February 2010

An Original Neck

Here’s an interesting one. It’s rare to see pre-modern violins with their original necks instead of grafted modern ones. Usually an old neck is modernized by unmounting it from the rib (they’re glued on the outside and nailed from the inside for security), adding some on the bottom, and resetting the neck in the modern, …

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Prime Choice

Modern makers think they need the very best wood, with particular grain widths, specific gravity, ideal species, from the right side of the mountain cut at the right time by the right person saying the right incantations. The old Italian makers weren’t so fussy. This ¾-size cello is from around 1780, and it sounds great. …

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I have quite a few shots of varnish texture in my collection. This very attractive example is on a Gand & Bernardel violin from the 1860s. Sometimes texture only shows in protected or low spots, like the location above. This particular violin had it all over–here’s another shot:

Printed Antiquing

I’ve seen maple curls that were painted on, but how about some stamped-on antiquing?

Good News

A violin, bought as a fake, with this obviously fraudulent label. The violin looks like it’s from the same town that the label indicates, but it certainly isn’t as old as the label says: Notice how the label isn’t glued in all that well, though. It’s in the wrong place, near the center of the …

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