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Violininct

Help with violin Id 1634 copy?

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Hello, I am looking for some input on this violin.  The label is not clear to say the least but the instrument appeals to me for some reason.  Any thoughts on where and when it was produced?  I am thinking it is based on an Amati or Amatus 1634?  

 

Any thoughts on it it are greatly appreciated.  thank you.

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Edited by Violininct
Uploaded better pictures

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You say that you "uploaded better pictures," but IMO, you should first read this handy thread explaining what people really need to see to evaluate your violin... Your images are problematic...

 

 

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Correct, I am bidding on it which is why I posted it in the auctions section looking for input on it.  My budget for this is 1000 currently and although I expect to get it at that price I was hoping someone would be able to provide assistance in identifying the maker prior to the auction close in the event that I am outbid.  

Edited by Violininct

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What I can tell you there is an saddle crack that seems to be open, the neck looks varnished (yikes)  and you will need new pegs. 

So keep those investments in mind when calculating your budget.

Maybe ask for better pictures of the bow. 

Neglecting the bows, I am not sure if I would pay $1000 for that violin. 

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What is your reason for buying a violin?  If you need a good playing instrument with a good sound, and a good bow, buying any instrument without playing it and comparing it with others doesn't make much sense.

Then, what are your reasons for wanting to buy this specific one?

Since the pictures aren't helpful you might be buying unseen problems.  If you can't do repairs and set up yourself, you may have to add several hundred dollars to get the violin and bows into playing shape, and even more if there are hidden problems.

This is a commercial instrument which can't be pinned to a given maker and isn't worth much even if well set up.  The fact that it may be loosely patterned after Amati is of no importance.

  

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My son plays and has a number of violins.  I unfortunately do not have any musical ability, although I find the violin a beautiful instrument.

When I find an interesting one that appeals to me on an auction site I'll buy it as a gift for him and get it repaired and set up at our local shop -- sometimes this turns out well, other times not so well.  The one piece back of this particular violin is lovely.

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This went for over $3600.  Two people appeared to have seen something they liked.  According to Martin, it wasn't a Nurnberger bow ("cheap student bows."). I couldn't tell about the bow, but that frog did not look Nurnbergerish. Was the purchaser and his bidding frenemy deluded? Or did they see something we didn't? 

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This selling price does not surprise me. Violins and bows tend to sell for much higher prices on Goodwill than similar lots sell for on eBay - often above what I'd anticipate for retail sales prices. I don't think this lot (as photographed) would have sold for more than $1,200 on eBay.

I think that there are several reasons for this:

  • Goodwill lots are usually poorly photographed and poorly described by honest people who know nothing about violins
  • Goodwill personnel are not scammers
  • The proceeds go to the Goodwill charity

Therefore, I think bidders are willing to gamble more in their bidding. For example, in this lot, there were no close-up pictures of the bows' heads, so if the bows have broken tips or damaged heads, they may be essentially worthless. 

This willingness to gamble on Goodwill violins is even more surprising when you consider that they have a clear "no returns" policy.

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I was following this auction, and surprised to see it hit over $3600.

For me it was the appeal the Nurnberger bow(s). Nurnberger bows can be found selling between $2000 - $6000+

Even if the bows were warped and no hair, they could be easily re-haired and the bow rechambered. 

The great thing about Goodwill site, is that the items can be returned. If the bows did have broken tips and the violin did have a saddle crack vs 'scratch' you'd likely be out the return cost.

Return Policy: Returns will not be accepted without prior authorization from the Seller. Items may be returned within five (5) days of receipt if the merchandise was damaged during shipping or if there was a significant misrepresentation in the description. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT REFUND SHIPPING AND HANDLING CHARGES AND REQUEST THAT THE REFUNDED ITEM BE RETURNED TO SELLER PRIOR TO REFUND PROCESSING.

However, you could likely flip the violin bows and turn a profit as well as have a lovely looking single piece back violin.

