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  #21  
Old 01-21-2009, 12:13 PM
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Cool "Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive", Shakespeare. ?

"Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive", Shakespeare.?

In the Morris book of British makes at the end of the chapter on BF Fendt II, he writes, and I 'quote';

"Oh what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive!"

Slightly different but I never knew its origin 'till now.

The English made actual fakes over 150 years ago but we seem now to mainly point the finger at the Gypsy's. The Morris Book was written about a century ago originally. My book is an original second edition from 1920. At that point in time, the Fendt's were viewed as criminals for the most part. Today, we think of them as the most clever workman ever to work the British Isles. These are the sons of Bernhardt Fendt I. Also in that mix add the son of his pupil John Lott I which is JF Lott Jr. aka Jack Lott. Between the 2nd generation of London makers of the Fendts and Jack Lott, we have many a crooked fiddle roaming around. Some of the Basses made back then were antiqued as well but rarely. After 150-200 years, they are actually very old. My own Hart bass is from that era and looks ages older than my Violincello grade Gilkes Bass which was made with the most transperant high grade Varnish of its time. The crackled Red over the Gold makes the Hart look from a distance like a real Maggini, not just a model. I have seen a Kennedy Bass like this as well.
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  #22  
Old 01-21-2009, 10:46 PM
Martin Sheridan Martin Sheridan is offline
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Default Shake

Ken,
"Oh wad the power the Gifty gae us, to see ourselves as others see us"
Bobby Burns.

As in the other quote....don't quote me on that.
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  #23  
Old 01-22-2009, 08:50 AM
Sam Sherry Sam Sherry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
Ok, you Detectives. You have missed the biggest clue here. . . . I have a book of 20th century makers and besides labels that have a section on address (business cards).
Ken, I have got to wonder whether that book is entirely authentic . . . .

Thanks for the moment's grin. BEST, SAM
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  #24  
Old 01-22-2009, 11:27 AM
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Unhappy typo..

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Originally Posted by Sam Sherry View Post
Ken, I have got to wonder whether that book is entirely authentic . . . .

Thanks for the moment's grin. BEST, SAM
Good eyes Sam.. 20th century, not 29th. I fixed it and edited the quote as well. Please forgive me. We should live so long.. On my keyboard the 9 and 0 are right next to each other. Doesn't 0 come before 1?
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  #25  
Old 01-22-2009, 03:00 PM
Martin Sheridan Martin Sheridan is offline
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Default Enabling fakery

Sadly the Brinser book on modern Italian makers has enabled the fakers by providing pages of facimiles of the labels.
I was in a violin shop once that had a modern Chinese instrument varnished from the white with a label in it from that book. Since I had just identified a Cremonese violin without recourse to looking at the label they handed me the new violin and said that it had been varnished at the shop by one of their repairers. I've wondered then and since then if they would had mentioned it if I hadn't identified the first violin? Let's hope so.
But as I mentioned above the identification of contemporary Italian violin makers has been hopelessly poluted already. It will be even harder in a hundred years to know what's what.
I was told by an expert in American violins (there may be only one) that many hand made American violins are sent to Europe where they acquire the spurious Italian labels. The reason being is that they so closely resemble those violins. After the death of G B Guadanini the Italian apprenticeship system pretty much died out so that those who wanted to make violins were mostly self taught which was also the case with most American makers up until the advent of the American violin making schools which now only covers a span of about thirty years.
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  #26  
Old 01-22-2009, 05:05 PM
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Cool Labels and..

Besides Brinser there are many Labels in the Jalovec books as well as some of the old English Books.

On your Guad./apprentice comment, is this just Turin or all of Italy? I don't think this is true in general. Maybe the industry itself died down a little along with it the desire to apprentice in that field.

On the Label thing once again, many a dealer have taken labels out of instruments and replaced them with either a more famous one or just made a fake more famous one if not just throw a label in it to mark up the price. Our friend Bob B. has seen plenty of 'homeless' labels in his time. In my opinion, short of a disaster, there is very little reason to remove a label from an instrument other than for the purpose of profiteering.
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  #27  
Old 01-24-2009, 03:03 PM
Martin Sheridan Martin Sheridan is offline
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One of the most import ways of identifying an instrument is to know what the genuine label looks like. Brinser did a service by showing us copies of labels from violins he had purchased directly from the makers. So they are both a source of help and a source of tomfoolery. That's also somewhat true with all of the books that have copies of labels, it's just that the Brinser book is the most reliable for 20th centruy Italian makers and they in turn are the ones whose identities are being co opted.

