Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Chewed-On Dog-Eared Labels


GeorgeH
 Share

Recommended Posts

On 4/20/2021 at 8:35 AM, jacobsaunders said:

To start with the basics; A violin label, snugly hidden away inside the violin box, is not normally subject to any attrition, as were any bits on the outside of a violin. The Op label has suffered attrition, is dog eared, has one corner missing and isn’t glued down everywhere properly- a typical attribute of a Fahrkarte that has been added through the fhole at a later date. Further the back has an orange/yellowish stain, whereas the label is stained greyish.

Attached is an absolutely genuine label applied to an "E. Martin" violin by the importer about 100 or so years ago. Note that edges are quite chewed-on or "dog-eared." The rest of the instrument interior is very clean, and there is no reason to think it was not pristine when new.

I have always assumed that this kind of attrition was done by insects, perhaps of the same variety that consume bow hair in dark cases. 

In my experience, this label damage is not terribly uncommon, and therefore not surprising that people pasting fake labels would try to fake it.

But I wonder: Are some papers more attractive to insects than others? Would labels pasted on with hide glue be attractive to critters? Other explanations for this kind of label attrition?

 

e_martin_label.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • GeorgeH changed the title to Chewed-On Dog-Eared Labels
1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

In that case, I would presume that the American importer threaded his American label in through the f-hole of the otherwise entirely finished, made-in-Germany violin

They may have, but I rather expect that they were built, branded, and labeled at whatever "workshop" was contracted to build them for Bruno & Son. (They are branded in two places on the back underneath the varnish.)

But regardless, I am certain that this label was inserted in pristine condition when the violin was new.  You can see the residual glue marks on the wood where the paper has been chewed away.

I rather suspect that labels in unattended dark cases may be subject to insect damage in the same way the that bow hair is. Hide glue is an animal product that I imagine would be tasty to some creatures.

1 hour ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

Sometimes labels are dog-eared when they’re soaked out to do repairs or regraduations.

There are certain types of paper that are more fragile than others, but the majority stay in good structural shape unless they’ve been tampered with or subjected to harsh atmospheric conditions. 

Yes, I have seen that, too, but that is not the case here. And, as you say, most labels do stay in good shape, but some don't and I am curious as to why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some who suggest using uncooked rice to clean out the inside of violins, swooshing it around to pick up dust etc. I have no idea if that is a good or bad idea, and I've never tried it, but I wondered if MAYBE that might abrade the edges of a label a little. That being said if the label looks like part of the Dead Sea Scrolls you know the aging has to be fake. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

The definition of nonsense

So your hypothesis is that somebody carefully painted the precise footprint of this label in the violin with glue, and then placed the artificially dog-eared label in the exact location, all done through the f-hole?

And for what - to counterfeit an inexpensive trade violin that isn't in any way antiqued nor trying to disguise what it is?

These violins were sold new circa 1905 by C. Bruno and Son by the thousands. They usually have 2 brands on the back underneath the varnish - one on the button and one underneath it. They are still quite common today, and the labels inside are usually in perfect condition.

This label is simply being offered as an example of the fact that not all dog-eared labels are faked or antiqued.

Bruno_Martin.jpg..jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, glebert said:

There are some who suggest using uncooked rice to clean out the inside of violins, swooshing it around to pick up dust etc. I have no idea if that is a good or bad idea, and I've never tried it, but I wondered if MAYBE that might abrade the edges of a label a little. That being said if the label looks like part of the Dead Sea Scrolls you know the aging has to be fake. 

That is a good point - particularly if the edges have curled up a bit.

And then there are those "Dampit Violin Humidifiers."

I wonder if the glue used could cause the paper to deteriorate over time, too. Is hide glue acidic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

So your hypothesis is that somebody carefully painted the precise footprint of this label in the violin with glue, and then placed the artificially dog-eared label in the exact location, all done through the f-hole?

And for what - to counterfeit an inexpensive trade violin that isn't in any way antiqued nor trying to disguise what it is?

These violins were sold new circa 1905 by C. Bruno and Son by the thousands. They usually have 2 brands on the back underneath the varnish - one on the button and one underneath it. They are still quite common today, and the labels inside are usually in perfect condition.

