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Perfectionists, take care, graphic images, George Craske purfling

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32 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

You can replicate anything perfectly! ^_^

Well, we know that good sound does absolutely nothing to do with perfect purflings. Ask Mr. Giuseppe Bartolomeo Guarneri.

Yep! I took these descriptions from del Gesù purflings made by Roger Hargrave in Biddulph's book:

Joachim 1737: the purfling, disrupted by the deep figure, is delightfully crinky... Occasional wild knife cuts stray outside the purfling slot and the varnish has sunk into the gaps in the purfling, which is a little loose in the channel. In most of the corners, the innermost point within the mitre has chipped away during the excavation of the channel.

Ysaye 1740: The purfling is haphazard, the corner mitres quickly made, and knife strokes still clearly visible from the initial marking of the channel. Within the channel, the purfling itself is frequently buckled, although the black and white strips remain glued together... ... some effort was made to create an extended mitre in the corners, in the style of Stradivari, but all the corners vary considerably in the length and direction of the point. Again, the purfling channel follows the uneven knife cut of the edge, and is far from smooth in it's course.

Heifetz 1740: The purfling in this violin is certainly the coarsest encountered so far. The channel varies considerably in width, and the purflings are by turn constricted or free to wander from side do side within it. The purfling in the lower bouts meets in the usual sloping scarf joint on the centre seam, but the downward knive stroke which formed it has scarred deeply into the back. In the corners, the purfling naturally takes the shortest route between two points of the oversized channel and runs in straight lines, forming the short mitres virtually as a right angle.

Vieuxtemps, 1741 - The purfling is rather narrow, squeezed into a tightly cut slot with barely enough room for the black strips. Nevertheless, the slot meanders slightly around the edge, and the purfling is generally distorted, the tight curves in the corners are formed by a series of cracks, the sloping joint to the left of pin in the lower bout is hopelessly awry, and the knife cut still scars the surface of the back.

Lord Wilton, 1742 - Here and there gaps have been filled with slips of maple, and the purfling corners do not always meet cleanly, but the impression is of unusal precision.

Cannon, 1743 - The purfling is not inlaid smoothly, but follows the knife-cut facets of the edge closely. It fits snugly into its channel, with no sign of any filler, although there are several unconcealed gaps where the purflings do not quite meet in the corner mitres.

Carrodus, 1743 - The purfling is somewhat forced into a narrow channel and in some places the black strip disappears entirely.

Sauret, 1743 - The purfling stands a little proud of its channel and is unusually wide. Even so, the slot has generally been cut wider than the pufling, and much filler has been used around the bouts.

Doyen, 1744 - The pufling is extremely shaky. Huge deflections appear in the lower bouts of the back, and the two strands of pufling have been forced too tightly into a butt join slightly to the left of the pin, causing dramatic buckling. The purfling itself seems to have been cut from two different directions at this point and does not quite meet, which must have added considerably to the difficulty of inserting and joining the purfling. The resulting gaps are plugged with filler paste. The black strips have generally faded to grey, and disappear entirely at various points in the middle and upper bouts of the back on the bass side.

Ole Bull, 1744 - The slot for the purfling is frantically cut. The knife slashed roughly along its intended route, leaving marks which career over the finished edge. The mitres are only approximately formed; the large gaps were sometimes quickly filled with paste or simply left open. The purfling pursues a hesitant course, stopping short of the end of the corner, and meandering across the wide channel. The black strips are unevenly stained. They are quite brown under the varnish and grey were exposed, but in other paces appear to have absorbed some of the filler, and remain a very deep black.


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I like Craske. Very direct work. Hey, he made a couple of thousand instruments in his lengthy life, so some concessions to practicality had to be made!

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