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VIOLIN ID HELP


Thomas Knight
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At this point I think we can agree this violin was made by Anton Seitz after 1800 and before he died. The exact year is not all that important. Yes, Blank Face, you are right--I read that the Alemannishe Schule preceded the Brescian school. That is fascinating to me. I greatly appreciate your input, Jacobs outstanding help, and anyone who contributes to the educational discussions on this forum. I cant thank you all enough.

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4 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

What sort of pins? How will they help?

If a crack like the one on the treble side A string goes through the hole to the edge I drill perpendicular to the side vertically through the wall of the pegbox with a 2mm bit. I fill the crack and the drilled hole with hide glue, apply hydraulic pressure to the drilled hole with tjhe wooden 2mm dowel acting as a hydraulic ram and force glue into every part of the crack, use a clamp to shut the crack, and the pin holds it secure. Bush the holes and it is solid. I have done this to a number of scrolls.

 

329096357_VIOJIMDOLLINGGRAFTEDSCROLL3.jpg

1068441434_VIOJIMDOLLINGGRAFTEDSCROLL4.jpg

266461180_VIOJIMDOLLINGGRAFTEDSCROLL8.jpg

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I’ve always had my doubts about “pinning” a peg box wall crack. This method is still a glue joint, rather than a mechanical joint, and defies re-repair at a later date. I would prefer to take care that the crack is glued well, then make a spiral bush, which the next repairman generation can remove, should it fail, and be no worse off than I am today.

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

On the inscription, here's a better playing field to contend over.  :)

ZCI01.thumb.jpg.4c94e2aa401f808c2945613012476c8e.jpg

ZCIG01.thumb.jpg.6d0d696f6fb0d8fe560f554fd3778613.jpg

Thanks for the effort, but this doesn’t add anything in my eyes. One should realize that within most of this old handwriting is a lot of content left to bias and speculation, a bit like looking into clouds or a Rohrschach. We know that there was a Seitz family in Mittenwald an der Isar, so it isn’t difficult to decipher the first lines, but with the last the meaning might be to the most part left to the preoccupations of the reader. Why shouldn’t it read (just for example) AS (for Antonio Stradivari) 1742? So I would avoid to become dogmatic. If someone likes to demonstrate some alleged special insight with a particular interpretation any heated up discussion is rather pointless.

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5 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I’ve always had my doubts about “pinning” a peg box wall crack. This method is still a glue joint, rather than a mechanical joint, and defies re-repair at a later date. I would prefer to take care that the crack is glued well, then make a spiral bush, which the next repairman generation can remove, should it fail, and be no worse off than I am today.

Thank you Jacob. I am not classically trained at all and have unconventional ways of doing things, and your point is well taken. I had not thought about future repairs. My focus was on the additional reinforcing properties of the grain of the pin. Your comment of 'spiral bushings', is that the typical bushing or is it like a threaded bushing? Again, my mind thinks in abstract ways.

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19 minutes ago, Thomas Knight said:

Thank you Jacob. I am not classically trained at all and have unconventional ways of doing things, and your point is well taken. I had not thought about future repairs. My focus was on the additional reinforcing properties of the grain of the pin. Your comment of 'spiral bushings', is that the typical bushing or is it like a threaded bushing? Again, my mind thinks in abstract ways.

I would say “Spanausbuchser” here, I thought Spiral bushing was the American expression for it. I’m sure that you will find enough about it if you put “Spiral bushing” into the search function above. By glueing in a wood shaving into the respective peg hole, one is reinforcing the crack already, and should it come apart in the future, you can just cut it out, and re-do it, whereas drilling out someone's pin is practically impossible

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3 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I would say “Spanausbuchser” here, I thought Spiral bushing was the American expression for it. I’m sure that you will find enough about it if you put “Spiral bushing” into the search function above. By glueing in a wood shaving into the respective peg hole, one is reinforcing the crack already, and should it come apart in the future, you can just cut it out, and re-do it, whereas drilling out someone's pin is practically impossible

Great point as always. Thank you Jacob.

