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  1. The engorgement looks original. I don't see anything unusual about it.
  2. I think Gofriller model is marketing lingo for what's more commonly referred to as the Tertis model.
  3. You can try using a smaller aperture (larger f-number) or raising the shutter speed if you are not using a tripod.
  4. I've personally observed this phenomenon, whether intentional or incidental. In today's violin marketplace you will also sometimes see Chinese violins upgraded with Europeanized trade names. Similar to that of how German violins were once upgraded; Carlo Micelli (Karl Meisel), Enrico Robella (Ernst Heinrich Roth), Andreas Morelli (Karl Hermann), etc. Additionally, these instruments become stepping stones into higher dollar instruments through trade-in, as unlike antique instruments, they possess little value in the private-sale market. In my opinion, it is completely logical (and ethical) for dealers to sell high profit margin instruments, especially when the underlying product is better than the public's opinion of it.
  5. Clamped together ribs confirm that this is a Czech violin. You can learn more about this topic by searching "built on the back" in the search bar.
  6. The fact they did not take the time to remove it is what I meant. It was very hastily and accurately made in large numbers in a different way than what you would see in a German violin.
  7. Did you change the strings, and if so what is it strung up with? I may be wrong. Looks like the same color code aside from the off green. Looking at it again I see the peg ends are not the classic dominant colors either. Look at the back of the scroll, how they scribed a line down the center which they didn't care to remove. These are quickly though skillfully made instruments. Nothing wrong with a Chinese violin.
  8. Cleats are small wooden pieces inside the violin that hold together cracks and seams. A side profile shot of the scroll will help determine where it was made. As for the value, not much. It's a very roughly made violin. Looks to me like a cheap Czech/German.
  9. Chinese. Still strung with the original knock-off Dominants.
  10. Ahem. The violin was made in Mittenwald and the duckhead is original. The varnish was once the color of the duck's head. That dark, opaque layer of varnish someone had removed. It is quite an oddity! I appreciate the publicity, but maybe next time just send me a message.
  11. I don't see anything wrong with the violin itself, and if the certificate is real it is a nice little add on.
  12. Thick fingerboards sometimes make violins scroll heavy which in turn hinders playability.
  13. Also I find it funny how yours has Mittenwald crossed out. It seemed like William Lewis labeled alot of their instruments "Mittenwald" despite them clearly not being from there. For example, this viola. It goes without saying that these Fickers were made by Roth, and thus it is improbable that they were made in Mittenwald.
  14. I have a Gustav August Ficker/Georg Albert Fischer by Bennett Brothers as well. I believe these were bought by Bennet Brothers from William Lewis and rebranded considering the William Lewis catalogue numbers, G.A.F. brands, and their Chicago association.
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