1918 Charles Edgerton 4/4 Violin

A friend of mine handed me four fiddles to tidy-up. This was the strangest of them all and was built by a Charles Edgerton in New London, CT -- dated 1918. It reminds me of something that should be on the set of a Harry Potter movie. Its details are all a little off but the whole thing looks vaguely wonderful at the same time.

The waist is very tight, the top and back are both carved with a very high arch, and the overall feel is a bit stiff and clunky. It sounds a bit like that, too -- even after massaging the tone via setting the soundpost here and there. It has what I like to call a, "clear, transparent" sound. That means you hear the notes, a bit of ring, and not much warmth. It's not scratchy or thin, like a cheap, modern, student instrument, though. It's just a sort of tone to be expected with such a high arch. The benefit of this kind of voice is that it will certainly carry in a band or jam situation, however.

My work was light: I fit a set of pegs and an old tailpiece with fine tuners, recut the bridge for fiddle-height action, set the soundpost, and cleaned it up. Adjusting the post was the worst bit of it because the f-holes are cramped and the narrow waist makes poking-about a little more difficult as far as maneuvering goes.

The back has jaw-dropping birdseye and flame-figured maple.

The sides have plenty of birdseye, too.