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 Post subject: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2013, 14:32 

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I bought this ocarina with tuning slide which at first I thought was an H. Fiehn because of the look and it has the flower pattern painted in gold around each end.
When I got looking at it closely it has a different maker's stamp which looks to be of a seated figure.
On the body of the ocarina it is stamped: *something* DE L' Ocarina Brevetes SGDG Paris. I do know the Brevetes SGDG is similar to "Patent pending."
It play perfectly in the key of D. The tuning slide can be adjusted four different ways to change the pitch, it's a slight change but from all the way in to all the way out you can tell a difference.
I am not too sure who made this ocarina.
Does anybody know anything about it?

Ocarina
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Maker's Stamp
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Image


Body Stamp
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 Post subject: Re: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2013, 16:11 

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It looks very much like a Mezzetti to me. Considering they had a position in Paris, France (I believe) during their production, it seems quite likely. Even the placement of the badges is similar to an image Ive seen. The tuning piston as well looks to be one of their designs, which can be seen in 'the ocarina tutor' book authored by the Mezzetti brothers. Fiehn copied Mezzetti's quite extensively, including the piston designs, but the badge indicating a French production would rule Fiehn out in my opinion.


please visit my website and see what Im making! http://facebook.com/oberonocarinas


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 25 Aug 2013, 20:43 

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It is probably not an original Mezzetti, but an equally old copy. It looks a bit rough, compared to the Paris work of Ercole Mezzetti and the shape doesn't match the shape of Mezzetti ocarinas (and they were made using a mould). It could be a hand made Mezzetti, but I think that is highly unlikely. Mezzetti ocarinas were copied by many mostly unknown ocarina makers. There are dozens of copies.


Can you post a picture of the voicing aperture?



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 Post subject: Re: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2013, 00:35 

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Here is three picture of the voicing hole.
I noticed that the inside part that is connected to the small rod of the tuning slide is made of wood.
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 Post subject: Re: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2013, 01:27 

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From the photos of Mezzetti voicings I've seen, this one looks off, but I could be wrong. What say ye Kresimir? The body looks very similar, as well as the hole placement, to a Mezzetti I'd seen before, but the typical voicing via Mezzetti is more elongated in profile, where this is a but rounder.
The carve attacks for the labium also seem different concerning the ramp design.

Without having it in hand of someone who can honesty identify them based on possession if a great number of authentic mezzetti's, it will be tough to say exactly what it is :/


please visit my website and see what Im making! http://facebook.com/oberonocarinas


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2013, 09:43 

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The voicing looks very much like the voicing of Mezzetti ocarinas. And the general shape is very similar to this (only rougher):


http://www.music.umich.edu/research/stearns_collection/Collection_item.php?id=504 (though, keep in mind that this is in F, whereas one here is in D)


It could be very well be an original Mezzetti - in fact, I am now inclined to think that that is more likely than it being a copy. The voicing looks very typical and there is a Mezzetti ocarina from 1903 with a double piston like this in Franco Ferri's collection.


The stamp doesn't match, though - Ercole Mezzetti's stamp typically looks like this: http://www.ocarina.it/images/timbro2.jpg, but he didn't put it on all ocarinas and he had several different stamps, so that is inconclusive.


The two round stamps are not maker's stamps, but recognitions from exhibitions. Many ocarina makers put these, regardless whether they won prizes or not (Mezzetti ocarinas did win a silver medal at the exposition in Edinburgh in 1890 and four bronze medals (Paris 1878, 1889, 1900 and London 1888).



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 Post subject: Re: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2013, 11:31 

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Interesting. I didn't know about the 1890 exhibition - to mark the opening of the Forth Bridge - and it seems not many people in Edinburgh at the time did either: it flopped. The big (and successful) exhibition of that period in Edinburgh was in 1886, and two pillars erected for it are still standing.

I'll see if I can find any newpaper reports that mention Mezzetti. If he won a gong and it was reported, it's quite likely that a few local music shops stocked his instruments for a while.


http://www.campin.me.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 26 Aug 2013, 13:29 

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Jack Campin wrote:
I'll see if I can find any newpaper reports that mention Mezzetti. If he won a gong and it was reported, it's quite likely that a few local music shops stocked his instruments for a while.

Very interesting. If you find anything, please post about it here. It's quite possible that there is a mention of him.


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 Post subject: Re: Antique Ocarina Identification Help
PostPosted: 27 Aug 2013, 13:49 

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Thank you both for the help!
If I come up with any new information, I'll be sure to post it.


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