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Need help in identifying a violin


Stringtoad
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I posted this question on the Fingerboard and someone suggested it should really be here in the Pegbox...I'm still getting used to these split boards...sorry...

I have a friend who lives out of state who is offering to sell me her grandfather's violin. She knows absolutely nothing about them, but says it looks to be in good condition, though it needs a new bridge, strings and the bow (she is not sure if it is Pernambuco or Brazilwood)must be rehaired.

She tells me that the identification paper inside the violin says: "Stainer in Absam _ _pe D(O or P)enipontum" and then written in pencil is 1726.

Can anyone explain what this means? She says her grandfather was Danish and this violin

supposedly came with him from Denmark to the US many years ago.

Thanks for your help!

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The complete inscription is... "Stainer in Absam prope Oenipontum 1726". It means that the violin is a copy of one made by Jacob Stainer, a famous violin maker from Absam, Austria who lived from 1617 to 1683. prope means "made near" and Oenipontum means Innsbruck. Stainer copies often have the name Stainer branded at the top of the violin back just below the neck connection. Modern copies can be worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on quality, age, etc. The Stainer design precedes that of Stradivari and tends to be a bit less powerful due to a high arching on the top and a broader, lower back. Since this is a violin you are considering "signt-unseen", here's an ebay offering of a typical stainer copy that will at least give you some idea as to what you might expect. This one has a nasty crack near the base bar and is very dark in coloration but is an interesting example. http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=14 17037560&r=0&t=0&showTutorial=0&ed=985112981&indexURL=0&rd=1

Good luck and enjoy!

[This message has been edited by ShadowHawk (edited 03-18-2001).]

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Shadowhawk: thanks for that referral to the ebay Stainer! It sure helped me understand my friend's descriptions.

Here's another question for those of you who are more experienced in these matters: the one on ebay was a 1910 model. The one my friend has is from 1726. Does this large difference in age mean anything? Would the 1726 possibily be better made? Would the 1726 have more glue problems due to the age?

I fully realize that this is not an "original" Stainer. However, I am hoping that it may be a nicely made copy and that I can refurbish it economically enough to have a nice fiddle for a reasonable price.

Thanks, folks, for all your help!

Stringtoad

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Springtoad,

While recognizing that the instrument that you have is not a real Steiner, you should also recognize that it was probaby not made in 1726 either. Unless you have clear records that document the story of its travels, it is most likely one of the same as in the e-bay listing. Any living person's grandfather that fits within the normal human lifespan probably came to this country in the last century, or just near the turn. The turn of the 20th century was one of the high volume points in violin production.

Whatever its age, it may well do what you are looking for in a violin.

Best wishes,

Marsden

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Stringtoad. I apologize for not making myself more clear in my first reply. The 17xx date you saw is a very common date used in copies. The violin you are investigating is almost certainly not of that era. When I said "copy", I meant that it is likely a replica of the 1726 version of the Stainer. As mentioned above, it is probably a creation of the 20th century. Most seem to have appeared after 1940. Good luck.

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