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Mirecourt innner moulds - a myth?


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26 minutes ago, Delabo said:

Sorry, but this is not making much sense.

It's making much sense, because there's an order. First make a correct attribution, second a valuation. Determining the construction method belongs to the first, not the second step.

For example, a violin made with an inside mouöd can be a Guarneri, but also a cheap Mittenwald Verleger violin, or a modern product from an anonymous East/Central European workshop. A build on the back can be a Schönbach cottage industry made instrument or a Gagliano etc. etc.

You might understand that a Gagliano is much more valuable than a Mittenwald trade violin.

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On 5/18/2021 at 2:18 PM, Delabo said:

Sorry, but this is not making much sense.

The thread about the recently discovered Del Gesu confirms that it is genuine because the dendro said its correct for the period.

It isn't a Del Gesu, it was Joseph Fillius Andrea.
There were other Guarneris too :)

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Outer form make more possible to cut top and back from pattern and not from the ribs previously made, with the Frenchman trying to work faster and faster, often with different workers making different parts, it’s logical they used it more often at the turn of the XX century.

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It is likely that because Stradivarius, the most well-known Italian maker, used an inside mould that it is generally considered superior to other methods, when it apparently is not.

I would guess that even most individual modern makers building from start-to-finish are using inside moulds, but that is only a guess.

Perhaps a carefully executed BoB violin can be just as nice as any other, but it seems to me (a non-luthier) that building methods that include corner blocks add some stability, strength and symmetry to the rib joins. 

 

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6 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

It is likely that because Stradivarius, the most well-known Italian maker, used an inside mould that it is generally considered superior to other methods, when it apparently is not.

I would guess that even most individual modern makers building from start-to-finish are using inside moulds, but that is only a guess.

Perhaps a carefully executed BoB violin can be just as nice as any other, but it seems to me (a non-luthier) that building methods that include corner blocks add some stability, strength and symmetry to the rib joins. 

 

It is inferior for making a squared up factory symmetric instrument.

It is superior for the less controlled on the mold, pin, and twist to arrange methods used by all the classical Cremona makers.

 

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7 hours ago, David Beard said:

It is inferior for making a squared up factory symmetric instrument.

It is superior for the less controlled on the mold, pin, and twist to arrange methods used by all the classical Cremona makers.

Thanks, David. I was also thinking about the other methods that use corner blocks when I wrote "building methods that include corner blocks" including outside moulds and building on the back around blocks.

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I don't mean to focus on you.

This thread is discussing a major juncture between the old making and modernized.

 

If we ask why have the the old Cremona instruments been more successful with players and the market than modernized making has been, and than other old making from different regions have been, then it's also reasonable to ask how these instrument actually differ from others.  And, it's reasonable to approach any differences we can identify with a measure of respect.  Any such difference might well have played a role in that greater success.

 

So, this thread has wound around to appreciating what advantages an outside mold brings: rapidity, repeatability, consistency and symmetry in results, squareness, trueness, etc.

In short, all the things modern manufacture embraces.

But it's very healthy to also appreciate these are all the opposites of what the most successful making ever actually embraced.

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On 5/20/2021 at 10:54 AM, Wood Butcher said:

It isn't a Del Gesu, it was Joseph Fillius Andrea.
There were other Guarneris too :)

Thanks for pointing that out, I need to learn to read more carefully, I just assumed it was one of his very early ones before he got his own unique style going later on.

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12 hours ago, David Beard said:

It is inferior for making a squared up factory symmetric instrument.

Which in turn of itself makes it superior. :)

Unless of course our modern age has changed peoples perceptions so much that  they actually prefer modern standardised production. And I fear that in the age of the i-phone etc, that might well be the case.  

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Mittenwald, Vienna and Prague all used inside mold - and yet these instruments really aren't seen in the same light as the Classical Cremonese, nor are they valued any more highly than equivalent Vieux Paris, English or Dutch instruments which are built differently.

 

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7 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Mittenwald, Vienna and Prague all used inside mold - and yet these instruments really aren't seen in the same light as the Classical Cremonese, nor are they valued any more highly than equivalent Vieux Paris, English or Dutch instruments which are built differently.

 

Yeah.  I'm certainly not saying that using an inside mold automatically makes better violins.

But it remains true that the best violins indeed were made on an inside mold. And that the pins snd twisting to align were used, giving the molds and instrument outlines a somewhat indirect relationship.

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So why did Amati choose to invent and use the inside mold if the other methods which were around at the time  were already capable of producing results that were adequate for the intended purpose ?

 

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35 minutes ago, Delabo said:

So why did Amati choose to invent and use the inside mold if the other methods which were around at the time  were already capable of producing results that were adequate for the intended purpose ?

 

Not sure that this is true ...

I  assume that rather than"inventing the inside mold", the Amati family used a construction method which was adapted from some other pre-existing instrument construction, and that the various early copyists outside of Italy tried to re-engineer the construction method without knowing about inside molds.

The inside mold seems to have travelled very slowly into Northern Europe by means of Stainer principally, and thus Vienna/Mittenwald/Prague. I don't think the French became aware of it as a construction method until the early 1800s.

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Interesting thread.

So now that a lot of the old myths have been dealt with. How about "convex ribs" ?

They can result as  a natural  tendency of the inside  mold method.   It has been said that they add beauty to the outline of a violin.  - True or false ?

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10 hours ago, Delabo said:

Interesting thread.

So now that a lot of the old myths have been dealt with. How about "convex ribs" ?

They can result as  a natural  tendency of the inside  mold method.   It has been said that they add beauty to the outline of a violin.  - True or false ?

They add to the general 'complexity' = imprecision that we associate with the classical work.  We know we like those instruments, so we use positive adjectives and call it beautiful.

Is 'complexity' beautiful?  You can debate that.  Durer paints a scruffy field rabbit instead of a groomed domestic white rabbit. Durer seems to find beauty in complexity.

There's no simple or absolute answer.

What we do know is that the best classical making didn't choose to control the same things that latter modern factory making chose to control.

That doesn't mean that not controlling those details makes a good instrument.  But it remains true that the best instruments don't control those details.

 

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On 5/24/2021 at 9:01 AM, Delabo said:

Which in turn of itself makes it superior. :)

Unless of course our modern age has changed peoples perceptions so much that  they actually prefer modern standardised production. And I fear that in the age of the i-phone etc, that might well be the case.  

An interesting observation.  Attitudes to factory production vary with fashion.  A few years ago I was in India. I bought a linen jacket. The hand made linen was cheap. No self respecting Indian businessman would want hand made linen with all its imperfections. Machine woven fabric was far more desirable and therefore nearly twice the cost. We currently value the artistry of a one off product but I wonder what the purchasers of Stadivari's instruments would have thought if they could see a modern Chinese fiddle (with a mirror like lacquer finish).

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There's a few individual makers out there using a outside mold I'm sure. There was a old timer from Italy who moved to Windsor area and based on his violins, used mostly outside molds. That how he was taught and that's how he did it. I think he's somewhere on Maestronet but I can't remember his username :angry:. Anyone else here use outside molds regularly?

I pretty sure I have a partially finished violin of his somewhere and from what I remember was a pretty good amateur (he did mostly repair part time and museum work?). I'll post pictures when I pull it out of the pile

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