varnish question

Edited: March 5, 2020, 5:30 PM · Hi everybody
I recently bought an violin and have now mixed feelings.
The violin looks gorgeous with the chin rest in place but there are strange things once it is removed.
see picts below.
The seller says that this is all fine. this is what he says an antic finish.

Replies (62)

March 5, 2020, 5:29 PM · IMG-20200305-203404
Edited: March 5, 2020, 5:30 PM · That's normal wear-and-tear on a violin to have bruises or missing varnish where chin rests have been attached.

In your third photo, of the lower rib, that looks like it was maybe repaired somewhere along the line.

March 5, 2020, 5:31 PM · it is brand new
March 5, 2020, 5:46 PM · The wear to the varnish is intentional to make the violin appear older than it is. This is done partly because players seem to want to be seen playing an older violin. It is a common practice and has been for more than 100 years.
March 5, 2020, 5:52 PM · According to you it is fine and i should keep it ?
March 5, 2020, 5:57 PM · It should not be rejected just because of the varnish.
Edited: March 5, 2020, 6:01 PM · The antiquing is very subtle if the violin is brand-new. That patch by the chinrest looks like a rather large accident. But ultimately the cosmetics of a violin are a non-consideration; play it, and decide whether or not to buy based on the sound.
March 5, 2020, 6:12 PM · the rest seems fine. only real issue, the sound post was down and is obviously made of very young spruce or any other young wood
Edited: March 5, 2020, 6:22 PM · It's not an "antic" finish. It's an antiqued finish and it looks well done. There's nothing wrong with it and you should be happy with it, especially so if you like the sound.

Re: the fallen soundpost, obviously that needs to be put back up by an expert. Did it fall because you took the strings/bridge/tailpiece off? And if so, why did you feel a need to do that? Do you know that when you change strings you do them one at a time?

March 5, 2020, 6:17 PM · Need to have the sound post fitted before i can play it.
I dit put some Peter Enfield platin strings already. bridge is checked and ok, fingerboard and pegs are fine
March 5, 2020, 6:20 PM · I bought this relatively expensive violin partially because i loved the 1 piece mapple, which is gorgeous. so, the look matters for me.
March 5, 2020, 8:23 PM · As the saying roughly goes, "if you want to live a happy life, don't make the most beautiful woman your wife".
March 5, 2020, 8:39 PM · What do you consider to be "relatively expensive"?

Yes, it is fine to my eyes, as a violin maker. I do this sort of thing on purpose quite often.

Personally, I don't mind an ugly violin that sounds fabulous.

March 6, 2020, 12:15 AM · The sound post did fall during transportation
March 6, 2020, 12:16 AM · here are 2 more pics of the violin
Edited: March 6, 2020, 12:22 AM · I do not have the tools to put back the sound post in place. Thus no way to judge the sound up to now. However I fitted some Peter Infeld platin strings already. the depicted case came with the violin.
March 6, 2020, 4:06 AM · Fitting strings and tuning them without a soundpost is a very bad idea.
March 6, 2020, 7:09 AM · Well I think that's a very pretty violin. As long as you are taking it to a luthier to have it set up, I recommend you have the luthier install PegHeds or Wittner Finetune Pegs. You will love how easily your violin tunes after that.
March 6, 2020, 7:49 AM · you've got pegheads on the brain, give it a rest!!
March 6, 2020, 7:57 AM · Never, ever install and tighten strings on a violin without a soundpost in place! OMG
Edited: March 6, 2020, 11:21 AM · Yep... one good way to crack the top! On the bright side, the fracture lines might add an air of authenticity to the antiquing.
March 6, 2020, 11:19 AM · You must loosen those strings right away.
March 6, 2020, 11:54 AM · there were not thightened
March 6, 2020, 1:05 PM · Addressing all married persons here: don't let your spouse see Cotton's advice posted yesterday ;)
March 6, 2020, 1:52 PM · thanks to all for your concern. As I mentioned, the strings were not tighten. I just put them to fit the bridge
March 6, 2020, 2:04 PM · by the way, the bridge is an Aubert de luxe.
March 6, 2020, 2:17 PM · Do you have access to a luthier to set the soundpost properly???
Edited: March 6, 2020, 2:19 PM · I do live in Paris (France), so the answer is yes. A god one is located 1 mile away from home.
March 6, 2020, 2:45 PM · no problem then, I hope for your sake it sounds good when set up
March 6, 2020, 2:56 PM · The bridge will need to be individually fitted to the violin as well.
March 6, 2020, 3:09 PM · the bridge was already fit, its a new violin with a new bridge, the soundpost just fell over in shipping, no biggie.
March 6, 2020, 3:31 PM · its not important!!
March 6, 2020, 5:01 PM · How was bridge fitted when soundpost wasn’t... that is quite strange.