This label is simply being offered as an example of the fact that not all dog-eared labels are faked or antiqued.

Bruno_Martin.jpg..jpeg

You do realise that you are giving Duffers Edge a run for his money

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

This label is simply being offered as an example of the fact that not all dog-eared labels are faked or antiqued.

 

How do you know that the label was never tampered with? I’m not saying it’s impossible, but there’s plenty of reason to suspect something else happened. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

How do you know that the label was never tampered with? I’m not saying it’s impossible, but there’s plenty of reason to suspect something else happened. 

I don't know with certainty that it was never tampered with, but why would it have been?

I have seen plenty of labels that have been obviously been tampered with, but I have seen others that have simply deteriorated with age due to something, but I don't know what.

Paper deterioration due to acids in paper is a huge preservation problem for historical documents. There is no reason to believe that violin makers and dealers used acid-free paper for their labels. Maybe that is part of the phenomena being observed here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And then there are these. No reason to consider that a silverfish inside a violin wouldn't find a label tasty and nutritious.

Quote

Silverfish are also known as Lepisma saccharina. They are small, wingless bugs that can't be seen by the naked eye. Adults grow to about 3/4 inches. Mature silverfish are light grey or silver toned and resemble fish. They prefer slightly wet, humid and moist habitats. Paper, wood, flour, wall paper, rolled oats and glue are common things silverfish eat within a household. They will also consume and damage book bindings, photographs and paper. Silverfish frequently eat paper that has ink, finding it more nutritious than the paper alone.

 

http://animals.mom.com/type-bug-eats-paper-11210.html

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

But regardless, I am certain that this label was inserted in pristine condition when the violin was new.  You can see the residual glue marks on the wood where the paper has been chewed away.

I am much less certain of such things, than you.

2 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

The definition of nonsense

Agreed. George is probably not familiar with the skillset of removing and replacing labels, and how well and convincingly it can be done.

1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

I don't know with certainty that it was never tampered with, but why would it have been?

Uhm, I haven't the slightest idea why anyone would want to tamper with a label :lol:, so I will leave it to other respondents to flesh this out for you. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Agreed. George is probably not familiar with the skillset of removing and replacing labels, and how well and convincingly it can be done.

David is probably not familiar with the facts that most paper is unstable material that degrades and deteriorates over time and is eaten by common pests such as silverfish and cockroaches. Paper inside violins is not immune from either of these phenomena.

I hope David prints his labels on acid-free paper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

David is probably not familiar with the facts that most paper is unstable material that degrades and deteriorates over time and is eaten by common pests such as silverfish and cockroaches. Paper inside violins is not immune from either of these phenomena.


Actually, I am quite familiar with such things, and also with the practice of putting replacement labels in violins, and branding bows to be other than what they are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tsk Tsk, George.  Will you never learn?  :-)  But in answer to your (legitimate) question, insects will go for certain "papers", especially those made from animal hides such as parchment, for the protein they contain.  Oddly though, they do not care for animal hide glue, but do like paper that is adhered with vegetable glue or paste, probably mostly for the food value in the glue, and the paper suffers "chewed-on dog-eared" damage in the process.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

document preservation is a concern when iron gall inks are used, and "acids" residue from the sizing process are stable when paper is first dry, however these acids are reactive to vapor in damp environments, much paper created is reactive and is subject to discoloration over time via both oxidization and photo degradation

and in many cases from vapor condensation or elevation in vapor based on hot cold cycles creating conditions where certain paper will be more prone to discoloration from vapor starting the acid reaction process.

the also reactive yet fluctuating amounts of acids that are on the makers skin, often times the edge is "rubbed" in order to get it to bond to the wood surface, this can inadvertently deposit more "greasy acidic monkey grime" on the edge and can take many years for the area to react to some humidity cycle or cold hot cycle that may create a light "mist" that can start the process and start to show as discoloration and pulp degradation that shows as a peeling or "chewed up" edge

either that or he spilled his coffee and splashed some in there

that being said there is an entire cottage industry revolving around fake labels and fake everything 

 

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...