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German Antonio Curatoli


nathan slobodkin
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Just had a client bring in a violin which I am quite sure is low to mid range MK but has Antonio Curatoli, "made in Italy" on the label. Were people able to get away with  this at some point? I have occasionally seen instruments which were some sort of collaboration between commercial firms, most interestingly an Italian/ Brazilian connection' but didn't know quite what to make of this one. No pictures I'm afraid as it was in my hands just long enough to tell him it wasn't worth fixing.

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Its not just a matter of a fake label, at some point instruments had to be labelled with the country of manufacture and there was supposed to be some legitimacy to it. Maybe not, someone here probably knows. I had one once with the made in Italy label, clearly a German trade instrument, decent sounding, looked like an ER Schmidt. 

I believe these were marketed through Sears, maybe they figured out a loophole. Perhaps these passed through a distributor in Italy.  

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One of course sees fake labels or model designations in many if not most instruments but as Deans said the deliberate circumvention of the import laws about country of origin labels is not that common. I am interested in knowing how and when not to mention why this was done. I am aware that following the first world war it was easier to sell goods in the US labeled Czechoslovakia than Germany and there was enough cross border collaboration to do that but "made in Italy" is not one that I see very often.

 

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41 minutes ago, deans said:

I think I saw a Carletti viola with a "made in italy" once. 

Do you remember the date? Carletti was exporting instruments to  America in the 1960s including some in the white which were varnished and labelled  by a friend of Rene Morel's.

Any one know if the laws regarding labeling country of origin are still in place? I am pretty sure that "art" level instruments are somehow exempt but you still see a lot of items labeled "made in China".

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5 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Just had a client bring in a violin which I am quite sure is low to mid range MK but has Antonio Curatoli, "made in Italy" on the label. Were people able to get away with  this at some point? I have occasionally seen instruments which were some sort of collaboration between commercial firms, most interestingly an Italian/ Brazilian connection' but didn't know quite what to make of this one. No pictures I'm afraid as it was in my hands just long enough to tell him it wasn't worth fixing.

Antonio Curatoli instruments were higher quality Markneukirchen violins. If I recall correctly, they were sold through Sears & Roebuck in the early 20th century. I don’t know which manufacturer made them, although I’ve heard speculation that they were made by E.R. Schmidt or Knorr. They’re well-regarded.

It’s not unlike the case of the upper tier Karl Meisel instruments that were labeled Carlo Micelli. 

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5 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Any one know if the laws regarding labeling country of origin are still in place? I am pretty sure that "art" level instruments are somehow exempt but you still see a lot of items labeled "made in China".

The Chinese eliminated U.S. country of origin labeling stamped on the items themselves through lobbying and blackmail

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14 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Do you remember the date?

Cant remember, but I think it was earlier than 1960s. There was a year when I must have seen a dozen various Carletti's, every dealer had at least one. Its funny, every one was made by the "best" maker the family. They all seemed very similar to me. The one that  really thought hard about was a big 17.5" Joseph Settin. 

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9 hours ago, deans said:

Cant remember, but I think it was earlier than 1960s. There was a year when I must have seen a dozen various Carletti's, every dealer had at least one. Its funny, every one was made by the "best" maker the family. They all seemed very similar to me. The one that  really thought hard about was a big 17.5" Joseph Settin. 

Yes that is who I was referring to. Settin was buying white instruments from Natale Carletti  varnishing them and putting his own labels in. This is according to Morel. I think Bill Carboni was doing the same thing. I don't know if these had any kind of labels which were then removed or not.

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10 hours ago, Three13 said:

The fiddles in the white were coming from Genuzio Carletti and being labeled “Carlettinius”, I think. 

This thread has wandered off track but since I started it I am following where it leads. 

Who was Genuzio? Brompton mentions him but mentions no relationship with other makers of the same name. Were those Carlettinius labels retained after varnishing by whoever? 

Back to the original question re the import laws about identifying country of origin. Would finishing a product either in the US or a secondary country relieve the importer from complying with the law and allow normal  "puffery" to allow fictitious labeling?

Just curious.

 

 

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2 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Who was Genuzio? Brompton mentions him but mentions no relationship with other makers of the same name. Were those Carlettinius labels retained after varnishing by whoever? 

Genuzio was Natale's cousin, who was apprenticed to Carlo in the '20s. I recall reading that there was a falling out within the family, and he worked on his own from around 1940. He won a gold medal for a viola at the Concorso Internationale de Cremona in 1949, which is mentioned on the labels of his regular production stuff.

The violins that he exported to Joseph Settin have the Carlettinius labels, which I am pretty sure were placed by Settin after varnishing - Michael Darnton had a blog post a while ago that shows an early label, dated 1962, that reads CarlSettinius, making it clear that the Carlettinius moniker is a combination of the names, ergo probably placed by Settin.

I recall reading somewhere that Settin's shop was full of unfinished violins well into the 80s, and have seen Carlettinius labels that have dates preceding 1962, so I imagine that Settin was backdating stock with those labels for a while.

Sorry for the tangent - I wish I knew more about import laws where labeling is concerned. I do know that unfinished/broken instruments that needed repair weren't subject to the same customs duties as finished violins, and have heard stories about Scarampellas and other modern italians being smuggled into the US by merchant marines claiming they needed repairs.

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2 hours ago, Three13 said:

Genuzio was Natale's cousin, who was apprenticed to Carlo in the '20s. I recall reading that there was a falling out within the family, and he worked on his own from around 1940. He won a gold medal for a viola at the Concorso Internationale de Cremona in 1949, which is mentioned on the labels of his regular production stuff.

The violins that he exported to Joseph Settin have the Carlettinius labels, which I am pretty sure were placed by Settin after varnishing - Michael Darnton had a blog post a while ago that shows an early label, dated 1962, that reads CarlSettinius, making it clear that the Carlettinius moniker is a combination of the names, ergo probably placed by Settin.

I recall reading somewhere that Settin's shop was full of unfinished violins well into the 80s, and have seen Carlettinius labels that have dates preceding 1962, so I imagine that Settin was backdating stock with those labels for a while.

Sorry for the tangent - I wish I knew more about import laws where labeling is concerned. I do know that unfinished/broken instruments that needed repair weren't subject to the same customs duties as finished violins, and have heard stories about Scarampellas and other modern italians being smuggled into the US by merchant marines claiming they needed repairs.

Thanks for info. 

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