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Bogus Label Fun


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I have this illegible label in the old Saxon violin.

Took some quick pics of the violin, too. Sorry that the auto focus seems to have preferred the bushes in the background.

Looks like typical Saxon work to me.

The saddle cut out in the rib indicates a rather narrow original saddle.

The scroll looks somewhat different to most I have seen and might be slightly interesting.












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Then I started to carefully clean the label.

I think I can make out

Friedrich Bindernagel

xxxxxxxxx xxx Gotha

I assume its a bogus Fahrkarte... but what do you think and can someone read more or something different?

"Fiedrich" and "Gotha" seem quite clear. Bindernagel is a bit more guessing as there was a chap of that name in Gotha (not sure his name was Friedrich though). 






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Hi Guido,

the violin looks, generally spoken, like something I would call school or shop of Hamm family. The rounded scroll with the small eye is very typical, also many other features. The workmanship is more roughly than I would expect from a real Hamm.

The handwritten label could mean anything, an owner, repairer, could be switched over from something else, or taken from one of the printed label sheets, but in each case insignificant, because the violin surely wasn't made in Gotha and not before the first half of the 19th century.

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I played with one of the photos in PhotoShop, manipulating contrast, saturation, hue and such. It looks like there's another letter on that word in the lower right. Gothad / Gothed / Gothod... can't quite make out the 5th character. Or maybe the 6th character is an "o" with an accent? I'll try some other manipulations and the other photos a bit later.

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One should bear in mind, that a proper genuine label that has spent some 200 years inside a violin, is not subject to wear & tear, is not ripped off some sheet, is not coloured as if it has spent a decade or so down the toilet, does not have bits missing &&&&&. A genuine label has nice clean edges, is slightly (but not much) darkened, is not stained or varnished. I have put up an example, the one I found first. Messing around trying to interpret an obviously outrageous Fahrkarte is the very definition of a waste of time. I wrote about the facsimile labels widely available in the 19th C here

,neither should one ignore the widespread opportunities to snip something out of a book

Engleder Label.jpg

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So, Jacob, this label is too dirty to be real?:)  I thought the Vollers started out by putting their fiddles up a chimney?  (There must be some justice in the fact that someone put this label is in a junky VSO.)

Guido, you may want to buy one of those $5 UV LED flashlights.  They work really well for a label like yours.


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Spass bei Seite:)

I know from experience, looking at violins, if you have to spend all afternoon looking through a room full of shit, it can take days until you can recognise anything again. Thus it is a vital rule of violin recognition hygiene to ignore rubbish, and only ever look at stuff that’s real, even real cheap stuff. This is the main drawback from spending your evening scrolling down through pages & pages of junk on ebay. It is the same with labels. Real ones bring a wealth of information, but if you spend your weekend looking at Fahrkarten, after a while, you won’t recognise a real one if it hits you between the eyes. Thus my disapproval of this thread. But go on if you’re amused.

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