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Gaspard Duiffopruggar model French violin from Derazey shop?


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Customer brought this violin in that has been in the family for over 130 years, it has a improved by label from his great great grandfather H W White, no relation to Ira or Asa White, dated 1889 and some patents, listed in the label for bass bars and chinrests he invented, the other side has the standard fake Duiffopruggar label 1620 something, This H W Whites improvements seem to include the ivory pegs, tailpiece and mystery substance white inlays on the back of the pegbox and the button, the button inlay is particularly stupid as it leaves the wood part of the button only 1mm thick, however it is still intact, the neck was loose but the button was holding, I'm interested in expert opinions on whether this is a genuine Derazey and if so the father or the son, and any idea which time period, similar violins online seem to be dated roughly 1870

 

 

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Fortunately the customer has no intention of selling it, but to rather keep it as a cherished family heirloom, he would like it to be put in playing condition, the biggest obstacle is the ivory pegs which along with the pegbox holes have shrunk and are now oval instead of round, normally we would just fit new pegs, but these pegs need to be saved, Im trying to find a 1/20 taper reamer to borrow, and will have to hand scrape the high spots on the pegs, which will leave them sticking out further, but hopefully still functional enough to tune with

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We had one very similar way, way back. It had a signature inside which resembled the squiggle used by Collin-Mézin. It had the same head and similar quality marquetry, but no added ivory accents. Those do give it a Markneukirchen aspect, but the underlying fiddle looks like a typical "better quality" Mirecourt Duiffopruggar.

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Thank you Michael, I've looked for a signature above the label and can't find anything, the design at the top of the back is identical to the Derazey in the Smithsonian, hoping Martin Swan can check in, I'm no expert but I do think this is better quality Mirecourt work and the Ivory accents were added later, they don't add much to the beauty of the violin, IMHO, the label on the right side says improved by HW White, the customers great great grandfather, I strongly suspect he was responsible for the ivory accents, and his label says Y?ARTON, DAKOTA (USA) 1889, so I'm assuming the violins is older than that, he could have got it when it was new or it could have been 40 years older when he got it. The customers name is White too, it has been handed down father to son, and not played for a long time, for some years it was missing and thought stolen but it showed up, maybe in storage??

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Corner blocks are symmetrical and rather large, liners not inset but flush, corners are mitred, joined in the middle and rather pointy, next to impossible to focus pictures under indoor lighting, its a French violins so there's no point in debating about that.

Also there's a number in ink near the center of the inside back which reads 1?50 and the ? number could be a poorly formed 8, no sign of any makers stamp that I can see through the f holes or endpin hole, the bass bar is normal, not the strange larger bass bar that H W White patented, it does have a strange primitive chinrest which may be his patented one.

Oh and as these usually are, its large, 360mm back

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Yes, they were made by different Mirecourt companies, they appear to be a French design, I haven't seen any evidence that the design was made in Markneukirchen/Schoenbach, however the date on the label, the high level of workmanship . and comparison to others appears to point to Derazey, I was hoping someone familiar with the different companies interpretation of the Duiffopruggar design would have some input.

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The rounded corners and pinched rib-joins extending to near the end of the corners look more Markneukirchen than French to me. It is quite different than the Derazey in the Smithsonian. But better pictures would help.

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Perhaps you should call the Smithsonian and inform them that their Derazey was made in Markneukirchen with the same rounded corners and ribs set back from the edges, not pinched! But since you have presented no evidence that Duiffopruggar were even made in Markneukirchen I'll take your comments with a grain of salt

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The corners and rib joins on the Smithsonian example don't look like yours. The Derazey rib joins are neatly squared-off, angled in the French style, and set well-back from the edge. The corners are also much more square than the corners on your violin.

 

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There is the very occasional violin, where it is foolish to climb the barricades, dogmatically insisting that it is either German or French. As I noted in my first post, most pictures were too out of focus for me to be sure. Should Mr. Various, in the course of his repair, have occasion to take the top off, he should post pictures, since then I’m confident that I would have an opinion

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Most of my evidence that it is French is not the same usual corner theory, although it certainly fits within the realm of French, but rather the identical nature of the decorative features and especially the human head itself being identical to the posted Derazey example in the Smithsonian, unless your supposing Derazey imported the parts from Markneukirchen

unfortunately there's no good enough reason to take the top off unless to milk the customer, he just wants playable but is not a player, so the two cracks in the top are not open and will not negatively affect the tone in any way, although one very short crack just to the left of the bass bar could have been lined up a bit better.

