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Centre seam cleats


Guido
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Is there anything that can be learned from the type and number of centre seam cleats?

Of course we like to see them on French violins... or maybe they are a result of a repair... anything else?

and what about their number? I think it’s six I see in most French trade violins, but I’ve seen four or even just three. Any significance?

and then some are just creats, others seem to be inlaid. Any significance?

I attach an example of one of three inlaid cleats perfectly flush with the back surface... still a French thing?

 

2D8A3C2A-E218-4A20-9CC9-BB77FD25E50A.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

I never thought about this in particular, but what kinds of repairs would require opening an otherwise intact seam? 

A badly repaired back seam :lol:

I agree with Jacob, a nasty, invasive and un-necessary repair technique - never seen inlaid cleats that were part from the manufacture other than some eccentric Scottish maker (Gilchrist maybe) who used butterfly cleats that were inlaid ....

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Here are two butterfly cleats that are beautifully inlaid. There are others inlaid up the length of the seam.

I can't see any evidence that the back seam was ever open, or that they were part of a repair. If they were part of a repair, it is completely invisible. Violin is by John Friedrich, NY.

Cleats.jpg

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Thanks all.

I was just referencing the inlayed cleats as an example of the variety one encounters, but was hoping more to have a discussion on back centre cleats in general as one feature to interpret for ID purposes. Of course they can be a repair or later addition, but I was wondering if there is much that can be learned from presumably original cleats about a possible origin of the violin?

For me there is only one attribute when there are cleats: French.

So, questions are:

1. How good is the rule, cleats = French?

2. Is there a more refined level relating to size, shape and number of those cleats pointing to different times/ schools?

 

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5 hours ago, Guido said:

Thanks all.

I was just referencing the inlayed cleats as an example of the variety one encounters, but was hoping more to have a discussion on back centre cleats in general as one feature to interpret for ID purposes. Of course they can be a repair or later addition, but I was wondering if there is much that can be learned from presumably original cleats about a possible origin of the violin?

For me there is only one attribute when there are cleats: French.

So, questions are:

1. How good is the rule, cleats = French?

2. Is there a more refined level relating to size, shape and number of those cleats pointing to different times/ schools?

 

When selecting particular “features” as identification pointers, one should chose features that are inevitable due to the building method. Stuff like cleats, or if the peg box is black or not are not inevitable from this place or that

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

When selecting particular “features” as identification pointers, one should chose features that are inevitable due to the building method. Stuff like cleats, or if the peg box is black or not are not inevitable from this place or that

Funny you should say that. I have a violin with back centre cleats and a black peg box :-)

At the same time I wouldn't be surprised if people could tell a JTL from a Laberte by looking at the cleats...

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  • 1 month later...

I'm currently looking at a 4/4 cello from Gliga with centre seam cleats (diamond shape, not inlaid) and trying to figure out why they are there... It is a "new" cello but manufactured in 2017.  Could the cleats have been added as a "feature" rather than for practical / repair reasons?

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