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  1. I wouldn't simply take the word of the 'appraiser' over the word of your teacher. Every 'expert' can have a different opinion on the origin of an instrument. I took an old violin around to three different luthiers to get a price on repair. The first fellow I spoke to was convinced that, despite the label saying it was made in Germany, that the instrument was French made. The second person I spoke to was fairly sure it was actully made in Germany. The third person I spoke to I later found out is one of the most respected and well known luthiers in town, told me exactly how old, what it would have been worth in mint condition, and that it was indeed factory made in Germany. The moral of the story; get at least three opinions before doing anything. : about 8 months ago i perchased a viola which i just last month finished paying for with a label claiming it was hadmade in germany from my previous teacher. yesterday i brought it to a highly recommended violinshop to get new pegs (which were not properly fitted). after looking at my viola he informed me that the label had been switched and that the viola was all machine made in the chec republic and is worth little over 800, which i paid 1700 for!!!! i am wondering if i should confront the teacher that i perchased it from. if anyone can give me any advice please help me!! : my email is kapman001@yahoo.com
  2. I have seen similar messages posted on this board before and I don't understand why teachers are so reluctant to take on adult students. I had no trouble finding a teacher and I am 36 and not even his oldest student. The student prior to me is only 5 years old. The woman after me is late 40's. All of the adds I see in the local papers around here always say all ages welcome. Do you have a local paper that caters to musicians? Usually those kinds of papers are free to advertise in so you could put in an add looking for a teacher. Good luck. : Hello to all. : I was wondering if anyone could please help me here. : I used to play the Violin many years ago, and have : forgotten everything about it. I'd like to start : up again, but every teacher out there tell me : they will only accept young students, and that I am : wasting my time. I'm late 20's. : Can anyone here please give me any suggestings? : Where do I go from here? : Books? Are there any good Beginning books on Violin : out there? : Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  3. Okay, I'm an adult beginner who has played other instruments so I'm familiar with music, therefore, my teacher has been advancing me fairly quickly. I started in November and I am about half-way through the first Suzuki book. Recently my teacher has started showing my fingerings using the fourth(or baby ) finger. I have trouble with this finger as it only bends at the end joint, and rather relunctantly at that. It's frustrating because it is slowing me down. Has anyone else had this problem, and, if so, what can be done? Learn to live with it or are there some exersises that will help?
  4. I could be wrong, but I thought I saw a newspaper article on a bulletin board at a violin repair shop I was in that said a Strad had just sold for 2.1 million. Setting a new record. Can't remember if it was a private sale or an auction, and I think the article was a few years old judging by the yellowed paper. : I just got the Guinness Book of World Records as a gift and under valuable items it lists the Kreutzer Stradivari of 1727 as being the most valuable violin. It is said to have sold for $1,516,000 on April 1, 1998 at Christie's Auction in London, England. Is this correct that it is the most valuable violin? I always believed that there have been Strads and del Gesus out there in the +3 million dollar range. : any info.... : thanx : roman
  5. That is very sad news. I haven't been coming to this board very long, but whenever I posted a question I quickly learned that the best responses came from Al. No matter how dumb my question must have been his answers were always helpful and understanding. I have been wondering where he was. He will be sorely missed. : I want to share with all readers on this forum the : news I received this morning. AL STANCEL, of Casa : del Sol Violins, died on Monday, Nov. 29, 1999. : I was saddened to learn of his death, as he was my : friend and I know that he was always so open and helpful : to anyone who asked him questions. Al had a big heart : and his honesty and integrity was never in doubt to : anyone that dealt with him. We've lost a wonderful : luthier and he will be greatly missed. : Marsha Folks - Center, North Dakota
  6. I'm no expert, but I have a similar violin, but made in Czeckoslovakia. I'm told it's around 70 years old, they were very common student violins. I also have a Nikolaus Amati copy, made in Germany, that is around the same age, but was probably a better violin. Unfortunately, it's unplayable due to damage. I read somewhere that around the turn of the century the US required the labels to have the country of origin on them so you can be pretty sure it's under 100 years old. If you use the search engine on this board you will find a lot of other posts like yours. : I have a violin which I have been told was made in the early 1900's. Can't verify this for sure. The label reads: : Antonius Stradivarius Cremonenlis : Faciebat Anno 17 : Made in Germany : On the right side of the label is a double line circle with the initials AS posted inside. : Could someone offer some information regarding this violin and potential age? : Thank you, : Mike
  7. It may be standard, but it's very expensive. I wish I knew enough to do it myself because unless I win the lottery this poor old thing will only go back to sitting in my mother's closet. One of the luthiers I showed it to did say he would buy it from me if I decided I couldn't afford to fix it. That made me suspicious, but my mother would never part with it. I wanted to make it look better so she would put it out for display, but I'm having second thoughts about doing anything to it. Maybe I should just hang onto it for a while, somebody has to win the lottery : Everything you mention sounds like standard repair work for an experienced luthier - it's all fixable, : but the question is whether it is worth the expense. : Can't see you doing ot yourself. : I have one fiddle with a fabulous sound that was : virtually repaited with something you might see : on corridor floors - and was restored to something : very attractive-looking. : good luck!
