completely different and the pictured violin is clearly neither a Guadagini model nor a Gagliano model.

I don't know where you got the idea that Lupot used whalebone purfling. At least to my knowledge never on his Strad copies where he meticously imitated every feature which can be detected on Strads. (so no whalebone)

The quality of the repairs is mediocre given the fact that you can still see the crack lines on the top.

Doesn't look like revarnished. The dark spots can be accumlated dirt. (for a definite answer I would have to examine it myself)

Any defined reasons to say that the scroll doesn't belong to the body? 

The violin is simply mislabeled by someone, though it doesn't look like a typical factory made instrument. 

Thanks Andreas, I guess I did not do enough researches, haha. I will keep these in mind. I have never seen any real Lupot's, but I definitely remember at least one of the violin maker books that I read some how tied him up with the whalebone purfling. I definitely think you are right, as most of his works don't have whalebones. I just don't know how that false information was spread, sorry for putting that up. I am definitely not a pro luthier, I only roughly concluded the shape somehow looks like a Gagliano, by comparing the picture, definitely no offend to the great makers or any pro luthiers out here. 

Really learned a lot from your comments! Do you have an idea about the origin of the violin?

 

12 hours ago, Blank face said:

Looks like something made up from a Dutzendarbeit in an obscure (east European?) workshop.

The photos are at the same time professional made and unfocused, probably meant to hide the real identification features.

Hi Blank Face, Thanks for sharing! I do think it's somewhat like that, but I am more curious to know what (physical features of the violin) would one to use to tell if the violin is from one of those workshops? How did you tell? If you don't mind sharing with me? Thanks again!

 

1 hour ago, FiddleDoug said:

"Looks like something made up from a Dutzendarbeit in an obscure (east European?) workshop."

I pretty much agree. The violin has nothing to do with Lupot, or 1792. First lesson for people buying old fiddles: DON'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE LABELS!

Hey Doug! Thanks again! Yes, I bought it for couple hundred dollars knowing that it's definitely not a Lupot, but I thought it might still be a good deal for only couple hundred usd? Thanks again for your kind advice! If you can share anything that would help me to decide whether it's a good violin base on its appearance? I would really appreciate that!

 

11 hours ago, Ratcliffiddles said:

Looks like Bohemian late 19th century thing possibly with a replaced head as it looks better than the rest.

Thanks! It think it's probably from somewhere around!

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On 5/4/2020 at 5:37 AM, W.C. said:

Hi Blank Face, Thanks for sharing! I do think it's somewhat like that, but I am more curious to know what (physical features of the violin) would one to use to tell if the violin is from one of those workshops? How did you tell? If you don't mind sharing with me? Thanks again!

 

The most simple answer would be that I'm familiar with this sort of manipulation work.

In accordance with Peter the body of the instrument shows (though a bit blurred by the unfocused photos) typical features of the Saxon/West Bohemian cottage industry work of the late 19th century (also known as Dutzendarbeit), like pinched rib corners, a particular shading of the varnish. Also edgework and purfling woulkd be fit well into this origin.

Like you noticed is the belly multiple times cracked, so that the value of an instrument of this originand in such a condition is more or less zero. When I'm talking about "obscure workshops" I'm thinking of shops creating from this wreckage  hastily repaired and relabelled objects for sale in Ebay or similar places, often pimped up with better looking scrolls like here, sometimes new varnish or other exchanged parts to obscure the real origin and deceive naive buyers.

It's also clear that the real commercial value of such artefacts is still close to zero. Also the violin you were showing in your other thread seems to be from this category. I'm hoping this might give you some insight.

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7 hours ago, Blank face said:

The most simple answer would be that I'm familiar with this sort of manipulation work.

In accordance with Peter the body of the instrument shows (though a bit blurred by the unfocused photos) typical features of the Saxon/West Bohemian cottage industry work of the late 19th century (also known as Dutzendarbeit), like pinched rib corners, a particular shading of the varnish. Also edgework and purfling woulkd be fit well into this origin.

Like you noticed is the

So belly multiple times cracked, so that the value of an instrument of this originand in such a condition is more or less zero. When I'm talking about "obscure workshops" I'm thinking of shops creating from this wreckage  hastily repaired and relabelled objects for sale in Ebay or similar places, often pimped up with better looking scrolls like here, sometimes new varnish or other exchanged parts to obscure the real origin and deceive naive buyers.

It's also clear that the real commercial value of such artefacts is still close to zero. Also the violin you were showing in your other thread seems to be from this category. I'm hoping this might give you some insight.

Thanks so much for sharing! That is really insightful! 

Would you mind just elaborate a little bid more on the terms that you said? I tried to look up "pinched rib corners" and similar terms, and did not find a lot useful info online. I don't make a living on violin business (actually an engineer haha), but I do run a charity program that ties me with violins. I guess what I am trying to ask is what qualities, from a trained luthier point of view, would a well-crafted violin have? I am usually an internet learner, but there for some reason there is just so little information regarding violin making I can find... If you don't feel like typing, feel free just to reply me with any links that you find helpful! Really appreciate it!

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