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Old 01-02-2009, 02:01 AM
Ken McKay Ken McKay is offline
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Here is something odd to me. Look at the contrast in work on the same bass. The corner work is first class showing a superb bee-sting, yet the f-fluting looks as if the maker didn't know how to sharpen a gouge or plane.

I have done a lot of faux antiquing myself (still working on making it convincing ) so I have developed an eye for a fake. Most antiquing done for artistic reasons does not involve wood destruction except maybe a few dings and dents. And corners might be worn in a realistic way, but that seems rare to me, at least in violins. And the lack of cracks is also a tell tale as Ken said.

Varnish wears in different ways but creates patterns that are very difficult to duplicate. Good varnish does not stick completely to the ground underneath and flakes off in large sections early on in its life. The sections that do stick, however, seem to stick forever. The sections where the varnish is gone should show old wood.

The wood underneath the varnish is the hardest to get to look old by artificial means. A general aged gold/yellow will do the trick but does not have the subtle dark honey tone of real aged wood.

Makers like the Kramers (Pohlman) have a "stylized" aging that the Germans are known for. It is very nice looking but easily recognizable.
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