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copy of Nicolaus Amati
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gkeese
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October 16, 2012 - 10:43 pm
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Hello everyone...been gone a while.  Busy with the move, school and other random life things.  (You know what I am talking about.)

Anyways, I recently came across a "copy of nicolaus amati violin made in germany " this weekend in our recently purchased house.  (I can not find a year on it anywhere.)I have heard this name before, but know nothing about it.  The reason I am asking is because the violin is damaged, pretty heavily.  I can hear rattleing inside the violin, the neck is really loose and it has a pretty severe crack on the top.  If the violin is worth something, I would like to take it to my local luthier and have it restored, but if it is a $400 violin and it will cost me $400 to fix it, I can not justify it.  I am not wanting the violin to sell, I want it to play, but I want to make it worth my while.  Any info would be much appreciated. 

Here's hopin' y'all can help me out. crossedfingers

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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cdennyb
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October 17, 2012 - 3:09 am
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pictures? dunno

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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gkeese
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October 17, 2012 - 11:49 am
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I'll get some pics up today after my classes.
Funny, how did I know Dennis would be the first to reply? cheers

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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cdennyb
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October 17, 2012 - 4:02 pm
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gkeese said
I'll get some pics up today after my classes.
Funny, how did I know Dennis would be the first to reply? cheers

 

Just a lucky guess I guess.... LOLcheerleader

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Kevin M.
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October 17, 2012 - 7:56 pm
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If it is going to cost too much to repair, why not repair it yourself. You may find it is a great way to learn.

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Sofia Leo
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October 17, 2012 - 11:40 pm
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I'll second Kevin on this one. I actually have and play one of those German Amati copies and it is sweet! Well worth the repair if you do it yourself, maybe not if you pay to have it done.

The rattling is likely the soundpost - easy fix. The loose neck isn't all that difficult to repair, either. The crack might be a bit problematic, won't know until we see pictures.

We could have a belly crack repair-along if you want, as I have another German trade fiddle that has a wicked belly crack that needs repair...

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gkeese
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October 17, 2012 - 11:42 pm
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Kevin M. said
If it is going to cost too much to repair, why not repair it yourself. You may find it is a great way to learn.

 

I thought about that.  But it depends on what it is worth.  If it is some crappy $200 violin...then maybe.  But if it is actually worth something...I would rather it be done professionaly.  I have a great luthier in town, but he is always so backed up with the Symphony Orchestra work.  And this weekend, then Symphony plays so he is swamped!

I just kinda wondered if anyone knew how to get some info for this thing.  Not exact prices, but a close estimate based on the name.  Pics coming soon...it is in really BAD SHAPE!  Poor little guy...needs a lot of TLC.

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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gkeese
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October 18, 2012 - 1:12 am
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Here are the pics of the violin I came across.  It may not be worth much, but it could make a great project. 

 

Oct-17-2012-165.JPGImage Enlarger

This is after I took it apart.  It has mismatched pegs, and only four of them.  The tailpiece is REALLY thin and the endpin just fell out!Oct-17-2012-166.JPGImage EnlargerOct-17-2012-167.JPGImage EnlargerHere you can see the huge crack running almost all the way to the upper F Hole.Oct-17-2012-168.JPGImage EnlargerNice back...perhaps just a little spit and polish?Oct-17-2012-169.JPGImage EnlargerAnd of course as I was taking pictures the neck and scroll fell off!!  Literaly...I grabed the neck, gently because it was a little loose, then...BAM!- fell right the heck off!Oct-17-2012-170.JPGImage EnlargerIgnore this pic!facepalmOct-17-2012-171.JPGImage EnlargerOct-17-2012-172.JPGImage EnlargerOct-17-2012-173.JPGImage Enlarger

Aside from the pegs, tailpiece, fingerboard and, uhm, well everything...any ideas on where to start.  The crack in the top is what I am most concerned about.  If I can find a little more out about this thing...I would like to fix it up to play.  I do not want to sell it, but I do want to restore it.  Even if it is just a cheap violin, no violin deserves to be treated like this.  Any advice, suggestions or anything...let me know!hats_off

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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Fiddlestix
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October 18, 2012 - 5:24 am
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That look's like a terrific project, Clint. You may have a wonderfull sounding instrument there in your posession.

I'm not a luthier and have never even had the top off a violin but, this thing look's totally repairable. Once the top is off the crack shouldn't be a big deal to repair. A couple clamp's to pull the the crack together, a couple small patch blocks, some hide glue and bingo, you have it. I would be more concerned about bringing back the finish without stripping it. From the pic's, it look's pretty rough but then again there is a lot of dust on it.

