8/09/2016

1900s German-made? Unmarked 4/4 Violin





Yet another mystery fiddle! A fiddler over on the Middlebury side of the Green Mountains has been keeping the shop supplied with consignment instruments and this is another one of his finds. It's full-size, unmarked, and probably of German origin. The sound is both crisp and velvety at the same time with a bit of a nice "burr" that makes double-stops delicious. Excuse my playing -- I always feel really cramped next to a mic.

My only work on it was to set it up but it appears that the pegs, bridge, tailpiece, and chinrest are probably later additions. There are also two repaired cracks on the top and the strings are some sort of quality make -- the owner uses Thomastiks of various sorts exclusively -- and sound good.


When this was built it was "pre-aged" with various "distressing" techniques common to the late 1800s and early 1900s, though of course over time it's also gotten some "real" aging by way of scritchy-scratchy here and there and rosin-deposit buildup in front of the bridge.

It's handsome in an old-fashioned sort of way.


The pegs are decently-fit and hold well.


The board and nut are ebony.



The tailpiece is synthetic but boasts 4 fine-adjusters.



Who doesn't like a one-piece back?










Sorry about the grass!

The saddle is a little undersized, too, as you can see.

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