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Can anyone shed some light on what is written inside my violin?


FewMath
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Hello there.

First of all, I do not want an assessment or appraisal. My great-grand father was the conductor of the São Paulo orchestra around 1930-1940 and, after the passing of my grandfather, his violin was granted to me. I don't care about price or market value as I do not want to sell it, but I would like to understand more of its history.

I cannot make sense of the inscription inside. Is this a tag made by the latest person who repaired it (who seems to be E. Eman Homolka)? Was it made in 1896 or repaired (maybe in Prage, as there is something that resembles "Pragae" before the date) in 1896? Is "E" part of the name of the luthier that made it (or repaired it?)? Or is E something they add to mean some other thing? Can anyone read the middle word of the second line? Is it "Vinea", "Ninea", "Vinca"? Could any of this explain how this instrument got into the hands of an Italian immigrant in São Paulo in around 1930?

Sorry if this breaks the rules of the board and thanks in advance. The violin is currently being repaired (it hasn't been played since 1967 when great-grandpa passed!) and I hope to play it when it is done, and to teach some willing offspring hopefully so it can stay in the family.

image0.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

I would not exclude a fake label, but I am not convinced that the middle word is nowhere near "Vienna" in latin (which should be Vindobona). The inscription would not make sense as "Repaired in Vienna Prague". Also my great-grand father started playing the violin in 1910, not that far from the label date; not sure why people would fake such a recent date using the not very famous grandson of a famous luthier.

Edited by FewMath
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59 minutes ago, FewMath said:

The inscription would not make sense as "Repaired in Vienna Prague". 

For what it's worth the Homolka family lived in the Vinohrady ("Vineyard") district in Prague.  Can't recall the Latin name for it ATM.

But the repair label is still fake.

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If you want to know where the violin was made and possibly by who , then you must show pictures of the violin from many angles, photos of labels generally show nothing of concern. In the past to many have been removed, replaced , faked . Yours certainly seems authentic, to my eye although others think it could be a fake label , even if a real label it could be a newer fiddle … because the myth that old fiddles are better, the actual violin could be made in 1920… and an old repair label inserted so your grandfather could have been  tricked into thinking it was old ….the only solution is to show more pictures than label … most value assessment is done without looking at the label , saved for last. 

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16 hours ago, Hempel said:

For what it's worth the Homolka family lived in the Vinohrady ("Vineyard") district in Prague.  Can't recall the Latin name for it ATM.

But the repair label is still fake.

Could you elaborate on why do you think it is a fake label?

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23 hours ago, Hempel said:

Just looked up the Latin name for Vinohrady and it's "Viniae." (Latin for "vineyard")

I'd say the label doesn't necessarily have to be fake. The fact is that the word in question in the second line would be "Vineae" and refers to Homolka's residence in Královské Vinohrady (Kgl. Weinberge in German, i.e. Royal Vineyards), which is a city district (formerly a separate municipality) in Prague. The strange "thing" in front of this word is probably an abbreviation of "Regiis", i.e. Royal.
E.E. Homolka probably did not create many instruments. I accidentally found one of his violins with a label on the internet - see photo. Whether it is genuine I cannot say, but the handwriting looks the same and very similar to the writings posted in the quoted thread.

 

E.E.Homolka.jpg

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6 hours ago, FewMath said:

Could you elaborate on why do you think it is a fake label?

The only way to prove otherwise is with a close examination of the violin.  Please post photos as detailed here:  https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/333119-how-to-photograph-an-instrument-for-identifcation-purposes/  if you want to know what you've got.  No one can settle anything from a label alone.   :)

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1 hour ago, Fotios said:

I'd say the label doesn't necessarily have to be fake. The fact is that the word in question in the second line would be "Vineae" and refers to Homolka's residence in Královské Vinohrady (Kgl. Weinberge in German, i.e. Royal Vineyards), which is a city district (formerly a separate municipality) in Prague. The strange "thing" in front of this word is probably an abbreviation of "Regiis", i.e. Royal.
E.E. Homolka probably did not create many instruments. I accidentally found one of his violins with a label on the internet - see photo. Whether it is genuine I cannot say, but the handwriting looks the same and very similar to the writings posted in the quoted thread.

 

E.E.Homolka.jpg

The OP's label is as fake as a US$3 bill and can be spotted a mile away.

Relying on random photos off the internet as reference material is a fool's game.

The label you posted is fake too, although the faker did a better job on that one.

"Vinia(e)" and "Vinea(e)" are alternate spellings and mean "vineyard" in Latin.  And Homolka wouldn't have got his Latin conjugation wrong.

