Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Violin ID help old English violin


Hannah S

Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

I don’t think this is English, what makes you think that it is?
Is there more info?

The person selling it said it said it was, it came with another unrelated violin that he described as English that is definitely Scottish!! He thought it was a London maker. They are both of similar shape. Do you have any idea what it could be?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hannah S said:

I have acquired a violin, probably English c.1800 with dark red varnish and a single line of light (possibly holly) purpling. Does anyone know what it is? 

I don't know what it is, but I can see the usual two dark stripes at both sides of the white purfling, a bit disguised by the dark colour of the varnish. All purfling stripes appear to be unvarnished, therefore the relative brightness, and this gives evidence to assume that they are a later addition and the violin probably started unpurfled.

I can also see that the C bout linings are inserted into the corner blocks, but possibly the linings of the outer ribs are, too? Maybe you could clean up the blocks from wood fibres and glue residue to give a better look. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I don't know what it is, but I can see the usual two dark stripes at both sides of the white purfling, a bit disguised by the dark colour of the varnish. All purfling stripes appear to be unvarnished, therefore the relative brightness, and this gives evidence to assume that they are a later addition and the violin probably started unpurfled.

I have seen this before on old instruments where the wood was either heavily stained, or chemically treated to turn dark brown. The varnish used was virtually clear, and left this look to the purfling, where it seems too light, but on the ones I had seen, felt it was actually original. I do not know if it could be the case here, or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Hannah S said:

The person selling it said it said it was, it came with another unrelated violin that he described as English that is definitely Scottish!! He thought it was a London maker. They are both of similar shape. Do you have any idea what it could be?

Without evidence to back up what they say, you have to take this with a pinch of salt when buying something.
I will say that the construction methods don't follow what would be expected for old London work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Wouldn't this treatment also turn the white purfling stripe dark?

It seems that it is not affected in the same way. I know some woods do not stain well, and it would be interesting to know what type it is, maybe boxwood, holly or similar?

I don't know the order of operations on the ones I have seen, and can only say the purfling centre was not stained as the rest was, but it was beneath the original varnish. Maybe it was sealed with something first, before the staining, to retain its bright appearance?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/30/2021 at 7:19 PM, Hannah S said:

The person selling it said it said it was, it came with another unrelated violin that he described as English that is definitely Scottish!! He thought it was a London maker. They are both of similar shape. Do you have any idea what it could be?

Interesting violin!

Out of curiosity/nosiness, could you perhaps post some pics of the Scottish violin?  I love a pic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

I have never seen a neck join like that before. Modified through-neck?

 

neck_join.jpg

That's just a more refined through neck than what we are used to see from the Saxon/Bohemian mass production, or even from the better shops in the late 18th/early 19th century. You can find similar at old Dutch or French violins sometimes, or as we see here at British 19th (supossedly). Also the resemblance of guitar neck heels isn't incidentally, they are following the same constructional idea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Blank face said:

That's just a more refined through neck than what we are used to see from the Saxon/Bohemian mass production, or even from the better shops in the late 18th/early 19th century. You can find similar at old Dutch or French violins sometimes, or as we see here at British 19th (supossedly). Also the resemblance of guitar neck heels isn't incidentally, they are following the same constructional idea.

Thanks for the information. Is it unusual for the linings to be inserted into the block? (That is what this looks like, but I am not sure.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the comments. The linings of the c bouts are inserted into the blocks but the other linings are not. The purfling is a single line of light wood. It has a slight gap between it and the purfling channel which looks like a dark line on the picture but it is definitely not the usual black white black and it is possible that it was put in at a later date. It could be holly but definitely not box. I am aware it could be from anywhere but it came with two other violins that were identifiable and I was interested in what it was as it is quite strange looking! I was wondering if anyone else had ever come across anything similar. The information I was given that it may be English was my starting point for investigation. 
Here is the back of the Scottish one it came with…..

9B36B884-7A08-4EDB-BD1A-CF40F9691F07.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is an English violin in the latest Amati auction - workshop of Thomas Cahusac that has very similar varnish and purfling to the OPs violin.

The photos on Amati are very bright, in person it is darker and the purfling is very light in colour.

https://app.amati.com/en/auction/1082-amati-specialist-3rd-november/154-a-violin-workshop-of-thomas-cahusac-circa-1780

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

There is an English violin in the latest Amati auction - workshop of Thomas Cahusac that has very similar varnish and purfling to the OPs violin.

The photos on Amati are very bright, in person it is darker and the purfling is very light in colour.

https://app.amati.com/en/auction/1082-amati-specialist-3rd-november/154-a-violin-workshop-of-thomas-cahusac-circa-1780

When looking for a reference instrument for authenticating a random violin, I would be cautious of choosing one that some Auctioneer lists as “workshop of”, whatever that means

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

When looking for a reference instrument for authenticating a random violin, I would be cautious of choosing one that some Auctioneer lists as “workshop of”, whatever that means

Definitely I completely agree. I just meant it as an observation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Shelbow said:

There is an English violin in the latest Amati auction - workshop of Thomas Cahusac that has very similar varnish and purfling to the OPs violin.

The photos on Amati are very bright, in person it is darker and the purfling is very light in colour.

https://app.amati.com/en/auction/1082-amati-specialist-3rd-november/154-a-violin-workshop-of-thomas-cahusac-circa-1780

If one would address the Amati example as some sort of "Duke school" maybe appr. 1800 and the OP as an autodidactical copy work a few decades later I could see some similarities (beside the odd inside work, possibly inside mould with a through neck). I had at both the same reservations regarding the originality of the purfling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had a look through other examples of Cagusac’s work and although the front looks similar in tone on the Amati one I don’t think the outline, arching or corners seem to be like mine, although the Amati example was the most similar. Mine seems comparatively very rectangular in form and the arching pinched in the middle. The scroll is really flat with very little undercutting and the corners stumpy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...