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Violin ID: Is my violin French?


Theghostis
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After reading quite a few older threads here on French violins, and perusing the luthiers-mirecourt website, I am curious as to what those of you on this forum will say about my violin. The primary question is, is my violin actually French? If it is, how are Laberte workshop violins, and this particular model generally regarded?

Here are some initial photos. I can take additional photos if key features are not pictured or if anything is too difficult to see. If the photos are too large, let me know and I can reduce the size. 
 

I believe the pegs to be original to the violin, or at least look very similar to what I'd expect on this violin. The tailpiece and chin rest that came with the violin were also rosewood and were both stamped "Germany" on the underside.

I tried to measure the length of the back and am not sure I am getting very accurate measurements, but it appears to be somewhere around 35.7cm

 

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Thanks for your response. While I know this is not a fine violin, I'm partially asking about its quality because I'm considering having some work done. I want to start considering whether it might be worth it. I'm looking forward to hearing if people have opinions on my violin, as I've read through some other threads on French trade violins that were quite interesting.

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The flaming in the maple, especially on the back, seems weird.  As if it were spray-painted/stained in some way. The flame seems right on the neck and scroll, but I suspect something was done to enhance the figure here.  I am not an expert and so I may be entirely mistaken...

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I agree that the flaming on the back and ribs is really weird looking. The flame on the neck and scroll looks natural but I also believe the back has some enhancements. I’m not sure it’s totally fake flame, but it is possible. Where the varnish on the back has chipped off it does look like there is some natural flame underneath whatever has been done via varnish. 

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5 hours ago, Theghostis said:

I agree that the flaming on the back and ribs is really weird looking. The flame on the neck and scroll looks natural but I also believe the back has some enhancements. I’m not sure it’s totally fake flame, but it is possible. Where the varnish on the back has chipped off it does look like there is some natural flame underneath whatever has been done via varnish. 

Look inside through the f holes for comparison to see to what extent the flames are painted

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You can see on the bass side c-bout rib that the "flaming" stops short of the plates, also on the back it stops short of the edges which are plain.

Interestingly the "Leclerc" was far from a cheap model but they always have this artificial look - in the 1919 catalogue they describe the finish as "rouge brun fondu entre les ondes" which implies more an enhancement of natural flame than fake flame - makes sense ...

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7 hours ago, Theghostis said:

I'm partially asking about its quality because I'm considering having some work done. I want to start considering whether it might be worth it.

Welcome to MN, and thanks for posting the nice pictures of your violin!

I have never heard of "rouge brun fondu entre les ondes," so that was interesting to learn from Martin.

It looks to be in very good condition, although the fingerboard looks exceptionally thick. What work does it need?

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I also did not know about “rouge brun entre les ondes.” Thanks Martin for sharing your expertise. 
 

GeorgeH, I am not completely sure what work my violin needs, but the fingerboard has some problems. It looks really wavy which I attributed to wear, but my teacher thought someone did a bad job trying to plane it. Other than the fingerboard, I hope it doesn’t need more than a few adjustments. I might try to get a photo of the fingerboard in case some of you here have some ideas.

I really hope everything is ok with the neck set. Someone did work and retouched the heel of the neck and scroll, and the state of the fingerboard makes me a little nervous about the quality of any other repairs  Additionally, the neck has been varnished with a clear, shiny varnish. I can see some of the clear and brown retouch varnish on the sides of the fingerboard so this appears to be a recent addition.

 

Yoshiki, I also had seen that reverb listing. There are actually two active ones on that site currently, one from the same shop as in your link and another from what appears to be a private seller. 

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Good old Google - "fondu" in this context doesn't necessarily mean molten or dissolved, it can also mean burnt out or faded.

Is it to be read "rouge brun fondu ... entre les ondes" ie. burnt red brown between the flame or "rouge brun ... fondu entre les ondes" ie. red brown dissolved between the flames.

Since the same catalogue describes various finished as just "rouge brun fondu" or "ambre fondu" it's clearly the former - in other words "fondu" means burnt out or faded as a way of describing a colour shade.

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10 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Look inside through the f holes for comparison to see to what extent the flames are painted

There’s not much obvious flame on the inside. Maybe just a little. I don’t know exactly what this technique of enhancement that Martin Swan found the French description for in the Laberte catalog, but there is definitely some wood enhancement via a varnish procedure on my violin.

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5 hours ago, martin swan said:

Good old Google - "fondu" in this context doesn't necessarily mean molten or dissolved, it can also mean burnt out or faded.

Is it to be read "rouge brun fondu ... entre les ondes" ie. burnt red brown between the flame or "rouge brun ... fondu entre les ondes" ie. red brown dissolved between the flames.

Since the same catalogue describes various finished as just "rouge brun fondu" or "ambre fondu" it's clearly the former - in other words "fondu" means burnt out or faded as a way of describing a colour shade.

faded would be the proper translation I guess

 

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