So far as I know, Carol Berzoni (III?) and G. B Guadanini are considered to be the last of the Cremonese makers from the golden period. I'm not sure of the exact period or number of years, but there were no makers in Cremona for a long time. It is believed that the Ceruti were self taught (though their instruments are exceptionally well crafted and designed), and I think there are many sources that say that the direct line of maker to apprentice died out. I've seen two or three dozen 19th and up to mid 20th century Italian violins and they are pretty crude by comparison to the earlier makers. Their work was often haphazard, or we might even say somewhat artistic, but at least they knew the classic design. In the late 19th century and early 20th century there are some real stand outs like the Bisiachs and the Antonazzis but most of them are the also rans. Workmanship and varnish are crude. I know a man who went to the Italian school in Cremona in the early 70s and he said they did not even teach varnishing and knew nothing about how to produce a good varnish. He had to learn it later. He said that the only varnish they made was straight shellac. I worked on a cello made at the school in 1974, this was in 76 or 77 and it was fairly crude and had a butt ugly varnish. Of course since it was "Italian" (by an American) the price paid was astronomical for the time.
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  #28  
Old 01-24-2009, 06:11 PM
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Cool huh?

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Originally Posted by Martin Sheridan View Post
One of the most import ways of identifying an instrument is to know what the genuine label looks like. Brinser did a service by showing us copies of labels from violins he had purchased directly from the makers. So they are both a source of help and a source of tomfoolery. That's also somewhat true with all of the books that have copies of labels, it's just that the Brinser book is the most reliable for 20th centruy Italian makers and they in turn are the ones whose identities are being co opted.

So far as I know, Carol Berzoni (III?) and G. B Guadanini are considered to be the last of the Cremonese makers from the golden period. I'm not sure of the exact period or number of years, but there were no makers in Cremona for a long time. It is believed that the Ceruti were self taught (though their instruments are exceptionally well crafted and designed), and I think there are many sources that say that the direct line of maker to apprentice died out. I've seen two or three dozen 19th and up to mid 20th century Italian violins and they are pretty crude by comparison to the earlier makers. Their work was often haphazard, or we might even say somewhat artistic, but at least they knew the classic design. In the late 19th century and early 20th century there are some real stand outs like the Bisiachs and the Antonazzis but most of them are the also rans. Workmanship and varnish are crude. I know a man who went to the Italian school in Cremona in the early 70s and he said they did not even teach varnishing and knew nothing about how to produce a good varnish. He had to learn it later. He said that the only varnish they made was straight shellac. I worked on a cello made at the school in 1974, this was in 76 or 77 and it was fairly crude and had a butt ugly varnish. Of course since it was "Italian" (by an American) the price paid was astronomical for the time.
Carol Berzoni (III?) and G. B Guadanini?

Who is Carol Berzoni? Do you mean Carlo Bergonzi?

G. B Guadanini? You mean G.B. GuadaGnini, right? By the way, he was NOT from Cremona, sorry. The Gaud. family mainly worked in and around Turin, not Cremona.

Ceruti reportedly learned from Storioni and took over his shop. Storioni is considered to be the last great or traditional Cremona maker but both G.B Ceruti and his son Giuseppe were great in their own right as well. This info I offer only from what I have read. No one I know was alive back then! I have seen a Bass by each of them. Outstanding to say the least.
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  #29  
Old 01-25-2009, 02:07 AM
Martin Sheridan Martin Sheridan is offline
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Default ok

Thanks for the correctins especially on the spellings. I shuda kept my books. Bergonzi mispelling was a typo, Guadagnini a mistake.
I thought Resengard had said Ceruti was self taught. If he learned from Storioni it would certainly explain the quality of both father and son's work.
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  #30  
Old 01-25-2009, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Martin Sheridan View Post
Thanks for the correctins especially on the spellings. I shuda kept my books. Bergonzi mispelling was a typo, Guadagnini a mistake.
I thought Resengard had said Ceruti was self taught. If he learned from Storioni it would certainly explain the quality of both father and son's work.
First off, was just trying to avoid confusion. With the books, we are all smart.. lol