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11 hours ago, Thomas Knight said:

At this point I think we can agree this violin was made by Anton Seitz after 1800

To shed some light on this, it‘s also necessary to consider that all the Neuner and Hornsteiner violins were made by homeworkers, usually in division of labor, and that there wasn‘t something like a central workshop which could’ve been run by Seitz nor any other maker. It might be valid to assume that he participated in making the finest, i.e. the most expensive examples, or maybe just made the highest numbers, but if he made them completely alone or used parts like necks and scrolls made by others, just did the work in the white only is subject of speculation only. So the inscription can give evidence only that he produced the box. Similar inscriptions in the pegbox can’t tell much more than about the maker of the neck. Even the last members of the Klotz family were involved into this method of production (s. Zunterer’s essay from the museum’s website).

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32 minutes ago, Blank face said:

To shed some light on this, it‘s also necessary to consider that all the Neuner and Hornsteiner violins were made by homeworkers, usually in division of labor, and that there wasn‘t something like a central workshop which could’ve been run by Seitz nor any other maker. It might be valid to assume that he participated in making the finest, i.e. the most expensive examples, or maybe just made the highest numbers, but if he made them completely alone or used parts like necks and scrolls made by others, just did the work in the white only is subject of speculation only. So the inscription can give evidence only that he produced the box. Similar inscriptions in the pegbox can’t tell much more than about the maker of the neck. Even the last members of the Klotz family were involved into this method of production (s. Zunterer’s essay from the museum’s website).

What great information. I pictured a Mittenwald workshop like JTL with workers at their stations building instruments. These priceless bits of information opens up much speculation--for instance, did Mathias Kloz or George Kloz circa 1750 build the violin from beginning to end, or did they have apprentices do the roughing and they did the finish work? Or was it like decades ago in the mid 1970's when my wife was a scrimshander and she carved a scene on ivory, tooth, or bone, she had to put the initials of the workshop owner on every piece. Do we romanticize about the great Italian masters carving all day or were they running the operation, doing sales, management, etc?

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6 hours ago, Blank face said:

Why shouldn’t it read (just for example) AS (for Antonio Stradivari) 1742? So I would avoid to become dogmatic. If someone likes to demonstrate some alleged special insight with a particular interpretation any heated up discussion is rather pointless.

The problem with your "Antonio Stradivari 1742" theory is A.S. died in 1737, and I'm not aware Stradivari made any fiddles in the Alemannic style.  And back in those days a date like 1742 would have been written 742 with a bar over it.

You can sprout your alternative "theories" all day long, such as your risible post-Versailles German fiddle reparations to France, but your pet theories aren't supported by facts. 

It's like that old joke about two hikers in the woods who come across a hungry bear, and how the hikers should avoid getting eaten.  It's sufficient that one hiker runs faster than the other.

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29 minutes ago, Hempel said:

The problem with your "Antonio Stradivari 1742" theory is A.S. died in 1737, and I'm not aware Stradivari made any fiddles in the Alemannic style.  And back in those days a date like 1742 would have been written 742 with a bar over it.

You can sprout your alternative "theories" all day long, such as your risible post-Versailles German fiddle reparations to France, but your pet theories aren't supported by facts. 

It's like that old joke about two hikers in the woods who come across a hungry bear, and how the hikers should avoid getting eaten.  It's sufficient that one hiker runs faster than the other.

It isn’t a “theory”, rather he is (rightly) pointing out that it isn’t quite clear, and it could conceivably mean something else. Sometimes one should conclude that things aren’t always 20/20 clear without geting rabid about it

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42 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

It isn’t a “theory”, rather he is (rightly) pointing out that it isn’t quite clear, and it could conceivably mean something else. Sometimes one should conclude that things aren’t always 20/20 clear without geting rabid about it

I have no issues admitting the last line in the inscription on that fiddle is less than clear. 

What I do have issue with is people saying it could be this or that, but aren't backed up by any facts.  Pointing out A. Stradivari died in 1737 (and didn't live in 1742) is not "rabid."  Nor have I seen a registration/model number in 19th C. Mittenwald cottage/Verleger fiddles.   I have seen house numbers inscribed on fiddles (basically how the pieceworkers got credit for their work) but I've shown that Anton Seitz resided in house 34.

Having good historical background or evidence is the best way to eliminate false notions.  This is no different than any other endeavor, like science.

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15 hours ago, Thomas Knight said:

 

329096357_VIOJIMDOLLINGGRAFTEDSCROLL3.jpg

1068441434_VIOJIMDOLLINGGRAFTEDSCROLL4.jpg

266461180_VIOJIMDOLLINGGRAFTEDSCROLL8.jpg

I have done this to a number of scrolls.