  8. Just about everything is wrong with it. It has several cracks, some due to it being dropped, some probably from neglect over the last 30 years. The two major ones run from either side of the tailpiece up towards the bridge. One contintues on up under the fingerboard almost all the way up. Another runs from the top of the left 'f' hole up to the edge. There is another crack running from the bottom up to the right 'f'hole. A good portion of the bottom of the back has lifted. There is a small crack at the bottom of the back. I have also been told that the neck is not straight, the base board may not be in the right place, and the sound post is currently tied to a piece of string hanging from the 'a' string. One person who looked at it is also of the opinion that it was either re-varnished or painted at some point. You can see where the varnish was allowed to drip or run. The fingerboard would probably have to be replaced as there are a couple of grooves in it. To add insult to injury the person who broke it took it to someone who did a very bad repair job on it, and that is why it hasn't been played in 30 years. It looks like it would come appart if you put strings on it. Other than all that I'm told it had a very nice sound when it was whole. I can't afford to spend $1000 to fix it, and I'm told it probably wouldn't be worth it. My mom won't part with it as it belonged to her father. I was thinking of using it to learn something about repairs myself. : I would rather you let saomeone like me fix it before I would want you to strip it and hang it on the wall. Tell us exactly (as best you can) what is wrong with it. There are probably some hobbyists out there that could fix it up for relatively little as long as it is indeed an instrument that would not suffer from an amateur working on it. There are also some luthiers on this board (steveg comes to mind) that might be willing to take a crack at it. it all really depends on what is wrong with it. If it needs the whole thing taken apart maybe a wall hanger it will be, but who knows. : mike
  9. I have an old beat up violin that I have been told would cost $1000 to fix. In mint condition it might have been worth $2000. I have been adivised byk one of the better known luthiers in town not to spend any money on it. It is a Nicolaus Amati copy. I was going to strip the bad varnish job off it and re-varnish it so it would look good, and my mom could hang it on the wall(it belonged to her father). While shopping one day I found a violin repair shop called The Strad Shop and wandered in to ask what I should use to get the varnish off. The old fellow who owned the place cringed at the suggestion and said don't do it. I told him the violin was not worth repairing and he said he still wouldn't do it. What would you guys do? And what should I use to get the old varnish off if I do decide to go ahead. I'm a little confused now.
  10. Thanks Al. I don't know if it even is the trademark, it might just be an adornment. Some day I might get down to the main branch of the library here and see what I can find. : Hello AJ: : I don't know of any one book with ALL trademarks listed. The Vannes Dictionary has a big listing of marks and brands, but not the one you mention. I have never seen it in a violin. : Good luck in your search, : Al
  11. I'm curious if there is a book out that shows all the trademarks of the various violin makers, and not just the famous ones, but all the companies that made violins. Has anyone ever seen the one that is in mine, a treble cleff inside a circle? I'm wondering if the company is still in business.
  12. I guess what I was trying to figure out is should a person avoid a violin that doesn't have a maker's name.Is this a sign of a low quality instrument? The violin itself looks fairly good, only a couple scratches, but to me the fingerboard doesn't look right. It didn't appear smooth to the touch and at some point someone has spilled a bit of green paint on it. Also, the chin rest was missing. But the neck looked straight and there were no visible cracks anywhere on the violin. The bow was junk,though, which seemed odd as the violin didn't appear to have been played much. No wear on the fingerboard or neck. How does one assess a violin without being able to play it to find out(strings not all there, bow no good). : that is really close to impossible to say without having any information on the violin the same as it would be to say that you were looking at a car, is $8,000 too much? : on the other hand, if it is from the early part of this century, is french, and is in good shape, i suppose just about any violin could be worth at least $400. but there was a lot of awful junk made in germany, czech, and france at this time that wouldn't be worth much else than hanging on the wall for decoration. you will need to educate yourself some in order to provide enough information for someone to take a wild guess without being able to see it. the other possibility is to take some pictures of it and then post them here. : mike
  13. I saw a violin in an antique store today that looked as though it had hardly ever been played. The guy said it was made around the 1920's in France. I looked inside, but there was no maker's label anywhere. He admitted to not knowing much about violins so I wonder how he knew when and where it was made. He wanted $400 for the violin and case(which was made of wood). Am I wrong in thinking he's asking too much?
  14. AJ


    Thanks, that helps. Another question: does too much or not enough resin cause the bow to skip or slide, or is that just poor technique on my part? : Its not much of a problem at first. When the bow hair begins to turn white, stop. Mainly, just don't let your bowhair get too dark. It helps to make your bow stick to the string and gives you more tonality. Well, good luck in your endeavors as a violinist.
  15. Does anyone know where I can find some good books on violin repair. I have an old violin that I have been told would cost too much to be worth repairing so I thought I would try it myself. I can't do much more damage to this poor thing, it will never be playable again so I thought this might be a good opportunity to learn something. I can't find anything in the local bookstore though. If anyone knows a good authour or title of a good book maybe I could have them order it. Thanks.
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