Zildjian 1930's splash cymbal with signature and "paper thin" inking

Tama CW

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
545
Location
SE Connecticut
I've had this splash cymbal for a month and didn't even notice the inking until a friend noticed it. An odd size 11-1/4" first stamp (30's) with the signature inking under the bell. The "PAPER THIN" lettering makes it even sweeter. Weighs in at 298 gm. And one of the fortunate ones that isn't cracked, dented, or played out.

best 2.jpg
 

Attachments

zenstat

Senior Cymbal Nerd
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
974
Location
Auckland New Zealand
Very cool cymbal.
Is there a compendium of cymbal signatures anywhere.
Yes, but as yet unpublished. That one looks different from the other Av Zildjian Co "signatures" I've got in my records.



Some people have specifically mentioned two different inks in use and a different thickness to the nib, but I haven't seen much real analysis.

Signatures (or more accurately Company names) were around until the early Trans Stamps but seemed to have fallen out of fashion after that. They remained a feature of K Zildjian Istanbul cymbals, and are still found on several Turkish brands. In the 1980s they were brought back by Sabian for the HH series. There are also "signatures" found under some Italian made cymbals. Some of these (like Ajaha) just indicate the company name. Others seem to be intended to make the cymbals seem Turkish in origin by using words like Constantinople.

zveltium-cons.png


@Tama CW Is that PAPER THIN ink 1/2" tall? That's the measurement I've got for other examples, but I'd llike to get further confirmation.
 

Tama CW

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
545
Location
SE Connecticut
Definitely not 1/2" tall. I measure it at 5/16".....can't be any larger than 3/8". It is pretty faint to determine exactly when the lettering ends.

-
 

rock roll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
319
Reaction score
113
Location
Northern VA
Yes, but as yet unpublished. That one looks different from the other Av Zildjian Co "signatures" I've got in my records.



Some people have specifically mentioned two different inks in use and a different thickness to the nib, but I haven't seen much real analysis.

Signatures (or more accurately Company names) were around until the early Trans Stamps but seemed to have fallen out of fashion after that. They remained a feature of K Zildjian Istanbul cymbals, and are still found on several Turkish brands. In the 1980s they were brought back by Sabian for the HH series. There are also "signatures" found under some Italian made cymbals. Some of these (like Ajaha) just indicate the company name. Others seem to be intended to make the cymbals seem Turkish in origin by using words like Constantinople.

View attachment 409856

@Tama CW Is that PAPER THIN ink 1/2" tall? That's the measurement I've got for other examples, but I'd llike to get further confirmation.
I am asking because I have a few signature cymbals, mostly Italian.
 

rock roll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
319
Reaction score
113
Location
Northern VA
Is the signature from the guy that did the last production part which I'm guessing is the grooves? Or are you saying they are not a person but a company name?
 

rock roll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
319
Reaction score
113
Location
Northern VA
So who in the company signs them? A secretary? A lot of them look alike. So it probably is the same person. Yes? No?
 

zenstat

Senior Cymbal Nerd
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
974
Location
Auckland New Zealand
Theories about who signs cymbals include:

  • person responsible for quality control (so last step in the production)
  • the secretary (mentioned in the context of Istanbul pre split at some point)
  • company owner
  • person who is responsible for putting on other ink stamps or trademarks
  • factory foreman

Theories about who signs them which are implausible

  • "person who made the cymbal" with a few exceptions like one person operations: Bettis, Lauritsen, Spizzichino, Skiba, JDS, etc. You sometimes see this is ads for things like old Ks but it doesn't apply to factories who employ several people who work on different steps in the process. But they never let that get in the way of a good sales pitch.

I'm not sure whether to count similarities of signatures as strong evidence that they are all done by the same person. We would need to assemble all our evidence and call in an FBI handwriting expert.

Since Italians are of interest, the "signature" I showed above is present on a few cymbals and there is a pressed in trademark stamp which goes with it. From that same cymbal:


Zveltian-constantinople.jpg


And another example with a similar trademark (although in different configuration and the star is a bit different) but a similar "signature". Star and moon added along with Constantinople for a more Turkish flavor.

14-670-stamp.png


14-670-sig.png


The stencil brand name Zveltiam (sp?) is on the UFiP brand list twice (that I've spotted so far)

ufip-zveltiam.jpg


So either Mr Zveltiam was brought in to sign these on behalf of the factory, or it is a brand name. I vote brand name.
 

rock roll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
319
Reaction score
113
Location
Northern VA
Theories about who signs cymbals include:

  • person responsible for quality control (so last step in the production)
  • the secretary (mentioned in the context of Istanbul pre split at some point)
  • company owner
  • person who is responsible for putting on other ink stamps or trademarks
  • factory foreman

Theories about who signs them which are implausible

  • "person who made the cymbal" with a few exceptions like one person operations: Bettis, Lauritsen, Spizzichino, Skiba, JDS, etc. You sometimes see this is ads for things like old Ks but it doesn't apply to factories who employ several people who work on different steps in the process. But they never let that get in the way of a good sales pitch.

