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"New" Giuseppe Guarneri discovered via dedrochronology


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An unnamed private party had an old violin in their possession (yes, in the attic), but despite the tantalizing label “Joseph Guarnerius Filuis Andreae Cremonae Sub Titulo S. Theresie, 1705” no expert would certify it as original. For one thing, the font of the label didn’t exist at the time, and “Filius” is misspelled.

The owner however didn’t give up, and via WhatsApp he sent a few photos to a scientist at Italy’s CNR, the National Center of Research. The expert was able to date the grain in the top plate with certainty to 1696, and another person stepped forward with a fully-certified Guarneri of the same period to show not only it was made from the same tree, but it was a virtual twin.

Now the attribution has been made with certainty. Interesting story!

For the full story:
https://heritagesciencejournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40494-021-00521-4

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31 minutes ago, Bruce Carlson said:

It's a same tree match. 

Which tree? And can someone present the data for Joe Public to peruse? Because Dendrochronolgy and Pure Mathematics have different functions. One is hypothetical and the other is theoretical.

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

Which tree? And can someone present the data for Joe Public to peruse? Because Dendrochronolgy and Pure Mathematics have different functions. One is hypothetical and the other is theoretical.

I don't think anyone other than you said "pure" math. The math presented seems completely of the "applied" variety.

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

That's exactly what the article does.

Approximately, not exactly. 

1 hour ago, glebert said:

I don't think anyone other than you said "pure" math. The math presented seems completely of the "applied" variety.

But when words like "Proof" and "attributed with certainty" are bandied about, I have to say that correct Scientific Terminology and Methodology must be applied.

 

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1 hour ago, Shelbow said:

All trees have names Rue :wub:

 

ba07a512b71a501840fca3cb0bf533c8e2242abf316ef92776e6de6e444963c9.jpg

Ah! We're back in fantasy-land!!!

Sometimes there's a cross-over with science-fiction...

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6 minutes ago, Rue said:

Ah! We're back in fantasy-land!!!

Sometimes there's a cross-over with science-fiction...

So true. Now I'm off the the secret lost valley of the singing ringing tree. I'm going to talk to the tree, but not hug it. That might be inappropriate. We don't do inappropriate in 2021 do we?

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I am no expert on dendrochronology but I am under the impression that matching two boards to the same tree can be done quite confidently. However, matching a board to the master chronology of an Alpine region is much more tricky. We do not have master chronology for every region of the Alps. 

Still, it is interesting that the Guarneris match best to the spruces from Trento. Val di Fiemme now claims to be the forest that supplied Stradivari, and it is very close to Trento. Maybe someday we will know for sure where the Cremonese got their alpine spruce. Right now we are almost certain that it came from the Italian Alps. Dendrochronology will eventually give us the answer.  

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I'm curious why the previously consulted experts were reluctant to certify the violin as made by J. filius Andrea. Maybe they were unwilling to risk being wrong with such a high profile attribution? I find it amazing that Bruce had the twin on hand for side by side comparison. Fantastic!

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I think this demonstrates a couple important points:

1) One shouldn’t automatically dismiss attic-found instruments as fakes, even if they’ve been sitting unseen for decades. The overwhelming majority are low quality, but it’s important to approach each instrument with a certain amount of respect. There are all kinds of reasons why violins, even great ones, to fall into disuse and neglect. 
2) It’s not a new idea, but labels are not a good identifier. When everything else is known, they can be a supplement, but the identification process should never start with them. In this case it’s especially important because a bad label was in a genuine violin. This kind of thing does really happen, and more often than one might expect. Good labels are sometimes stolen and replaced with forgeries in order to trick people into believing in fake violins on the strength of their genuine labels. 

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...and now there will be another deluge of low-end instruments in to be ID'd...just in case it's yet another genuinely expensive violin sporting an obviously fake label. :rolleyes:

Hope springs eternal!

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The particular attic might also give useful indications.  Suppose the violin had been found in the attic of a villa known to have been occupied by a friend of a friend of Count Cozio di Salabue ... :D

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