branding-irons to indicate makers' names/models

Edited: November 19, 2021, 8:49 AM · I wonder if anyone knows when makers' names/violin models were first branded onto the buttons of violins using branding irons?
This kind of thing

Replies (7)

November 19, 2021, 3:35 PM · Doesn't that wreck the violin's tone?
Edited: November 19, 2021, 3:50 PM · Probably since the beginning of the craft. Brands are ancient technology. I even have one!

I guess it must not have been common, though, because there aren't that many old examples around today to my knowledge. I believe brands on or near the button became a hallmark of Eastern European factory instruments.

November 19, 2021, 5:23 PM · certainly back to 1800
November 19, 2021, 5:31 PM · Seraphin, Gragnani, so quite early.
November 19, 2021, 9:44 PM · I had a Carlo Giuseppe Oddone ( 1898) with a brand on the endpin hole.That violin got away from me; couldn't scrape up the cash fast enough.
Edited: November 20, 2021, 1:50 AM · In the second half of the 18th century several British/Irish workshops were using brands applied below rather than on the button, e.g. Betts, Duke, Perry. However, most violins branded "Duke London" are actually German or French.
Edited: November 20, 2021, 5:44 AM · I was trying to verify that a (probable) Poirson was 19th century, not 18th. But I think the fact that it's clearly a Breton model (painted purfling to boot, so no need to get excited. Otoh, the Mirecourt catalogues' Bretons all tend to be purfled) rules out the 18th century. I have no other knowledge of violins to go on, in case anyone is dumbstruck that I could be having difficulties with such a simple issue, lol. Otoh, Poirson seems to have been a tricky little shyster.

I'm glad Steve mentioned Betts - my teacher's viola is a John Betts. Next time I see her, I'll take a close look at it.


Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Shopping Guide
Violinist.com Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Bein & Company

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

String Masters

Bobelock Cases

Things 4 Strings LLC

Violin-Strings.com

Viola-Strings.com

Baerenreiter

Fiddlerman.com

FiddlerShop

Sleepy Puppy Press

Jargar Strings

J.R. Judd Violins, LLC

Southwest Strings

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe