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sooch

Violin upgrade comments pls (newbie)

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This is my 1 st post I hope this the form to use...Im looking to

upgrade my sons violin. He presently is taking lessons at a grade

10 level......the violin that he seems to favor is French and is

labelled.... fait par P Hel  dans 1906

,#451... the instrument appears to be in good condition,and has a

very nice sound in the whole range...the asking price is $12,500

CDN ...can any one offer any information or opinion of this

maker....if this is the right price range for this maker,are there

others I should look for , by name or nationality all things being

equal ,what should I be my principle concerns , this is a fairly

large investment for our family ...All comments and words of wisdom

are very much appreciated ..thanks you

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The prices of expensive violins (over $6000 , for example) have no fixed values.

I believe that all are negotiateable. Once you have decided that you want it. It is no harm to make

a counter offer and see if the seller would accept it.

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Probably Pierre Hel. If so, he was born March 5, 1884, Lille. Died July 13, 1937, Lille. Son and successor of Joseph, took over shop in 1902. Before working with his father he served his apprenticeship at Bazin atelier in Mirecourt. His work is similar to his father's, although a little harder in appearance. Also known as an expert restorer.

He was appointed violin maker of the Conservatory of The Hague and won several exhibition medals. His varnish is often lighter in shade than his father's. Brand "Pierre Hel" on the rib close to the endpin.

Info above re Hel from Grove's dictionary

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You might try  the Tarisio Red Book of Auction results for

auction prices for violins by the same maker.  I have sent you

a private message to explain how to search on that site.

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I'm in no position to say whether you're getting a bargain or getting hosed on the Hel, but I can't recommend enough that your son try as many violins as possible before settling on one at that price level. Remember that there are an awful lot of violins out there.

It would be as well to have someone more knowledgeable accompay him, someone who might be able to point out subtle yet important nuances regarding a given instrument. Budget some weekends and some travel. This violin will be with him for a while, so you may as well get the best one available. Major urban centers loke NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and so forth will have shops that stock instruments of serious cost and quality. Don't overlook learning opportunities in places like that.

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