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British violin makers reference book


sofritti
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I have "The Violin Family and its Makers in the British Isles" by Brian Harvey.  Subtitled "An Illustrated History and Directory," it is a good general treatise on the topic.  Hudson and Richardson are mentioned, along with many other makers, but neither is dealt with at length.  There are black and white photographs of violins made by both.

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

Is the book really that bad? Or the subject matter?

"The British Violin"?  A great book! ...but I've noted over the years you seem to enjoy playing the contrarian or iconoclast... so I figured if I supported your dismissive point of view you might actually go out of your way to at least look at the book you've (incorrectly) deemed ridiculously expensive and not worth having. Instead, see if you can find a copy owned by a colleague to look at.

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Please remember that these books are printed in very small quantities, I would be surprised if most of them are more than about 1000 copies. They are extremely expensive to produce, just imagine the cost of one high-quality color photograph and multiply it times three or four photographs per violin, and three or four instruments per maker.

At one time the photographs were “tipped“ which means a photographer had to make a physical photograph of every single item in a particular book, which was then individually inserted into the given page. The photographer Had to do that for every single book, so a printing of even 500 books would require 500 x say, 3-4 actual photos per instrument. And they were removable too, So it is not uncommon to find such a book that is missing some photographs.

that’s a lot of money.

And they hold their value. There are literally no more. The 500, or the 700, or the 1200 that exist are all there is. And they haven’t been inexpensively reprinted.

Some books certainly have, you can get the Reverend Morris book, you can get Henley, or the Hill books in inexpensive reprints, and those are wonderful to have( although if you look up the DeBarbieri entry in Henley, You will embark upon a merry chase.)

$160-ish dollars Is not a high price to pay for what you get.

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48 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

"The British Violin"?  A great book! ...but I've noted over the years you seem to enjoy playing the contrarian or iconoclast... so I figured if I supported your dismissive point of view you might actually go out of your way to at least look at the book you've (incorrectly) deemed ridiculously expensive and not worth having. Instead, see if you can find a copy owned by a colleague to look at.

Someone has to say it though.

Why the heck shouldn't the violin world be more egalitarian? Some parts of the business are ridiculously high priced and other parts ridiculously low priced. Surely change is inevitable and the disparity will be reduced somewhat. Isn't this an economic necessity that is already being implemented?

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If you understand the value of research and understand the time it takes to collect, collate and then present the data in a digestible fashion, then you will understand the true value of publications like this.

Publications in many specialist fields can be expensive, it is not just limited to violins or musical instruments.

People dedicate years of their lives to researching and presenting information to people, rarely in a specialist field is it for profit.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, sospiri said:

Someone has to say it though.

Why the heck shouldn't the violin world be more egalitarian? Some parts of the business are ridiculously high priced and other parts ridiculously low priced. Surely change is inevitable and the disparity will be reduced somewhat. Isn't this an economic necessity that is already being implemented?

Since you don’t seem to have the book, I would assume that you are poorly placed to judge if it is “worth it” or not. I have the book twice, one that I bought myself at the time, and another that I inherited later, and no, I don’t have a spare copy.

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23 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

...I have the book twice, one that I bought myself at the time, and another that I inherited later, and no, I don’t have a spare copy.

Always important to keep some reading material by the commode...so you don't have to carry a copy with you...

:D

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1 hour ago, duane88 said:

It is a wonderful book, well worth the price and full of wonderful information. But then again, I have a wonderful library and no house...

Oh dear. And I thought I was a hoarder.

1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

Since you don’t seem to have the book, I would assume that you are poorly placed to judge if it is “worth it” or not. I have the book twice, one that I bought myself at the time, and another that I inherited later, and no, I don’t have a spare copy.

Do I have to develop an interest in British violins and bow and buy the book?Are there no dissenters?

 

1 hour ago, Rue said:

Always important to keep some reading material by the commode...so you don't have to carry a copy with you...

:D

 Something expendable though, in case you run out of toilet paper. 

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3 hours ago, sospiri said:

Someone has to say it though.

Why the heck shouldn't the violin world be more egalitarian? Some parts of the business are ridiculously high priced and other parts ridiculously low priced. Surely change is inevitable and the disparity will be reduced somewhat. Isn't this an economic necessity that is already being implemented?

Quite a rant, and yet I can't actually work out if you're a marxist or a Tory :lol:

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

Oh dear. And I thought I was a hoarder.

Do I have to develop an interest in British violins and bow and buy the book?Are there no dissenters?

 

 

Well, since I do this for a living they are kinda needed...

You would purchase the book out of intellectual curiosity. Or, along the lines of Jeffrey's comments, or not.

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2 hours ago, sospiri said:

Oh dear. And I thought I was a hoarder.

Do I have to develop an interest in British violins and bow and buy the book?Are there no dissenters?

 

 Something expendable though, in case you run out of toilet paper. 

Sospiri... Any alternative books you would recommend? 

Edited by ofearghail7
first post... learning to navigate the site
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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Quite a rant, and yet I can't actually work out if you're a marxist or a Tory :lol:

Well Jeffrey called me a contrarian and iconoclast. Both lower case. I had to say something.

Do I score Nul Points? 

 

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