I’m a random guy who gets dangerous with a hardangerfiddle (hardingfele) – especially when under the influence of Irish/Celtic music. This blog is about all things music – and especially about anything violin or fiddle-related.


10 Responses to “About”

  1. A Says:

    Hi jerry,
    came across your blog on blogcatalog and found it to be interesting. we too occasionally find curious folk or fiddle instruments that come into our shop. if you ever have time, read up on daily lives here at the shop at our weekly blog

  2. Jason Says:


    I came across your site while trying to place the origin of a family airlume that I have. It is a fiddle that I believe to be a very old Hardanger Fiddle. As the story goes it was played for the king or norway. I used to have papers for it explainging the story but those have long been gone. Can you offer me any advice how to tell the age/origin of a fiddle of this type. I will send pictures if you need them. Thank you,

  3. jerry Says:

    Hi Jason
    It is very difficult to tell the age/origin of a hardanger fiddle without label or other documentation. You could try sending photos to one or two of the major hardanger makers, but without complex and detailed analysis of the instrument getting a reasonable estimate of the age and maker will be difficult.

    I would certainly love to see photos, and would be happy to do a blog post about it.


    1. Sonja Says:

      Hello Jerry I came across this blog by chance and am very curious about the scroll pictured in your banner which caught my eye. I have an instrument that I work on from time to time that has the same carving. however the volute has three turns. the one pictured here seems to have two, how unique! The violin I see in my shop has lost its label and the owner and I are uncertain of its origin.
      do you know any thing about the instrument featured in your banner? if so Id be so glad to hear about it, and if you’d be interested in seeing a pic of my customer’s scroll with the similar/same carving motif id be happy to email them! Cheers, Sonja

      1. jerry Says:

        Hi Sonja
        The violin pictured is my German Maggini copy – in addition to the carving on the peg box the violin has double purfling and purfling decoration on the back. It has a high arch and a very big sound.

        Mine too, is unlabelled, however there is a small prayer in German fixed to the underside of the top plate which roughly translates as “Joy comes to he who bring joy to others”.

        Similar instruments and the style of the carving suggests it is late 19th/early 20th century – probably between 1890 and 1914. I have never seen another in the same style with only one turn of the volute – Maggini copies normally have one extra turn over the normal violin, in line with Maggini’s own style. They are a factory made, hand finished violin and most have a full sound and fairly even tone.

        I’m sorry I can’t be more specific, but in the absence of a name label, it is difficult to pin it down to specifics.


  4. Roger Says:

    Hi Jerry,

    I found your blog when researching a Cello I recently purchased. That Cello happened to be the Cello No 3 that Joseph V. Reid made. You have the plans on your blog https://fourstrings.wordpress.com/tag/cello-plans/

    Is it possible to obtain a copy?



    1. jerry Says:

      Hi Roger
      They’re rather large to scan as they are 1:1 full size drawings – I’ll see if I can find a document copying service that might be able to handle them


      1. Roger Says:

        Hi Jerry,

        Thank you so much!
        I was thrilled when reading your Blog. I love my Cello and finding the plans for it got me sooooooo excited 🙂

        If you have any info on Joseph V. Reid, or instruments he built, please share it if possible.

        Thank you


  5. John MICALLEF Says:

    Hi Jerry, How are you? Have just come across your blog. Just recently acquired an antique violin that was labelled Caspar Da Salo but my Luther tells me that its a Maggini. (He just built one.) I have a similary peg box with the single twist scroll. I was of the belief that the single twists were not used by the German Copy makers. Is this correct? I also have a carved side to the peg box of a floral nature but slightly different with the end of the box being a blooming flower. Double perfuring front and back with a trefoil design on the top and bottom of the back. This design interloops and when viewed from one side looks like a deamon with an inverted heart shape mouth. Does this ring a bell. There are no markings inside the instrument. I believe that the french made similary copies. Any ideas? My Luther thinks that although this is a Trade Produced violin that it seems to have been well constructed and finished and has branded it as a fine violin. Would you say the same about yours?


    John, Sydney Australia

    1. jerry Says:

      The Germans copied many makers in the late 19th early 20th century. The double purfling could reference either Maggini or Gaspar da Salo. The Germans copy makers certainly did use the single turn scroll – indeed my German Maggini copy has exactly that feature. Their Trade Produced violins were often well made, with a bold and loud voice. Many German violins have a deep arch across the belly – French ones seemed to go more for a flatter profile. Mine could certainly be described as a fine violin with a loud, but even, tone. Without photos it is difficult to be sure about yours. But by your description, I would say that your luthier is correct in suggesting it is a hand-finished German factory copy and it may well be a fine violin – but very unlikely to be an original Italian Gaspar (or Caspar) da Salo.


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