Discussion:
Rubus Rigat Russian Round Edge Violin
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Pison Lee
2003-07-28 23:09:47 UTC
I acquired a dark brown coloured round edge violin 30 years ago in
Winnipeg, Maintoba, Canda from a barber. This violin's tail piece is heavily
ornamented with pearl like materials. I have not been able to locate any
information about this violin maker from St. Petersburgh. The incrition
inside the violin only says "Rigat Rubus, St. Petersburgh" and nothing else.
Is there any body out there knows any thing about this violin maker and what
are the worth of his violins? Thank you.
Bob Goddard
2003-07-29 23:12:46 UTC
Post by Pison Lee
I acquired a dark brown coloured round edge violin 30 years ago in
Winnipeg, Maintoba, Canda from a barber. This violin's tail piece is heavily
ornamented with pearl like materials. I have not been able to locate any
information about this violin maker from St. Petersburgh. The incrition
inside the violin only says "Rigat Rubus, St. Petersburgh" and nothing else.
Is there any body out there knows any thing about this violin maker and what
are the worth of his violins? Thank you.
I have one of these instruments, which I bought a few years back in a
second-hand shop here in the UK. The printed label under the left f-hole
reads "Rigart Rubus, Petersburg 1850" (in Roman characters). The varnish
is a bright red-brown. The two-piece back is nicely-flamed maple, as are
the ribs. Body length is 350mm, width of upper bout 160mm, lower bout
200mm, C-bout 105mm. The front plate is medium-to-close-grained pine
with moderate arching. The tone of the instrument is very powerful,
quite sweet but with a sort of cutting edge to it. You wouldn't want to
use it in a string quartet, but it's perfect for Scottish fiddling;
powerful enough to compete with the accordions, and blends well with
them. I like it (and so does our accordion player!).

I have seen a few others about, but the quality has not been anywhere
near as good as my specimen in materials, construction or tone. These
have all carried a similar label and all were dated 1850. They are all
said to have been copies, so I guess this puts a question mark over my
one as well. These others all had a smaller label on the other side of
the fiddle from the main one, printed in Cyrillic (Russian) characters.
This is absent in mine. I haven't seen one with a decorated tailpiece,
only plain ebony.

The "rubbish" ones were selling for peanuts - 100 to 200 GBP (about 150
to 300 US$). I paid 200 GBP for mine, spent about 150 GBP on a re-fit
and setup with new bridge, pegs, tailpiece and soundpost, and the
fingerboard "shot". It was then assessed at 1,000 GBP (about 1,500 US$)
replacement value. The value is marked-down considerably because of the
unusual construction; people generally prefer to stick to the
conventional design.

There are, in fact, a couple of very real drawbacks to the round-edged
design. Firstly there's the problem of getting the instrument apart,
putting it back together and making good if any major repairs are
needed. This is likely to make any such work completely uneconomical.
Secondly, the round edges mean there's not much for a shoulder rest to
hang onto. The only one I've found that will just about do the job is
the Bonmusica - and even this pops off now and again. The chin rest
doesn't grip as well as on a conventional fiddle either.

I have seen one very similar to mine on a Website somewhere, and one or
two more listed in auction catalogues. Try Googling for "Rigart Rubus".

(Bob
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Post by Pison Lee
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Post by Pison Lee
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