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Hello guys,

I have this old violin which resonates very well and is finely crafted. On the other hand I am not sure if it is an original Mirecourt violin or not. Can you help me out? Thanks.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/89/img9058dz.jpg/]img9058dz.jpg[/url

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/545/img9050xk.jpg/]img9050xk.jpg[/url

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/842/img9053l.jpg/]img9053l.jpg[/url

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/844/img9056w.jpg/]img9056w.jpg[/url

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Speaking as a violin enthousiast with only a little bit of experience: to me this doesn't look like any of the Mirecourt violins i've seen.

Fits more the Markneukirchen/Schönbach (Saxony) fiddles from about a century ago by the looks of it. You could check a good description of the characeristics of such fiddles on this page about 3/4 down, by Jacob Saunders:

http://www.maestrone...468#entry538468

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Thanks four your replies. Which parts dou you think needs close-up? Other than that I know that the bridge and the other parts are ebony but am not sure about the kind of tree it was crafted from. It has two repaired cracks in front and I the back is in one-piece.

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The bridge is not made from ebony; you are probably referring to the fingerboard or tailpiece. Here a diagram of the parts of the violin:

http://www.violinson...ts-and-diagram/

Most violins have a spruce top and a maple bottom, ribs and neck and yours appears to be made that way.

There is a post marked `Violin ID` on the main page that gives you a good idea what kind of pictures to take ( you do not have to take the violin appart like that one!)

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Are you wanting to know an ebay price, an auction room price, a fair dealer price, a trade-in price, a between friends retail price, a shop price or an insurance valuation? It's a very wide range ....

It also looks to me like it has a table soundpost crack - if so, then I think the highest insurance valuation would be around £500.

Jacob would give you a much lower figure - the skips of Vienna are full to the brim with this kind of violin!

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What is table post? If you mean the fair price by insurance value, I guess I wanted to know that price. Actually my main instrument is piano but i also play violin at an intermediate level. On the other hand, I generally try and exchange violins to know more of the sound quality. Violin is maybe the most variable instrument in that sense. I sometimes see violins which seem perfect but sound poor. I think the crucial string is the G in that sense. Generallsy new or unquality violins have very thin and non-resonating G note. I have seen better violins to this one, but this one resonates well and its projection is ok. On the other hand the diameters of the parts are well-calculated. Maybe it sounds good because it is old and the wood is dry. But as I said I am not a luthier and just trying to understand the value of the violin by its sound.

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OK understood.

There is no relationship between sound and value. NONE ... except when discussing lower level old and new trade instruments or amateur-made instruments which have no intrinsic collectable value. In this area I think it's common to sell violins on the basis of their sound quality, or at least to operate some kind of comparative pricing.

I think you have a soundpost crack in the top of your violin - it looks as if there is a dark line running below the right leg of the bridge. If so, you have to knock a big percentage off the value of your violin, particularly if it hasn't already been repaired with a patch on the inside. There's a lot of disagreement about what that percentage should be, but I would say that the combination of poorly repaired cracks, varnish damage, and a soundpost crack in the top would have to add up to a 50% devaluation. A very optimistic insurance valuation for a nice Schoenbach trade violin in good condition would be £1000, so we end up with a figure (top figure that is) of £500.

Some dealers who have thought a lot about this question would say that a Schoenbach trade violin with these repairs is essentially valueless, in that it probably couldn't be sold to a dealer. However, there's actually a lot of trade in this sort of violin (often from player to player) so I wouldn't take such an extreme position. Traditional players are generally much less concerned about repairs - they tend to be very uninterested in the origins of an instrument, and just judge things on sound.

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I started with a post on the soundpost crack, but Mr. Swan has weighed back in with a much more elegant response than I had. One thing I would mention, if you care about this violin, is to clean the white rosin dust off the top. Usually a gentle dusting with a soft cotton cloth on the top, the top of the fingerboard, and the strings after each time you play will do the trick, though I don't know if something more official needs to be done when it gets to the point you have shown in your images. Maybe someone more knowledgeable will suggest a more substantial cleaning method. I was surprised to discover, when I finally got a very nice bow, that the bow seemed more sensitive to rosin buildup on the strings--does that make sense to the more experienced folks here?--and so after every 2-3 times I play I have found that a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cloth (holding the violin with the top down so there is no chance of getting alcohol on the varnish) is needed to clean the strings or else I don't really get the full rich sound of my instrument...

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