Sign in to follow this  
Yogic

Any info on an Italian maker called Mario Salustri ?

Recommended Posts

37 minutes ago, martin swan said:

And yet they don't list him in Cozio as a maker ...:lol:

No, but they list John Juzek, who might have only used a chisel to pick his nails.  https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/browse-the-archive/makers/maker/?Maker_ID=8303  Amati does the same. :lol:

Mario Salustri aside, it's ironic how many obscure, but otherwise documented (in censuses, tax rolls, various articles, auction catalogs, etc.), makers slip through the nets, while standard luthier references are thick with workshop owners, distributors and dealers.  Some luthiers I've stumbled across have made hundreds of numbered instruments, or been listed in local records for decades  as "violin maker", and still fly under the radar. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There could never be a book or reference list which could include everyone who ever made a violin, I just don't think it's possible to do so.
A lot of reference material focuses either on those who were successful in their own lifetime, or have some commercial value.

Random amateur makers who were not well known, have little to no commercial value. No one is really going to spend much time adding thousands of these people to a list, which for the most part would be instruments no one would ever see anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, agreed regarding the amateur makers. People collect for odd reasons though. I have a friend who collects a lot of obscure American instruments from the Midwest. Individually or shop made, he collects examples of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

There could never be a book or reference list which could include everyone who ever made a violin, I just don't think it's possible to do so.
A lot of reference material focuses either on those who were successful in their own lifetime, or have some commercial value.

Random amateur makers who were not well known, have little to no commercial value. No one is really going to spend much time adding thousands of these people to a list, which for the most part would be instruments no one would ever see anyway.

The people I'm referring to weren't "random amateur makers",  just rural/small-town makers not well known outside their own locales, whose instruments (often erroneously identified as trade fiddles, or "amateur") turn up for sale sporadically.  Some of the outright amateurs, like Mayson, are actually much better documented in the literature.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should you wish to compile this database, I wish you all the luck in the world. Even to record all the unknown people in only one country, over three or so centuries or so, would be a lifetimes work.

I would have to question the use of this, sure it might be nice to have info about everyone, but I'm seeing your rural small town makers as amateurs.
Knowing that Billy-bob from Montross, Virginia, made 5 fiddles with a teaspoon and whittling knife might give a sense of pride to an eBay purchaser, to see the name in writing, but otherwise it's just meaning someone else will have to turn more book pages to skip past this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes seems like an impossible task to note everyone down, although it would be interesting.

I would definitely like to get a snapshot of amateur making in the UK -  20th/21st century just because I find it interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainly in the UK and elsewhere, some events led to an explosion of amateur making. Often it can be broken down into periods, so for example, after the Herron-Allen book was published, a lot suddenly had plans available (for better or worse).

I think 1970's and 1980's night classes have to answer for a lot too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

...............I'm seeing your rural small town makers as amateurs..................Billy-bob from Montross, Virginia, made 5 fiddles with a teaspoon and whittling knife...................

........Which were intensely important to the local fiddlers who traded him produce or goods for them, at a time when there wasn't much hard cash in the back country (not so very long ago, either).  Pay very close attention to Foxfire 4, pp 106-125 (you might learn some useful techniques).  Oh, and throttle back really hard on the derisive stereotypes........  :P

546300131_Billy-Bob-aint-too-impressedwithyou.jpg.64c08930114b04a425238fae66ce6544.jpg

3 hours ago, Shelbow said:

I would definitely like to get a snapshot of amateur making in the UK -  20th/21st century just because I find it interesting.

 

3 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Certainly in the UK and elsewhere, some events led to an explosion of amateur making. Often it can be broken down into periods, so for example, after the Herron-Allen book was published, a lot suddenly had plans available (for better or worse).

I think 1970's and 1980's night classes have to answer for a lot too.

