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Lundberg

Wilkanowski Violin

15 posts in this topic

A friend of mine has a violin by William Wilkanowski. I was cruising around on ebay and discovered this wilkanowski. Does anybody have any thoughts they would like to share about this maker?

http://cgi.ebay.com/1937-Violi...i-of-Brooklyn-NY-Tiger Maple_W0QQitemZ7376076992QQcategoryZ359QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I like the tone of my friend's violin. It is lower and more mellow than my own. It is a dark brown and has a leaflike pattern in the the purfling where the button meets the back. I think it is very beautiful.

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I thought most if not all of the Wilkanowski fiddles has the signature W purfling inlay below the button.

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quote:


.........has the signature W purfling inlay below the button

Maybe that's what it is. It's just a real nice shape. The one shown doesn't look anything like hers. Hers seems to me not to be so round, nor to be such an orange color (thought I suppose a Wilkanowsi could be any color). I was hoping that whoever has knowledge about these fiddles could help enlighten me by sharing their opinions.

Sorry about the link. I pulled it off the address bar and it wasn't any good. Now I can't remember how to edit my post.

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I've worked on a few Wilkanowski violins, I believe the intial W purfling was reserved for his highest grade violin.

The ebay fiddle looks like the real deal to me, it should do well even though this might not be the best week to sell a violin.

Wilkanowski's violins have a uniform appearence and are easy to detect. he always used very flamed maple with his special high gloss varnish.

Although his violins are attractive, I never found one that sounded special. Not to say that he didn't make some great sounding violins, it's just that I've never experienced those.

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The market has remained softer on Wilk violins than for many of his contemporaries. The violins never seem to bring much over $1500 at major auctions and that for an excellent example in fine condition. The violins always looked very nice to me, pretty and well made, but I have heard that they rarely have an exceptional tone. The description above of a warm and deep tone is accurate, but they rarely have the power or punch to really excite a good player.

just my opinion.

Jesse

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Perhaps one reason for the relatively low price of W's violins is the abudant supply of them. Fairfield says that by 1942 he had made around 5000, aided by several "mechanical assistants," as Wenberg calls them.

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I have an early Wilkanowski dated 1929, signed and dated inside on the neck block. It also has a small stamped "Wilkanowski" on each part-ribs, top and back plates, but the stamps are very small. And then, of course, the label.

It is definitely a very high grade Wilkanowski, fabulous maple figure on all maple parts, and nice top that appears to be one piece, and a one piece lower rib. A beautifully carved scroll and very nice amber varnish. But, it doesn't really sound very good. It looks much better than it sounds.

I believe that the "W" in the purfling was done later, maybe starting in the 1940s. I had another Wilkie that was dated 1942, I think, and it had the "W" in purfling on hte back, but was not nearly as nice as the '29. But it was similar, and authentic. I sold it for about $900 on ebay, and my guess is that this one will bring more than $1000.

Maybe it's the fact that WW was so prolific, and made so many violins working for Gretsch and Ditson, and had some machine made parts, or maybe it's that and the mediocre sound that make his violins less valuable than their look would indicate. According to Henley, the 5000 number was as of 1945. But they are really nice looking violins if you like a clean modern look. He did tend to use very nice wood, as the ebay photos show. The Guarnerius model was his most expensive one, and I think this is one of those. Pegs and tailpiece were gold mounted according to a catalog reprint (Ehrhardt, Book 2) as these are, except for the one that's broken off. This looks like a nice one, and with a few hundred dollars of work might be a good violin. Gretsch was selling them in the '40s.

I'm certain that this is a Wilkanowski. I'm not sure how the value of these will do in the future, but they are nice violins. Whether it will sound good is a gamble at best with Wilkies. Niether that I've had was a great sounder.

BTW, the 1940 catalog reprint illustrations show the W in the purfling on all models.

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I have owned several Wilkanowskis over the years. They

are nicely made, with a nice oil varnish.  They tend to be

heavy in wood, but are good, reliable instruments.

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A friend of mine has a violin by William Wilkanowski. I was cruising around on ebay and discovered this wilkanowski. Does anybody have any thoughts they would like to share about this maker?

<BR>

<BR><a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="http://cgi.ebay.com/1937-Violin-by-Wilkanowski-of-Brooklyn-NY-Tiger">http://cgi.ebay.com/1937-Violi...i-of-Brooklyn-NY-Tiger</a> Maple_W0QQitemZ7376076992QQcategoryZ359QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

<BR>

<BR>

<BR>I like the tone of my friend's violin. It is lower and more mellow than my own. It is a dark brown and has a leaflike pattern in the the purfling where the button meets the back. I think it is very beautiful.

Hi! I am doing research on William Wilkanowski for my personal interest because I am his granddaughter. My mother is Natalie Wilkanowski Orth age 85. if you have any other information to share about this violin, please share it with me . Thanks ASH

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"Hi! I am doing research on William Wilkanowski for my personal interest because I am his granddaughter."

Do you have the information on him from the Wenberg and Ehrhardt books?

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Hi! I am doing research on William Wilkanowski for my personal interest because I am his granddaughter. My mother is Natalie Wilkanowski Orth age 85. if you have any other information to share about this violin, please share it with me . Thanks ASH

Mr Midgett has a deep interest in American violins and he may be able to help with reference materials:

Ron Midgett

email: info@easthamptonviolin.com

Tel: (413)527-8033 or 1(800)207-2400

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Hi all,

My second violin in the early 50's was a Wilkanowski, and the price was around $130. They were sold through Sears or Montgomery-Wards for a while. It served me well for about four years, but then I needed something better. I have seen very few over the years considering how many there ought to be. I never did like the "W" even when I owned one, but it was well executed if I remember. Very red varnish.

Will L

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