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Value of antique violin (85 years old) 
 

Value of antique violin (85 years old)

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Value of antique violin (85 years old)    18:44 on Thursday, April 10, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

holohead98
(1 point)

Hello,

I have recently received an 85 year old violin (approximately). I want to be able to play it. Only problem is, I am sure this thing is worth alot. It is a 3/4 size German made E. Martin Stradovarius copy. (No idea what this means). Consider me a complete beginner with violin, this is my first one. So this thing hasn't been played in 50 years. Basically it needs new everything. New bridge, new strings, new tuning pegs, new bow, new....everything except body and neck I am guessing. Would this hurt the value at all? Cause these are all replacable parts, so I was not sure. I am taking it to a professional...soon. I just wanted a basic opinion first.

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    05:47 on Friday, April 11, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

blackhellebore89
(156 points)

Some copies are quite good, especially if the are the european made ones i think, and hand crafted. at that age i would say that it is. I would go and get it seen to by a professional, and get quotes, you are a beginner, so if you could get the violin set up at the same price as buying a cheapish student then i would if it is done properly and will then be of good quality. you get what you pay for

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    18:54 on Sunday, May 04, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

davisal771
(64 points)

I don't think you should be practicing on it. Go see a profesinal. but for now, go get a cheap student violin, find somen ebay for about 25 bucks.

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    06:06 on Saturday, May 10, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

babychick168
(2 points)

You should probably get a cheaper student violin (eg. ashton) and use that at the start but, should also go and see a professional violin maker/repairer to replace the strings, bridge etc. because antique violins these days arent cheap so take care of it!

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    02:41 on Sunday, May 11, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

Violins are not like coins or automobiles, and eighty-five years is not all that old for a violin. The worth of this violin will depend entirely on how good it is; its age will add nothing to its value. Neither will fixing it up lower its value--quite the contrary; fixing it up should increase its value considerably. The only question for you to consider is whether the violin is worth the expense of fixing up, and the only way to know that is to take it in and have it looked at.

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    02:23 on Friday, May 23, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

You might find the following helpful. It's from the FAQ for the Spruce Tree Music website.

________________
Question: I have an old violin. The label says Antonius Stradivarius (or Guarneri, or Stainer, or Amati or Maginni...). It is dated 1721 (or 1615 or 1688 or ...). Is it authentic, is it really that old, and what is it worth?

Since we continue to be swamped with e-mails from people wanting to find out about their violins, and who apparently are not reading our standard answer, we've added a

Short Answer: Nope, it's not a Strad. We need to see your instrument (in person) in order to tell you anything more. If you don't live in this area, take your instrument to a violin dealer in your area.

Here's our Longer Answer: Is it authentic? In a word, no. There are literally millions of copies of all of these makers and many others as well. They range in quality from worse than bad to fairly good. The bulk of them probably date from between 1870 and 1930 or so, though there are earlier and later ones as well. What is it worth? It is absolutely impossible to place a value on a violin without having it examined by a knowledgeable dealer or appraiser. The factors that determine the value of this sort of violin are in the subtle details of construction and condition. These cannot be adequately conveyed by photographs or verbal description. Many instruments of this sort are of no value whatever, most are of no more than modest value, but a few are quite nice. Go in with realistic expectations and you may be pleasantly surprised. Go in with high expectations and you will certainly be disappointed.

A few more words of explanation. A hundred years may sound old to you, but to a violin it's recent. Violins were imported to this country from Europe (mostly) in huge quantities around the turn of the century, and were even sold through catalogues such as Sears or Montgomery Wards. These instruments often had labels that helped to sell the instruments to people who otherwise could not evaluate the instruments independent from the label. Hence the prevalence of the Stradivarius name on so many instruments. We've all heard this name. The label is actually the last piece of information that is taken into account when evaluating a violin.

So, do you have a decent instrument? Maybe. Has your attic just yielded the musical equivalent of winning the lottery? Sorry, but....

