11/13/2015

1923 Edward Zoeller 4/4 Violin




This fiddle came in via consignment and while the label bears the name "Edward Zoeller, Louisville, KY 1923," there's not all that much information on the web about this maker. I did manage to scrounge old archives somewhere to find out that said Zoeller family, at least, was involved in stringed repair and sales since the 1890s. Either way, it's an interesting instrument with a good, solid tone to it. Of course, being owned by a fiddler, it's setup quick for fiddling and has a Wittner 4-fine-tuner tailpiece installed by said owner, too. The strings are some sort of more expensive hybrid/synthetic core set and have an exacting sort of response. 

My work included lightly setting the soundpost, a little bit of a bridge shave/adjustment, some seam repairs, and a good setup.



Whether the instrument was made with this murky finish or achieved it over time with some amount of splotchy repair is anyone's guess. I'm assuming that, considering some of the folksier ways this was cut, that it was original (intended to "look old" when new) and "added to" over time. The bridge was a gruesome grey when it came in, though, so perhaps some of the aging is simply -- aging!


The fittings and board are all ebony.



The purfling is "real," thankfully.




The splotchy finish on the back hides, in a sense, a pretty 1-piece birdseye maple plank of wood.





Here's the birdseye I was talking about.








Weird chinrest, huh?




This comes with an old period hard case.

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