The name of the fiddle maker in question is "Edvard Emanuel Homolka" so you better have a good explanation why he signed your label "Eman. E. Homolka," switching the ordering.

If you spend time in the archives (including indisputably authentic handwriting from EE. Homolka) you can quickly glean what authentic handwriting of the period should look like, including writing implements used.  Neither the OP or your label fit in that category.

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7 hours ago, FewMath said:

Could you elaborate on why do you think it is a fake label?

Not least because Homolka had a printed label, and according to Lütgendorff also a printed repair label, with the text “E. Eman. Homolka reparairt Vinea Regiæ 18__”

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16 hours ago, Hempel said:

The OP's label is as fake as a US$3 bill and can be spotted a mile away.

I did not claim that the label I mentioned is original, as I have only seen it in a photograph. I said that the label that is the subject of this thread is not necessarily a fake. I think that makes a bit of a difference. I'd be careful with categorical statements like "it's fake like a $3 bill" for which you've provided no objective argument.

16 hours ago, Hempel said:

"Vinia(e)" and "Vinea(e)" are alternate spellings and mean "vineyard" in Latin.

Did I say something else?

16 hours ago, Hempel said:

The name of the fiddle maker in question is "Edvard Emanuel Homolka" so you better have a good explanation why he signed your label "Eman. E. Homolka," switching the ordering.

I have no explanation for this. Probably Homolka occasionally used both orders of first names, as evidenced by another handwritten label published by K. Jalovec in his book Čeští houslaři. However, on the label that is the subject of this thread the order of the names is quite correct. I used the label which I advertised primarily to compare manuscripts.

17 hours ago, Hempel said:

If you spend time in the archives

I dare say I have spent an order of magnitude more time in the Czech archives than you have. And that's probably why I'd be careful with categorical statements.

Snap 2022-04-22 at 11.18.42.jpg

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1 hour ago, Fotios said:

 I'd be careful with categorical statements like "it's fake like a $3 bill" for which you've provided no objective argument.

 

 

Many thousands of violins have been sexed up by someone inserting a bogus repair label, as has the OP violin without a shadow of doubt on account of all of the, yes, “objective arguments” above. If the OP wishes to keep his violin to himself he is absolutely entitled too

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On 4/22/2022 at 3:08 AM, Fotios said:

I did not claim that the label I mentioned is original, as I have only seen it in a photograph. I said that the label that is the subject of this thread is not necessarily a fake. I think that makes a bit of a difference. I'd be careful with categorical statements like "it's fake like a $3 bill" for which you've provided no objective argument.

Did I say something else?

I have no explanation for this. Probably Homolka occasionally used both orders of first names, as evidenced by another handwritten label published by K. Jalovec in his book Čeští houslaři. However, on the label that is the subject of this thread the order of the names is quite correct. I used the label which I advertised primarily to compare manuscripts.

I dare say I have spent an order of magnitude more time in the Czech archives than you have. And that's probably why I'd be careful with categorical statements.

Snap 2022-04-22 at 11.18.42.jpg

What makes you think the Jalovec label #192 specimen is any more reliable reference than the photo of the label you posted earlier?  What objective evidence do you have that Jalovec label #192 is authentic?

Had you bothered to spend time in the Czech archives and tried to verify Jalovec's biographical entries, you would have realized Jalovec's compendium on Czech makers is rife with errors.

And that's objective fact.  And plenty of objective evidence has been presented on this thread, you're simply ignoring them.

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On 4/22/2022 at 5:45 PM, Hempel said:

What makes you think the Jalovec label #192 specimen is any more reliable reference than the photo of the label you posted earlier?  What objective evidence do you have that Jalovec label #192 is authentic?

Had you bothered to spend time in the Czech archives and tried to verify Jalovec's biographical entries, you would have realized Jalovec's compendium on Czech makers is rife with errors.

It is a fact that Jalovec is now outdated literature. In addition, he is unreliable in his encyclopedias of foreign violin makers (Italian, German and Austrian). However, as far as Czech violin makers are concerned, it is an objective fact that more reference material has passed through his hands than anyone else on this forum. So, with your kind permission, I will keep my confidence in Jalovec regarding Czech instruments.

On 4/22/2022 at 5:45 PM, Hempel said:

And plenty of objective evidence has been presented on this thread, you're simply ignoring them.

As for "objective arguments" - the objective fact is that an argument is not a simple assertion by anyone without any supporting evidence or proof. The only thing that came close to an objective argument was Jacob's pointing out the fact that E. E. Homolka used printed labels. However, as Jalovec attests, he also used handwritten labels. The rest is just your belief, not objective fact.

It is also an objective fact that prolonging this discussion is a sheer waste of time. For my part, I consider it closed.

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