I wish I had taken “before” pictures of my new/old violin. It was given to me last week by friends from Chicago that live in Clonegal village overlooking the Derry River.
I went over to their house to do some fishing…saw them jumping…but once again that’s why they call it fishing. After a hard hour of fishing, I joined Dan for an Irish whiskey, which was forced on me. Dan is into Irish whiskeys and has over 28 different top-shelf brands. Ruth, his wife joined us and at a social distance, had an enjoyable few with a conversation that led to my blog “The wrong violin”.
If you haven’t read The “wrong” violin you might want to, just to appreciate this blog a bit more.
After telling them about my 234-year-old violin, Ruth goes into the shed in the back yard and brings out what looked like a violin. It was covered with so much dirt and dust you almost couldn’t tell what it was. It had no bridge, strings, or chin rest.
She found it in the attic of the house they bought once owned by the family from Huntington Castle, which was built-in 1625, where my daughter had her wedding reception, where Stanley Kubrick filmed Barry Lyndon, where Mike Jagger, Hugh Grant, and others have stayed (My sister and brother in law stay in the gatehouse) and recently was the headquarters of the Goddess of Isis (da Vinci Code).
Barry Lyndon (1975)
I brought it home and started to clean it up and with a Q tip, I was able to make out the year 1724. Hey, this thing is pushing 300 years. I put it aside and went to bed. All I could think about is this old violin, got up, and went at the inside with more Q tips.
I could make out a partial label and it forced me to do some research on the internet. What I found made my head spin. Most, if not all the articles I read, led me to believe that winning the lottery big would be easier than finding a rare master maker’s violin.
I continued my research and found samples of labels of the great violin makers. This one jumped out and slapped me.
I began taking more pictures and tried to get light inside so that those pictures would be clear.
I can’t go anywhere over here, roadblocks are everywhere, therefore I have been sending these pictures and more to violin appraisers and restoration specialists. I even sent them to Guo Li at “E” Strings in Quincy, Massachusetts. He restored my 1782 James Perry violin.
The sweet sound that comes out of this baby when played by someone that knows how is special. His response was “could you bring it in and I will be able to tell you more.”
I will bring it in … don’t know when … as my new/old fiddle and I begin to age together and hopefully… inject a new and exciting life in each other.
…or I could just sell it….ya I could just sell it.