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    02:27 on Friday, May 23, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

One more thing. Re: "I am sure this thing is worth alot [sic].":

There is no such word as alot. A lot is two words.

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    22:13 on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Terianne
(32 points)

Go get your violin properly appraised. If it is worth more than you feel comfortable with for your first violin to play, i would recommend actually renting one to start with apposed to purchasing another one.

also, you had said that the violin is actually a 3/4. before you start learning to play. make sure that it's the proper size for you. if you're not sure, you can go to a local music store and they can help you figure out if you should really be going with a full size (4/4) violin.

so keep the size in mind as well.

best of luck!

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    01:56 on Friday, June 13, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

Go get your violin properly appraised. If it is worth more than you feel comfortable with for your first violin to play, i would recommend actually renting one to start with apposed to purchasing another one.

The idea that this violin may be worth too much to play is patently ridiculous. The only real question is whether it's worth enough to bother to fix.

<Added>

And, yes, if you're an adult, a three-quarter size violin is probably too small for you.

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    10:28 on Friday, June 13, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Terianne
(32 points)

i didn't say that the violin is worth too much to play.

i was simply advising them that if they are uncomfortable playing the violin because of it's value, that i would recommend to rent a violin apposed to actually going out and purchasing a new instrument all together.

if someone is brand new to learning the instrument, then i personally don't see the point in going out and purchasing a new instrument when they already own one.

if someone isn't comfortable playing the one that they already own, for whatever reason, even if the value of the instrument is the reason, then i think they should play one that they would be more comfortable playing. however, i don't think that means that they have to go out and purchase a brand new instrument. if they want to, sure, it's their call. Renting is just another way to try out an instrument if someone is just curious about learning.



you can rent one and if you decide, after trying it for a while, that this is something that you would like to put more time and effort in. you may decide that you would like to invest in repairing your violin (and yes, you do want to make sure the violin is worth the repair, and that it's a right fit/size for you) then spend your money on having those repairs done.

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    07:00 on Friday, July 11, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post -1 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

i was simply advising them that if they are uncomfortable playing the violin because of it's value, that i would recommend to rent a violin apposed to actually going out and purchasing a new instrument all together.

Look, if it says "Strad", unless it's an actual Strad, it's not going to be worth that much no matter what. The only advice someone who feels "uncomfortable" playing an okay-to-lousy violin needs is to get over it. Instead, you're encouraging his delusion.

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    07:37 on Friday, July 11, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Narina
(2 points)

I didn't think it was a virtue to reply rudely to the posts on these forums. The original post was asking for help, not your own appraisal. I'm sure you haven't seen the violin and have no idea of it's worth.

That being said, I don't exactly see your proof that you are some sort of musically inclined genius that would have to be allowed to reply in such a manner.

The entire thread is about the violin, and whether or not it's worth it to use it.

They WEREN'T asking you for an appraisal, or for you to tell them it's worthless. It may be of some sentimental value or been in the family for generations. That kind of value is priceless.

So I suggest the next time you decide to reply to a post, you do so in consideration of other people.

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    08:18 on Thursday, November 13, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

dpaul
(1 point)

Was googling for a similar value question for a 3/4 E Martin one of my students recently purchased. Wanted to know how your situation worked out.

Professional set up for an instrument like yours can run between $200-$400 and is probably worth it. E Martins range depending on quality and condition anywhere from 500 up to 2500 for the better ones. They are well made, generally quite pleasing to sight but do not project volumn-wise very well. Well balanced, warm tone. String selection and sound post adjustment can get the max out of them. In any case, as an adult, unless you are about 4 feet high, this instrument will probably be too small for you. The rental suggestion above is a good one and many professional shops can assist you with this.
Take care, dpaul

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Re: Value of antique violin (85 years old)    03:27 on Thursday, November 20, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

purpleviola
(10 points)

Hi,
If this is a 3/4 Violin(22-22.75 in. long) & you are over 5 ft. tall, then this Violin is too small for you. If this Violin is 23-24 inches long, then you have a 4/4(full size) violin. Hope this helps.

   

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