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Thoughts appreciated on Carcassi label violin


doctahg
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Hello to all. Would someone be willing to comment on this violin? The label reads Lor y Tom Carcassi, In Firenze nell' anno 1749, etc. I have owned this instrument for about 10 years. Work has been done on it by two local luthiers. One said he thought it was made in Germany. The other said he thought it could possibly be a genuine Carcassi. Neither is an expert appraiser. 

The neck/button is separated a tiny amount (does not show in my photos). I wish to take it to a highly-qualified luthier for an appraisal and repair, but I live nowhere near a big city, and would need to drive several hours to reach one. I'm certainly willing to do that, but due to COVID19-related closures, the professionals I contacted are quite understandably not accepting new clients at this time. 

If someone here could point me in the right direction, I would be grateful. If people think this is a nice but not especially valuable instrument, I will try to find someone reasonably close to just re-glue the neck, then play my violin, which sounds wonderful to me, and be happy. If anyone thinks it may be genuine or at least somewhat valuable, then I want to have it properly appraised, repaired, maybe even restored, and set up to make the most of its qualities. I am not afraid to spend money on it if that is the appropriate choice, but not sure I want to spend more on a repair than the violin is worth. (But I might if that what it takes to keep it playing, because to me it sounds very, very good.)

Thank you in advance, as the saying goes.

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If it’s a Juzek it might come also (not) from Prague.:ph34r:

Has a lot of nice screwdriver antiquing and is probably not older than 120 years. It seems to be very difficult to confuse it with Carcassi IMO.

 

Edited by Blank face
discovered fake news
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jacobsaunders, yes, that was the suggestion of one of the two luthiers I mentioned. Thank you.

Blank face, I don't understand what you mean by "it might come also (not) from Prague." 

Yes, I did notice myself that someone chose to fake antiquity by damaging the violin, but thank you for pointing that out.

I appreciate the prompt responses; very kind of you.

 

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, doctahg said:

Blank face, I don't understand what you mean by "it might come also (not) from Prague." 

It is a running joke around here because most (all?) violin labeled "John Juzek Violin Maker in Prague" were made in Markneukirchen, not by a "John Juzek" and not in Prague. 

Some commenters get exasperated when it is suggested that (A) there was a real live John Juzek who was a violin maker or (B) that John Juzek (were he to have existed) made violins in Prague.

Hence @Blank face's joke, which is almost a koan. :)

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10 hours ago, JRyn said:

Serious question, I thought Schönbach and Markneukirchen were indistinguishable when identifying cottage industry violins?

As I understand it, due to lower labor costs in Schönbach. and the rail connection for export (along with most of the money in the area) being in Markneukirchen, the piecework Dutzendarbeit trade-fiddle handcrafting was concentrated in Schönbach.  The fiddles, usually as bundles of bits and pieces, were handcarted to the German border, and sold to distributors based in Markneukirchen, who owned workshops where the violins were assembled, finished, packed, and shipped.  When this process was followed, yes, the fiddles can be attributed to both towns.  Where this breaks down is when entire violins were the product of a single vertically organized workshop (mostly in Markneukirchen), or, in rare cases, a single maker (of which there were several in both towns), but both cases are rare compared to the great majority of "the usual rubbish" produced between 1880 and 1914.  So, there are exceptions (such as Roths) to consider, but you won't find many. In more than ten years of messing with Markies, I've seen exactly one signed single maker Bohemian violin at a price I considered attractive (and no genuine Saxons), and still have it.

Jacob and Blank Face would know more about the individual makers in the area (not to be confused with the wholesalers who only labeled stuff).  Some of their work is fine and can be comparatively expensive.  Some of them used molds, and produced fiddles much different in details from the trade fiddles. 

BTW, by the time that the Juzeks were in their heyday, the system that I described above had given way to more modern and homogenized forms of production in Schönbach.  The classic B-O-B trade fiddle disappears sometime in the 1920's.  :)

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14 hours ago, Blank face said:

If it’s a Juzek it might come also (not) from Prague.:ph34r:

Has a lot of nice screwdriver antiquing and is probably not older than 120 years. It seems to be very difficult to confuse it with Carcassi IMO.

 

Weren't copper inlay pegs (like on the OP) very common on Juzeks?  :)

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14 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

It is a running joke around here because most (all?) violin labeled "John Juzek Violin Maker in Prague" were made in Markneukirchen, not by a "John Juzek" and not in Prague. 

Some commenters get exasperated when it is suggested that (A) there was a real live John Juzek who was a violin maker or (B) that John Juzek (were he to have existed) made violins in Prague.

Hence @Blank face's joke, which is almost a koan. :)

Except that John Juzek really did exist. His grand nephew  told me so, at NAMM in 2018.  Many labels state  "formerly in Prague,"  Hence, a double or triple entendre. 

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4 hours ago, Fossil Ledges said:

Such Rare, Much Prague! Round up the usual suspects...