I've found that there's a goodly number of poorly recorded 19th. Century British rural makers, particularly in northern England and Scotland, who listed themselves as violin makers in census data, and were undoubtedly  important to the local economies,  but have been overlooked in studies.  The commonly accepted picture that British local-consumption making utterly collapsed in the face of foreign competition may be inaccurate.  Like rural American, it may simply have receded to areas where French and German "rubbish" was harder to obtain.   More research is needed.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

I've found that there's a goodly number of poorly recorded 19th. Century British rural makers, particularly in northern England and Scotland, who listed themselves as violin makers in census data, and were undoubtedly  important to the local economies.

I doubt that is true.
In those places, the economies revolved around farming, mining and fishing. Sure there might have been some old miners/farmers/game keepers, who made a violin on Sundays after church, but this is hardly a profession.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I doubt that is true.
In those places, the economies revolved around farming and mining. Sure there might have been some old miners/farmers/game keepers, who made a violin on Sundays after church, but this is hardly a profession.

No, there were professed violin makers (who made it into local records), in the towns.  From what I've seen so far, particularly those towns around mining or fishing.  :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, I'm pleased to know that all these hundreds of small towns, each had professional violin makers. Thanks to you, thousands of unsung heroes will finally be recognized.

But I still don't believe this is the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Great, I'm pleased to know that all these hundreds of small towns, each had professional violin makers. Thanks to you, thousands of unsung heroes will finally be recognized.

But I still don't believe this is the case.

That's not what I'm saying at all, but there were more than currently acknowledged in the literature.  My surmise is that every town with a regular market probably had at least one, who most likely dealt in other musical supplies as well.  Back before recordings, fiddles were a popular, portable way to make music for parties and other gatherings, and if the price was low enough, there was always a demand for them, as well as for bows, strings, and repairs.  Fiddlers, as a percentage of the population, were much more common than now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Should you wish to compile this database, I wish you all the luck in the world. Even to record all the unknown people in only one country, over three or so centuries or so, would be a lifetimes work.

I would have to question the use of this, sure it might be nice to have info about everyone, but I'm seeing your rural small town makers as amateurs.
Knowing that Billy-bob from Montross, Virginia, made 5 fiddles with a teaspoon and whittling knife might give a sense of pride to an eBay purchaser, to see the name in writing, but otherwise it's just meaning someone else will have to turn more book pages to skip past this.

I find the people that buy Billy Bob's instruments appreciate them as folk art rather than fine violins. :ph34r: And they make good fiddles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

Back before recordings, fiddles were a popular, portable way to make music for parties and other gatherings, and if the price was low enough, there was always a demand for them, as well as for bows, strings, and repairs.  Fiddlers, as a percentage of the population, were much more common than now. 

And that’s why all these millions of Vogtland cottage industry instruments were produced from the late 18th century on. The profession of most of the “recorded makers” would have been to glue their labels into ordered products and replace from time to time a peg, a bridge or close an open seam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Blank face said:

And that’s why all these millions of Vogtland cottage industry instruments were produced from the late 18th century on. The profession of most of the “recorded makers” would have been to glue their labels into ordered products and replace from time to time a peg, a bridge or close an open seam.

Not all of them.  We've had examples of British-origin B-O-B fiddles here on MN which show differences in wood used, overall proportions, or working methods (particularly as evidenced by lining appearance, purfling, bass bar, varnish, and toolmarks), from German/Bohemian trade fiddles.  I'm not so sure that, away from the big cities, the Markneukirchen (and Mirecourt, which were more common in the UK than in the USA) trade fiddles were all that cheap or available.  Another thing to keep in mind, most of the German stuff was being imported directly to the USA by mail-order firms like Sears, not ending up in the UK.  My surmise is that what finally wiped out the rural makers wasn't foreign competition, but the phonograph and the radio (along with demographic shifts and improved transportation).  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Not all of them.

But probably 99 %?

