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Old Violin for ID


wooden

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Though Hinterkopf translates to the back, in regards of a scroll it means also the height of the upper winding and the upper front/forehead. That's what we are seeing here very pronounced.

I wouldn't say that it is exclusively to South Germany/Füssen, it can be found also at a lot of Saxon, Bohemian and even Neapolitan scrolls.

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1 hour ago, Blank face said:

Though Hinterkopf translates to the back, in regards of a scroll it means also the height of the upper winding and the upper front/forehead. That's what we are seeing here very pronounced.

I wouldn't say that it is exclusively to South Germany/Füssen, it can be found also at a lot of Saxon, Bohemian and even Neapolitan scrolls.

Thank you.

what is the dark brown residue (do you think) that is adhered to the sides of the pegbox and scroll? 

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1 hour ago, FiddleMkr said:

Thank you.

what is the dark brown residue (do you think) that is adhered to the sides of the pegbox and scroll? 

Probably a mixture of dirt and the thick crackling/darkening redbrown Mittenwald varnish, which is often misunderstood as burned/heated. At the body it seems to be worn off to the biggest part, only visible at some points of the ribs and the edge flutings, and at the tailpiece region.

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9 hours ago, Blank face said:

Probably a mixture of dirt and the thick crackling/darkening redbrown Mittenwald varnish, which is often misunderstood as burned/heated. At the body it seems to be worn off to the biggest part, only visible at some points of the ribs and the edge flutings, and at the tailpiece region.

I have seen this “build up” on other fiddles, but certainly not all. For example, the posters I have of golden period instruments don’t have it, but they are all Italian. Is this a feature only found on German fiddles? 

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6 hours ago, FiddleMkr said:

I have seen this “build up” on other fiddles, but certainly not all. For example, the posters I have of golden period instruments don’t have it, but they are all Italian. Is this a feature only found on German fiddles? 

I would say, violins from posters are all well cleaned, touched up and photographed to look most highly attractive. A "build up" won't ask for the nationality I'm supposing.:)

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13 hours ago, Blank face said:

I would say, violins from posters are all well cleaned, touched up and photographed to look most highly attractive. A "build up" won't ask for the nationality I'm supposing.:)

I thought maybe that there was a known German (luthier) made varnish that turned dark with time, but I guess not. 
     Another reason for asking is that I have a Guarneri copy that had a damaged area on the spruce top periphery, outside the purfling , about an inch long. Everyone, including me, who saw it thought it was burned. I decided to repair it, because it affected the value when I was trying to sell it. I then decided to repair it and found that this 1 inch by 3/16” spot was really a filler that had turned black. I made a matching piece of spruce and glued it in there, but the point is that apparently it is not uncommon for substances to turn dark with age. I don’t think this fiddle is particularly old. It looked to have a precarved neck and scroll on it. (The scroll is too perfectly symmetrical.)   
        Another thought. Is this dark brown layer something that “antiquers” do to make a fiddle look older than it actually is? 

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20 hours ago, FiddleMkr said:

I have seen this “build up” on other fiddles, but certainly not all. For example, the posters I have of golden period instruments don’t have it, but they are all Italian. Is this a feature only found on German fiddles? 

Shellac based laquers can turn black over time. You would very typically find the same sort of effect on old (C19th) wooden 'Windsor' chairs that have been exposed to a smoky atmosphere.

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There wasn’t „one maker“ using this type of varnish, but many in the South German, Austrian and also British making. 
If this darkening happened due to a shellac varnish or certain coloring agents like tar was heavily disputed before. If a coating looks similar, the reason isn’t necessarily always the same.

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1 hour ago, Blank face said:

There wasn’t „one maker“ using this type of varnish, but many in the South German, Austrian and also British making. 
If this darkening happened due to a shellac varnish or certain coloring agents like tar was heavily disputed before. If a coating looks similar, the reason isn’t necessarily always the same.

Just to reiterate; I thought maybe that a common varnish maker may have existed in Europe whose varnish turned dark with age, and many of the luthiers used this “brand” of varnish. And this darkened varnish may tell you something about the age of the fiddle (or even where it was made)? And I gather from what you said that the answer is “sort of”. At least this darkened layer is common…?
     The second part of my question that so far hasn’t been answered is; do “antiquers” apply a layer on fiddles to simulate this, to make the fiddle look older than it actually is?

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48 minutes ago, FiddleMkr said:

Just to reiterate; I thought maybe that a common varnish maker may have existed in Europe whose varnish turned dark with age, and many of the luthiers used this “brand” of varnish. And this darkened varnish may tell you something about the age of the fiddle (or even where it was made)? And I gather from what you said that the answer is “sort of”. At least this darkened layer is common…?
     The second part of my question that so far hasn’t been answered is; do “antiquers” apply a layer on fiddles to simulate this, to make the fiddle look older than it actually is?

If a particular varnish can be observed at very different places over a longer period of time it is very improbable that it all came from a single source.

Antiquers were and are trying a lot, the question is simply how believable it looks in the end. At the Op instrument it’s surely not antiquing, if this wasn’t clear.

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4 hours ago, Blank face said:

If a particular varnish can be observed at very different places over a longer period of time it is very improbable that it all came from a single source.

Antiquers were and are trying a lot, the question is simply how believable it looks in the end. At the Op instrument it’s surely not antiquing, if this wasn’t clear.

Do you have an estimate of how long it takes for a layer (or more) of varnish to turn dark like this? That is if you knew nothing else about the instrument, would you know the minimum years old it had to be to have this darkened layer(s) on it?

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12 hours ago, FiddleMkr said:

Do you have an estimate of how long it takes for a layer (or more) of varnish to turn dark like this? That is if you knew nothing else about the instrument, would you know the minimum years old it had to be to have this darkened layer(s) on it?

Maybe 10 years?

Seriously, one can’t estimate age(or origin) of an instrument by a single feature. As pointed out before, a degraded varnish can look similar for a lot of different reasons, either composition or storage and much more. Therefore a comparison to furniture and the like doesn’t make much sense to me neither.

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14 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Maybe 10 years?

Seriously, one can’t estimate age(or origin) of an instrument by a single feature. As pointed out before, a degraded varnish can look similar for a lot of different reasons, either composition or storage and much more. Therefore a comparison to furniture and the like doesn’t make much sense to me neither.

Thanks 

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7 minutes ago, wooden said:

One more question regarding this topic about the scroll varnish. Would it be advisable to leave it as it is or could I try to clean it? (I'm afraid I know the answer...)

Both is possible.

You just need to find out what's dirt and what's original, that's difficult from the photos.

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