Need help identifying this violin

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Ryan Mazzocco
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Need help identifying this violin

Post by Ryan Mazzocco »

A guy brought his violin to work for me to look at and was hoping I could find out something about it. It was his great-grandfather's violin, was made in Saxony Germany, and that's about all he knows. There are no identifying labels or markers inside.
Any ideas who could have made it? what it could be worth?
Thanks
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Ryan Mazzocco
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Ryan Mazzocco »

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Ryan Mazzocco
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Ryan Mazzocco »

I don't know much about violins, but this seems pretty ornate to me. he said it's a real ivory tailpiece. still has the original bow (though it needs restrung) and the original wooden case.
The screws are the handywork of the great-grandfather.
So, I don't know how old the instrument is, but here's some perspective. The man that has it now is easily in his 50s and his great-grandfather had it since he was a young man...

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

re-hair
pulleeeeese :D
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Michael Lewis
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Michael Lewis »

This violin has mostly sentimental value, not a valuable instrument on the market. I wouldn't be surprised if the bass bar is carved in place as part of the top. The inlay and all is cheap fancy. This is a student grade or catalog grade instrument. That aside, there is no reason it can't be a good playing violin.

The peg box needs to be re-bushed and a new set of pegs fitted, and I would seriously inspect where the screws are for a loose seam. Actually the entire instrument should be carefully inspected for opening seams. Make sure all seams are solid and the sound post is in place before stringing it up to tension.

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Ryan Mazzocco
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Ryan Mazzocco »

Chuck Tweedy wrote:re-hair
pulleeeeese :D
Was that a Roger rabbit joke? It took me a minute.

As far as any inspecting our repair work, I'm not doing any. This is just a painter on a job I'm working and we got talking about musical instruments so he brought it to show me. I took some pictures because I right it was cool and he wanted me to see if I could find out anything about it.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Barry Daniels »

The dye worn off the fretboard revealing non-ebony is an indication of the modest quality. But it is charming as a folk type instrument.
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David King
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by David King »

I have one similar that I picked up for $50. It's a short neck and I'm thinking yours is too. An early music enthusiast might find it tempting if it's never been converted. Typically the fingerboards were spruce with a thin veneer of something harder that could be stained to look like ebony. I'd pick up a new ebony fingerboard and replace that tailpiece too just to avoid trouble with the feds.

tony lubold
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by tony lubold »

I remember seeing one much like that in an old Montgomery Ward catalogue

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Alan Peterson
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Alan Peterson »

Hmm!
Just found one very similar on the Antebellum website:
http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.c ... py-44.html
Alan Peterson
Name in Anagram Form: "Resonant Peal"

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Ryan Mazzocco
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Ryan Mazzocco »

Alan Peterson wrote:Hmm!
Just found one very similar on the Antebellum website:
http://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.c ... py-44.html
yes that is very similar. No mention of a price tag though. but as a factory violin there must be plenty of these things hanging around out there.

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Alan Peterson
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Alan Peterson »

That alternating ropey-looking edge trim caught my eye, even if it is a cheap bit of decoration.
Any info anywhere on how to do that?
Alan Peterson
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Mark Wybierala
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Mark Wybierala »

I have one with very similar edge trim that is a long term project. It started out with 5 large cracks and some missing wood in the top. I've done a fair job of matching and repairing the missing pieces. I'm missing a few of the trim inlays around the scroll but eventually I'll stumble on to the right materials. There is an indication of some sort that it was made in Germany but I don't remember the specifics. Perhaps is was just a popular style of the times. I haven't done anything on it for a few months but I'll take a look and see if there are any other similarities. There is a maker's name in mine. I'll get back to you.

Chet Bishop
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Re: Need help identifying this violin

Post by Chet Bishop »

The fiddle is one of the literally millions that came here around the end of the 19th century. Sold through Sears Roebuck, etc. sometimes for $2-$5. Made as cottage-industry offerings in Germany, sold to schools for their students to complete, and passed on to dealers elsewhere.

The rope-looking edging is made by bending two strips to the curvature of the edge (one black, one white), and then cutting sections to glue around the edge, alternating black and white, left and right sides. Looks pretty, doesn't it?

The inside of the top (if you use a dental-mirror and lamp to examine it) will likely look as though it was carved with a chainsaw. I have had these apart, often, and the inside top (not easy to see, at a glance) was usually appallingly rough. But some, I could tell, had been opened before, and smoothed, to some degree...one could still see the places where thicker wood had been removed, leaving areas of fresher-looking wood. Virtually all have carved-in-place bass-bars...and sometimes they play well, anyway.

Some of these old fiddles, with careful set-up, can turn out to be pretty good players.
Chet Bishop
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