That would be the approximate ratio between the instruments produced per year in the Vogtland compared to what some hundreds of "rural makers" were able to make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Violadamore said:

That's not what I'm saying at all, but there were more than currently acknowledged in the literature.  My surmise is that every town with a regular market probably had at least one, who most likely dealt in other musical supplies as well.  Back before recordings, fiddles were a popular, portable way to make music for parties and other gatherings, and if the price was low enough, there was always a demand for them, as well as for bows, strings, and repairs.  Fiddlers, as a percentage of the population, were much more common than now. 

I think you are giving violins a level of importance that just did not exist. Perhaps where you live, it was true that you could barely walk down the street for fiddlers getting in the way. You can't just apply this to other countries and assume it was all the same there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Violadamore said:

That's not what I'm saying at all, but there were more than currently acknowledged in the literature.  My surmise is that every town with a regular market probably had at least one, who most likely dealt in other musical supplies as well.  Back before recordings, fiddles were a popular, portable way to make music for parties and other gatherings, and if the price was low enough, there was always a demand for them, as well as for bows, strings, and repairs.  Fiddlers, as a percentage of the population, were much more common than now. 

I’m on your side, Mrs Amor, but I think you might be fighting a losing battle. I wanted to clarify a couple things, though: the Reverend Morris book is quite extensive and beautifully written( I would love to have had a chance to meet him.)Are you talking about makers who slipped through his cracks?

Ive seen lots of autodidactic violins and they all looked horrible. I can’t imagine a joiner, however gifted, making a competent violin without individual guidance and a competent violin to examine. So are you distinguishing the unknown makers as those who made competent instruments?

Ive always wondered about how those instruments sounded. They aren’t “valuable” because the maker lacked whatever qualities of greatness make a violin valuable, but I have come across some very good American violins, made by nobodies, who sounded very good.

So  a competent Violin made by a nobody might be well worth having today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

...........Are you talking about makers who slipped through his cracks?

............So are you distinguishing the unknown makers as those who made competent instruments?

.................... I have come across some very good American violins, made by nobodies, who sounded very good.

So  a competent Violin made by a nobody might be well worth having today.

Yes, and we are dealing with traditions here, which is part of what I'm trying to elucidate.  For instance, when you examine the American violins, the Appalachian material in particular, a persisting German tradition as well as a Scots tradition may be discerned.  I'll also note that damning someone's production as "autodidact" solely because you can't rummage out a teacher of record for them is timid scholarship.   

Salustri, who we started with, was originally trained in a South Italian tradition, and later absorbed differing traits from acquaintances working in the Cremonese tradition.  It's really very rare to find anyone totally doing this sort of thing ab nihilo in vacuo.  Even I started with a tutor in setups and repairs.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

I'll also note that damning someone's production as "autodidact" solely because you can't rummage out a teacher of record for them is timid scholarship

“Autodidact” just means self-taught. I think it’s impossible to make a passable violin without serious guidance, simply because there are so many easily missed details. 

Even if one eventually decides to branch out into independent ideas, the foundation must be accurate and solid.

”Before you can break the rules, you must first obey the rules.” Is a mantra I share with all my students.

The ones I’ve seen look like some of the whimsical instruments played by some of the Angels in the “Instruments in paintings” thread, and didn’t sound any better.

If the producers of those VMOs actually HAD a teacher, one can only lament the quality of education back then.

 

EDIT: VSO was the intended acronym. I messed it up, which is the Lords polite way of saying, “don’t use acronyms” and my reply is “yes sir”

Edited by PhilipKT
Chat with God

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Rue said:

VMO?

I feel that we should snag that typo and apply it to "Very Misleading Objections", which I've had to deflect a number of in the course of this thread.   :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Even if one eventually decides to branch out into independent ideas, the foundation must be accurate and solid.

”Before you can break the rules, you must first obey the rules.” Is a mantra I share with all my students.

Yup.  The Japanese have a word for this,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuhari:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.