Original fake neck (scroll) grafts

November 6, 2020, 6:11 PM · Hello here is a query for any violin history buffs out there...At what point in time did the shameful practice of creating the false appearance of a neck graft on a new violin first originate? Obviously it must have been sometime after the old necks began to be replaced with "modern' ones...Actually I am not positive at what point that began to happen either. If anyone knows or can steer me to some relevant Information, it would be much appreciated!

Replies (11)

November 7, 2020, 4:44 AM · I would guess about 1850
November 7, 2020, 6:40 AM · Nothing inherently shameful about an imitation graft, although many are shamefully executed.

Many people prefer the look of antiqued violins.

November 7, 2020, 7:25 AM · Well it seems not nice, anyway, if done with intention to deceive someone, but more kind of silly, since anyone knowledgeable enough to understand the significance of the grafted scroll would also be able to spot the imitation right away....
November 7, 2020, 7:30 AM · at one time it was simply a style of building, usually on cheaper violins, but some were better quality so you can't judge quality by the fake graft.
November 7, 2020, 10:04 AM · So not necessarily done in order to fool the buyer? That makes some sense...anyway just trying to know if the presence of one could help pinpoint the age of the fiddle, regardless of the quality.....
November 7, 2020, 12:15 PM ·
There are many reasons a violin may have a neck graft, so it is not a useful way to pinpoint the age of a fiddle.
November 7, 2020, 1:13 PM · I remember reading years ago that the very reputable Moennig violin shop in Philadelphia would often put neck grafts onto violins they were selling, including on relatively modern instruments that they acquired for resale. Does anyone know if what I remember reading is true? If yes, what would the reasons be for making these neck grafts?

November 7, 2020, 9:30 PM · Stephen, sometimes the original necks are of non-standard dimensions, and the least problematic way to fix it in some cases is to do a neck graft. Whether the Moennigs may have sometimes grafted necks for other reasons, I do not know.
November 8, 2020, 9:34 PM · Just to clarify, my question is about imitation neck grafts, not actual ones. I want to know, what was the earliest date that one would find a scroll doctored in this way. I am presuming that such doctoring would have been done when the fiddle was made, not added later. Also, when did shorter, "baroque necks" begin to be replaced by modern length necks ( necessitating the grafting of the old scroll). Perhaps the two dates are roughly the same; that is something I would also like to know. Thanks for all replies!
November 8, 2020, 9:53 PM · Probably around 1820
November 9, 2020, 7:01 AM · Fake neck grafts could be scratched in at any time during a fiddle's existence, so they are also not an indicator of age or origin.

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