I'm hoping someone knowledgeable on matters of authenticity can help guide me here. Before I go on, I have looked into local appraisals which range from $500 - $3000 for known shops who provide this service. Before I consider going down that path, I want to learn more about what I'm working with here if possible.
My father inherited a violin from his friend in 1983. His friend (much older than him) had purchased the violin in 1940 in Turkey for $2000 Turkish lira. Here is an album containing a few hi res shots (I was unable to get the label clearly):
The label on the inside reads "Jean Baptiste Vuillaume a Paris" -next line- "Rue Croix des Petit-Champs" and then are some markings that I will need to look at with a magnifying glass to decipher.
Extra Information according to my father:
The man my father inherited this violin from was a violinist but more as a hobbyist than anything else. So the violin is actually in roughly the same condition it was in in 1940 when he purchased it. It's been babied since 1940, but there are clear scratches and superficial scarring that would have occurred before that. It's still in the same case from then as well. Dad did once have this violin looked at by his friend Remenyi–still a reputable violin distributor in Toronto–during the 1980s when they played in an orchestra together. He took one look at it and said "That's a German violin." Dad's working theory is that Vuillaume himself was likely to have sold other maker's violins as his own at the height of his popularity, when demand for his work exceeded his capacity to build. He doubts the instrument's authenticity, but thinks the label is legitimate and that this instrument did come from Vuillaume's shop.
To me, another interesting thing about this is the condition of the violin on purchase in 1940: I wonder if violins were ever "relic'd" (like custom shop Fenders electric guitars are today) to be made to look older than they actually are. Dad says that this is not something European instrument makers would be proud to have done, but I can't confirm that at all. His educated guess (he's a former orchestra player with over 70 years of experience playing and being around violins) is that at the time of purchase, this violin would have to have been well-used to look the way it does. For that reason, he doubts that tag is a fake since "imitators would have been much more likely to copy a Strad or Amati in the 19th century". He can't believe someone would go to the trouble to fake a Vuillaume in the late 1800s when his status as "one of the greats" had not yet been realized. That's all opinion-related.
I'm not sure if Vuillaume's have a characteristic dimension set, but if it helps the fluting on the scroll ends at about 10 o'clock and the back dimensions are:
Back height: 36cm
Centre bout: 11cm
Widest part of back: 21cm
Narrow upper portion of back: 16.75cm
I would be grateful for any help here! Thanks =)