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Nothing's wrong with this violin if you are in the market for a nice Romanian fiddle of recent manufacture. I saw a ton of these at the recent NAMM Show in Anaheim. They wholesale for $400-$800- this being a lower end one. If I am not mistaken, this is the seller who sold a bogus Italian violin to my doctor friend. I especially like the way he makes all of his auctions private.

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It looks older new Romanian to my eye. But not that old. Anyone else think French? I'm just guessing.

But I don't like the sound of the description. The seller doesn't know about violins but knows the terms, sale is as is and final, and bidder's identity kept private. All clues.

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Yes, Glenn, there were many excellent Chinese violins at the Anaheim show. I got a chuckle when some German buyers came to my booth and mistook the Chinese violins I was selling for European! Granyed, these particular violins I had made of European wood. It is obvious that the Chinese now dominate the market and rightfully so. I'd guess that for every new 20 Chinese violins sold, 1 European one is sold.

I think this is a brand new Romanian fiddle based on what I have seen. There are numerous ways of aging a violin even before it's varnished. For example, many makers hang violins in the white in the sun to age/oxidize the wood- for sometimes years. I know a way of doing the same process which takes a matter of a couple of days.

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Early fonts (right up to the early 1800s) did have odd-looking "S" characters that resemble Fs. The ad says the label says: "THOMAS BALEFTRIERI



and in the type used on the label in the pictures, that F is definitely an S.

So while the label might be a fake (I wouldn't know), it's not the type that gives it away (I do know typography).

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"Early fonts (right up to the early 1800s) did have odd-looking "S" characters that resemble Fs."

Ouch! That really hurts. When I was studying German in high school (not in the 1800s) we learned the old Gothic letters. It actually comes in handy these days, since it seems that even many of the younger Germans don't learn them and can't interpret the Gothic type correctly when it turns up in old violin labels.

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If it's a new Rumanian violin, I'd like to know who's making new violins with broken and badly replaced buttons. :-)

The button looks like a lot of very cheap Czech fiddles I've seen, so does the scroll. However, I've only been at this a short time, so my guess is most likely off. :-)

However, I'm leaning toward this being a Chinese fiddle. I had the exact same cheapie strings on a Chinese fiddle I bought a while back. So, I'll put this as a Chinese copy of a cheap Czech fiddle. So, if I'm right (which is doubtful), even at $265 this may not be a bargain.

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Now that I look at his feedback, I think the guy took the body of a Romanian or no-name violin and replaced the neck from an old Czech violin. Check his feedback and look at one of his recent purchases:


That may also explain the demolished button.

Here's where the tailpiece came from:


And the back looks a little like the darker violin from this auction he won:


And he won a Chinese fiddle from Muses back in November, which is likely where those strings came from.

If only he had won an auction for labels, you could piece together every part of this new creation!

I think I should get back to work now.

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