I don't see any crack's in the back, in the scroll or peg box, so that's a + in your favor. Fit some new peg's, check the fingerboard for proper scoop, and new bridge, string's and I think you got it.

I've been a cabinet maker for well over 40 year's but never tackled something like this. I'm sure/I know, Kevin can give you great advice for repair's.

Good luck with it. 

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Kevin M.
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October 18, 2012 - 2:14 pm
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This looks like a pre WW2 German factory violin. Most likely from the 20s or 30s.  In it's current condition it would be wortrh about $25.00.  Restored I would think around $300.00 to $500.00.

 

Are there 2 cracks in the top? It looks like there is a crack on the left f hole running up. The pegbox apperas to have had a bushing put into it on the G peg.

 

Let us know what your luthier says about it.

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gkeese
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October 18, 2012 - 2:48 pm
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Thanks Stix for the info.  It is going to be a project.  I am debating on having the Luthier do the top work, and I will take on the cosmetics and fittings.  I may try to do the top, but I would have a lot of research to do.

 

As for Kevin:  There is only the one crack.  What you are seeing is a very shallow scratch, but very wide.  From a distance it looks worse, but I am suprised it is not as bad as it seems.  Thee are others ont here that are worse off, but that one is pretty tame.  As for the peg box; there are no bushings in it that I can tell.  I think it is just very worn and discolored.

I was looking online for scrolls, (maybe customize a scroll a little, blink) but I am not sure.  I think I like the more stardard look of everything.  Perhaps I should just restore it back to original.  As for the fittings...I wish i knew a place to get all that stuff.  I dunno, maybe some type of online fiddle parts store? dunno  Or some type of shop for fiddles?  I guess I'll have to Google that!  lol

Anyways... as I start the work, I'll keep y'all informed.  Never know I may have a great sounding violin in my midst?

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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Fiddlestix
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October 18, 2012 - 3:40 pm
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Kevin, I think what you are seeing that look's like a bushing is where the end of the G string scored the wood as it was being twisted around the peg, the D also has that little circle around the hole, just not as predominant.

Clint, part's are very easy to find, but proper tool's are a bit costly, I think.

If I was tackling this project, I would stay in contact with Kevin, I think he's the Fiddlerman luthier. smile

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ftufc
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October 19, 2012 - 7:04 pm
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Hey Clint, I just saw your thread.  You've got great advice already; here's my $0.02 -

Kevin is exactly right about the age, probably a 1930's German factory made.  The label inside is absolutely meaningless.  I'm not so sure about the peg bushing either, I think Ken has a point (you'd have to provide a pic of the outside of the box on the left side to tell for sure), but regardless, bushing or not, won't affect the sound or value.

The rattling is certainly the sound post.

And I totally agree with Ken, parts are easy to find; it's the tools you'll need to do a decent job; probably run you about $250 for a decent shaver, reamer, plate clamps and side clamps.  But if you intend to repair more instruments then the cost is amortizable.  Ebay has a ton of parts dealers and you can find some really great pricing on pegs, posts, bridges, tailpieces, etc.

But bottom line I think to your original inquiry; not an expensive violin, even in fine condition, so all you could hope for is a great learning experience and maybe you luck out and it sounds sweet.  I think you should dive in and have fun with it.  Kevin is a great resource in this venture.

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gkeese
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November 18, 2012 - 9:22 pm
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Hey sorry folks fo rnot replying sooner...been BUSY!!!

Thanks for the advice Fred and Fiddlestix.  I actually just got around to doing any work to it.  I ordered the pegs and tailpiece I like, but I have to save up a bit to get the cracks fixed.  I am actually looking at having some fun with the scroll!  I see a lot of unique scrolls around the net...dragons, elephants, skulls, blah, blah, blah... So i thought I would go a little "out there" and find a unique scroll, just for fun, lol. 

As i get this stuff I will post more pics. 

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its entire life believing that it is stupid." -Albert Einstein

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Fiddlestix
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November 18, 2012 - 10:42 pm
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I'm not sure if you are aware of it, Clint, but the scroll and the neck are one piece. If you're going to change the scroll you also need to change the neck.

Just thought i'd mention that. 

Oh, I see now, I just checked the pic's again, the neck is already detached. That's a +

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Mark Bliss
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I have one of these in my collection, identical label. Somewhat better condition- finish is a little rough but solid body, no cracks, (Neck still well attached cool)  Yard sale find for nearly nothing.

Its in a long queue for the repair bench, but maybe it needs more priority!

It needs a new sound post, pegs refitted, new bridge and strings- but now I am encouraged to fix her up! Need to re-hair the vintage bow that was in the musty old case too.

I think it might make someone a good old fiddle!

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