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  1. Thank you! CW Seidel. Very much appreciate it. --Kevin
  2. Dear Experts: For a few hundred $, I bought an old German 1/2 size violin for use by my young nephew. The seller had bought it for her son, in 1998, paying $1650 from the (then) Thompson & Seman shop (Skokie, IL). That is according to the original and signed sale and appraisal paperwork she provided with the instrument. With new strings it sounds good for a 1/2. I write you to ask whether you know anything more about the maker than the very little I can find online. The label reads Heinr. Eichheimer, Berlin 1891, Made in Germany. In a separate vein, can anyone tell me precisely how high the strings should be off the fingerboard at the f-holes end? They seem just a tad high. Maybe the neck has fallen a bit, or the bridge needs to be trimmed. Or maybe it's just fine. I'm no luthier. If I can ascertain that the strings really are too high, then I'll have a local luthier make adjustments before I send it on to my sister's house. Thank you. KJS
  3. I haven't got very good photos. Do you recognize the brand? Hard to read as indicated by the attempts seen in the paper. Here are a few more pictures.
  4. Ebay is a flea market for violins and other strings. Is there an online site where knowledgeable and trustworthy people buy and sell higher quality instruments? I've seen (and used, satisfactorily) such sites for guitars.
  5. Seems like this thread has also revealed *some* level of "crankiness" on this site, albeit more than offset by real expertise. But that's to be expected on any such public site. I'm off. Thanks everyone.
  6. There is no doubt as to *provenance* of this violin: it came from the maker, Rusnak, through Dixon-Stein, to the person who sold it to me, to me. As to *quality*, I'm satisfied that it's more than suitable for a college music performance major / conservatory player (which I what I have), a community orchestra player (the seller), etc. As to the issues around Dixon's recent *bankruptcy*, you can see from the appraisal letter (on the seller's posting) that he bought it in March 2014, more than three years ago. Finally, as to *value*, all I can say is that I'm delighted to have it for the price, which (warning: I'm no expert) seems within the ballpark of what such things might actually net a seller through a recognized violin action. So, to answer the original question, how did I do? "Fine, given what I was looking for" is probably a reasonable answer. I do have some thoughts on Ebay as a market for honest buyers and sellers of violins for practicing musicians, but that would have to be in another thread.
  7. Thank you, all. A few comments to wrap up. First, I have no doubt that the violin is what it's claimed to be, and that there was nothing untoward in either the original purchase, or in the sale to me, of this instrument. To my understanding, the seller is an accomplished and knowledgeable player who simply wanted to sell this instrument to help fund the purchase of something different. Second, I have high regard for WH Lee. The person who helped me was kind, professional, generous, and cared about instruments bearing the name of the shop and/or one of their makers. I would happily refer friends to the shop if they happened to live in the Chicago area. Third, as far as my local luthier is concerned, this is a very nicely made, good sounding, contemporary violin by a living maker. It's not an ancient treasure, but I'm nonetheless happy to have it for my kids (active players in college and advanced high school ensembles). Fourth, I appreciate that there are still people in the west carrying on and preserving the art and craft of violin making, particularly in light of the pressure from the East (so thank you, Mr. Rusnak, should this thread ever get back to you; we like your violin a lot!). Finally, I'm glad for this site -- that there are people here who are passionate about this stuff and willing to help the likes of me, an almost-know-nothing, when it comes to violins. Thank you all and thanks to those who run and moderate this site for making it available to the community. --KJS
  8. Thank you, Martin. The person who sold me the violin clearly had proper title, having bought it from DS. Before that, I cannot say.
  9. Interesting thread. It was (and continues to run as) an experiment to see what folks would say about a violin of known provenance and retail value given a set of photos. The interesting result of the experiment is to have surfaced pretty high variance in evaluations of provenance and quality, ranging from "Chinese junk" to "pretty nice," perhaps with an overall bias toward the negative. As to whether there's something "rotten" going on here, perhaps sadly there's just not. The seller bought the violin at Dixon Stein. DS eventually filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. I approached WH Lee shop to figure out whether I had purchased a genuine MR violin. They asked for and I sent them some additional photos. They then said, yes, it was an instrument that MR made; and for their customary fee they wrote an appraisal. Their appraisal was consistent with what Dixon Stein wrote for the person who sold me the violin and with my local luthier/maker's judgement. That's really all there is to it. Maybe someone else should post pictures of a different violin of known quality and provenance (withholding those details) to see how to community does in evaluating it. The "Maestronet Mystery of the Month Game," or something like that :-).
  10. They're all the same violin, namely the one that I bought.
  11. Thanks. Point well taken. If I lived in NYC, London, etc. it sure would be easier!
  12. That's correct, albeit from the very shop where the luthier still works. The shop owner indicated that he was consulted to determine, and confirmed, provenance.
  13. My sense, perhaps at 90%+ confidence level, is that in this case I got a pretty good deal on a nice violin. No complaints.
  14. It's shinier than some decent violins I've seen, but not cheap looking.
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