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potatobutter

Can you help appraise my violin?

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Hi, I just got this violin from my uncle who quit playing due to carpal tunnel syndrome. I don't know it's value and there are no labels on the inside. It seems like a very nicely constructed instrument, although I do see something in the wood which I've included a picture of (I think it's called a knot???). The sound is quite brilliant and the varnish seems flaky, where it chips off in pieces rather than scratching off (sort of hard to explain so bear with me please). There are scratches on the violin which are not really noticeable. Picture quality isn't too great either and they are out of order so I apologize. I have little to no knowledge of violin repair or appraisal so any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Edited by potatobutter
Forgot a picture

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I'm only lesser qualified to ID violins, but I will say it appears to me of high quality, either recent or extremely well cared for in it's life, possibly of German origin.

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These 20th century violins always look generic to me. They could be Markneukirchen, French or Italian. How on earth do you pick them apart by photo ? Without a clear picture of the end rib how can you tell if its inner or outer mould ?

Varnish ?

For no other reason than its currently got a French bridge on, I will say French. :ph34r:

But the f-holes look Italian or maybe 1920 's German LOL  :lol:

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Both the model and scroll with broad chamfers at the throad and flat ears and even the varnish look in my eyes like ca. 1950s Mirecourt made. Martin might come up telling that the inside pegbox is too blackened and the purfling goes too symmetrical through the corners for Mirecourt;).

It's right that it was probably built in a period where everything got blurred and mixed up, so it could be made elsewhere in this style, but not in China.

The small filled knot close to the edge is harmless and made originally this way.

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Why not China? The blatant layered and antiqued varnish and lack of a label are just two things that point directly towards a Chinese instrument. The wood for the back looks similar that seen in French instruments but the varnish is wrong.

 

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27 minutes ago, Craigers said:

Why not China? The blatant layered and antiqued varnish and lack of a label are just two things that point directly towards a Chinese instrument. The wood for the back looks similar that seen in French instruments but the varnish is wrong.

 

I don't know what you think a "french varnish" should look like, but for me it's exactly like this. The scroll with all it's Mirecourt flair and flaws isn't chinese at all, and at least I think it looks scarred enough to be minimum 50 years old.

Maybe the OP can tell us if the bottom joint is cleated inside, what would be another french trait.

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48 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Why don't you ask your uncle where he got it?

Well...what if he got it from Vern's Violin Emporium?

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The F Holes are distinctive. They remind me of del gesu. The scroll looks a little amateurish, and the varnish looks cheap but overall it looks pretty good to me. At least it looks individual.

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Hello everyone! Thank you for all of your replies.

I asked my uncle about it, and he says that he purchased it from his teacher when he was interested in playing violin, but other than that he has no knowledge of where the violin came from.

My biggest concerns about the instrument are that it has the wood issue that I took a picture of, the varnish sort of flakes of, and there is no label. However, I did do some research ans apparently there are Strads with knots or wood imperfections, and sometimes the label could be faked anyway so the label isn't too clear an indicator of violin quality.

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

The F Holes are distinctive. They remind me of del gesu. The scroll looks a little amateurish, and the varnish looks cheap but overall it looks pretty good to me. At least it looks individual.

If you google for "Victorieux by Collin-Mezin" you might find similar models, though usually slightly better executed.

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23 minutes ago, Blank face said:

If you google for "Victorieux by Collin-Mezin" you might find similar models, though usually slightly better executed.

Thank you! I will! Was that a particular model?

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1 hour ago, Rue said:

Well...what if he got it from Vern's Violin Emporium?

Then it is definitely Chinese, 'cause here at Vern's we only sell violins from Cremona, China.

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51 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Then it is definitely Chinese, 'cause here at Vern's we only sell violins from Cremona, China.

I've never heard of Vern's Violin Emporium. Where is that located?

 

59 minutes ago, Ratcliffiddles said:

Totally with you on that one, I really don't think that's French or old.

After thinking about it, you might be right. There are knots and the varnish flakes off which I don't think I've seen any other good violin do.

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Reminds me of new Eastern Europe of the type that sells on German ebay with a photocopied modern Italian label, blurry photos, and staged in an old case.

@Blank face, you would have seen hundreds of them in Berlin... doesn't it look a little like that?

Hard to tell from the photos though. It could just as well be 50 years old and quite a nice instrument.

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32 minutes ago, Guido said:

Reminds me of new Eastern Europe of the type that sells on German ebay with a photocopied modern Italian label, blurry photos, and staged in an old case.

It looks much more Chinese than Eastern European to me, anyway. 

 

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Seems to be a really hard nut to crack here.;) We all seem to agree that it's a quite modern violin (post 1950) what is making things probably so hard, especially without holding it in hands, looking inside etc.

I'm still seeing a typical Mirecourt model with a slightly less typical Mircourt scroll, including the resevations I made above, and can't neither these nor "varnish chipping off in flakes" associate with China. Maybe Peter knows examples that I'm not aware of.

Reg. Eastern Europe, probably not the recent Reghin/Hungarian made stuff, but there were other places where they wee able to work in this style. At least really hard to tell without knowing more about inside work.

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13 hours ago, Craigers said:

Looks to me like a rather new Chinese import

That was my first thought too.

 

10 hours ago, potatobutter said:

I asked my uncle about it, and he says that he purchased it from his teacher when he was interested in playing violin, but other than that he has no knowledge of where the violin came from.

My biggest concerns about the instrument are that it has the wood issue that I took a picture of, the varnish sort of flakes of, and there is no label. However, I did do some research ans apparently there are Strads with knots or wood imperfections, and sometimes the label could be faked anyway so the label isn't too clear an indicator of violin quality.

Do you know how long ago your uncle got it? Depending on how long he's had it that could narrow it down on a modern-instrument range.

I don't see anything on the wood to be concerned about.

Any chance you could take pictures of the interior? Through the f-holes works but if you could use a dentist mirror or equivalent to get a few shouts of the interior that could help identification.

Labels are practically irrelevant most of the time, as they can be faked and switched around and all that.

There are incredibly knowledgeable folks in the forums here, but your best bet might be taking it to a luthier to get it looked at in person.

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Looks like the consensus here thinks its a made yesterday Chinese antiqued violin.

Maybe the French bridge is a faked Chinese one. The other fittings look similar to the ones on the better quality Gliga violins.

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12 minutes ago, Delabo said:

Looks like the consensus here thinks its a made yesterday Chinese antiqued violin.

 

That all depends on when the OPs uncle got this instrument.

If it was a long time ago, that kind of rules out the Chinese hypothesis.

So the OP needs to ask his uncle when this instrument changed hands. 

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