Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Violin ID


Bob K
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was told by a trained luthier, some years ago, that this was probably a German trade violin c1900. However, whilst it appears at first to be 'the usual', I now wonder about this as it has four corner blocks. It also has diamond shaped cleats along the back seam and a separate bass bar. When I got it, it came in an old 'Pattison and Wayman, Chicago' labelled wooden case and I wondered if it might have been made/imported/assembled and/or finished in the USA before being brought over to the UK at some time in the past? Any thoughts or observations welcome.

P1010400.JPG

P1010402.JPG

P1010403.JPG

P1010405.JPG

P1010406.JPG

P1010407.JPG

P1010409.JPG

V1 internal 2.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be helpful if you could get your pictures more in focus. As I said on George H’s thread, a violin can have cleats on the seam or not, also they could be from a later repairman. They aren’t standard Markneukirchen features, but can happen. I see no reason to suppose any American input, beyond stamping there name on the case, and selling it for a profit

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting that the linings don’t go around the ribs but stop. I have no experience or knowledge but I haven’t noticed that before. The scroll center line ends in a pronounced delta. Does the fluting go all the way or stop at about 6 PM when viewed horizontally?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

It would be helpful if you could get your pictures more in focus. As I said on George H’s thread, a violin can have cleats on the seam or not, also they could be from a later repairman. They aren’t standard Markneukirchen features, but can happen. I see no reason to suppose any American input, beyond stamping there name on the case, and selling it for a profit

Yes - sorry about picture quality - I need a better camera or a stand or both. The US angle could be a complete red herring but it was the four corner blocks that made me think not typical Dutzendarbeit. Could it be built on the back around the cornerblocks or inside mould i.e French?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Interesting that the linings don’t go around the ribs but stop. I have no experience or knowledge but I haven’t noticed that before.

I've never seen linings go over an end block ever, but maybe it's the common Texas way of making ;)

The round spot is dried glue. Someone applied a drip of glue to the back, then pushed the cleat into it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@PhilipKT No patches. The cleats go all along the back. The two dark marks on the back are either imperfections in the wood or dents. The Scroll fluting finishes exactly on a line between the centres of the scroll eye and the A peg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I've never seen linings go over an end block ever, but maybe it's the common Texas way of making ;)

The round spot is dried glue. Someone applied a drip of glue to the back, then pushed the cleat into it.

Thank you! I shall adjust my eyes for future reference!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO, don't yet rule out out a 1920's "transitional" Markie, or a Mirecourt-finished German schactel provided as war reparations in the same time frame.  More photos are needed, and is there a label?  Mirecourt had their own list of commonly-favored fake makers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, don't yet rule out out a 1920's "transitional" Markie, or a Mirecourt-finished German schactel provided as war reparations in the same time frame.  More photos are needed, and is there a label?  Mirecourt had their own list of commonly-favored fake makers.

There is no label, nor any sign that there ever was one. The neck was originally VERY chunky and I did shave it slightly at the head end when I restored it many years ago (bottom block was split and the neck needed regluing). I have a few more photos including one almost in profile which I will add, although I realise I could do with a couple more showing full length profiles.

DSC02000.JPG

P1010410.JPG

P1010408.JPG

DSC02334.JPG

DSC02333.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damfino.  IMHO, the thing lies right on the cusp between the two major traditional schools of "rubbish".  It looks like it's also a better than average grade of whatever it is.  I'll go as far as, "Western European trade violin, first quarter of 20th. Century", and no farther.  How does it sound?  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Damfino.  IMHO, the thing lies right on the cusp between the two major traditional schools of "rubbish".  It looks like it's also a better than average grade of whatever it is.  I'll go as far as, "Western European trade violin, first quarter of 20th. Century", and no farther.  How does it sound?  :)

That makes sense to me - It has a good mellow tone, nice and even across the strings although not much in the way of volume - probably for the best if I'm playing it! :D

