TGAS and the painted purfling
The purfling on this violin back has been painted on along with the makers initials. Purfling is a a decorative and functional feature, three strips of wood are inlaid into the back and top and they serve to hold the plate together at the edges where it is liable to crack. on cheaper instruments it is sometimes omitted and painted on. sometimes it is done on the top, which is more prone to cracking, and not the back. Ironically the purfling severely weakens the button area and contributes to the many broken buttons that you see in this collection.