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Dave Slight

Just for fun

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Not the sort of thing I usually handle, but it seems over lockdown people became very bored, and started going into their loft for something to do. A lot of violins seem to have been dragged out from their slumber.

I’m sure we have all seen various antiquing attempts on trade violins over the years, but this one gave me a chuckle, simply because of the extent they have gone to, on something which could only have had a modest price tag when new.
The model is a clearly a schnapps based fantasy of what an old violin should look like, with a rather exaggerated scroll and sound holes. What takes it over the edge, is the extra work to simulate old repairs.

Along with the expected screwdriver antiquing, we have fake cracks on the back and belly, fake rib cracks - which are always in twos (probably done with a pair of dividers), a genuine neck graft, pieces let into the bouts of the back and belly to simulate repairs to the edges (from purposely non matching wood), butterflies set into the back joint (3 in total), ebony pins on back, crowned button, simulated wear to the treble side of the scroll etc.

UV analysis confirms that all of the inlaid pieces are under the original varnish, and the purfling is uninterrupted over the repairs ;)
The icing on the cake is that although the table has never been removed, they put a few studs on the inside, near, but not over the fake cracks :lol:

Enjoy...

 

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25 minutes ago, Rue said:

:huh:

Well...that helps answer one of my (vague) questions about the extent of fakery...

I wonder why they would even bother, wouldn't a yard sale bring in more cash. 

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1 minute ago, Garth E. said:

I wonder why they would even bother, wouldn't a yard sale bring in more cash. 

Because 120 years ago people were just as gullible as they are now. Getting excited by something which looks old, is grafted and has obvious repairs.

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The scroll is quite graceful, I just can't connect it with any tradition which I'm familiar with.  They used a very plain wood, making me wonder if their labor costs were miniscule compared their material costs.  Is it labeled?

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21 hours ago, Violadamore said:

The scroll is quite graceful, I just can't connect it with any tradition which I'm familiar with.  They used a very plain wood, making me wonder if their labor costs were miniscule compared their material costs.  Is it labeled?

I believe these were made on the Bohemian side of the border. Essentially, it's more of the usual.
I think the plain maple was actually a conscious choice. Over the years, I have seen others which were very similar, though without the extent of deception this one has.

Strangely, I've seen far more cellos than violins, where they usually bear a fantasy Kloz label. The cellos can sound fairly good for what they are, but getting a case to fit is tough, due to the length of the scrolls.

This violin has an English importers label, indicating that they were the sole agent (wishful thinking, I expect). The name on the label I've never come across before, and does not appear in any reference material I have either, other than being associated with organs & pianos.
 

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Have you considered that this may be the work of an individual maker, and not a trade violin at all? 

It could be a violin that was used for practicing repairs and/or antiquing techniques before it was finished/varnished.

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Hello George,

They are certainly trade instruments, but not to the usual pattern. I’d imagine either it was an independent workshop trying something different, or a special order for the English market.

The “repairs” are just taking the antiquing another step.

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21 hours ago, Dave Slight said:

Because 120 years ago people were just as gullible as they are now. Getting excited by something which looks old, is grafted and has obvious repairs.

I am confused as to why you think this was done 120 years ago and not relatively recently  ?

 

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17 minutes ago, Delabo said:

I am confused as to why you think this was done 120 years ago and not relatively recently  ?

 

Because it's a violin that is approximately 120 years old.

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20 minutes ago, Delabo said:

I am confused as to why you think this was done 120 years ago and not relatively recently  ?

 

Still confused.

I agree you have a violin that is 120 years old.

But what stops some one  quite recently from tarting up an old 120 MK\SCH violin and trying to sale it as something much older ?

The violin may look different in real life but from your photos I would have taken it to have newish  varnish.

I do not understand UV but can it tell you how old the varnish is ?

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Delabo said:

Still confused.

I agree you have a violin that is 120 years old.

But what stops some one  quite recently from tarting up an old 120 MK\SCH violin and trying to sale it as something much older ?

The violin may look different in real life but from your photos I would have taken it to have newish  varnish.

I do not understand UV but can it tell you how old the varnish is ?

 

 

If you read my original post again, it may help.

This is a trade violin from around 1900.
All the faux repairs were done at the time of manufacture. The edge pieces were put in before the violin was purfled.
The varnish is entirely original, and is exactly as it was applied.

UV can show differences in varnish, and varnish retouching because they fluoresce differently. In this case, it shows that the inset repairs on the back and belly are all under the original varnish.

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22 minutes ago, Dave Slight said:

If you read my original post again, it may help.

This is a trade violin from around 1900.
All the faux repairs were done at the time of manufacture. The edge pieces were put in before the violin was purfled.
The varnish is entirely original, and is exactly as it was applied.

UV can show differences in varnish, and varnish retouching because they fluoresce differently. In this case, it shows that the inset repairs on the back and belly are all under the original varnish.

Are there catalogues from 1900 showing these violins ?

I have seen catalogues from the 1920s that gave the option of bushed pegs along with real neck grafts but did not realize that they started doing this pre WW1.

 

 

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Maybe they weren't offered in catalogues.

Maybe you had to meet at the back of a restaurant...behind a beaded curtain...

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Albert Beer, a violin dealer from Regensburg (if my memory serves me right, I can’t find my copy) wrote a book of anecdotes from his life as a violin dealer from the first half of the 20th C. called “Geigengeschichten”. The book, which was first published in 1949, and to my knowledge is only available in German, is particularly interesting through his friendship with the Hamma brother, who spent most of his life in Italy, buying instruments for the Stuttgart firm. It also includes anecdotes from pre-revolution Russia, not to mention Markneuirchen. Amongst the many stories, he mentions that the Markneukirchen trade produced many “Copies”. The OP one will be at the very cheapest end of this range

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I learn something new every day on this forum.

I have to admit that I might well have been fooled by that violin if I had seen it in a local auction - but now I know better - thank you David and Jacob.

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