 

I'm very sorry to hear that.

Gluing cracks with white glue or titebond, then putting in dowels which shouldn't be there, ragged bushings with bits chipped out, removing the original varnish from the sides of the pegbox, and hacking out the world's pointiest scroll chin. crybaby.gif.308160d80ba9c1095f26bfe6b5449670.gif

I feel really sorry for the violin.

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4 hours ago, Thomas Knight said:

What great information. I pictured a Mittenwald workshop like JTL with workers at their stations building instruments. These priceless bits of information opens up much speculation--for instance, did Mathias Kloz or George Kloz circa 1750 build the violin from beginning to end, or did they have apprentices do the roughing and they did the finish work? Or was it like decades ago in the mid 1970's when my wife was a scrimshander and she carved a scene on ivory, tooth, or bone, she had to put the initials of the workshop owner on every piece. Do we romanticize about the great Italian masters carving all day or were they running the operation, doing sales, management, etc?

The most up to date summary you can find actually at the museum website under “History of Mittenwald making” (no link now, because I’m not at home).

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3 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

I'm very sorry to hear that.

Gluing cracks with white glue or titebond, then putting in dowels which shouldn't be there, ragged bushings with bits chipped out, removing the original varnish from the sides of the pegbox, and hacking out the world's pointiest scroll chin. crybaby.gif.308160d80ba9c1095f26bfe6b5449670.gif

I feel really sorry for the violin.

 As I stated earlier and many times over the decades I am not trained as a classical luthier. I am, however, an engineer who also has worn many hats. Thanks to Jacob, Blank Face, Violadamore, Martin Swan and many others on this forum I have learned a great deal, but on the better violins I have I take them to classically trained luthiers for major repairs and try to learn. Jacob gave the logical reason not to pin a pegbox, and that will be eliminated from my methods. The Dolling pictured belongs to a friend and was in terrible shape with a dozen cracks on the table, a cracked neck, cracked pegbox in two places, bored out peg holes, and was revarnished in the past. I used Smith's Musical Instrument Epoxy which has the identical melting point as hide glue but five times the shear strength. The top classical guitar makers in the US use Smiths. It is impervious to water and the violin is played outdoors in high humidity during Civil War reenactments. I grafted a new neck using my CNC machines to cut the identical taper into the pegbox and the insert. Like I have said, I am trying to learn and appreciate constructive criticism. I admire those luthiers and experts who spent their lives learning this craft. I hope to someday know how to do what they instinctively do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would like to correct some information I provided earlier regarding Anton Seitz.

There were several Anton Seitz.  The Anton Seitz who married Maria Neuner was a glazier and most likely had nothing to do with violin making.

Anton Seitz, violin maker, born 6/1783, married Maria Anna Simon, who lived in house number 34, died young at age 33, 10/1816.  His wife died one year later.  Consequently this Anton could not be the maker of the OP's violin.

However, this Anton Seitz and Maria Anna Simon had a son, christened Anton de Padua, born 12/1813.  He was also a professional violin maker.  He died young, a bachelor, in 1/1851, age 37.  He lived at house 22.

This last Anton Seitz would be the correct person whose inscription is on the OP's violin.

House 22 belonged to the Hornsteiners.  It is likely this Anton Seitz was adopted by the Hornsteiners when he became orphaned at around 4 years old.

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11 hours ago, Hempel said:

I would like to correct some information I provided earlier regarding Anton Seitz.

There were several Anton Seitz.  The Anton Seitz who married Maria Neuner was a glazier and most likely had nothing to do with violin making.

Anton Seitz, violin maker, born 6/1783, married Maria Anna Simon, who lived in house number 34, died young at age 33, 10/1816.  His wife died one year later.  Consequently this Anton could not be the maker of the OP's violin.

However, this Anton Seitz and Maria Anna Simon had a son, christened Anton de Padua, born 12/1813.  He was also a professional violin maker.  He died young, a bachelor, in 1/1851, age 37.  He lived at house 22.

This last Anton Seitz would be the correct person whose inscription is on the OP's violin.

House 22 belonged to the Hornsteiners.  It is likely this Anton Seitz was adopted by the Hornsteiners when he became orphaned at around 4 years old.

Thank you for your work researching Anton Seitz for me. What an amazing, yet sad, history of the Seitz family.

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