Well, I finally traded for the fiddle I fell in love with. I've searched all over the web for information on it, but I'm at a standstill. The fiddle has some background documentation on it, like ownership info, and who has done repairs. I've read about fiddles made in Germany by Wurlitzer that were labeled Henri Farney. The docs I have on it say it was made in 1910. I finally, this morning, found a photo of a fiddle that it is nearly identical to:
Even if it is German, it is a doll. It is very responsive, and has a beautiful tone, and one heck of a bottom end. (my other French strad copy made circa 1923 was a little lacking in the bottom end.)
As soon as I can get my camera and my fiddle in the same location, I will post some pics. there's no label inside the violin, but there was a note in the history on it that said that labels were often removed from violins to be placed in cheaper ones to help them sell. (what a dirty deed!)
"Even if it is German, it is a doll" ??? What? German instruments, as from any country, run the gamut from great to chopped liver. Sure, they flooded the market in this country, at the turn of the 20th century, with the rise of the middle class and people starting to play music in droves, but don't blame them for that. As far as labels, yeah they got kifed from the really good instruments, but I'm guessing that most just plain fell out and noone gave a hoot about sticking it back in.