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Violin identification and valuation book suggestions


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Hi everyone!

I've been interested for many years in the identification of old violins and have recently started buying and reselling them. I have a great interest in the history of violins and love browsing auction sites and violin shops comparing different makers, styles, etc. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for books talking about violin identification (by school and maker) as well as the current market value of the instruments. I have heard of the Red Book but was wondering what you thought would be the best books to learn identification and valuation from. 

Thanks for your help!  

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To quote one of the most respected violin expert

'If we put all our lifetime in studying violins, the maximum we can know is maybe 10%.'

This tells us all. 

You could take @jacobsaunders as a role model. He took interest in makers from regions of the so called German school something almost no one was interested in when he started. He collected meticulously data from original sources and studied and compared instruments with original labels over and over before he made his conclusions on  how to identify which maker or school. And often enough and rightfully advised me not to go by feeling rather than analyzing instruments in the minutest detail and draw conclusions from there. And he never ever tried to look 'smart' by just saying 'something'. (Where some other 'experts' are getting trapped in their own BS.) This is IMHO expertise at highest possible standards. 

For putting the right price on an instrument it is a completely different story. All price guides are just as good as the source they take the data from. At auction anything is good as long as it sells so unless you didn't see the instrument yourself you don't know much about the price it sold for. In all auction results in the red book or similar nothing is said about the condition of the instrument which makes it quite vague. But at least better than nothing.

I think selling depends mostly on the clientele you get, knowing what they want and need for which price. And it seems that you get better clients with a Rolex on your wrist. 


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