As far as who learned from whom, we weren't there so we go with the flow until proven wrong. On Martini for instance, most books say he learned from S.Scarampella. One dealer in modern Italian Violins who actually might have been associated with Brinser (sold me my Brinser book as well) said that Martini may have known Scarampella and consulted with him but was NOT his pupil for Violin making. In these days, you hang out in a shop, ask a few questions, go home and try a few things and then tell people you learned from that person. No formal enrollment required, just a different perspective on 'learning from'! In the case of Samuel Gilkes and John Thomas Hart there are documents on record of his apprenticeship contract so there's no mystery there.
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  #31  
Old 01-26-2009, 02:05 PM
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Sometimes information gets shifted around in the old brain and doesn't come out right later when one wants to make the recollection.

I may have associated Guadagnini with Cremona for erroneous reasons.
A lot of people went through the shop of Nicolo Amati. There is one Stradivari violin from his early period that says "alumnus Nicolo Amati" but there is no other information that I know of that links him directly to the Amati shop. Since he lived in Cremona he may have simply walked to the shop for instruction, there would have been no need for him to have lived there. His early instruments bear a likeness to Nicolo's work, but someone pointed out that he was so talented that he might have just copied one.

The reason I mention this is that I believe there are some Guadagnini instruments that bear the inscription on their label as "alumnus Stradivari". That of course doesn't mean that he was Stradivari's pupil. It may only mean that he was trying to get a few more pesos for his work.
On the other hand a lot of people went through Stradivari's shop who might not have been recorded as having worked there. Some think that Guarneri del Gesu may have worked for Stradivari during the ten year period where we find no instruments made by him.
In the case of Guadagnini we know from Count Cozio de Salabue that he employed him to make instruments for him from the molds and designs of Stradivari that he purchased from Stradivari's son Paolo.

I wonder what Duane Rosengard has had to say about it? I understand that he has a new well researched book on Guadagnini.
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  #32  
Old 01-26-2009, 02:35 PM
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Cool well...

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Originally Posted by Martin Sheridan View Post
Sometimes information gets shifted around in the old brain and doesn't come out right later when one wants to make the recollection.

I may have associated Guadagnini with Cremona for erroneous reasons.
A lot of people went through the shop of Nicolo Amati. There is one Stradivari violin from his early period that says "alumnus Nicolo Amati" but there is no other information that I know of that links him directly to the Amati shop. Since he lived in Cremona he may have simply walked to the shop for instruction, there would have been no need for him to have lived there. His early instruments bear a likeness to Nicolo's work, but someone pointed out that he was so talented that he might have just copied one.

The reason I mention this is that I believe there are some Guadagnini instruments that bear the inscription on their label as "alumnus Stradivari". That of course doesn't mean that he was Stradivari's pupil. It may only mean that he was trying to get a few more pesos for his work.
On the other hand a lot of people went through Stradivari's shop who might not have been recorded as having worked there. Some think that Guarneri del Gesu may have worked for Stradivari during the ten year period where we find no instruments made by him.
In the case of Guadagnini we know from Count Cozio de Salabue that he employed him to make instruments for him from the molds and designs of Stradivari that he purchased from Stradivari's son Paolo.

I wonder what Duane Rosengard has had to say about it? I understand that he has a new well researched book on Guadagnini.
I don't have a copy of that book and it's out of print as well. I would buy one if it came up for sale at a fair price to me.

On the Alumni to Strad, Alessandro Gagliano and his brother G.B., both reportedly worked for him. I did find however a reference for Lorenzo Guadagnini who worked for Strad. Typically the Guad. family worked in Turin as well as Milan and Piacenza and some other places. I guess there is some Strad in at least one member of the family as well as his son who started in Cremona. Many of this family moved around. I just saw a few labels in the Jalovec book that shows a few of the members as alumni to Strad. News to me. Being into Bass mainly I never noticed. My bad, sorry Martin. You were right.

