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David A.T.

Fake Flames

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I had a look on current auction a I&H today and was wondering if this wood configuration is possible or if it was fake flames.

Thanks to share your experience.

20201020_153756.thumb.jpg.154f5860eac6ea3822ca370b4ce74cee.jpg

I would be interested if some have fake flames pictures to share. It seems to be difficult to detect only from pictures.

David.

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I'm pretty sure that those are real flames.

One type of neck fake flame is very obvious even in pictures, because the playing part of the neck is flamed, but the peg box and volute are not.

What is I&H?

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20201020_162224.thumb.jpg.d78d0ca5a0da9c0276925a38e8e1934f.jpgI&H = Ingles&Hayday

My point were the flames on the peg box as we can see them on side, & back at same time. On this cello the ribs flames were also perfectly matching the back. 

20201020_161839.thumb.jpg.2611be9f831ffa53cb574f942f0c96e2.jpg

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2 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

 

One type of neck fake flame is very obvious even in pictures, because the playing part of the neck is flamed, but the peg box and volute are not.

 

More often a sign of a neck graft rather than fake flame, surely?

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Sorry, I have to wonder if you're well equipped to take advantage of an auction, especially without seeing the instrument.  It really takes a lot of knowledge to know what you're doing.

There's a big risk, and it's entirely possible that you will pay too much and get an instrument that you are not happy with, or that has hidden problems.

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I agree that. My question was related to the wood sélection. It seems it was very nice piece of wood to match so nice in both directions for the neck and have so nice continuity on the back/ribs.

I was just doubtfull due to the fact that some technics are applied by workshops for long. And then was asking if it is possible to do a so perfect fake. But according to answers it seems it is just a very good wood selection.

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3 hours ago, MANFIO said:

Real flames. The problem is that the varnish is so bad that makes the flames look artificial.

The angle of the lighting used to take this kind of photographs can make things look very different to how they appear in person, particularly when trying to avoid reflections, shadows, and to highlight the flame.
I doubt the varnish is "very bad", as you suggest.

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9 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

The angle of the lighting used to take this kind of photographs can make things look very different to how they appear in person, particularly when trying to avoid reflections, shadows, and to highlight the flame.
I doubt the varnish is "very bad", as you suggest.

If it is not "very bad" it seems to be very opaque, which is bad too. My two cents.

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4 hours ago, David A.T. said:

I agree that. My question was related to the wood sélection. It seems it was very nice piece of wood to match so nice in both directions for the neck and have so nice continuity on the back/ribs.

I was just doubtfull due to the fact that some technics are applied by workshops for long. And then was asking if it is possible to do a so perfect fake. But according to answers it seems it is just a very good wood selection.

I don't understand why you thought this cello had faux flames. Most good makers will use maple from the same tree where possible, so that the back, ribs, neck etc. will match. Failing that, they will select maple with very similar grain, width and angles of flames, so that it has a consistent appearance.
This shows forethought, skill and effort on the part of the maker, or workshop.

Faux flames on the other hand, mostly appear on cheaper instruments (there can be exceptions). The faux flames can be well done, but often are terrible. They have a bizarre look and spacing, as a result of the method used to make them.
In some cases I believe chemicals were used to mark the wood, but more often one finds they are either a paint layer under the varnish, were applied with a spray gun etc.

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7 minutes ago, MANFIO said:

If it is not "very bad" it seems to be very opaque, which is bad too. My two cents.

Would it have been better to stain the wood until the flames were totally burnt, then apply a few coats of almost clear varnish over the top?

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31 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

 Most good makers will use maple from the same tree where possible, so that the back, ribs, neck etc. will match. Failing that, they will select maple with very similar grain, width and angles of flames, so that it has a consistent appearance.
This shows forethought, skill and effort on the part of the maker, or workshop.

Uh oh.

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9 hours ago, David A.T. said:

...I would be interested if some have fake flames pictures to share..

Look at the picture of the back of this violin currently for sale on Ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nice-Full-Size-Violin-w-Rectangular-Case-Bow/164459835213?hash=item264a91ef4d:g:b2sAAOSwMDpeF2Fa

This one is a bit unusual because it's a two-piece back.  Most fake-flamed backs are one-piece, because it's easier to apply the fakes all the way across than it is to end them at the center joint.

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42 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

So you don’t feel that there was any conscious attempt to match the materials on the cello posted by the OP?

I mean two things:

First, that I've never gone to great effort to match the wood on the neck, ribs and back. Sometimes they turn out pretty close, and other times they don't.

Second, it's doubtful that the ribs and back on that cello are the same wood. At least from the perspective of the photo, the flames on the rib appear to be much more angled than the flames on the back.

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4 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I mean two things:

First, that I've never gone to great effort to match the wood on the neck, ribs and back

Second, it's doubtful that the ribs and back on that cello are the same wood. At least from the perspective of the photo, the flames on the rib appear to be much more angled than the flames on the back.

Yep, I will quote Roger Hargrave's article on Biddulph's book on Del Gesù:

"Del Gesù’s ribs seldom matched the back wood and only rarely were they cut from the same billet. Even where the match appears perfect, as with the “Leduc”, he generally
failed to align the slope of the figure in the same direction all round the instrument.23 Often the ribs were made up from unmatched pieces: Plain wood was used in conjunction with highly figured wood, or narrow and wider flames were mixed. In particular, the lower rib(s) were often completely different from the others."

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7 hours ago, David Burgess said:

it's doubtful that the ribs and back on that cello are the same wood. At least from the perspective of the photo, the flames on the rib appear to be much more angled than the flames on the back.

I would say that they definitely aren't from the same source, the ribs even look like they might be a bit off quarter. However, I do think there was an effort made to select similar looking material at the start.

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7 hours ago, MANFIO said:

Yep, I will quote Roger Hargrave's article on Biddulph's book on Del Gesù:

"Del Gesù’s ribs seldom matched the back wood and only rarely were they cut from the same billet. Even where the match appears perfect, as with the “Leduc”, he generally
failed to align the slope of the figure in the same direction all round the instrument.23 Often the ribs were made up from unmatched pieces: Plain wood was used in conjunction with highly figured wood, or narrow and wider flames were mixed. In particular, the lower rib(s) were often completely different from the others."

That's fine. I'm aware that lots of old instruments, especially Italian ones, look like they were made from wood a dog would bring home with it after a walk in the forest.
That's not what the OP instrument is though.

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