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Nicolaus

Ancient Violin

15 posts in this topic

I just purchased an ancient Dutch violin, Dutch because it has the characteristic notch in the scroll described as being present on all old Dutch violins by a historic violin appraisers guide, maybe entitled "Known Violins", but a very short book; the scroll notch was varnished with the same original varnish, thus it was definately notched by the maker, and the varnish is a very dark maroon brown, characteristic of the traditional Dutch and other German makers. (There originally (and still are none) were no corner blocks, as the lining is original and extends through where corner blocks would be.) The violin's bass bar is one piece with the top of the violin, not a separate piece of wood, the ground varnish has same uv fluorescent qualities as Stradivari varnish, and the unvarnished part of the top under the fingerboard only extends the distance down as far as it appropriately would be if a baroque length fingerboard were on the instrument. The bass bar is about 3/8 of an inch wide throughout its length, and with and height wise is in triangular form coming to a point at the top, and toward the extremeties of its length starting one inch from the verticle end of each end of the bass bar, the top of the bass bar is flattened until it is flat with the top of the violin at the very ends (verticle end top to bottom of the violin). I am sorry, but I don't have a digital camera to display the violin.

I am curious to its age because of the bass bar being one piece with the top of the violin, as, I heard that Andrea Amati violins had this feature identically, and my question is, does anyone know if the Dutch just continued this bass bar making practice aforementioned, if this dates the violin to the sixteenth century, or if this dates the violin to a date no later than...? Thank you for all of your help, Nicolaus

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Is the neck mortised in the block or is it fastened to the outside of the ribs? Is the neck and upper block one piece?

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I am curious to its age because of the bass bar being one piece with the top of the violin, as, I heard that Andrea Amati violins had this feature identically, and my question is, does anyone know if the Dutch just continued this bass bar making practice aforementioned, if this dates the violin to the sixteenth century, or if this dates the violin to a date no later than...? Thank you for all of your help, Nicolaus

Definately find out more information.

But - this integral bass bar/top is common to very many old trade fiddles. (in the 18-1900's)

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Is the neck mortised in the block or is it fastened to the outside of the ribs? Is the neck and upper block one piece?

The front ribs are set into the neck block, there are grooves for the ribs in the neck block with which the ribs are slid into, with wedges on the interior to keep them in place along with the glue. The neck and block are one piece.

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Maybe you could borrow a camera??

I'll try to borrow a camera, but it may be some time, but I'll try to.

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The front ribs are set into the neck block, there are grooves for the ribs in the neck block with which the ribs are slid into, with wedges on the interior to keep them in place along with the glue. The neck and block are one piece.

This, also, is a common 'trade fiddle' practice.

(I've seen it before on German trade fiddles - late 1800 early 1900's - on Hopf copies, for example)

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This, also, is a common 'trade fiddle' practice.

(I've seen it before on German trade fiddles - late 1800 early 1900's - on Hopf copies, for example)

CT, do you suspect a clever 19th century copy? The neck-set description certainly does suggest a less-than-ancient instrument.

Like everyone else, I beg for photos.

JDD

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This type of neck construction was standard in the 1700s and continued into the 1900s. all the time Im seeing neck scroll graft instruments that show evidence they were originally one piece neck top block type by the flat spot sticking out where the top block is or a fresher scoop cut away of the back,next to the top block, to try and hide the evidence of the original one piece design, German or Dutch 1600s amd 1700s would have more likely to have one piece construction than nailed on neck like Cremona, zulu out

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This, also, is a common 'trade fiddle' practice.

(I've seen it before on German trade fiddles - late 1800 early 1900's - on Hopf copies, for example)

I had the same feeling, but didn't feel like dashing someone's hopes and dreams. :)

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The presence of an integral bass bar seems to me like a strong indicator of a commercial instrument. I had not previously heard of the practice being used by any classic makers. Can anyone enlighten me on that?

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The presence of an integral bass bar seems to me like a strong indicator of a commercial instrument. I had not previously heard of the practice being used by any classic makers. Can anyone enlighten me on that?

I think that the Hills thought that the early viol makers might have done this and possibly da Salo. I have never heard any claim of any Amatis ever doing this.

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I have never heard any claim of any Amatis ever doing this.

Neither have I. I don't think the better Dutch makers did either, and a violin as described is seldom of high quality, but maybe we're in for a surprise if the photos come up :)

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CT, do you suspect a clever 19th century copy? The neck-set description certainly does suggest a less-than-ancient instrument.

Like everyone else, I beg for photos.

JDD

Through neck is not always a criteria about quality, nor age. It is just a method of construction.

As well as mid European 17th and 18th century makers, certainly some of the English makers, around 1700 used that method too, as illustrated in "The British violin" with two examples, including a 1740 W.Forster.

I am currently restoring a 1799 I.C.Ficker in original condition, with that arrangement, and no corner blocks.

Also I had a fabulous Kennedy cello, superb work, with original carved in bass bar.

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