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So what was this Violin that just got pulled off ebay? John Baker label


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So I was watching this item on Ebay (I have bought items from this seller before (who tends to be a bit erratic with listings)).

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Violin-antique-1701-super-RARE-/324549647056?nma=true&si=AlF1t1j%2FdX6o%2BRoJ58O5Uc16ODc%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

The auction just got pulled so I presume someone put some kind of offer in for it via private message.

Seller was claiming that the label indicated it to be a rare violin by the Viol maker John Baker. There aren't many examples of his work around, but the pictures I have seen of a viol look very different to the workmanship on this instrument. This instrument also looks to be later that the period John Baker was active during.

Anyone have any thoughts other than what an expensive restoration job! :D

I have added the pictures here before the cancelled listing disappears.

I'm just curious.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

One day I will try and eat a violin for dinner!

Now that's putting the "rough" into roughage!

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Looks quite amateurish... with painted purfling and pinched rib joints. Though also no delta on the scroll and one piece lower rib. Can't say anything for sure but certainly quite beaten up. Even if the label were to be true, I don't think would worth anything significant in terms of commercial value. May be one of those violins you can tell a good story about.

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28 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

Yes it doesn't look like the same style of making as the viol in the V&A collection https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O153042/bass-viol-baker-john/

The label is also quite different.

Curious enough though.

Now comparing the two I see no relevancy as well. It is quite uncommon to have a facsimile label of such a niche maker. 

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I suppose you mean John Baker. I'd say it's whether the product of an experienced dealer, trying to fool whoever was buying by giving such niche attribution, hoping that the buyer won't be able to find any information/anyone to counter it (such things were hard before the internet). Or else it may be done by dealers (i.e. lute, viol dealers) not mainly dealing with violin, who just happened to have the knowledge. This is not important after all .

The violin itself, although I can't say anything for sure by just looking at these photos, may as well be an cheap old English violin (might also just be a uncommon case of "the usual"). 1701 is stretching it too far. I'd like to think at least as late as mid-late 19th century.

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Yes sorry I meant Baker, I like to add extra letters to names sometimes :D.

Yes 1701 is definitely stretching it, maybe late 18th could have been viable............

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10 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

Yes sorry I meant Baker, I like to add extra letters to names sometimes :D.

Yes 1701 is definitely stretching it, maybe late 18th could have been viable...........

I do that all the time :). I am really not a fan of the varnish. It really reminds me of "the usual" violins... And the scroll too... Stylistically a typical "the usual" scroll, plus no bushing. Though it could be a later scroll, I don't see anything indicating it cannot be the original. Thus 19th century would be my best guess for now. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd be interested to know more about the dendro - did Peter do it?

I've always assumed it would be impossible to get a clear signal from a top that's 30% glue but maybe the process is cleverer than I thought.

With regard to the attribution and the label, I don't buy 1701, though I don't see why the violin shouldn't be later 18th century English. If it was made in 1701 the dendro would of course have to show wood from the 17th century.

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It's all very curious. No one really has much information on who John Baker was exactly anyway. There seems to only be a treble viol (in Japan) and and the Bass Viol at the V&A that exist and even then there is deabate as to whether or not these instruments were made by the same person or not. I'm not sure how anyone could go about attributing this violin to him without additional examples of his work.

Some additional info here:

 http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/30793/2/VME_vol_2.pdf

http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/7054/1/FlemingViola2.pdf

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1 hour ago, Shelbow said:

It's all very curious. No one really has much information on who John Baker was exactly anyway. There seems to only be a treble viol (in Japan) and and the Bass Viol at the V&A that exist and even then there is deabate as to whether or not these instruments were made by the same person or not. I'm not sure how anyone could go about attributing this violin to him without additional examples of his work.

 

Yes, I'm very unclear how anyone would even go about faking his handwriting ...

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Item pulled by Ebay.

Bushed and pieced, with three different, significant repairs. Two crude. 

9/12 shared characteristics with V&A label: i.e. a match.

Established axis between Oxford furniture and St Paul's makers.

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  • Shelbow changed the title to So what was this Violin that just got pulled off ebay? John Baker label

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