I'm not sure whether to count similarities of signatures as strong evidence that they are all done by the same person. We would need to assemble all our evidence and call in an FBI handwriting expert.

Since Italians are of interest, the "signature" I showed above is present on a few cymbals and there is a pressed in trademark stamp which goes with it. From that same cymbal:


View attachment 409933

And another example with a similar trademark (although in different configuration and the star is a bit different) but a similar "signature". Star and moon added along with Constantinople for a more Turkish flavor.

View attachment 409932

View attachment 409931

The stencil brand name Zveltiam (sp?) is on the UFiP brand list twice (that I've spotted so far)

View attachment 409934

So either Mr Zveltiam was brought in to sign these on behalf of the factory, or it is a brand name. I vote brand name.
I'll try to assemble pics of all my cymbals with written signatures under the bell and maybe we can call on the rest of the dfo members to do the same. What do you think?
 

zenstat

Senior Cymbal Nerd
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
974
Location
Auckland New Zealand
I'll try to assemble pics of all my cymbals with written signatures under the bell and maybe we can call on the rest of the dfo members to do the same. What do you think?
I probably got 20+ examples for Italian cymbals because I've been working on a page for cymbal wiki to help people identify Italian cymbals versus K Zildjian Istanbul cymbals. It isn't always easy to do because some of the older Italian ones were specifically intended to look and sound like K Zildjian Istanbul cymbals. See:


where I didn't get this nice sort of offer of help. Moving on from those I've got another 20 or so examples of Spizzichino signatures (some pen some etched) as part of the work for the Spizzichino cymbal wiki page. Then I've got hundreds or more signatures from K Zildjian Istanbul. I'm not sure how many old A signatures I've got. I just haven't counted all the A and K signatures up.

So yeah, I'm up for a show and tell some time. But we've moved a bit off the original cymbal which started this thread. :icon_e_wink:
 
Last edited:

zenstat

Senior Cymbal Nerd
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
974
Location
Auckland New Zealand
Back on to the signature on this particular cymbal...here is another one which looks the same. What I'm focusing on is what looks like x o d over on the right. Note that this is the thick nib version of the signature, and there are other differences like the top of the initial A (present and flat) when you compare this with some of the other signatures.

11-xx1-sig2.jpg


The above signature is on an 11" cymbal with the same combination of trademark elements

11-xx1-stamp.jpg


Here is a signature from an 11" with what has been suggested as the earliest trademark

11-280-sig.png


the trademark is

11-280-stamp.png


Lest you think, "ah ha the difference in signature is related to the version of the trademark" here is a counterexample. Yet another 11" cymbal with the x o d on the right hand portion

11-wayne-sig.jpg


and the same (earliest?) form of the trademark

11-wayne-stamp.jpg


And another version of the signature on a 15" 807g cymbal

15-807-sig.jpg


and the corresponding trademark

15-807-stamp.jpg
 

Tama CW

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2018
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
545
Location
SE Connecticut
Great work Zenstat. Could that XoD at the end also be an XoP? Either way, don't know what it would mean or it's part of something longer.
 

zenstat

Senior Cymbal Nerd
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
4,154
Reaction score
974
Location
Auckland New Zealand
Cliff and I have been in discussion about these signatures since I posted that summary and a big revision is coming. We still need sort out all our evidence. But here's a hint: he knows the Armenian alphabet which I don't. The Armenian alphabet also appears under the bells of Sabian HH and thanks to Bongomania we have the translation


sabian-vnny-decode.png


It may also be that what we see written underneath the early ones is Aram Zildjian's signature not Avedis Zildjian. We know he went over to the US to teach cymbal making and would have been making the earliest ones. We now have an example of Aram's signature from this video:


15-1464-sig.png


It may also be that some of the later versions (thick nib) are in fact ink stamps.

So there are a lot of potential changes in the air.
 

Cliff DeArment

Very well Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
600
Reaction score
148
Location
Los Angeles
Bottom line…

Any true Avedis Zildjian signature seen under the bell is Aram Zildjian, the cymbal foreman until WWII (most likely). In other words…. Everything pre-war is actually A.Zildjian. 'A.' meaning Aram of course. The stamp Avedis Zildjian is… well… a stamp. A signature tells all.

I started working on this about 5 years ago. Found the signature was really Aram about 3 years later, but held on until now. Sometimes it's nice to cherish it and wait for a while. Well…. It's time.

Now, I just hope I won't be sued! Pretty sure the company isn't going to like this very much. But I think Aram deserves it.
 

Latest posts



Top