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Here's Something Pretty

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I hope he gets a LOT for it!! Sounds like the owner has had it since it was made.

Since it was made in 1873 (acccording to the label) that would make its owner 134 years old if he had it since it was made. My guess is that the violin was probably used when the current owner got it. Still quite a nice thing-I think.


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Yeah yeah, sue me!

For some reason I was thinking 1940's when I wrote that, probably because I had just gotten done also looking at no less than THREE Wilkanowskis listed on Ebay at the same time! (one of which I got! YAY!)

Still, he's had it for awhile

and it is indeed pretty

We can agree on that!

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Gotta' say, that auction has my BS meter pegging off the scale.

How hard is it to find info on Asa White on the internet?  He

is perhaps the single most important historical figure in American

lutherie. (possibly the first American ever to abandon the "Yankee

Church Bass" model.)  Would you list such an item with a

minimum bid of $250?

The auction states "He had it restored and all of the cracks

“cleated” two years ago"  -So it was in the hands

of a professional repairman. Wouldn't "his friend" (yeah, right)

have asked the repairman what it was worth?

And this guy, selling for "his friend"  knows what cleats are,

but calls the tailpiece a "string holder."

The friend hates to part with this beloved instrument, but he must,

due to extreme medical bills.  You know, that $250 minimum bid

amount will really offset the cost of surgery!  

Wait, there's more!  quote: "I don't know much

technically about violins"  (I don't know NUTHIN' 'bout

birthin' no babies!) -but this seller sold at least one other

violin, as can be seen from past feedback.  

Call me a cynic, but ........

BTW- There is known to be a German "AS White" copy.  My guess

is that this is one of those, though it does have a nice


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I also share some hesitation about this auction. Asa White violins have been selling at a premium for years, and only a fool would start an auction this low for an instrument seemingly in such fine condition. My first full-size violin was an unlabeled violin from the Boston school that I was told several times was likely an Asa White. It had seen some rough use, and then it saw about 10 years of sometimes rough use at my hands before it was stolen in August 1990. That instrument, in 1979 or so, was purchased for $1200, and it would have been worth quite a bit more at that time if it had been properly authenticated or in better condition. It had a wonderful sound, and I still miss it, even though I replaced it with an admittedly better instrument.

(Just as an aside, I have never felt as violated as when that instrument was stolen, and I've spent years looking at auction catalogs and pawn shops in the slim hope of tracking it down. Given that a couple of crack heads (this was 1990, after all) broke into 10 cars in a row and took everything that wasn't nailed down, though, my fear is that the instrument ended up smashed for fun or tossed into a dumpster as not immediately fence-able. I will probably never know. And yes, it's insanely stupid to leave an instrument in a car--I don't need to be reminded of that. My defense at the time was that my car was in a gate-controlled parking garage that had security cameras and a 24/7 security guard on patrol. Magically, however, the night my car was robbed, the gates were broken (and open), the cameras were turned off, and the guard was nowhere to be seen. Sigh....)

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I like Asa and Ira White violins. They both had a father-believe it or not, named John, who made violins in Barre, Massachusetts before Asa and Ira got into the act. I had one of those a while ago. In my experience, the Mittenwald violins imported by White, finished and labeled in his shop are a bit different than the one in the current listing. They have some characteristic Mittenwald features that help to identify them. However, they are still considered White violins and I believe even the one in the Museum of Fine Arts collection in Boston might be a Mittenwald example although without more photos I cannot be sure. MFA White violin


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