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Nosce te ipsum
Picture of Woodman
posted
This violin was purchased from a gent in York PA in April 2017. He had a long story attached to it which may or may not be true, so I'll spare you. But it came to me in a paper bag with twine attaching various broken items, bridge, tailpiece, bows, memories. The top has a nice tight grain. Although makers tool marks are evident, especially on the headstock and peg box, the instrument appears to have been made with good materials and assembled very well.



It appeared to have sat for decades unplayed. There were shreds of gut strings still attached to two pegs. Gut went out of style in the 1950s. Major exterior grime was carefully removed. The top had detatched on both lower sides, as well as a short area of the back. Exactly as one would hope. All were reattached with hot hide glue. I'd like to think you would have a tough time finding my work.

Other than a buffing compound, the varnish received no especial treatment. I specifically did not perform any cosmetic alterations, like touch-ups.

The fingerboard was cleaned, buffed, and sealed with boiled linseed oil.

The instrument received new: tailpiece with E tuner, bridge, D'Addario Kaplan Vivo strings.

The fingerboard and pegs appear original. I've seen ebony this color before but am not 100% positive on the wood type.

The instrument appears to have not received repairs of any kind before my actions.

It's got excellent tone and volume. The pegs grab wonderfully without chalk. IMHO it would play well without the E thumb tuner.

From the dozens of violins that I've refurbished over the last few years, I'm guessing this violin was made in the very early 1900s.

This violin was nearly worthless when I got it but I gave the guy a bit more than it was worth. In a better bricks'n'mortar shop it might sell for just under $600. Half that or a little better to a friend. The strings alone were $80.





























































Sound clip hosted on AmericanToolbox
 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spread the Disease
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Very cool work.


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 13947 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Alright, Woodman!

Explain that sticker that says "Antonius Stradivarius Cremonens..."

The next line, incomplete, probably gives the year of manufacture.

Was the manufacturer somehow a descendant of Ol' Strad, or is it a style of violin?


--------------------------
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
-- H L Mencken
 
Posts: 7061 | Location: Illinois farm country | Registered: November 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
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nice job. Cool




 
Posts: 20887 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
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No year of manufacture. That would be rare, although sometimes a repair tech will put his label inside with a year. No country listed on this one, either. It is a copy of a Stradivarius, made in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands since the originals came out of Italy. Most were Bohemian (which became Czechoslovakia in 1919) or German. There is a noted copy of a Hungarian's effort labeled Schweitzer 1813, made in Germany in the late 1800s - I've taken one of those apart and reassembled it.

Usually only the German and Czech ones have a country of origin label. Recently I offered $40 for a mid-1900s German copy but was refused. Literally, there are thousands and thousands of these under people's beds, in closets, worthless until they get a couple hundred dollars of work on them. Then them may be worth $200, or less, but not more.

The older ones, before, say, 1915, those are the ones on which I prefer to work. Because the wood may be better. It is certainly older, so more aged, craftsmanship had a certain attraction, tone may be better, and overall, there is a better chance I'll have something barely worth my effort. It certainly is cool to see hand craftsmanship, instead of the "mid-century" mass-produced copies.

If a century-old violin has real purfling and some degree of provenance, it can be worth double the plain models, but I'd rather have one with better tone, provenance be damned. Most of the purfling is drawn on with ink on the production violins.

PURFLING EXAMPLE:

 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
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Here's the Schweitzer label. My guess is this is a $700-$900 1880s violin, maybe $1,800 on a really good day. A local shop quoted $3,000+ to restore it. I brought it back to life for $350 (less strings), and the customer, a guy with a $50,000 fiddle, was very very pleased.

 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shaman
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What a beautiful instrument.





Before there was man, the parrot ruled the world. Now man rules the world and the parrot has not forgiven - Native American Proverb.
 
Posts: 37828 | Location: Atop the cockatoo tree | Registered: July 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
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It sounded far better than it deserved to sound, given its humble beginnings and obvious rough storage. There was even a pattern of dust inside in the shape of the F-hole. Original dust on the sound post as well, I'd wager. The spruce top is a nice top grain, which is why I decided to buy. The wood is probably Bavarian spruce.

The image of the purfling is a mandolin made this year by Bluett Brothers Violins in York PA.
 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Great work Woodman, now let's hear some Temperance Reel out of her.
 
 
 
Posts: 7167 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Excellent! And inspiring to see that sort of restoration. Thank you.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 37255 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Serenity now!
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Very nice! What a cool 'hobby' to have.



Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice - pull down your pants and slide on the ice.
ʘ ͜ʖ ʘ
 
Posts: 3660 | Location: Lehi, UT | Registered: September 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Woodman:
...It is a copy of a Stradivarius, made in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands since the originals came out of Italy...

I thought that would be the case, but I didn't realize so many copies were made. My familiarity with musical instruments is limited to clarinet and oboe, neither of which I've played for 40 years, but my mother played violin.

Congratulations on the beautiful restoration work!


--------------------------
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
-- H L Mencken
 
Posts: 7061 | Location: Illinois farm country | Registered: November 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
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Thank you, everyone. Glad to contribute to the Guild of Amateur Luthiers and to this forum.
quote:
Originally posted by henryaz:
 Let's hear some Temperance Reel out of her.

Did you read some of the replies? Big Grin

I love how Sutton plays an E minor chord like 27 different ways when he's playing rhythm.

It's a neat, though time consuming "hobby" - I file Schedule C, though. Finally I set a minimum "bench charge" to keep other people's junk off my table. I've got enough of my own. Last week I picked up a crappy Asian dreadnaught guitar for $20, cleaned it up, sealed the fingerboard, lowered the action at the nut and bridge, and put on fairly decent $5 strings. Now I have a $40~$60 beater one of my friends will gladly buy.
 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Knows too little
about too much
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Well done Sir!!

RMD




TL Davis: “The Second Amendment is special, not because it protects guns, but because its violation signals a government with the intention to oppress its people…”
 
Posts: 18619 | Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Little ray
of sunshine
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Nice. I was going to ask about whether the purfling was real.




The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
 
Posts: 44346 | Location: Texas | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
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quote:
Originally posted by jhe888:
Nice. I was going to ask about whether the purfling was real.


On Yorke, no. Real inlaid purfling would have made the violin worth about $850 pp, and $1,200+ in a shop setting (the sound is particularly fabulous on this old fiddle).

Believe it or not, the whole time I had the fiddle, I never took a hard look at the 'purfling'. My concentration was on doing nothing. Past that, doing as little as possible. No cosmetic "touch-up". Sealing the fingerboard and cleaning the original varnish are not considered cosmetic.

The mandolin of Chris Bluett (blu•ETTE) is inlaid with three strips of wood. Ebony • holly wood • ebony purfling.
 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shaman
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Hey Woodman, it this worth repairing?








Before there was man, the parrot ruled the world. Now man rules the world and the parrot has not forgiven - Native American Proverb.
 
Posts: 37828 | Location: Atop the cockatoo tree | Registered: July 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nosce te ipsum
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quote:
Originally posted by ScreamingCockatoo:
Hey Woodman, it this worth repairing?


Photobucket has gone completely bonkers. I did, however, save your SEVENTEEN THOUSAND Big Grin cockatoo avatar images and will work at cropping/uploading them to avatarhost.wordpress over the next 24 weeks ...

As far as the fiddle, it looks like an image of a violin back, detached ribs, and the fingerboard jutting into the image. The money question: How's the top? How's the neck and the pegbox?

Any fiddle is worth reassembling as a wall hanger. As long as the top has no sound post crack or bass bar fracture, it can be made whole.

On top cracks I use Titebond. Same stuff to attach studs (the Brits call them jacks along the cracks on the inside of the violin, not the outside Wink . And hot hide glue, not the fake stuff, to reassemble the top to ribs, ribs to back. In lieu of 33 spool clamps (someone else came up with the proper number required), proper support and 120 pounds of carefully set lead bars is effective.

I came across a quality banjo junker you would have loved. Beautiful neck but the rest was garbage. Would have been perfect for a project. Sorry, it went to another experimenter ... But I'm keeping my eyes open for ya.
 
Posts: 5748 | Location: Mid-Atlantic Region | Registered: March 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Woodman:
Did you read some of the replies? Big Grin

I love how Sutton plays an E minor chord like 27 different ways when he's playing rhythm.

Sutton and Rice are my most favorite flat pickers. It would be very difficult to pick one as better. I had never heard Luke Bulla before, that I recall, but he is one good fiddler, too.
 
 
Posts: 7167 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shaman
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Here's the top. (hopefully Photopucket will recover soon)
http://i220.photobucket.com/al...5853_zpsuyfg05yu.jpg
The neck is perfect.
The back pulled away from the body, taking the top with it.

I can probably fix it myself.
I can make the spool clamps.

Oh I have LOTS of lead bars! Big Grin





Before there was man, the parrot ruled the world. Now man rules the world and the parrot has not forgiven - Native American Proverb.
 
Posts: 37828 | Location: Atop the cockatoo tree | Registered: July 27, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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