c.1890 Unmarked "Red" Violin

Well, I went a-marketing today and luckily found this lovely fiddle. My dating is simply a guess from the wooden case, but if the case doesn't match the violin, I would guess that this was c.1900-1920 and European in origin, probably German. Like I said, absolutely no markings, but the wood is quite nice: flamed sycamore for the back, sides, and neck and a good spruce top. The varnish is a deep, pretty luminescent cherry color that "sunbursts" out at the four corners of the body and center of the back. As you can see, it comes (remarkably) with a bow that actually has all its hair left. Think of that!

I finished this thing off entirely today: glued up some open seams in the morning, cleaned it and spruced up the finish (200% improvement... it was pretty grim) after they dried, and set it up this afternoon. I'm using 2 steel strings for the A & E and a wound gut for the G and plain gut for the D. This is the arrangement that was left at the loose tailpiece when I got it, but I've used my stash of vintage gut fiddle strings to bring it back in full here.


I'm including what's left of the original pegs with this violin when it sells but I've replaced the pegs with some Grover mechanical friction tuners (of my own configuration) for ease of use. This simply removes the need for fine tuners, and if one desires to replace the plastic buttons with ebony, ends up looking rather fancy in the end.

Bridge is the original that came with it and has an ebony insert for the E.



Side detail.


Beautiful 2 piece flamed sycamore back.

Other side.

Other side detail.


The purfling looks the part on this one.

End pin.