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Found 1 result

  1. I bought a violin at an estate auction and am trying to get it identified & appraised. The violin’s hand-written label reads: Mathias Albani contrada largo da Milano anno (illegible) It also has an adjacent label reading “Milanollo,” and I can make out the words 24 Rue and Paris. There is some handwriting in this label that I cannot make out. The same luthier also repaired the instrument more than once, signing the instrument A. Blanchette, Montreal (with 1949 in one spot; I’m unable to read the other label but presumably, these repairs occurred on separate occasions.) Unique features: Neck graft, purfling wraps around the corners of the instrument. Neopolitan(?) scroll. I took the instrument to three different luthiers/appraisal experts and got vastly different opinions as to the instrument’s origin, age, and overall value. The first was a young appraiser at a high-end metropolitan shop. She told me that the instrument will cost $5000 in repairs alone, which far exceeds the instrument’s value. She said the instrument is “at least 100-150 years old” and that she believes it is German or Polish or Romanian in origin. The second was a luthier with extensive experience working with Neopolitan violins. He told me that this is “definitely a Neopolitan violin,” made prior to at least 1820, and that with the appropriate repairs, it would be a very decent instrument with great sound (if I’m willing to spend the money on it.) The third is a very young luthier with experience working with old and high-end violins (I was referred to him by my city’s symphony orchestra.) He told me my violin was made in 1800s Germany and is worth 1000-2000 maximum and that repairs would cost about $1000 (not worth it.) For good measure, I also sent photos of the instrument to Tarisio, which valued it at about $5000 but couldn’t estimate a date or place of origin. I’m thinking of taking this on as a restoration project, and given the varied responses (and the money I have already spent on this instrument), obviously I’m more hopeful that Luthier #2 was correct. However, I’m curious to know if anyone has additional input. More information: The previous owner was a multi-millionaire that had an extensive old and high-end violin collection, and he took this particular instrument from California to Montreal (3,000 miles away) for repairs on two separate occasions to see A. Blanchette, who specialized in rare instruments. (Who would make that effort for a garbage violin?) Photos attached: Any experts on Neopolitan violins or Matthias Albani violins, I’d especially appreciate your input. Thanks!!
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