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Barak Norman Viola

Giovanni Valentini

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3 hours ago, Ratcliffiddles said:

It seems clear to me that the purfling disappearing at the sides is a sign that the arching was created on the present instrument from a flatter pieces, probably using several techniques.  Look at your edges, where the original pieces have been somehow fitted to new edging.  

Thanks! You must be right - I suppose a combination of carving and bending must have happened (unless the original back was tremendously thick or at least a little arched to start with). I also noticed - having removed some dirt - that inside, around the entire instrument a lining has been glued down, acting as a sort of pedestal for the ribs, linings and blocks, presumably to create sufficient thickness by the edges. I guess this material then also provides the underside of the edges which had become too thin. I tried to capture this to make it clear:





I also managed to get a shot of the kind of trapezoid top block:


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22 hours ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

It's the patient work of a few months with warm sandbags and weights to bend some arch from a flat plate. More than a few old Italian basses were turned into much more money than was paid for them by making a handful of fiddles with original wood and varnish for the experts to dull their teeth on...

Damn, didn't know things got that diabolical..

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