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Mirecourt innner moulds - a myth?


Brumcello
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Personally I've never heard it disputed that Vuillaume used external molds in the mid 19th century. He is known to have perfected various techniques for rib corners and linings that made the work look like inside mold construction, or at least like what he saw in Cremonese inner work and rib corners. Kind of like the pins in Vuillaume shop instruments, which are very convincing but not functional.  I've read quite a lot on Vuillaume and can't recall where this was documented in detail - perhaps someone else does?

If Patrick Kreit is still on Maestronet I'm sure he can confirm that all Mirecourt trade production (from the end of the 19th century onwards) was outside mold. Of course there were makers in Mirecourt well before that, and in some cases we can see that the instruments were built freehand (straight on the back I assume). 

I would love to know how and when the outside mold developed - for example whether the very plentiful Didier Nicolas instruments were made this way. 

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31 minutes ago, martin swan said:

 

I would love to know how and when the outside mold developed - for example whether the very plentiful Didier Nicolas instruments were made this way. 

I suppose you will have to look and document when the corner blocks stopped covering more centre rib than upper/lower rib

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Here is an interesting post from 2010. Although Morizot was an individual maker, so I suppose his methods dont apply to trade instruments, he used an inner mould.  Of particular interest, I think, is the placement of the corner blocks which to my eye appear to be centralised.

 

 

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I believe alot of mirecourt makers moved back and forth between there and Paris so methods were mixed , probably both inside and outside moulds were used . Some modern Italian makers used outside moulds as well.

Heres another mirecourt photo with outside mould on wall at back.

Also jean Villaume workshop photo (row of outside moulds on the shelf top left) and Jean Eulry

DSC05030_21.jpg

HHC-06_133-JVillaume-atelier-b.jpg

Jean-EULRY-photo-JD-Braconnier.jpg

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21 minutes ago, Brumcello said:

Here is an interesting post from 2010. Although Morizot was an individual maker, so I suppose his methods dont apply to trade instruments, he used an inner mould.  Of particular interest, I think, is the placement of the corner blocks which to my eye appear to be centralised.

 

 

Further down this thread there's quite a bit of informed discussion about Vuillaume's use of the outside mold and how he "cheated" it .... it sounds like the catalogue of the Vuillaume exhibition would be a reliable source of this information if you're genuinely interested ...

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22 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Further down this thread there's quite a bit of informed discussion about Vuillaume's use of the outside mold and how he "cheated" it .... it sounds like the catalogue of the Vuillaume exhibition would be a reliable source of this information if you're genuinely interested ...

Yes, I did read the thread and I am genuinely interested. Contrary to a comment here I am not trying to prove a point, just became fascinated with French instruments in general, having never known anything about them before. 

I'll try to find information on the Vuillaume exhibition. I assume it's online somewhere. 

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13 minutes ago, Brumcello said:

Yes, I did read the thread and I am genuinely interested. Contrary to a comment here I am not trying to prove a point, just became fascinated with French instruments in general, having never known anything about them before. 

I'll try to find information on the Vuillaume exhibition. I assume it's online somewhere. 

I don't think it's online, but you can buy the catalogue here : http://www.gostrings.com/cajbvupaex19.html

Florian Leonhard wrote a book on Vuillaume with Stefan-Peter Greiner, so he would be worth talking to when you see him ... 

 

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Is it generally the case that the use of an outer mould allows for faster production? Otherwise, what are the other advantages of outside moulds to volume production?

Looking at the range of prices in the 1919 JTL catalogue from a basic Medio-fino at FF28  up to FF1440 for a signed A Acoulon Expostion model, could it be the case that outer moulds were used for the vast majority of standard output with inner moulds used for only the very top end models (and maybe showing off in publicity photos)?

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8 minutes ago, Bob K said:

Is it generally the case that the use of an outer mould allows for faster production? Otherwise, what are the other advantages of outside moulds to volume production?

Looking at the range of prices in the 1919 JTL catalogue from a basic Medio-fino at FF28  up to FF1440 for a signed A Acoulon Expostion model, could it be the case that outer moulds were used for the vast majority of standard output with inner moulds used for only the very top end models (and maybe showing off in publicity photos)?

