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Copie de Iofredus Cappa

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Hello everyone! A friend of mine just got this violin and looks like it may need some work. I am bombarded with questions but have not much much knowledge on this one since I have been out of the loop, I am hoping somebody here would have more info on this one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110892270456

Also if anybody can suggest somebody in Los Angeles that could check it out without breaking the bank, let me know. Thanks!

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It looks to me like a so-so Mirecourt violin, late 19th century or early 20th century. I'd have to say that I think the price is pretty high given the condition - if your friend is planning to take it to a violin shop, the back seam repair alone will surely cost $3-400, given that the top has to come off.

I would return it myself - by the time it's repaired and set up nicely it will be back to a full retail price.

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It looks to me like a so-so Mirecourt violin, late 19th century or early 20th century. I'd have to say that I think the price is pretty high given the condition - if your friend is planning to take it to a violin shop, the back seam repair alone will surely cost $3-400, given that the top has to come off.

I would return it myself - by the time it's repaired and set up nicely it will be back to a full retail price.

Since the description was more or less accurate, I don`t think the return option is open to him. Serve him right for buying on ebay. Taking a top off and repairing a back joint with all resulting work doesn`t only cost 3 to 400$, who are you kidding?

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I suspect it might be a bit more ....!

I think $300 would be like a trade price between colleagues.

And once you took it to a shop, they would of course tell you to fit new pegs, change the soundpost ("it doesn't fit at all"), and fit a new bridge without a nasty ebony inset for the E string.

Does it sound outstanding? If not, it's not a proposition ........

I buy a lot of Mirecourt violins on Ebay (though not from the US) - I would say this one was worth about $4-500 if you could do the repairs and set-up yourself. The particular "pitted" varnish is most often late 19th century JTL, sometimes people describe these violins as "Caussin School", though they have nothing to do with Caussin. JTL 1901 Catalogue page 54, 28 Francs.

I don't like to be negative, but I really think there are much better deals to be had .....

but maybe someone else will have a different opinion.

Ah I see Jacob (who has never bought anything on Ebay) has elaborated!

But the violin has a 14 day return policy, no strings attached, I would use it.

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Thanks Martin, just spoke with my friend.

Looks like she paid for the instrument already but it hasnt shipped. So the question is, is it at least something that can be justified after the repairs? Unless other experts would agree with Martin to just return it?

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I agree with the other posters that this is a marginal buy, even if the back joint is the only major problem it will probably cost the purchase price again over to have it fixed up and in put in good playing condition. In the end the total cost will be probably be more than the fiddle is worth. However I often disagree with the "dont fix it if it costs more than its worth" philosophy. Go to major violin shops in any big US city, and 2-3K doesnt get you much, its the price many dealers charge for a higher level Chinese instrument that will depreciate to $500 as you walk out the door (not that thats necessarily bad either). There is a very good chance that this instrument could out-play anything you can buy retail in the USA for the total cost you will put in it, and therefore would not be ridiculous to fix it up, even if the resale value is lower than what you have in it (as naturally would be when you buy any violin in a retail setting). I have more than one instrument in this category that I am extremely happy with.

However there is still a risk that other work may need to be done on this fiddle, or that there is some dimension problem, that puts the repair costs way out of orbit, and puts the total cost in a range where you really do have lots of other very good choices. Ebay is risky.

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I sell this category of instrument for around £600, fully set up and without repairs - so naturally I'm prejudiced. Your friend will end up spending nearly 3 times that.

There are plenty of good Mirecourt instruments on Ebay which just need set-up for a lot less than $1000. It's just too expensive for what it is.

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Martin, there are shops here in the US that price instruments similar to yours. But they are not in the San Francisco area, and also probably not in LA. The economies in these areas are worlds apart from other places and the US (and maybe your part of the world-I dont know). Violin shops in California have to price things differently just to stay alive, especially instruments in this category. I'm trying to look at things for the OPs situation, assuming her friend is also in LA.

Still not the best buy in the world, but not so bad that I wouldnt consider plodding forward, I like the looks of the fiddle, it could be a player. There's a certain satisfaction with getting an old fiddle like this back in circulation, even if the economics dont quite work out. But we could be looking at another $1500. If the buyer wants a fiddle to play soon and/or cant afford to eat that bill, I might suggest getting the money back.

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Thanks everyone! My friend cancelled the transaction. The ebay seller was very nice and refunded asap, uneducated buyers mistake but good thing they have a return policy. My friend is also local and seems like she got all wound up in the bidding and did it last minute without asking around first and did not consider the repair costs. Costs of services here are indeed steeper than most states. My last violin repair years ago I actually sent it to another forum member out of state because it would be 3x if I had it done here. She's very thankful for all your insights.

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For good reasonably priced repairs and a good look over I can reccomend Callier-Scollard in Pasadena. Easy to work with and if it's not worth repairing, he'll tell you. Call first since he's not always there and sometimes he gets really busy. With school out he probably won't be as slammed as the last time I was there. The shop is a bit hard to find - it's in an old hotel and hard to spot from the street.

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