By the way, what are other similar sites which violins are auctioned? Searching for 'violin auctions' did not return 'shopgoodwill' so I'm certain there are unique sites that auction violins.

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I was surprised by the selling price but I do think that the points that George mentioned are pertinent.  When this got close to the $1000 budget I had set I decided that worst case scenario I would donate it back to Goodwill and take the purchase price as a tax deduction (which is a helpful feature of the current US tax code). 

Thank you all for your comments and input on this item.

 

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11 hours ago, Phantom Mariachi said:

Return Policy: Returns will not be accepted without prior authorization from the Seller. Items may be returned within five (5) days of receipt if the merchandise was damaged during shipping or if there was a significant misrepresentation in the description. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT REFUND SHIPPING AND HANDLING CHARGES AND REQUEST THAT THE REFUNDED ITEM BE RETURNED TO SELLER PRIOR TO REFUND PROCESSING.

Goodwill rarely makes "a significant misrepresentation in the description." The worst I have seen is calling violins violas. They generally make no claims to authenticity, and their descriptions are minimal and vague as to not represent much at all. 

They are very clear about this:

Quote

Although Goodwill of Greater Washington pre-examines items for sale and strives to accurately present the actual condition of all items that we list, we are not experts in any item and may not catch every defect or deficiency. All purchases at Goodwill of Greater Washington are final.

Under that policy, you would not be able to return that violin and bows if there were defects that were not visible in the pictures, or if the labels are fakes. "If the bows did have broken tips and the violin did have a saddle crack vs 'scratch' you'd likely be" stuck with them. How many Goodwill people even could recognize a broken tip or a saddle crack?

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16 hours ago, Phantom Mariachi said:

I was following this auction, and surprised to see it hit over $3600.

For me it was the appeal the Nurnberger bow(s). Nurnberger bows can be found selling between $2000 - $6000+

Even if the bows were warped and no hair, they could be easily re-haired and the bow rechambered. 

The great thing about Goodwill site, is that the items can be returned. If the bows did have broken tips and the violin did have a saddle crack vs 'scratch' you'd likely be out the return cost.

Return Policy: Returns will not be accepted without prior authorization from the Seller. Items may be returned within five (5) days of receipt if the merchandise was damaged during shipping or if there was a significant misrepresentation in the description. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DO NOT REFUND SHIPPING AND HANDLING CHARGES AND REQUEST THAT THE REFUNDED ITEM BE RETURNED TO SELLER PRIOR TO REFUND PROCESSING.

However, you could likely flip the violin bows and turn a profit as well as have a lovely looking single piece back violin.

By the way, what are other similar sites which violins are auctioned? Searching for 'violin auctions' did not return 'shopgoodwill' so I'm certain there are unique sites that auction violins.

These weren't real Nurnberger bows, though...

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It's all about communication with the seller. The shopgoodwill site represents several different Goodwill stores.

Each with their own return policies, managers, etc. Few have an 'absolutely no returns' policy.

@l33tplaya  How were you able to identify they weren't real Nurnberger bows?

I suppose it would be easier to forge a bow mark vs a violin label. Scary thing about not seeing these items in person.

Any other unique  auction sites out there that carry violins?

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On 8/15/2017 at 7:14 AM, Violininct said:

 

When I find an interesting one that appeals to me on an auction site I'll buy it as a gift for him and get it repaired and set up at our local shop -- sometimes this turns out well, other times not so well.  The one piece back of this particular violin is lovely.

That's an interesting strategy.  You might do better to save your money and instead of picking up a bunch of marginal violins off of eBay, go to your local shop and get something really decent.  If you knew violins well, it might be interesting to try something like a Tarisio auction, but without the ability to sort them out and spot problems, it seems to me that your young violinist might benefit from a nice instrument from a dealer.  I would think that this shop you've been going to would advise you in this way.  Perhaps the luthiers like the practice, though. 

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