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garrisjohn

Fiorini, Gaggini

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Hi, I'm wondering what I should ask for my violins I'm selling. I have a 1933 Fiorini and a 1946 Gaggini. The Gaggini has a long crack on the left side of the top. The Fiorini is in great shape. It needs some glueing around the lower sides and a setup job. They have both been looked at by one of NC's best appraisers. It's just hard for me to believe what he said. He said the Gaggini was worth $25,000 easy and he wouldn't say for the Fiorini but he offered to trade several $20,000 bows he had at home. Are these violins really worth that? He thought it was the last Fiorini made. It's actually a German violin Fiorini took apart, regraduated, added his corner blocks and end blocks, and then refinished. The appraiser said it was the best workmanship inside a violin he'd ever seen. I am thinking of doing some trading and I'd love to have an idea of what they are worth on the street and in a shop. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

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A German violin re-blocked and regraduated by Fiorini is not a Fiorini. You should have taken his offer (after having the $20K bows appraised by an independent 3rd party of course).

Gaggini - an inconsistent French maker who commands better prices than he should because his name is Italian. Highest auction price for a perfect example $10K, so $25K for one with a long crack in the table is a bit of a stretch!

You went to "one of NC's best appraisers" (I wonder how many there are) and he wouldn't give you a price but offered to trade some bows - that just doesn't quite ring true!

Anyway, nice wind-up :D

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Thanks Martin. You've said what I originally thought about the violins. Saw something on the net related to masters taking a new premade fiddle and redoing it and putting their label n it for sale. The Gaggini looks twice as nice. It's stamped everywhere P Gaggini. Number 123. Probably made by him. But if the Fiorini is a German redone. That to me is just what it is. I wonder why he was so interested. I'm not to sure how to play it. I feel like I could go back and see if his offer still stands. Sounded too good to be true to me. $25k for anything with the crack this thing has in it has to be ridiculous. I will go back though and see. Thanks. I had to ask. You were dead on for what I thought Martin.

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................................ The Gaggini looks twice as nice. It's stamped everywhere P Gaggini. Number 123. Probably made by him. ............................

 

Why "probably"?

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Probably because I'm not an expert. In my opinion it's number 123 of 1946 and completely right down to the tailpiece. The Fiorini is very well done inside. You can see the burn marks from taking the top off. Bunch of scribble in pencil on the lower right side. If it was redone by Fiorini himself it shouldn't bring what a model made earlier totally by him brings. How can you not be sure if it's a fake too?

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One way or another, the "explanation" for the Fiorini will be straightforward - it's either 1) a Fiorini, 2) a Fiorini workshop violin of some sort or 3) not a Fiorini. That the person wanting to get their hands on it is telling such a complicated story would ring alarm bells for me. 

An appraiser would give you an appraisal, not make you an offer.

Dmitry Gindin has an online appraisal service, and would be able to tell you from photos whether you should take the matter further.

http://www.dmitrygindin.com/online-identification-and-valuation.php

I'm not familiar with the US scene, but I would recommend a PM to Jeffrey.

If you posted a photo of either of them here, that would reassure me that this isn't all an elaborate sales pitch ... there are some elements of a classic con here.

Let's see the Gaggini.

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I will upload pics as soon as I can upload pics. Guess I need a few more posts. Thank you all very much for your help. I love violins and it's so interesting to learn about them. I've played fiddle over the last many years with several different bands in the US. I have the great privilege of playing guitar with Nate Leath on the fiddle with KrippleKrunk. He's a huge influence in the younger generation of upcoming violin/fiddle players here in the US. While other instruments are our main choices the violin is something we all have in common. Even the drummer. And again pics soon I hope.

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Hi garrisjohn,

I've had a brief look at the photos - thanks for posting.

First let me say that there are people on this forum who are much more knowledgeable than me, and I would take anything I say as just a starting point for further investigation.

The Gaggini looks pretty good. On balance I would expect the table and back corners to be a bit more ornate and droopy, but he did produce violins with more restrained corners such as this. The f-holes seem right, the varnish is consistent (he tried a lot of different things), the wood seems quite typical, and above all the scroll is very typical. Unlike the Lyons makers or Mirecourt, he favoured a very rounded eye to the scroll, and the chamfer on the pegbox as it leaves the nut is always pronounced.

It has an unsightly bassbar crack, and this is a major issue for selling, but essentially it seems "as described".

The "Fiorini" says nothing to me - maybe I'm passing over some hidden gem but it looks relabelled and pretty basic, like a mid-range Markneukirchen instrument. I would walk past it in a saleroom, but then I'm sure I walk past lots of nice violins.

Very interested to hear what others say - Fiorini is a very well-known maker.

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Thank you very much Martin. Exactly what think about them too. Maybe my friend knows something I don't but I think it's German with a fake label. It's re-voiced but by who. If it was done by Fiorini then that's great but I can't prove it nor do I know anyone who could either. Thank you again for your time. I always enjoy your post. Honest and respectful every time!

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The “Fiorini” is a Markneukirchen Trade box with a fake label. He wasn’t even still in Rome in 1933, but had left Rome in 1928 and moved back to his retirement in Munich, where he died on 24 Jan. 1934, as I mentioned already in another thread recently

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