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jimmson
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22/11/2005
02:09:50
Subject: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Its of my good frend, i dont know anything about this.

Antonius Stradivarius 1731
Very old, 275 years, it is original.

Does anyone know its value?


Gordon M Burns
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22/11/2005
03:29:55
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Firstly, please read the messages about copies of Strad violins.

Secondly, how do you know it is genuine? If you are sure, then you'll be able to explain why you are sure.

Thirdly, a genuine Strad could be worth a million or more, then again, your friend's copy is probably worth more like a few hundred at most.

Regards,
Gordon


jimson
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22/11/2005
04:24:00
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Inside is old certificate - antonius stradivarius 1731, violin looks very old and drty.


Toni
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22/11/2005
08:17:00
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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I'm sorry to say that it'll be a fake unless you have got documentation from an established and respected violin dealer that confirms its authenticity.

The "very old certificate" inside the violin is nothing more than a fake label - all Strad copies have these, and look old and dirty.

Please do a search for Stradivarius in the previous messages posted here, and you can learn all about them. I'm afraid your friend is going to be disappointed.


jimson
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23/11/2005
04:04:50
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Man of these violin is 150 years dead.


John Thornton
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23/11/2005
04:45:41
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Hello,

Notwithstanding the many negative responses you have received, and will continue to recieve, there is just as much chance that the violin is genuine as not. Good quality, high resolution pictures of a specific nature can go a long way in helping make an initial assessment.

I am a serious collector with over 85 instruments in my possession. I have done private research and study for over 30 years. My experience in this field enables me to ACCURATELY IDENTIFY any authentic Cremonese violin by Antonio Stradivari, or Joseph Guarneri del Gesu.

If you've got the pictures, I've got the time.

If the violin is a genuine example by Antonio Stradivari, I will tell you so. And, provide the facts based on the evidence and the evidence based on the facts.

If your violin is not a genuine example by Antonio Stradivari, I will tell you so. And, provide the facts based on the evidence and the evidence based on the facts.

You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

"The violin will speak for itself"...Dario D'Atilli.

Fair enough?

Regards,
John Thornton
John's Fiddle Shop
1257 Keego Road
Brewton, Alabama
USA 36426

email:
johnsonmaynard@bellsouth.net



Toni
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23/11/2005
11:06:11
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Dear John,

Forgive me, but I find it difficult to agree with your statement that the violin has as much chance of being genuine as not. There were only 1000 instruments ever made by Stradivari, yet there are hundreds of thousands of fakes. This would lead me to conclude that if a violin has a Strad label, it is much more likely to be a fake Strad than a genuine Strad. Please do correct me if my logic is wrong here though, as I am no expert.

Toni





Gordon M Burns
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23/11/2005
12:20:04
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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No Toni, I think your logic is exquisitely logical :o)

We are not talking here about choosing between two banknotes, one genuine and the other a forgery, giving one a 50% chance of choosing the one that is genuine... Oh my word, no! We are talking about looking at a pile of ten million forged banknotes and pulling out the only one that is genuine... 9,999,999 to one against. That's the real odds of it being genuine!

Regards,
Gordon


John Thornton
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23/11/2005
13:52:03
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Hi Gordon!! How are you my friend?

Let us keep in mind that very few Stradivari instruments (from the year 1731) have been recorded. Two violins: The Maurin (stolen), and The Garcin, along with one viola that Paganini owned are illustrated in Ernest Doring.

At the time of publishing, three violins and one viola were known to be in the U.S.

**Two violins, and one violoncello were known to be abroad. **

**Doring notes that the instruments listed outside of the U.S. were in cities that were ravaged by war, and their fates unknown.

So, I think the chances are pretty good. I want to see some pictures of that fiddle!!

Kind regards,
John


dont bother
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23/11/2005
17:49:34
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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its funny but ive gotten a original stradivarius it dosent say where it was made it has a inscription on the back left corner is says Maurin ive herd that is was stolen after the concert in italy and i guess i have it im from germany where i have done some studdeys and ive gotten the value for it- its worth 3.25 million


Yeah buddy
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23/11/2005
18:01:14
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Gud fer u

got me one em air scrapivairee us es too.


