7/17/2016

1900s German-made? 4/4 Violin



There's no label but this fiddle corresponds in many ways to your average early-1900s German-import violin. It has a stained-maple fingerboard, bridge, and chinrest which put it in the "standard-issue" grade, as all appear to be original (or period) to it. The odd bit out, however, is the nicely-carved, tight-grain spruce top and nicely-carved, one-piece maple back. To top it off, the whole thing was "faux-aged" when it was built. It's an interesting instrument.

I basically did a glorified setup on this -- fit a replacement soundpost, recut and fit its bridge, repaired a small seam separation, cut a new (bone) nut, and popped some pegs on. Someone reglued its neck sometime back a little "off," however, so I also had to re-hang the tailpiece a little to the treble side.

Tonally, this has a sort of midsy, "airy" quality that sounds great for double-stopped fiddling but would probably not suit a concert violin at all. For concert work, it'd really need to have the neck knocked-back, anyhow. The current bridge is low but plenty playable.



I had some old celluloid banjo pegs on-hand and they were the best-fitting set in my pile of old violin/friction pegs. The bonus is that they tend to not "stick" like a wood peg as they don't swell/shrink so much in different seasons -- and being a type of plastic, they're also almost "self-lubricated" in a sense. This customer also probably won't mind an individualistic look!


The strings are the usual John Pearse "Mezzo Artiste" ones I tend to use. For $27, they sound and handle a lot like Dominants and are made by Thomastik as well.



As you can see, some bully has been at the f-holes with his pocket-knife. Urgh.




The back is one-piece maple and has light figure throughout.





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