Is this a new chinese instrument?

March 6, 2020, 7:02 PM · It's fairly common for a soundpost to fall during shipping whether it's Chinese or not :). The same thing happened to one of the violins I bought online. Easy to put it back in the proper place, but your luthier should also check the projection, bridge fit, nut, and fingerboard too in case the violin needs some adjustments. Hope your new violin sounds great!
March 6, 2020, 7:09 PM · The violin did not arrive from china. It travelled much less. Yes, the bridge was already carved and adjusted when i got it. It was simply in a bag for shipping
Edited: March 6, 2020, 7:29 PM · Thanks Richard, i hope so too....
I aready checked basic things like upper nut height, string spacing, string height at nut end fingerboard. Bridge is properly carved. Pegs also turn nicely.
March 6, 2020, 7:30 PM · I am not really able to check the fingerboard slope though.
Edited: March 6, 2020, 8:09 PM · in case you guys want to comment. Here are a few more pics of the instrument.


March 6, 2020, 8:07 PM · IMG-20200307-025309
March 7, 2020, 5:15 AM · A single post usually sounds better. ;-)
March 7, 2020, 9:08 AM · 1 is clearly better than none... 2 might be a bit too much
March 7, 2020, 9:42 AM · Wasn't there a landslide of patents for double-post and double-bass-bar violins around the turn of the 20th century? I wonder who owns the idea now.
March 7, 2020, 1:17 PM · Bridge looks fine to me. Instrument looks great. Let’s hear about the sound.
Edited: March 7, 2020, 4:42 PM · next week when the sound post will be in place. Need to get to the Luthier. Could not do that today. No chance tomorrow (Sunday)
March 7, 2020, 4:56 PM · @ Cotton - if patents were made at the beginning of the 20th century, they are likely long-expired.
March 8, 2020, 12:05 PM · The wood is extraordinary! and the camerawork is excellent; what kind of camera did you use?? Can you tell us who made the violin?
March 9, 2020, 8:45 PM · Has anyone actually tried two sound posts?
Edited: March 10, 2020, 2:44 AM · Antiquing. I noticed with amusement pictures of a new Ming Jiang Zhu 907 and a 909 and both appeared to have the same antiquing in the same places.

BTW, I was curious, has anyone taken the varnish off a violin and used walnut oil or similar instead? Was there a noticeable difference?

March 10, 2020, 4:10 AM · Paul, I'll bet everything imaginable has been tried. When I was working in the Weisshaar shop, we ran across a cello with three bass bars. We nicknamed it the Goldilocks cello (after Goldilocks and the three bars). ;-)

With two soundposts, imagine what we could charge for soundpost adjustments! LOL

Edited: March 10, 2020, 8:10 AM · Gordon, you joker. Someone's going to ruin a perfectly good strat-o-various trying that.
Edited: March 10, 2020, 11:01 AM · "what kind of camera did you use?" It says right on the photos, shot on Mi 9T Pro (i.e. Phone) camera.
March 12, 2020, 1:55 PM · I can't Say that shooting took me much Time. Maybe 3 min in total for all pics
March 12, 2020, 1:56 PM · And yes i used my chinese phone to take thé pics

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