Yes they allow great speed, also the dimensions are exact, so that ribs, tables and backs can be made in batches and they will all go together. This makes way for other efficiencies.

 

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12 minutes ago, Bob K said:

Is it generally the case that the use of an outer mould allows for faster production? Otherwise, what are the other advantages of outside moulds to volume production?

Looking at the range of prices in the 1919 JTL catalogue from a basic Medio-fino at FF28  up to FF1440 for a signed A Acoulon Expostion model, could it be the case that outer moulds were used for the vast majority of standard output with inner moulds used for only the very top end models (and maybe showing off in publicity photos)?

This is a good point. Similarly in the Laberte Humbert catalogue the cheapest model (demi fin) retailed at FF58 whereas the Lutherie Artistique models were said to be "totally handmade" and retailed at FF350 -FF1600

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32 minutes ago, Bob K said:

inner moulds used for only the very top end models (and maybe showing off in publicity photos)?

It makes absolutely no difference in quality if the ribs were made with an inner or outside mould. That's exactly the sort of misinterpretations these advertising photos were aiming at. Quality lies within the refinement of crafting, not the general construction.

There were many high quality violins made with all sort of construction methods (and also lots of cheap trade using inside moulds, f.e. from Mittenwald).

 

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26 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Probably, if this Chinese manufacturing video offers clues.

 

Always an awesome video to watch! 

So when someone wants to know exactly who made their "handmade" (well, mostly) Factory X Fiddle,  whether the instrument was made in Germany or China, we can answer:

"It was made by Bob, Jane, Xiao, Waldemar, Barbel, Olga, Wei Ping, Mike, Linda, Anneliese, Helmut, Yougong...

...on a Wednesday. If it was made on the Thursday, Bob was on vacation and Ottmar was in instead...oh, and Helga filled in for Wei Ping, who had a doctor's appointment."

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35 minutes ago, Blank face said:

It makes absolutely no difference in quality if the ribs were made with an inner or outside mould. That's exactly the sort of misinterpretations these advertising photos were aiming at. Quality lies within the refinement of crafting, not the general construction.

There were many high quality violins made with all sort of construction methods (and also lots of cheap trade using inside moulds, f.e. from Mittenwald).

 

There is perceived quality which differs from actual quality. The perception, generally is , hand made = high quality and mass produced = lower quality. This is presumably a big part of the justification for the higher prices of the "hand made" instruments. Other reasons for higher prices could be better materials or slower production methods. It is therefore entirely possible that inner moulds were used for the more expensive models

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32 minutes ago, Brumcello said:

It is therefore entirely possible that inner moulds were used for the more expensive models

Nonsense. Higher speed applies only to high numbers of identical shaped instruments with outside moulds, not one single made.

Just read more carefully, f.e.what I wrote about Mittenwald.

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1 minute ago, Blank face said:

Nonsense. Higher speed applies only to high numbers of identical shaped instruments with outside moulds, not one single made.

Just read more carefully, f.e.what I wrote about Mittenwald.

That is exactly the point I was trying to make

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3 hours ago, Bob K said:

could it be the case that outer moulds were used for the vast majority of standard output with inner moulds used for only the very top end models (and maybe showing off in publicity photos)?

I don’t think so, no.
I really doubt that the end user would know much, if anything, about instrument construction. Never mind differing mould types, and their implications.

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4 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I don’t think so, no.
I really doubt that the end user would know much, if anything, about instrument construction. Never mind differing mould types, and their implications.

It's been my, albeit limited, experience that most end users really don't care.

Those of us that do...are here on MN.

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4 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I don’t think so, no.
I really doubt that the end user would know much, if anything, about instrument construction. Never mind differing mould types, and their implications.

If that is the case  (and I think that is the case), why put the construction methods  in the catalogue,

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And to be fair...I don’t think it matters too much, provided the equipment functions as intended.

I have been driving since I was 15, am mildly interested in cars...but not about the minutiae of how an engine runs...does it matter? No.

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3 minutes ago, Brumcello said:

If that is the case  (and I think that is the case), why put the construction methods  in the catalogue,

For those that are interested.

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4 minutes ago, Brumcello said:

If that is the case  (and I think that is the case), why put the construction methods  in the catalogue,

When you bought your current cello, did the type of mould it was constructed with become a factor in your decision to purchase it?

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