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Brad Dorsey

Who was Roy Ehrhardt anyway?

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Just going on his books and a cursory internet search, I surmise that, in addition to violins, Roy Ehrhard also collected pocket watches, wrist watches, clocks and pocket knives, and he acquired a great deal of information about these objects.  He wrote close to two dozen books -- identification and price guides - that were published by Heart of America Press .  Most of the books were on watches, but three were on violins.  The violin books, published in the 1970s, consist of reproductions of catalogs of new and old violins that were originally published between 1888 and 1970 by firms such as Metropolitan Music, Sears, Roebuck & Co., Buegeleisen & Jacobsen, Elias Howe, William Lewis & Son, Scherl & Roth, Lyon & Healy, etc.  Since most of the old violins we (in the United States) stumble across were imported by these companies, we can often find information in Ehrhardt's violin books about these violins, such as about such as who imported them, when and how much they originally cost.

Does anyone know anything else about Roy Ehrhardt?

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I knew him as a watch dealer, etc.  He was often at shows put on by the NAWCC (a watch collector organization).  Very knowledgeable about watches and had a large collection of horological ephemera (which is what he reproduced in his books).  

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Those nice remembrances from the Association of Watch & Clock Makers all seem to be from Mr. Ehrhardt's watch buddies.  I have no idea where his interest in the violin trade originated, but Volume 1 mentions 20 years of collecting and shows a room full of fiddles.  So, he definitely had some first hand knowledge.  Many of his tips on identification from the introduction there would be welcome on Maestronet today, I'm sure.  Moreover, I suspect that nearly 90 percent of the novice questions that arise here would be answered if more folks had this compendium of old trade publications in hand.   The last volume, cataloguing the offerings of the top shops in the country, are very interesting for the relative pricing information.  

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