 

58 minutes ago, l33tplaya said:

Except that John Juzek really did exist. His grand nephew  told me so, at NAMM in 2018.  Many labels state  "formerly in Prague,"  Hence, a double or triple entendre. 

 A Prague on both your houses!  :P:lol:

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I'm pretty familiar with thread drift, as I am active on several non-violin-related forums, but this one took a very fast turn at the second reply, which introduced what is so obviously a long-standing joke among the regulars here about John Juzek-labeled violins. I suppose you must get lots of inquiries from hopeful newcomers about such violins.

My violin is not labeled "John Juzek." 

I was hoping for information about a violin with a Carcassi label. If anyone had happened to know if there were any violin makers from Markneukirchen or Schönbach, or anywhere else in what is now Germany known to use a Carcassi label, that would have been helpful.

As it is, the information given here about that era of violin-making, especially the details by Violadamore, has been interesting and helpful in steering me toward the kind of things I would need to research to know more about violins and mine in particular.

I asked a polite, articulate question. Ignorant, also. But where does one start? I thought I might start here. When the second response one gets is a "joke" deliberately chosen to be completely obscure to outsiders, quickly and effectively make fun of all the other ignoramuses like me, and invite further sarcastic "jokes" e.g. "Such Rare, Much Prague! Round up the usual suspects..." I quickly learned that I made a big mistake even asking.

By the way, "Such rare" is grammatically incorrect English. Anyone who tries to learn the difficult English language should be commended, not mocked. One must start somewhere... Maybe the same for violins, I don't know. But I won't be back here.

 

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Your violin is a mass produced instrument, dating from the end of the 19thC.
You will never be able to find "a maker" for it, since they were all assembled by multiple hands, and then sold through wholesalers, often for export.

It will be worth taking to someone who knows what they are doing for the repairs, probably sooner rather than later. Once the button comes detached, the neck block will surely follow in time, which won't end well if the instrument is still tuned to pitch at that point.

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3 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I didn't see this until after I wrote my reply :rolleyes:

Your reply showed up in my email (I had notifications turned on) so I came back to say thank you for your pertinent and useful reply. I understand about factory instruments, don't expect to discover the name of an individual, and am glad to learn more about the time and place my violin was made. And appreciate the practical advice.

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1 hour ago, doctahg said:

I quickly learned that I made a big mistake even asking.

No one was ill-intentioned. Your question was fine, and was answered by several experts, several of whom are not native-English speakers. I am glad you asked it; it was not a mistake.

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It's not the man or shop we comment on, it's the Legend! The Juzek phenomena is not quite as common as someone walking into your shop saying they have a genuine Tony Strad, but it's close. There were several million of those German trade boxes manufactured with a myriad of labels. And out of those millions, there are instruments which sound good and those that sound less so.

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A guy last week brought me a Markie trade box he had acquired somewhere and essentially demanded that I buy it from him. I walked him through the construction, history and needed repairs and he left angrily when I told him it's potential value. I was luthier number four he had taken it to and apparently none gave him an answer that was acceptable to him. 

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On 6/17/2020 at 7:24 AM, doctahg said:

Hello to all. Would someone be willing to comment on this violin? The label reads Lor y Tom Carcassi, In Firenze nell' anno 1749, etc. I have owned this instrument for about 10 years.

What I don't get is how someone could own a violin for 10 years, or acquire one in the first place, without knowing whether it's a four-figure or a six-figure instrument.

By the way, "Such rare!" is more Casablanca talk...

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14 hours ago, doctahg said:

Your reply showed up in my email (I had notifications turned on) so I came back to say thank you for your pertinent and useful reply. I understand about factory instruments, don't expect to discover the name of an individual, and am glad to learn more about the time and place my violin was made. And appreciate the practical advice.

You also asked about someone known to use a Carcassi label.  As has been mentioned in other erudite discussions in this august, and occassionally pompous forum, there is at least one book of labels, readily available, and certain people have been known to copy, dip in tea or otherwise partially degrade the copy paper, and surreptitiosly place the now discolored label on, over, or replace the original label. Any original manufacturer of your German trade violin would be very likely *not* to put a known maker's label in, so asking for someone known to do that won't be of much use. 

Likely if the violin left Germany the importer would have their label prepared for the violins, some labels might state a copy of a Strad, or even insert a facsimile (but not aged) Strad label, for example.  Otherwise, the distributor or large shop would have their own labels.

Later, someone wanted the violin to appear something it wasn't to a novice, and stuck a label in it.  It happens quite often. 

As far as the humor, there is no accounting for taste.  We apologize for Fossil Ledges, as he should be quite educated, or I otherwise should feel sorry for his former patients. For some reason he repeats a trite, hackneyed expression at every opportunity.  :-) Violadamore "VdA" is actually full of knowledge, humor and clever word play, in addition to using a colloquial expression for run of the mill trade violins ("rubbish"). I don't see this as offputting at all; when I actually met Perlman, he always referred to his violin (a Strad or a copy of same) as a "fiddle."  Same difference, as the hoi polloi here might say...

Stick around, and I think you will find much useful information. . 

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