Right now my jaw is a little sore from pulling by foot out of my mouth. I admit that my memory of what I have read was true but my readings were not complete. My sincere apologies.

What does all of this have to do with Basses? Well, very little but some. Basses were made by members of both the Gagliano and Guadagnini families. I have never heard of any of the Basses coming from Cremona though. Giuseppe Guadagnini, the oldest of the family trained with N.Amati so I guess the 'roots' are from Cremona with this family but according to who you read, the association with Strad is 'loose' if at all mentioned.
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  #33  
Old 01-26-2009, 07:23 PM
Martin Sheridan Martin Sheridan is offline
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Default and then

Absolutely no need for an apology. I was clearly wrong. As someone said, there's a reason why erasures are put on pencils.

What did this have to do with basses? You started a very good topic on the eastern European fakes now on the market and then one thing let to another. I get a little bent sometimes when things get off topic and this time I think I'm the one who was responsible. But I think we were talking about the difficult task of identification which led to f-hole placement which led to how the Italians themselves lost the how and why they did things.

I forgot to mention on the f hole placement issue that Sacconi said he didn't think that Stradivari's sons even understood why the old man put them where he did because he was no sooner dead than they started moving them around. I prefer to think that they had been ordered around by the old man for so long that they just wanted to try out some of their own ideas. I can just hear him saying, "put the f holes there because I said too, no ands ifs or buts!"
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  #34  
Old 03-21-2009, 07:36 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
"Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive", Shakespeare.?

In the Morris book of British makes at the end of the chapter on BF Fendt II, he writes, and I 'quote';

"Oh what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive!"
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive."
Sir Walter Scott (the author), being an Englishman, spelt the verb form of 'practice' with an 's'.
Sorry, but detail is important.
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  #35  
Old 03-21-2009, 08:06 PM
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Wink Detail?

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Originally Posted by Richard Prowse View Post
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive."
Sir Walter Scott (the author), being an Englishman, spelt the verb form of 'practice' with an 's'.
Sorry, but detail is important.
But to deceive, it must be spelled/spelt correctly, no?
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  #36  
Old 03-22-2009, 12:36 AM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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But to deceive, it must be spelled/spelt correctly, no?
Ken, my dear friend, what the heck are you talking about?
Sorry, but I don't get your point.
And, I must add, how does having a winking blue guy assist my understanding? I mean, you might as well have someone performing souix war dance!
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  #37  
Old 03-22-2009, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard Prowse View Post
Ken, my dear friend, what the heck are you talking about?
Sorry, but I don't get your point.
And, I must add, how does having a winking blue guy assist my understanding? I mean, you might as well have someone performing souix war dance!
The quote in question was from an old book I have and made in reference to the Fendts that made many copies and forgeries of Strad and Guarnieri. To forge, you must make it correctly hence, spelling in your case..
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:59 AM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
The quote in question was from an old book I have and made in reference to the Fendts that made many copies and forgeries of Strad and Guarnieri. To forge, you must make it correctly hence, spelling in your case..
Sorry Ken, my dear friend.
"To forge, you must make it correctly hence, spelling in your case.."
Should I read this sentence more in context? I understand that the quote is from an old book. Where was the book written?
Did the author of this old book explain things with little faces? (I'm teasing with this one!)
So, to forge, you must get things right - is that what you're saying?
What is the spelling that you are referring to?
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  #39  
Old 03-22-2009, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prowse View Post
Sorry Ken, my dear friend.
"To forge, you must make it correctly hence, spelling in your case.."
Should I read this sentence more in context? I understand that the quote is from an old book. Where was the book written?
Did the author of this old book explain things with little faces? (I'm teasing with this one!)
So, to forge, you must get things right - is that what you're saying?
What is the spelling that you are referring to?
The Book is from England, the same place where the makers are he referred to. The word was practise (from 'practise to deceive'), spelled (spelt?) practice.

ok?
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  #40  
Old 03-22-2009, 01:17 AM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Harry Botham, ex LSO and principal of the NZSO in the very early 1960s, owned a Fendt. I hope my memory is correct here. I took a few lessons off him in the 1970s. He charged NZ$20, which included at least two glasses of Port Wine.
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