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Double Purfled Violin - French or Something Else?


GeorgeH
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This is a violin with double-purfling. It is not a Maggini or Brescian model; it is really a Stradivarius model with double-purfling.

I suspect that it is French, but I am not certain. The rib-joins appear to be constructed using an outside mold and are squared off. The inside blocks appear to me to be symmetrical and the linings are not inserted. The scroll fluting is deeply cut, and the pegbox is un-blackened. The chamfers on the pegbox appear typical of French work.

There are no locator pins in the top or back. The bottom rib is two-piece.

The back is not cleated, but has a strip of parchment glued on top of of the back seam. The length of the back is 362mm.

The outer purfling line was inlaid on top of a broad raised edge. The inner purfling line was inlaid just inside the edge. I have seen this kind of purfling on top of the edge in MK work before, but not in a double-purfled violin.

The reddish-brown varnish is original, and is chippy around the edges.

It bears a fantasy “Nicolas Lupot” label.

I’d be interested to know if there are any features that could identify a maker or workshop that produced this violin, and an approximate time of production. And if it is not French, I’d like to know that, too! :-)

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I own a fiddle that to my untrained eye appears to be this instruments twin. It is also labelled as a Lupot, and appears to be the same label. Mine has been refinished at some point, seemingly in the 1970s based on an internal repair label. I've heard various theories about its origin, a few have pegged it as French, others as Markneukirchen. Its a unique instrument with the purfling so close to the edge. I really like its tone, its my main fiddle. 

 

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20 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Thanks for sharing! Are those hints of red around the edges of the top traces of the old varnish?

Any traces under the fingerboard?

And do you know the length of the back?

I just measured the LOB again and it is 362mm.  

There are some traces of old varnish under the fingerboard and around the joint, as well as around the button.

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Hi @Blank face

A couple years back I posted a Markneukirchen/Schönbach trade fiddle that had this same type of purfling on top of the edge. That link is here:

 

In that thread you commented:

On 5/21/2018 at 12:53 PM, Blank face said:

The Mirecourt trade sometimes used a similar purfling "top of the edge" and corners, so I'm wondering who copied whom and when.

Which is one reason that I have not excluded Mirecourt as the source of this violin. 

The violin in that earlier thread was obviously a Markneukirchen/Schönbach trade fiddle, but this one I don't think is so cut-and-dry. The double-purfled models coming out of the MK/Shn trade were mostly "Maggini" models usually with the accompanying interpretive Brescian f-holes and often with triple-turned scrolls. Strad-like models with double-purfling seems to be more the purview of Mirecourt. 

This violin is also missing many of the characteristics traits that I associate with Markneukirchen/Schönbach trade fiddles: shallow scrolls, deltas, rounded volute eyes, blackened pegbox, locator pins in the top plate, a notch in the bottom plate, and BoB rib joins. The primary reason that I wonder if this might not be French is the absence of cleats in the back. 

Anyway, I posted it here as part of my education, so I very much appreciate @Wood Butcher and your comments. I'd like to hear what @martin swan says, too.

 

 

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Good that I wrote "at first sight". The ribs seem to have been made with an outside mould. So you're probably right with your assumption that its French, maybe 2nd half of the 19th century. Assuming this age it can't be from the Vogtland. The LOB seems to confirm this, too. Could there be cleats under the paper stripes? Or they were replaced at some points with the stripe.

The same applies to pgidleys instrument. Nice varnish BTW.

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38 minutes ago, palousian said:

That open crack in the back of pgidley's violin's pegbox is a bit of a concern, is it not?

It's pinned and stable, I was using a bright light for the photo and it picks I up worse than it is. That being said, can't be too careful in this dryness we've been having. 

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12 hours ago, sospiri said:

It's quirky. I'm going Schönbach. 

Very unlikely to see a Schönbach violin from the 19th century with this sort of rib construction.

Compare it to the photos in the older thread to which George has linked. That's what I would expect to se at a Schönbach.

One could wonder if it (or both violins) were made in a big city of the KuK region like the alleged Vuillaume from the other recent thread, but the long body size combined with the postion of the ff and the purfling corners seem to point more to a French origin IMO.

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2 hours ago, Blank face said:

Very unlikely to see a Schönbach violin from the 19th century with this sort of rib construction.

Compare it to the photos in the older thread to which George has linked. That's what I would expect to se at a Schönbach.

One could wonder if it (or both violins) were made in a big city of the KuK region like the alleged Vuillaume from the other recent thread, but the long body size combined with the postion of the ff and the purfling corners seem to point more to a French origin IMO.

I still don't know how to post a photo. 

Somewhere in Bohemia late 19th century.

The length is a red herring.

 

 

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As I wrote above, a Markneukirchen/Schönbach made different than built on the back around 1900 is something which hardly exists.

When there's a chance that it's something like a Bohemian or Hungarian instrument, than the violin posted by pgidley seems to prove that both are (most likely) French. BTW, I'm rather assuming that the latter still has it's original varnish. There's so much authentic wear to it that the finish hardly can be originate from the 1970s. Not unusual that the varnish under the fingerboard or other protected areas looks darker than at others. The belly might be stripped to a certain degree, but the rest looks original.

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3 hours ago, Blank face said:

As I wrote above, a Markneukirchen/Schönbach made different than built on the back around 1900 is something which hardly exists.

When there's a chance that it's something like a Bohemian or Hungarian instrument, than the violin posted by pgidley seems to prove that both are (most likely) French. BTW, I'm rather assuming that the latter still has it's original varnish. There's so much authentic wear to it that the finish hardly can be originate from the 1970s. Not unusual that the varnish under the fingerboard or other protected areas looks darker than at others. The belly might be stripped to a certain degree, but the rest looks original.

I agree with a point made by Jacob on other threads about the possibility of a built on back construction around blocks being used in  Markneukirchen/Schönbach.

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10 hours ago, sospiri said:

I agree with a point made by Jacob on other threads about the possibility of a built on back construction around blocks being used in  Markneukirchen/Schönbach.

 

9 hours ago, sospiri said:

A fourth option. Short corner blocks pre- installed  and built on back ribs placed around the blocks.

Obviously you misunderstood something completely. "Built around blocks" is French and never was used in Mnk/Schb. Please re-read it carefully.

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