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So Lorna and I on our travels stumbled on an old little music store buried downtown, and found this! The guy had bought it a few years back from an antique sale, he was a guitarist and had just kept it behind the counter for years. He was now getting ready to move the shop and dug it out for us. We visited for a while, we played some fiddle in there, exchanged life stories and such, he gave us a tour of the shop....we both played and just fell in love with it - feels like a 100 or so fiddlers had played it before us - maybe I'm being a bit dramatic here but it sounded awesome considering our playing skills! He told us to go think about it and get back to him.
Anyways we talked about it all the way home, no way did either of us have the money for sure - and we don't know anything about old violins (or new ones apart from whats on the fiddlershop website!)
But our husbands both said it seemed like a nice one, and maybe the age made it sound better...Lorna and my husband pushed me to offer the guy what I had in my fiddle fund....which I have been stashing for a little while - he told us to come back up - played it again, he asked what I was going to do with it - well "play it" of course!!!
I gave him the money...he then gave me some money back and told me to get new strings and a case....we all cried and hugged and I couldn't believe it - as a musician he wanted it to be played and not traded or sold. He said Joey McKenzie had came in and played it and to take it to him to set up (small world!) we were at his fiddle camp couple weeks ago!!! Joey wasn't in, and I was too excited to wait so we went to another store and got strings.
Anyways, both Lorna and I love it - playing it constantly...there is something special about it for sure. I imagine it wasn't a very expensive one in the beginning, but played a lot and passed down, it kind of kept that sound of great fiddle players in it (hard to explain, but I hope I don't break the chain with not being so good!!)...and then, when I'm old (well tons older!) that is what I am going to do too, pass it along to someone else that will cherish and play it.
Interesting sticker. It doesn't say "Made by" it says "Repaired by" A. B. Clark 1897. That old girl has been around a good long while and I'll bet she's developed a distinct voice. A pity that she can't tell you all the places she's been and the things she's seen, but now that she's free to sing again she'll be happy.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
Yes Uzi - it does sound amazing, at least when played by my violin teacher who went nuts over it, and told us to look it up....
Hubby did a mini investigation, didn't notice there was another label above this one - thinking it was made by John Albert, Philadelphia. He was a german immigrant, started up shop in 1848. One of his violins is at the smithsonian. Died in 1887, had the prize winning entry at 1876 Centennial exposition. His 2 sons took over the business when he died, EJ Albert and someone else John jr. (I think), one carried on the traditional and became a notable bow maker, the other went with factory manufactured violins.
The repair guy, AB Albert was a luthier from Indiana who had a great reputation for making violins, it was said that he would take an axe out into the woods and could tell by his first hit how a violin made with the wood from that tree would sound. (from an old newspaper article)
The violin was played in the 1900's by a lady at the Dallas Phil Orchestra, (still trying to get a list of possible women that played) She apparently was a notable violinist during her time, the violin was found in her belongings after she passed when her grandchildren were gifted her estate, they knew she had played but didn't see it as anything. Her immediate children were not there so it was sold in that estate sale for $500 in 2011. I picked it up from there.
Not sure if its all legit, but nice story and was fun investigating!
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