I had to look up 'Damfino' - not an expression I am familar with (in UK) but I gather it comes from Buster Keaton, meaning a tough question. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Technically the violin seems to be made using an outside mould (mitred rib joints), and the scroll with the flat eyes and short and narrow throat has a very French appearance. OTOH neither the purfling joints stopping short in the middle of the corners nor the shape of the ff look Mirecourt-ish in my eyes, nor the narrow button, and as I mentioned in the other recent thread I know only rectangular bottom cleats from French instruments. So I'm tending to assume a Saxony/Czech made instrument copying French features to a certain degree, and from a slightly later period, maybe between the wars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Technically the violin seems to be made using an outside mould (mitred rib joints), and the scroll with the flat eyes and short and narrow throat has a very French appearance. OTOH neither the purfling joints stopping short in the middle of the corners nor the shape of the ff look Mirecourt-ish in my eyes, nor the narrow button, and as I mentioned in the other recent thread I know only rectangular bottom cleats from French instruments. So I'm tending to assume a Saxony/Czech made instrument copying French features to a certain degree, and from a slightly later period, maybe between the wars.

In other words, "a 1920's 'transitional' Markie", before they morphed into identifiable Roths, Juzeks, Scherl & Roths, or whatever.  Probably.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

In other words, "a 1920's 'transitional' Markie", before they morphed into identifiable Roths, Juzeks, Scherl & Roths, or whatever.  Probably.  :)

That's a term completely unknown to me. If you could define it without mixing everything together, bob and outside mould made stuff, Markneukirchen and Schönbach firms with American importers and the like? So this means nothing, also much of this is identifiable in the main part due to their (exchangeable) labels only.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Blank face said:

I mentioned in the other recent thread I know only rectangular bottom cleats from French instruments.

Those cleats are likely not the original cleats. They are likely replacements added after a back-seam repair. I believe the dark areas underneath them may be the foot prints of the original cleats.

I agree with you about the ffs as the nicks are also somewhat larger for a typical Mirecourt fiddle. The button looks like it has been altered from the original, so not much to learn there.

The rib miters and corners look totally French to me, as do the scroll and un-blackened pegbox.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Blank face said:

Technically the violin seems to be made using an outside mould (mitred rib joints), and the scroll with the flat eyes and short and narrow throat has a very French appearance. OTOH neither the purfling joints stopping short in the middle of the corners nor the shape of the ff look Mirecourt-ish in my eyes, nor the narrow button, and as I mentioned in the other recent thread I know only rectangular bottom cleats from French instruments. So I'm tending to assume a Saxony/Czech made instrument copying French features to a certain degree, and from a slightly later period, maybe between the wars.

I had to remove the top to replace a completely split bottom block some years ago before I had a digital camera although, from memory, the blocks are fairly symetrical which does suggest the use of an outside mould. I also agree that the narrow elliptical button looks more MK/Sch than factory French.

The scroll profile looks quite similar next to a 'standard' Mirecourt violin but there is a chunkyness about the neck which is less typical, in my limited experience. The f holes are nicely cut and I get the impression that there were varying levels of skill posessed by those involved in making the constuent parts. The purfling is also set slightly further from the edge than in Mirecourt examples that I have seen. I am inclined to think that the cleats are original to the violin -there was no sign of the top having being removed before I got my hands on it.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, Bob K said:

I also agree that the narrow elliptical button looks more MK/Sch than factory French.

The button looks like it was modified - perhaps in a neck reset? Given the quality of the violin, I would expect that the back seam originally ran up the center of the button, but it is off-center now and the button is asymmetric.

Also there appears to be a crack on the right side of the button. The pictures are not clear enough to see what, if any, repairs have been performed in the button area. Is that the original button?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The shape of the button is just one of the several features being unusual for Mirecourt; they might add to each other and sum up for my doubts about a French origin. But sometimes one finds instruments which can't be attributed with 100% certainity to one place or the other. In this case it appears to be not too important, because it's just an average trade level violin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

The button looks like it was modified - perhaps in a neck reset? Given the quality of the violin, I would expect that the back seam originally ran up the center of the button, but it is off-center now and the button is asymmetric.

Also there appears to be a crack on the right side of the button. The pictures are not clear enough to see what, if any, repairs have been performed in the button area. Is that the original button?

You are correct - there was some damage to the side of the button; I had to reglue the neck and insert a small section of purfling but didn't alter the shape of the button.  I have seen plenty of misaligned seams on similar low to middling quality trade instruments - I take it as another sign that it was put together relatively quickly.

 

I'm not sure that we will get any closer to an origin than has already been suggested (i.e. possibly a 'transitional' German/Czech trade instrument made with use of a mould and a few French influenced features in the mix) and I can see that my original wondering was not entirely unfounded,  so thanks everyone for your input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...