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I cannot claim to be in any way experienced in this Duiffobruggar fiddles. The Markneukirchen trade produced instruments with mosaic inlaid castles at the back from colored woods and some mop edge or fingerboard decorations, but the rest of what I've seen looked different from the OP violin. Also ivory pegs with inlays were made there. OTOH Zoebisch and other authors I have at hand don't mention or picture such a type as being made there.

The internet is full of similar instruments, some described as Mirecourt made, others as "ascribed to Derazey" (also Maestronet had a few threads on this matter), but the only example from a website I would trust (more or less) has a much less decorated, but in my eyes more neatly made example as made by Derazey for Vuillaume: https://cohenviolins.com/products/gasparo-duiffopruggar-violin-derazey-for-vuillaume-1860-1870

Another site shows many photos in and outside from a repair process, but the rib joints and details of corner blocks are unfortunately out of focus, too: Nonetheless interesting: http://www.thestringdoctor.com/French Violin Repair.html

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25 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I cannot claim to be in any way experienced in this Duiffobruggar fiddles. The Markneukirchen trade produced instruments with mosaic inlaid castles at the back from colored woods and some mop edge or fingerboard decorations, but the rest of what I've seen looked different from the OP violin. Also ivory pegs with inlays were made there. OTOH Zoebisch and other authors I have at hand don't mention or picture such a type as being made there.

The internet is full of similar instruments, some described as Mirecourt made, others as "ascribed to Derazey" (also Maestronet had a few threads on this matter), but the only example from a website I would trust (more or less) has a much less decorated, but in my eyes more neatly made example as made by Derazey for Vuillaume: https://cohenviolins.com/products/gasparo-duiffopruggar-violin-derazey-for-vuillaume-1860-1870

Another site shows many photos in and outside from a repair process, but the rib joints and details of corner blocks are unfortunately out of focus, too: Nonetheless interesting: http://www.thestringdoctor.com/French Violin Repair.html

Yes the String doctor violin looks very similar, same fleur de lis corners, same applique carving at the top of the back, similar carved head and similar wider symmetrical corner blocks, no one's proposing the ivory pegs are original and they quite possibly were sourced from Markneukirchen by this H W White character, the white inlays on the back of the scroll and the button are definitely not original, they're not even Ivory, might be plastic?

As To Derazey Duiffopruggar models these were not his top of the line or most expensive instruments, his workshop would have put more care into his Stradivari and Guarneri copies, I believe

As to the inlayed castle on the back, this was commonly employed in Markneukirchen/Schoenbach but I think they got the idea from earlier French Duiffopruggars which date back into the early 1800s

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Just a side note, but it would sure be helpful if you would have the patience to use adequate light, thereby making it easier to get decent focus so details would be easier to discern, and to perhaps organize your photos according to the sticky near the top of this forum. Looking at these thing piecemeal and in the blurry dark rather than as a well lit and focused gestalt really diminishes my interest, for one.

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1 hour ago, Michael Richwine said:

Just a side note, but it would sure be helpful if you would have the patience to use adequate light, thereby making it easier to get decent focus so details would be easier to discern, and to perhaps organize your photos according to the sticky near the top of this forum. Looking at these thing piecemeal and in the blurry dark rather than as a well lit and focused gestalt really diminishes my interest, for one.

Sorry I'm using an SLR camera and its inbuilt flash, I have no better source of light, some people seem to get better results with their cell phone, I don't have one, sometimes I can use sunlight, but I took these pictures at night, my dad says to try switching on the autofocus, I've been manually focusing through the viewfinder which is very difficult in low light

Here's what outdoor pics look like, autofocus doesn't work so its still really hard to focus and the new Nikon programs don't allow you to edit pictures to stand up straight, be brighter etc

 

 

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Smithsonian Derazey scroll

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My violin scroll, once again my focus and lighting is not quite as good as the Smithsonian picture, however it appears to the the quality of carving of both examples is similar in quality, quite impressive carving, could have been the same workshop different workers or the same carver years apart, Derazey was a large workshop and would have employed multiple luthiers I believe

 

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