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Theramses

Help Identifying Violin

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My grandfather gave me his old violin for me to play while I was in school. He says he received it from his father in the mid 1950's, but doesn't know if he had bought it new or if it had been an older violin at the time. He took it somewhere and they said that it was a Sears and Roebuck violin from the early 1900's but I would like to be certain about it. 

It's not in the best condition unfortunately but it's not something I would think of selling. There is a square label that I could not get a picture of inside the left F hole that says, "Antonius Stradiuarius" in the middle, and below it in a smaller font, "made in Germany". I looked for any other labels, but I could not find anything.

I also think the fingerboard is painted, as it looks like it is rubbing off from being played. On the underside of the fingerboard it is painted black up until the point where it separates from the body, and it looks like a bright wood that doesn't match the color of the rest of the violin, unfortunately I could not get an image of this either.

The pegs and the chinrest have been replaced but everything else should be original to the violin. It might also be worth noting that before it was worked on, it had fine tuners on the A and E strings. 

I haven't ever posted on a forum like this so if I'm doing this wrong please let me know. Thanks!

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Thank you! I went and looked at a few images of that style of instrument and they look almost identical albeit the others look to be in better condition. 

Would it be worth it to keep and replace any parts that need it and keep playing it through college or do you think I would be better off buying a new one? 

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It looks like you have it set-up well enough to see how it sounds. You should compare the tone/response/playability with other violins.

That particular violin is a very low-grade "Cottage industry" violin, and my guess is that it sounds pretty bad in comparison with better grade violins or "cottage industry" violins that have been re-graduated.

Perhaps this is the best violin that your great grandfather could afford at the time, and there is no shame in that. But you should be able to find a much better violin to play at an affordable price. Don't settle on this one for sentimental reasons alone. Life is too short not to play the best violin that you can find and afford. YOLO.

 

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14 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

It looks like you have it set-up well enough to see how it sounds. You should compare the tone/response/playability with other violins.

That particular violin is a very low-grade "Cottage industry" violin, and my guess is that it sounds pretty bad in comparison with better grade violins or "cottage industry" violins that have been re-graduated.

Perhaps this is the best violin that your great grandfather could afford at the time, and there is no shame in that. But you should be able to find a much better violin to play at an affordable price. Don't settle on this one for sentimental reasons alone. Life is too short not to play the best violin that you can find and afford. YOLO.

 

Do you have your violin salesman hat on today?

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33 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Do you have your violin salesman hat on today?

Not really.

Playing the violin can be one of life's greatest pleasures. Playing a poor-quality violin that sounds horrible simply for sentimental reasons is to miss out on a lot of that pleasure, particularly if you don't know what a better violin sounds like in comparison.

If the OP's violin sounds great and plays great, then he or she has the best of both worlds (although that violin will never be a looker). 

 

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

It looks like you have it set-up well enough to see how it sounds.

 

I'd guess that most violins won't "sound well" with a poorly made bridge out of place and the cheapest sort of strings (if I'm seeing right). So the OP would need to go to a qualified person even to let make this right before making further considerations.

OTOH it's hard to discuss about taste and importance reg. sound, as we've noticed several times recently.:unsure:

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17 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I'd guess that most violins won't "sound well" with a poorly made bridge out of place and the cheapest sort of strings (if I'm seeing right). So the OP would need to go to a qualified person even to let make this right before making further considerations.

OTOH it's hard to discuss about taste and importance reg. sound, as we've noticed several times recently.:unsure:

All true.

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3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

It should just about be worth taking to a proper violin maker, and having it properly set up, ,since it has a certain "ideal" value to you as your grandpa's violin.

That's a first! :mellow:

Are you mellowing? :P

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16 minutes ago, Rue said:

That's a first! :mellow:

Are you mellowing? :P

Must be, I would have expected a "dust bin" comment first off.

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Even though I am the king of paying for sentiment, I'd put this aside for now and look at ready to go instruments at reputable shops. For quality work you are looking at over 1K in repair costs if it needs a new fingerboard along with peg work, bridge, soundpost etc. I am suspicious of the neck set as well.

Put this money towards a Jay Haide, higher grade Scott Cao, or something similar and you will be better equipped, and start a good relationship with a violin shop. Get this one fixed up later on. 

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Thank you guys for the responses! It does have sentimental value but I'm definitely not opposed to getting a better violin. I do enjoy playing and it would benefit me to get a better one. Thanks again!

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On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 5:59 PM, deans said:

 

Put this money towards a Jay Haide, higher grade Scott Cao, or something similar and you will be better equipped, and start a good relationship with a violin shop. Get this one fixed up later on. 

I can't really follow your logic. The OP currently owns one crumby violin, an heirloom from his granddad, why should he want to own a second crumby violin?

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56 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I can't really follow your logic. The OP currently owns one crumby violin, an heirloom from his granddad, why should he want to own a second crumby violin?

...and he's back! ^_^

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