Toni
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23/11/2005
19:51:03
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Hi John,

Can you let us know why you specifically want to see jimmson's "Stradivari" violin, as opposed to the hundreds of other "Stradivari" violins that people on this forum have? Every other post here is about violins exactly like it.

Do you mind me asking, have you got a Strad in your own collection? Which real Strads have you had access to, that you have been able to study yourself in real life? Obviously it would be impossible to give a positive identification for a Strad if one hadn't had access to the known originals.

Cheers,
Toni


John Thornton
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23/11/2005
21:51:43
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Hi Toni,

I have already explained why I want to see the fiddle with the 1731 label. It's doubtful the man will get pictures, because the instrument belongs to another person. No one knows for sure until it can be seen.
Yes, I have real Antonio Stradivari violins, and violoncellos, real Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu violins, and a real Andrea Guarneri violin too.

Some of the so-called, so-named, 'certified as genuine' instruments are not. Greed is a driving force in the shadowed world, and some will do anything to get rich. A fine Cremona is worth a lot of money, but not all of them are great sounding concert instruments. The prestige of owning a famous piece is important to many; the prestige of playing a famous instrument is a great help to a virtuoso. Prestige is the bottom line.


A gentleman friend from the Northeast visited me this past January, bringing with him a Hill certified Pietro(Venice) Guarneri dated 1735, and a 1717 Stradivari with four cracks in the left lower back. The back in the 1735 Pietro Guarneri is identical to the back in my circa 1741 Guarneri del Gesu. I acquired the del Gesu afterwards, but I took pictures of both his violins during our visitation.

We spent a wonderful weekend playing our instruments, comparing them and discussing the individual merits and faults of each one. Some restorer working for a shop in NYC put a big patch inside the back of the 1717 Stradivari, which dampens the response to the bow. It sounds good, but not as good as it could. The Pietro Guarneri sounds like a Guarneri should sound.

You must realize, that not even the Hill family got to see ALL the violins made by these great makers. No records were kept, some have been destroyed, and some have been stolen and never recovered. William Henely stated his belief that at least 100 Strads would be eventually recorded, and quite a few Guarneri family instruments as well. According to the Hill firm, 40% of Guarneri del Gesu fiddles left the shop without the makers label. Put that in the mix and you really have a can of worms.

It doesn't take a 'recognized expert' to identify an old Cremona. It does take a lot of research, study, concentration, training your eyes and ears, an almost photographic memory, and repeated testing of these faculties. I've done this for more than 30 years. I know a Cremona fiddle when I see one, and that is a fact.

I thank God every day for the blessings he has given me. My instruments are not famous, but they are real, and all of them have fabulous tonal qualities.

Regards,
John


Toni
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24/11/2005
00:55:54
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Dear John,

It's very interesting to hear from you. Could you please explain though why you believe that this man's violin is possibly a genuine Stradivari, but not all the other hundreds of Strad-labelled instruments that have been discussed on this board?

Also, which actual *authenticated* original Strads have you had access to? Surely you have to have physically worked with Cremonese instruments for a long time in order to be able to identify one? I note that you have a scathing opinion of the established "experts", but that is how they themselves gain their expertise.

Thanks for your email, by the way - I'm afraid that I was quite shocked to see that you had revarnished your own Strad, even if as you say God had guided you in doing so, because you have compromised its authenticity. Where did you train as a luthier? Of course, the violin just looks like any pretty Italian violin to me, so as a cosmetic restoration you've done a good job, although I've never seen a picture of a known Strad that has such shiny glassy varnish. Is the neck in its original configuration?

Warm regards,
Toni


John Thonton
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24/11/2005
04:01:59
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Dear Toni,

Interesting? What I do is far more that than. It is a joy. I stated the violin has just as much chance to be an original as not. I didn't say I believed it was. I said I could identify it. You are fishing. I'm not a fish. Neither do I have a scathing opinion of the established "experts". Some have a scathing opinion of me. Read my first post, and re-read the email I sent.
Use the zoom feature in your picture file. Elbow grease makes a varnish shine. Two of the three original nails remain in the neck heel; the third one bent as it contacted the hard maple. The authenticity has not been "compromised", there was no varnish on the fiddle when it was given to me. Almost every Strad and del Gesu has been french polished. Shellac is not good for a fiddle. I taught myself to repair, and read a lot of past authorities instructions.

