I am a band director/instrument collector, and a friend gave me an old violin he found stashed in a barn. I told him I would pay him for it, but I have no idea what it is worth.
First of all, the tag inside says Robert Herrman, Markneukirchen 1965. I looked that up but couldn't find any info.
As for the condition, there are good and bad points. It has a case which is very dirty, but in fair shape otherwise. There is a bow, but it is so nasty it should just be pitched.
This body seems to be in good shape. There are places where the finish is worn, but no chips or scratches. The tuning pegs, bridge, and foot are all in good shape. I replaced the strings and fine tuners with others I had. The chin rest is broken.
Can anyone give me an idea what this isntrument might be worth? It is certainly playable, just needs some TLC.
Re: old violin price 02:03 on Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Hi. I Don't know the value.. but here's some history. In the 1960'a I lived in Kansas City and played in the KC Youth Symphony. My teacher, who played in the KC Philharmonic Symphony and taught at UMKC Conservatory of Music recommended we visit a local luthier shop to get an affordable but better qualify instrument than my student viola. My parents bought me a viola from the German luthier who owned the shop. I think they paid $350 at the time.. which was a lot of money for them. I believe the luthier was Robert Herrman. My viola bears the marking Robert Herrman, Markneukirchen, 1965. He talked about making it from various woods that came from the Black Forest in Germany. My instrument has a beautiful tone and I still own and play it. About 20 years ago one of my teachers said he thought it was worth at least $1500; but I've never had it formally appraised. I can attest though that it has a warm, rich, tone which has improved with age. Regards.