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Double Purfled Violin - French or Something Else?


GeorgeH
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10 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

For all you cornerblockologists (and speaking of @jacobsaunders), here are some pictures of the treble-side corner blocks and a picture of the treble c-lining. Asymmetric or not?

block_treble_upper.jpg

block_treble_lower.jpg

treble_c_lining.jpg

These look like symmetrical blocks and can be both bob and outside mould. Considering the mitred rib joints it's the latter. Being in doubts one would need to take of the belly for a bird's view at the joints, but that's unnecessary here IMO.

Interesting are the marks of a toothed plane, In many cases these would put the making in a period before 1850.

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Since the violin has a few different features (model, purfling, back length), I'm not surprised that there are some toothed marks on the interior of the ribs. I'm wondering if it is pointing to a smaller workshop.

This might explain things like toothed marks, but I find it hard to think the instruments are dating around 1840 or so, I feel it must be much later than this.

 

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On 2/23/2021 at 5:25 PM, GeorgeH said:

Here are close-ups of the rib-joins. The C-Rib seems to be on the inside of the join, not in the middle as I would expect for BoB that had been filed back flat.

11rib_joins.jpg

Yes, in the bottom right. What about the other corners? I can't tell.

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1 hour ago, Blank face said:

These look like symmetrical blocks and can be both bob and outside mould. Considering the mitred rib joints it's the latter. Being in doubts one would need to take of the belly for a bird's view at the joints, but that's unnecessary here IMO.

Interesting are the marks of a toothed plane, In many cases these would put the making in a period before 1850.

I can't see toothing plane marks, just grain lines.

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While this is not an expensive violin, I appreciate the discussion because it is not "the usual" in the usual sense. :)

1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

This might explain things like toothed marks, but I find it hard to think the instruments are dating around 1840 or so, I feel it must be much later than this.

A couple things I'd like to ask about:

- The eyes of the volute are not "pancake flat" as @martin swan describes French eyes, but they are certainly "flatish." Is that an indication of pre-1880?

- Does the presence of the paper strips instead of cleats on the back date it in anyway?

04scroll_portraits.jpg

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40 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

- Does the presence of the paper strips instead of cleats on the back date it in anyway?

 

1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

I find it hard to think the instruments are dating around 1840 or so, I feel it must be much later than this.

The paper stripe (if original) might date it into the 19th century. Otherwise I find it difficult to date instruments by "feelings", I'm rather looking for facts. There are some here pointing to a date more close to the mid 19th, though I must admit that I'm unsure.

I'm wondering a bit if the scroll is original at all.

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50 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I'm wondering a bit if the scroll is original at all.

If it isn't original, then the person replacing it did an amazing job matching the varnish at both ends. 

Here are a couple more angles on the scroll and pegbox. The center line goes almost to the "bitter end." The bottom back of the pegbox looks like it was either unfinished initially or (more-likely IMHO) sloppily gouged out later to fit a fatter peg.

scroll_throat.jpg

scroll_pegbox.jpg

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31 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

Maybe I am blind, but I wouldn't call this a scroll going close to the bitter end.

I did not say that. It does not go to the "bitter end" but farther and deeper than most trade Mk/Shn volutes. Even though the center line widens before the end, the round end of the fluting groove does extend to 2 mm or so before the end. (It is hard to photograph!)

But, like the rest of the violin, it is somewhat ambiguous.

The aspects that point away from a German scroll for me are the deeper fluting, no pronounced "delta," lack of chamfers around the eyes, the "flatish" eyes, and a slight widening pegbox chamfer as it reaches the scroll.

 

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13 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

I did not say that. It does not go to the "bitter end" but farther and deeper than most trade Mk/Shn volutes. Even though the center line widens before the end, the round end of the fluting groove does extends to a 2 mm or so before the end. (It is hard to photograph!)

But, like the rest of the violin, it is somewhat ambiguous.

The aspects that point away from a German scroll for me are the deeper fluting, lack of chamfers around the eyes, the "flatish" eyes, and a slight widening pegbox chamfer as it reaches the scroll.

 

Hi George,

Yes I didn't say you said it goes to the bitter end. I am saying I wouldn't even say it is almost to the end (as you have said) in my opinion.

But anyhow I agree with what you are saying about the ambiguous nature of parts of the violin and the other elements of the scroll which may lean it towards being French. I am however just left entirely confused about it in general. It is fascinating to read everyones opinion.

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28 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

I am saying I wouldn't even say it is almost to the end (as you have said) in my opinion.

So the whole idea of the fluting going to the "bitter end" was offered by @jacobsaunders as a distinguishing feature between Mittenwald and Markneukirchen violins. It has nothing to do with French violins as many (most?) French scrolls have fluting that stops before the "bitter end."

EDIT: Here is an example of a lovely French scroll c. 1895. Note where the fluting ends.

 

ref_scroll.jpg

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1 hour ago, Shelbow said:

Please excuse my ignorance, but what was the trade situation back then? Is it possible a French workshop could be buying in German scrolls? Just because from the fluting I would assume this scroll is German.

Yes possibly, but I think the Cornerblockological  evidence doesn't rule out a BOB construction. Some instruments have what looks like pre installed corner blocks with pinched ribs. The ribs can then be cut back and sometimes you see the join in the middle, sometimes to one side.

And some have fake blocks glued in afterwards. I don't this this is one of those.

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14 minutes ago, sospiri said:

How long have you been seeing these shadows? Are you getting enough sleep,?

SOCRATES: All in all, I responded, those who were chained would consider nothing besides the shadows of the artifacts as the unhidden. GLAUCON: That would absolutely have to be....

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16 minutes ago, Blank face said:

SOCRATES: All in all, I responded, those who were chained would consider nothing besides the shadows of the artifacts as the unhidden. GLAUCON: That would absolutely have to be....

Socrates had a drink problem.

Glaucon had Glaucoma.

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5 minutes ago, KB_Smith said:

How do you photograph the inside of a violin? 

I placed an LED Flexible Flashlight inside the endpin hole to light-up the interior. (You can also place it in an f-hole.) Then I took the photos using an iPhone camera held mostly perpendicular to the f-hole, and shifting around to get the picture I want. Then I use the auto-focus to lock-in on the interior spot that I want to photograph. For the close-ups, I use the 2X zoom. 

I edited the pictures to straighten them and remove the large black areas above and below the f-hole.

For me, I seem to take a lot of out-of-focus pictures to get one good one!

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