Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

How MANY of these ARE there?!?!

Jeny Mahon

Recommended Posts

How old it looks means nothing to me.

The fact that it is a private listing,

listed by one of the accounts on my shill bidder list.

No selling activity for spans of 3 months or more.

professional quality listing for someone with only 11 feedbacks.

And has been relisted several times in the past month with no account of being relisted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No reason why you shouldn't buy it unless you were expecting a genuine Scarampella but then you must ask yourself what is the likelihood of someone trying to sell a genuine one on ebay.

It always amuses me when people put violins with impressive labels onto ebay and then claim they don't know much about violins.

If one had such an instrument and had even the slightest inkling that it might be authentic, wouldn't one move heaven and earth to have it reviewed and certified by an expert?

If you are new to ebay, the best advice is to absolutely assume that the violin is a fake or a copy unless there is a very good reason to assume otherwise. Then pay accordingly.

Remember also that very few real experts will pass an opinion based on a few pictures alone so your own opinion based on ebay pics is likely to be suspect.

I buy on ebay regularly but I treat it as my gambling money. I only spend sums of money I can afford to loose without much discomfort.

I wouldn't dream of investing substantial sums on money this way unless I was very comfortable with the seller (notice I stress 'the seller' and not the item).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you. It looks appealing, though.... in continuation, I have looked at the pictures again. From what I see the violin looks to be very well made.. elegant to a certain extent, yet rugged and stout. Like a strong man with good muscle tone, not too bulky but lithe and supple. I have some fine furniture made from the tiger striped maple tree and it is most appealing to the eye, especially when the light strikes the surfaces.

How can one possibly tell that it is not genuine when they cannot tell that it is? What criteria is used for these asessments?

Thank you for your reply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Remember also that very few real experts will pass an opinion based on a few pictures alone . . ."

It's much easier, though, to say that something is NOT something from photos. Saying that it IS requires a whole different level of examination. For instance, I can say without reservation that this is NOT a Stradivari violin:


Saying a particular violin is NOT a Stradivari is often just as easy as the above example. Saying for sure that a particular violn IS a Strad is *much* more difficult.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


"Remember also that very few real experts will pass an opinion based on a few pictures alone . . ."

It's much easier, though, to say that something is NOT something from photos. Saying that it IS requires a whole different level of examination. For instance, I can say without reservation that this is NOT a Stradivari violin:

Seriously, that is a lovely looking pony!! Is it a Shetland?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


There are hundreds just like him. Just search the "auction" forum for e-bay scams and you'll see the "warning signs" for what to avoid. If you're not looking for an authentic instrument, e-bay is not a bad place. But, many sellers are just out to make a buck. By reviewing seller's feedback, I've seen instruments they had listed as "labeled as xxxxx" that they bought a month before unlabeled or labeled as something else. Just be cautious when spending your $$ on auctions.

Don't buy from sellers who have little to no feedback, don't buy from private auctions if you can avoid it, and don't spend more than you can afford to lose. Also, sellers avoid fraud repercussions by putting "Labeled by" rather than "made by" or "certified" on their auctions. Also, just because it's not a well-known maker (or even a dead one, for that matter) doesn't mean that it's not a fake. People pull obscure labels out of books like Jalovec and put them in unnamed fiddles just to make a few more $$ on the sale. Gregg Alf, one of the makers who frequents this site and is very much alive, has even seen violins with his name on them for sale on e-bay, but they weren't made by him!

If you're looking for something old & original, chances are SOMEONE appraised it before, and it should come with a certificate. Obviously, these will cost you a little more $$ on e-bay, but it's worth it if you're trying to buy an authentic instrument. If it does have a certificate, make sure it's legit, too. Someone had a violin & a certificate for sale a while back which pulled in way too much $$, and the violin was not the one that was appraised on the certificate!

To my eye, that violin looks like a brand new Romanian instrument, it is definitely not 100 years old, and the label also looks brand new.

Good luck hunting, and be cautious!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the information. Now I am afraid to consider purchasing eBay items like this. money is not a problem, and the violin looks so beautiful, even if it isn't authentic. Could it be worth what the bid price is now? Are these bidders just running the price sky high on behalf of the seller? Is this what is called shill bidding?

I think it's a deplorable practice, but nothing can be done to remedy things, or so it seems. How can one be sure that the seller is honest? Do you think I should email such a question to the seller? I certainly wouldn't want to offend anyone, but I surely love the appearance of the violin. Can you tell how it might sound from looking at the outside? Or is the inside part more important? I am really !

Link to comment
Share on other sites


There are too many factors that go into what a violin is going to sound like to simply look at one and assume it will sound good. Some fantastic looking violins sound horrible (and vice-versa), which can be caused by any number of things, both seen and unseen:

Wood is too thick

Wood is too thin

Shape is not mathematically correct

Curvature of top/back is incorrect

Poor bridge/soundpost placement (easily remedied)

Varnish too thick/thin

These are but a few. I'll be honest, though. I have a Gliga violin (a Romanian shop instrument) and I love it. It cost me about $750 on e-bay. Personally, I have seen bench-made Romanian luthiers' instruments go for $2500 (what price was last I checked), which this could be worth. However,it may just be a shop fiddle. It's a pretty shop fiddle if so, but how can you know?

I would suggest that if you do purchase on-line (especially from e-bay) make sure the seller has a LOT of good feedback. Also, make sure they have a reasonable return policy. After all, you are buying a violin that you may keep for the rest of your life without ever playing it yourself. That said, personally I wouldn't spend more than $1000 or so on any mislabeled violin or shop instrument from an e-bay seller. The other thing you may need to consider is that you'll still likely need to take almost any e-bay instrument to get an adjustment (at the least), but more likely a whole setup--new bridge, strings, and soundpost adjustment. I also wouldn't bother asking that seller. It is private auction, and he/she had the foresight to avoid repercussions by writing "labeled as" in the auction title.

(as an aside, why did America as a whole stop spelling traveled and labeled with two "l"s? I always remember spelling them "labelled" and "travelled". . . )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jane,

I visited violin shops often,I have seldom seen an old

Italian violin on displayed (hanged in a glass case, most in a vault,shown on request only). In short, it is rare.

I don't expect an old Italian violin on e-bay. My friend's old Italian $300k, my teacher's $60K, a modern Italian in a wedding reception, the kid player wouldn't tell (how much) that gives you some ideas, how crazy it is.

Most likely, the one is e-bay violin is a Chinese violin or a modern European. Not bad if is for $1000 but not more. Just my guess. /yuen/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...