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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Granddad's Sears violin early 1900's


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/54584

Rohnsman - Posted - 01/22/2021:  14:45:24


My grandfather, who was born in 1900, told the story of having bought a Sears and Roebuck violin for $6 when he was about 14. I recently founded and as a photographer, not a musician, thought it made a good still life photo subject. I thought some of you real Fiddler's might enjoy seeing it.

Rohnsman - Posted - 01/22/2021:  14:49:18


Photo

Rohnsman - Posted - 01/22/2021:  14:54:04


Photos

Rohnsman - Posted - 01/22/2021:  15:03:13


Finally got the photo upload to work?


groundhogpeggy - Posted - 01/22/2021:  16:48:41


It's absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I wish I could find a fiddle like that for 6.00 today...lol. Is it playable? I mean, it looks like it's in really good shape.

TuneWeaver - Posted - 01/22/2021:  18:33:12


Noticed is that the AD strings seem spaced differently than AE or DG.. Am I the only one noticing this?? Have any of you seen something similar in your experience?   And, yes, nice looking violin.


Edited by - TuneWeaver on 01/22/2021 18:35:32

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 01/22/2021:  18:54:14


Poorly cut bridge, probably.

Rohnsman - Posted - 01/23/2021:  16:34:04


quote:

Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Noticed is that the AD strings seem spaced differently than AE or DG.. Am I the only one noticing this?? Have any of you seen something similar in your experience?   And, yes, nice looking violin.






That would be because this was re-bridged and restrung by a photographer, not a musician.  cheeky  I had originally restrung it with electrical wire and had no bridge at all.  surprise  I could tell that looked pretty goofy and so bought a bridge and some strings after looking at some online violin photos.  I'm sure a real musician would still laugh at my efforts.  Don't even ask about what I used to restrung the bow, which I minimized in the photo.  Were it not for Covid I might take it by a music shop and have them do it all right, but then it's for looks and as a momento, not for anyone to play.

Rohnsman - Posted - 01/23/2021:  16:36:19


quote:

Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

It's absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I wish I could find a fiddle like that for 6.00 today...lol. Is it playable? I mean, it looks like it's in really good shape.






It might be playable if someone who knew what they were doing worked with it.  The f-holes have been chewed by mice however.  I did some digital touch-up on the photo to help hide that.

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 01/23/2021:  16:47:14


If you took it to a luthier you might be surprised at what they could do...sometimes it's not cheap, but I took one in that I got for 50 bucks, somebody had found it in a garbage can. It was coming apart at the seams and needed a bridge cut...cost me 80 dollars for him to take it apart, clean it up and reglue all the seams, cut a bridge and put strings on it...so I put in 130 for a really nice fiddle that I have loved and played for years now.



It's really beautiful, and of course you only want it for memories, I understand. But if you did get it playable...who knows what you might find yourself doing next!


Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 01/23/2021 16:49:15

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 01/23/2021:  16:50:10


I mean, you might just have good reason to join us here at Fiddle Hangout all the time!

TuneWeaver - Posted - 01/23/2021:  17:07:02


quote:

Originally posted by Rohnsman

quote:

Originally posted by TuneWeaver

Noticed is that the AD strings seem spaced differently than AE or DG.. Am I the only one noticing this?? Have any of you seen something similar in your experience?   And, yes, nice looking violin.






That would be because this was re-bridged and restrung by a photographer, not a musician.  cheeky  I had originally restrung it with electrical wire and had no bridge at all.  surprise  I could tell that looked pretty goofy and so bought a bridge and some strings after looking at some online violin photos.  I'm sure a real musician would still laugh at my efforts.  Don't even ask about what I used to restrung the bow, which I minimized in the photo.  Were it not for Covid I might take it by a music shop and have them do it all right, but then it's for looks and as a momento, not for anyone to play.






Sounds like you had fun with it.. THat counts for a lot!!!  

Old Scratch - Posted - 01/23/2021:  17:39:55


Some of those old Sears fiddles aren't bad. I heard one a few years ago that a guy had inherited from his father, bought around 1916 - it sounded pretty good.

TimeTension - Posted - 01/24/2021:  10:06:05


A local family was given an old Sears violin that their neighbor lady had played since she was a child in the early 1900's. The mom did a setup including strings and bridge which resulted in an instrument that played good enough for the daughter to use and place in weiser as well as use for her string group.
This violin played better than the 1924 Rook that I had loaned them to use and place with the year before. I'm sure she would have laughed at someone offering to buy the thing for$2,000.
Sears did not last over a hundred years by selling junk.

Rohnsman - Posted - 01/24/2021:  12:34:36


Here's a link to more photos from my session with the violin

photos.google.com/album/AF1Qip...fIIyVs69x

Rohnsman - Posted - 01/24/2021:  12:47:40


Found this online. Could be this violin was one of these types. (Not sure if I can find any make/model info on the instrument or where to look). This is the 1912 Sears and Roebuck catalog - archive.org/details/catalogno1.../mode/2up

Fiddleharp - Posted - 01/26/2021:  07:06:28


what does the label inside your Sears violin read?

TimeTension - Posted - 01/26/2021:  08:19:30


Rick,
Take your fiddle into Dorsey's in Nampa and ask for David Hofmann. He is the best suited in there to take a few minutes to tell you what you have and what it may cost to change it from a photo shot to an instrument.
You could inadvertently cause damage to the your fiddle. Call ahead to make sure David will be onsite. And bring your bow along.

Fiddler - Posted - 01/28/2021:  15:03:30


I have a Sears Strad copy violin that my Granddad bought from a "hobo" in the early 20s for $5. It had a similar dark golden finish --- until ----- my Mom surprised my Dad in 1970 by having it "refinished" as a birthday present. Yes!!! Stripped bare to the wood, re-stained and then POLYURETHANED ----- with multiple coats. Needless, to say, Dad was livid. Mom was deflated.

Well, I thought I would get it set up and see how it sounded..... ugghhhh! Terrible. No projection. Dull. Muted. It is currently a wall decoration.

TuneWeaver - Posted - 01/28/2021:  15:17:32


The first fiddle I owned, and still the best that I have, was made in 1933 and I SUSPECT that it was a catalogue fiddle.. I got it in 1963 and when I saw the "Made in Japan" tag on the inside, I tore that out.. Now I wish I hadn't. A luthier told me that at that time, the Japanese made some very nice violins..Wish I knew for sure..

hokelore - Posted - 01/29/2021:  04:56:39


I have a wonderful old Sears fiddle that belonged to my wife's grandfather. It's a Maggini copy, label says made in "Czecho-slovakia." The story is, Ed senior worked for a time as a joke writer for WLS Barn Dance, and he bought this then.

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 01/29/2021:  11:53:37


Just guessing here but I'd bet the spelling "Czecho-slovakia" would put the fiddle's manufacture from the 1920's or 1930's.

hokelore - Posted - 01/30/2021:  04:11:54


quote:

Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

Just guessing here but I'd bet the spelling "Czecho-slovakia" would put the fiddle's manufacture from the 1920's or 1930's.






My father-in-law thought he'd been told 1920s. The luthier who did the repair work said 1930s because of the coloration. He said the dyes used in the finish weren't used before then. I figure he'd be the one to know.

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