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Can anyone help me with if this is a copy or a real HOPF violin?  My Daughter wants to buy it, but I don't know if it's worth the repair cost to bring it back to life... thanks in advance for any of your thoughts. 




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Hopf was a large family of makers starting in the 18th century (maybe a bit earlier). The early makers usually produced fairly distinctive models from what I have seen, they are  rare. As time went on a more squarish shape evolved and the trade started stamping tons of cottage industry instruments with Hopf stamps.

By the mid 19th century many squarish model "Hopfs" were produced, these are the ones we see the most . These  are not really "copies" of earlier Hopfs, just something that evolved in the trade. Hopf stamps can be found on many other models as well especially later on. It was just a stamp. The Chinese are making them now.

Yours looks like a better than average 19th century instrument, maybe early 19th, the neck looks good, I'm thinking its grafted, looks like a good fingerboard. The only issue is the back center seem, looks like there is some case gunk on it, but I would check to see if its open or has been poorly repaired. 

Worth fixing up IMO if there is no real issue with the center seam or anything else. It might just require a good set up and a few tweaks. Better picks would help.

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