FORUM

Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

Fiddlershop is currently looking for a 7th repair/setup/luthier technician to join our team. Send PM if you are interested.

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Help Identifying 1897 J.Johnson Violin
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
Michael
Member
Members
December 28, 2018 - 4:00 pm
Member Since: December 28, 2018
Forum Posts: 3
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I purchased this violin in hopes of my children playing it at some point in the future.  (I play cello.)  Does anyone know anything about this violin?

Inside is penciled:

J. Johnson
Mineapolis
1897

(notice the one 'n' in Minneapolis)  I live in Minnesota, so I am assuming "Mineapolis" refers to the one in the Twin Cities.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?  Any idea of its worth?20181228_144524.jpgImage Enlarger20181228_144616.jpgImage Enlarger20181228_144656.jpgImage Enlarger20181228_144717.jpgImage Enlarger20181228_144743.jpgImage Enlarger20181228_144802.jpgImage Enlarger

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
December 28, 2018 - 5:20 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1178
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Michael and others.  Is the violin a fractional size?  If in doubt, measure the length of the body and see if it is 14 inches.  The reason why I ask is that it looks to me like the tailpiece is oversized for it (like a 4/4 tailpiece on a 3/4 Violin) and the bridge has been moved up toward the end of the fingerboard to compensate (the bridge normally located by referencing the “Mensur” on the f holes.

@bocaholly had similar work done on her violin so that she can play it has a 7/8 violin.

There is a stick called the sound post placed inside the body adjacent to the “e” String side of the bridge.  You can view it through the treble side f hole.  Please take a picture of the sound post to see if that was moved forward as well.

The Violin appears to be in good shape and well made.  The issues I suggest seem to have been made in a coordinated fashion to address a need of a past user, and should be easy to sort if your children want to play it in a “normal” fashion.

No clue as to value.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

Avatar
Michael
Member
Members
December 28, 2018 - 5:41 pm
Member Since: December 28, 2018
Forum Posts: 3
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Irv said
...Is the violin a fractional size?  If in doubt, measure the length of the body and see if it is 14 inches...

Thanks, Irv!  Yes, it is indeed 14 inches long.

..the sound post placed inside the body adjacent to the “e” String side of the bridge...

I made the silly mistake of adjusting the pegs and the sound post came loose.  It now rolls around inside.

Avatar
Shane "Chicken" Wang
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
December 28, 2018 - 5:49 pm
Member Since: October 25, 2018
Forum Posts: 283
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Fiddlerman has the tools you need to reset the soundpost and detailed videos on how to do it. Not expensive at all.

https://fiddlershop.com/produc.....er-remover

Nice looking violin. 

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
December 28, 2018 - 6:02 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1178
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Michael.  Loosen string tension if the sound post is not in place.  Place a piece of card board under the tail piece so the fine tuner does not mar the front plate.

Please measure the length of the tail piece.  Might be from a viola.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

Avatar
Michael
Member
Members
December 28, 2018 - 6:21 pm
Member Since: December 28, 2018
Forum Posts: 3
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Irv Thanks for the advice.  The tailpiece is 4 3/8" long.

Avatar
bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
Members

Regulars
December 28, 2018 - 7:05 pm
Member Since: July 8, 2018
Forum Posts: 661
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

4 3/4" sounds about right. I just measured a couple of random tailpieces lying around and they were both 4 1/2.

Wish you luck finding out more about your violin! 

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
December 29, 2018 - 2:00 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1178
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Michael, I may be confused due to your camera angle.  I suggest that you compare the violin accessory placement with the convenient photo of a violin provided in the Fiddlerman advertisement on the forum page.  To me, the bridge on yours is too much toward the fingerboard and the tail piece end lines up with the bottom of the f holes.  You want the placements to be as shown in the photo.  Perhaps they are.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

Avatar
Amateur
Advanced member
Members
December 30, 2018 - 7:17 pm
Member Since: August 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 84
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

If interested in the value, you could try calling some shops in the city. Someone may be familiar with the history of "J. Johnson". They may want to lay eyes on it. Most shops will charge a nominal fee for a true appraisal.

It wouldn't hurt to take it into one of these shops for a service either. Maybe get the appraisal and adjustments done for one lump sum. You won't want to have the soundpost rolling(or worse, placed incorrectly) for longer than you need to.

Otherwise, if it's as old as we believe it is, once the adjustments are done I bet it will sound and play wonderfully.

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 424
Currently Online: Gordon Shumway, bocaholly, cid
67
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today Bill97a
Upcoming Georganne, brewyet, Krootie, PaganinisGhost, ptrckmcconn, Octopus.Violinus, xTIDx, cashierjim, Bella86, cid
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2673
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Kevin M.: 1969
damfino: 1944
cdennyb: 1814
TerryT: 1726
Ferret: 1575
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 27010
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 59
Topics: 8101
Posts: 100845
Newest Members:
paulie, JudyC, Barbara J, takenca, PeaceDuke, lsm
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 14717, KindaScratchy: 1737, coolpinkone: 4169, BillyG: 3042, MrsFiddlerman: 1, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, cid: 1326