Ref :   0910

A very good and interesting violin of
Unknown Origin
Circa 1750

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This violin no longer has its original label in it and its origin has not yet been established. First impressions would suggest German authorship, but much about it recalls workmanship associated with Michael Deconnet in Venice in the mid-18th century, notably in the Fs, the scroll and the typical selection of materials. However, the arching seems too deep to be Italian and the slightly 'square' shoulders again lead one to think German. It will require real expertise to pin down this violin's origin and for that purpose the violin would have to go to experts in Europe.

Authorship aside, this is a very good instrument by all standards - very satisfying to play. The tone has the maturity and nobility that comes with real age and the violin is responsive with good power and projection.

This violin has been the subject of a major restoration some time in its history. For one thing, the entire top has doubling all the way around. (See photos - Doubling is the grafting in of new wood around the edge to secure the top and improve contact with the ribs.) This is normally a painstaking task - extremely well executed in this case. Furthermore, other than the neck graft, the G and E pegholes have been rebushed. A number of minor cracks, which are common in such old instruments, have been superbly repaired and cleated on the inside, and the violin has a very large securing patch inside the top covering the entire area where the bridge stands. Since the violin was sold in the 1956 by the Dutch violin maker, J. J. van de Geest, it would be a safe assumption that he undertook the work to restore the violin, but it could be that the repairs were done well before Van de Geest obtained the violin.

The result of the above restoration is that he violin is structurally completely secure and should remain as such for decades, if not centuries to come.

The violin is sold with the original 1956 sales receipt by Van de Geest, which makes reference to a Giovanni Guidanti label fitted in the violin. This label has since been shown to be an early 20th century replica which certainly in no way was part of the origin of this violin.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 35.6 cm

Condition :
  This violin has been the subject considerable restoration at some time in its history. The top has doubling all the way around, well executed in this case. The violin has a neck graft and the G and E pegholes have been rebushed. A number of minor cracks have been repaired and cleated and the violin has a large sound post patch inside the top.

Provenance :
  The earliest known information about this violin is that it was sold from the studio of the prominent violin maker J. J. van de Geest in Johannesburg in April 1956. Earlier provenance unknown.

Price : P. O. A.


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