Warm regards,
John


Toni
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24/11/2005
05:04:39
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Hi John,

I am not "fishing" for anything! I'm just very interested - I am sceptical about people who claim to own Strads, but am also very willing to be proved wrong.

What happened to the original varnish on your Strad? You said it had "no varnish" - do you mean it was badly rubbed away, or it had never been varnished? Having worked with historical objects in museums I personally think that you have compromised the authenticity, in either case - you have changed its authentic state. But, that's just my own opinion and I'm happy to agree to disagree :)

How do you KNOW it is a real Strad - I am assuming that you must have had physical access to authenticated Strads to be able to recognise one. Otherwise, how have you decided that this violin was made by Stradivari rather than any other master violin maker?

Why do some established experts have a scathing opinion of you? What have other violin experts said about your Strad, Guarnerius etc?

Please forgive me if some of my questions appear to be challenging you. I'm not trying to "prove you wrong" or anything, but I'm just fascinated by your claims! It's not everyday that you meet someone who has identified and restored a Strad and a Guarnerius and a del Gesu :)

Regards,
Toni




jimson
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24/11/2005
05:25:15
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Dear people,

no problem i send u lack from violin with post on your home adress. You give that lack to experts and you know truth.
Send my e-mails on jimson@net.hr i send u a pictures.

Thanx!


John Thornton
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24/11/2005
10:46:32
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Dear Toni,

"A picture is worth a thousand words", don't you think? Several pictures should be worth a little more.

The first fiddle I ever saw was a Stradivari, or was it a del Gesu? I forget which. Suffice it to say, I don't care whether a Stradivari or a del Juicy is "certified as authentic", or not. I have seen and handled a violin "certified" by two different experts to be by a modern Italian maker from Turin. (Felice Oliveri, 1901).

The experts failed to notice the remains of the original label underneath Oliveri's label and the finest restorations done to a fiddle my eyes have ever seen, and most likely will never see the equal of it again, anywhere. I went over the violin with a powerful magnifying glass and saw details of the restoration work the owner never knew existed. When I stated my findings, they were stunned beyond words! It goes to show you never can tell... until you see for yourself. Charles Reade wrote these words...."Use your own eyes.... never mind what the experts say". I'm sure you know the name.

Now, back to the fiddle....

The well regarded "experts" were off by about 170 years, give or take a couple, and the exact distance from Turin to Cremona. The fiddle was a MAGNIFICENT Guarneri del Gesu, circa 1730-35, with a quarter sawn (oriented on the slant) one piece back of stunningly beautiful maple with broad figure. That instrument belongs to a Jewish lady who resides in West Virginia with her husband and children.

How do I determine the identity of a "soi-distant" Stradivari?

Measurements taken of the outline give the overall size of the piece. Measurements from the outside to the outside of the purfling give the dimensions of the mould around which the rib garland was built, ie; the outside of the mould equals the inside of the ribs. Stradivari cut the purfling channel so that the outside of the channel equals the inside of the rib, which is the outside of the mould. Direct comparisons of the type and nature of the wood used for the backs; the depth, thickness and manner of installing the purfling, (especially in the points.) The shape, size, and manner of carving the scroll including the different widths of the right and left channels of the volute, the differing sweep and forward throw of the volute, and the termination of the channels at the bosses; (whew!!)... the shape, placement and carving of ff holes. And, most especially, the interior construction. All these are important and are given consideration in the identification process.

Warm regards,
John


Gordon M Burns
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24/11/2005
11:46:21
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Hi John,

I must admit to being more than a little concerned for your welfare over the last few months. Maybe you could update me on developments?

Now, you don't think that you can get away with quoting purfling-to-mould dimensions with me :o)

OK, I agree with your dimensions regarding outer purfling margin and inner rib alignment, but let's have the full story on it, please. I think it is true to say that this is basic Cremona School stuff, practiced by makers of that School since the early 1700's and still practiced by them today. Also, it's true to say that the English School (Newark) work exactly on this principle.

You mention 'especially in the points' by which I take your reference to the mitred corners and 'bee-stings'? Certainly the Cremona School and the English School has been doing it thus for centuries, and still do.

Having recently completed a faithful copy of the 1704 Betts Strad, I can honestly say that my scroll would probably be taken as one by the Master himself, simply because it was copied precisely, down to 1/10mm (4 thousandths of an inch)! I dare say that it is probably more accurate and consistant than those of Stradiuari himself. The f-holes are exactly those of the Betts, to within 1/10mm. The mould is accurate to 1/10mm in all dimensions... basically, the mould was made to the exact dimensions of The Betts.

Basically, an expert examining my latest Betts model on measurement alone (even on measurement and making methods) would almost certainly declare that it is a genuine Strad. The fact that I have my own ticket inside it, and the fact that it was made from 12 year felled stock, may make this claim a little difficult to substantiate in terms of scientific investigation (dendrochronology, etc) but on measurement, and on Cremonese making methods alone, I am positive that it would pass the test. And yes, there are three rusty nail holes in the top block, of course, just as in the original!

The main difference, is that my creation (OK, not my creation, per se, but merely copying the work of Stradiuari)... my copy... does not bear a facsimile ticket purporting it to be something that it is not. I can guarantee, though, that in every other way, it is precisely of the Cremonese School, and it even looks 300 years old, both inside and out; so much so that it has fooled a few 'experts' before they looked at the ticket inside.

Warmest regards,
Gordon


John Thornton
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24/11/2005
14:08:28
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Hi Gordon,

Thank you sir! I am doing much better now. A few modern luthiers, such as yourself, have attained a very high level of skill and expertise. I knew you were very knowledgeable when you shared your wonderful treatise on the Cremonese Masters with me. I was and still am very impressed, and treasure that work. You should write another!!

Several years ago, I coined a phrase....
"The physical appearance of antiquity can be duplicated by modern techniques, but the material substance of antiquity cannot be duplicated by any technique".

Simone F. Saconni also states that certain characterists of Stradivari's work "cannot be duplicated with the hand and eye". Those subtle characteristics are known to very few who haven't studied these great past masters works, or read the great true experts writings.

This is the very reason your violin could fool some experts, but it couldn't fool me. The only violin that ever came close, was a superbly fine del Gesu copy by Samuel Nemessanyi. But in all honesty, even that instrument was far from the original, especially in tone.

A Stradivari or del Gesu in great condition almost seems to "anticipate" the bow; responding instantly to the lightest touch, and continues to ring well after the bow has left the strings. My most recent acquistion is a 1709 Carlo Tononi, Venice. It has more wear and tear on it than just about any Stradivari or del Gesu in existence. Every previous owner for the past 295 years must have LOVED to play it, and the tone qualites immediately show why.

I'll send some close up views of where the left hand goes and you can see what I mean. If you could tell me how to, if you allow the posting of a picture, I would love to share this instrument with everyone. Otherwise, many will not recieve the benefit of instruction on a genuine example by a revered Venetian Master. Fortunately the maker's original label is inside the back, undisturbed.

God Bless You, and this wonderful forum!!

Sincerely,
John


john thornton
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06/2/2006
16:19:29
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Dear John, Are you the same John Thornton who used to live in Texas? Knew Kenneth McDuffie & Dario D'Atilli? If so, lets talk!


Christopher Hauke
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26/3/2006
17:03:44
RE: 275 year old, original, stradivarius 1731
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Mr. Thornton, your many paragraphs have provided me with
some of the soundest thinking and thorough knowledge I
have encountered about fine fiddles so far, and because you
refused to get beligerant over certain challenges, I view your
opinions with much assurrance. I often lament the lack of
"street sense" in the commentaries of obviously educated and
experienced "appraisers". Thank you, sir. Please keep writing.


GABE
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11/4/2006
11:27:04
RE: hi
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hi, what are the chances of a antonios stradivarius cremona fecit anno 1731, appearing in mexico, how many have been found in this country(original), i have a friend that has one and says its been in his family for 4 -5 generations, la label inside the violin says exactly how i wrote it above, what do i have to look for to see if its original or fake.


P 1


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