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bsharma8

Lucky Buy?

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2 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Sorting out grades and models will require delving through surviving copies of distributors' catalogs, and copies of The Violinist, up through the 1920's.  Good flipping luck. 

That’s what I was afraid of....lol. Mine is a Guarneri pattern with a two piece back. That should narrow it down a little from what I’ve found from forum surfing. 

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3 minutes ago, Jwillis said:

That’s what I was afraid of....lol. Mine is a Guarneri pattern with a two piece back. That should narrow it down a little from what I’ve found from forum surfing. 

What year was it made? Is it a "Guarneri 1737" model?

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4 hours ago, Delabo said:

I would be interested in an experts opinion on the arching.

Do we find this type of arching on cheap Marchneukirchen violins of this time period ?

Or does this indicate better grade ?

At this enlarged pictures it looks quite different from what I thought to see last night on my phone screen.-_- The good H.Th. Heberlein jun. I saw had a distinctive arching, a bit more full in the center than other Strad copies, while this looks more like the usual millied out (as Jacob decribed them).

Heberlein was a large and widespread Vogtland violin maker dynasty from the 18th century onwards (like many others), so it's normal to find many makers bearing this name.

Heinrich Theodor jun.(1843-1909) is regarded as the most refined from the late 19th/early 20th centuries, he is said to have apprenticed with Riechers from Berlin and was working close to this style. After his dead his sons continued to run his shop and it's possible to find very good example dating from the early 1920ies, but I saw also genuine labelled instruments from this period being nothing than bought in Dutzendware. There isn't such a thing like serial numbers or grades to identify by a sign, one just has to know the stuff, that's all.

Beside this shop there are of course other names and brands from this period, Julius Heberlein, Fritz Heberlein (I can't tell the exact relation to H.Th. jun.) and probably others, but these are usually from the more common or Dutzendware type. There were always different price categories for the Dutzend of a particular quality, or for the "fine violins", but to tell the alleged grades and qualities apart by numbers, grades, fancy names like "Masterart" and the like seems to be more a specification of the American wholesalers but nothing what was generated originally by the Markneukirchen shops. EH Roth was to my knowledge the only one who created such a system in his own production, also for export marketing purpose.

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In Bruce Babbit's book, Markneukirchen Violin and Bows, he pictures and lists several violins stamped with the "Herinrich Th. Heberlein, Jr." brand and label after HTH's death in 1909 as being made by his first son Paul Wilhelm Heberlein (1872-1962). These are listed as follows:

"Firm's label and brand 1912"

"Firm's label and brand 1925 Model 7 Stradivari 1737"

"Firm's label and brand 1927 Model 8 Stradivari 1726"

"Firm's label and brand 1928 Model 8 Stradivari 1726"

"Firm's label and brand 1928 Model 9 Guarneri 1737"

"Firm's label and brand 1934 Model 5 Gagliano"

This made me wonder if the HTH firm used the same kind of model number system as the Roth workshop used, i.e. using a maker and year to indicate model number. I don't know if the model number was indicative of quality and relative price like Roth's were.

 

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32 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

In Bruce Babbit's book, Markneukirchen Violin and Bows, he pictures and lists several violins stamped with the "Herinrich Th. Heberlein, Jr." brand and label after HTH's death in 1909 as being made by his first son Paul Wilhelm Heberlein (1872-1962). These are listed as follows:

"Firm's label and brand 1912"

"Firm's label and brand 1925 Model 7 Stradivari 1737"

"Firm's label and brand 1927 Model 8 Stradivari 1726"

"Firm's label and brand 1928 Model 8 Stradivari 1726"

"Firm's label and brand 1928 Model 9 Guarneri 1737"

"Firm's label and brand 1934 Model 5 Gagliano"

This made me wonder if the HTH firm used the same kind of model number system as the Roth workshop used, i.e. using a maker and year to indicate model number. I don't know if the model number was indicative of quality and relative price like Roth's were.

 

I had a few and saw more H.Th.H.j. from this later period, branded or just labelled, and not a single one had such model numbers. Only Strad or GdG Kopie labels. So I'm heavily assuming that these were the export models only.

Of course it seems as if someone was copying the Roth system. This might have happened more likely in the USA.

Also I'm suspecting that this instruments, latest from the 2nd half of the 1920s and the 1930s on, weren't made "by Paul Wilhelm", but just bought in Dutzendware.

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20 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Also I'm suspecting that this instruments, latest from the 2nd half of the 1920s and the 1930s on, weren't made "by Paul Wilhelm", but just bought in Dutzendware.

I don't know where Babbit learned the model numbers. He does not indicate that they were on the label, nor have I ever seen a HTHjr label with a model number on it. Maybe he has a catalog that lists the models?

The HTHjr violins in the book are all lovely. I do suspect that there were grades from those labeled "Made in the atelier of" to the ones that were both stamped and branded.

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12 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

I see these on ebay quite a bit, I researched it online and it appears that Heinrich E. Heberlein Jr. is not a person but a fictitious trade name that has nothing to do with Heinrich Th. Heberlein Jr. There's also Julius Heberlein, I think that's a made up one too.

Re: Julius Heberlein, I had a Pollmanini (back of scroll stamp) with a pencil inscription on the underside of the top, , “ Julius Heberlein, Geigenmacher, Markneukirchen, Saschen, 1891"

Based on the ones I have seen and had, H.E. Heberleins, can be quite nice with expected retail in the $2k-$4k range.   I have seen some poorer quality ones on Ebay.

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8 hours ago, bsharma8 said:

I've been following the thread but am restricted to 2 comments a day. First off, the luthier is not bad, he studied with Carlos Archieri and Rene Morel so I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt. The repairs needed are: New bridge, new soundpost, new tailpiece, closing an open seam, new ebony fittings, new evah pirazzi strings, planing the fingerboard slightly and maybe filing the nut. In NYC I can see how this would be expensive. I was quoted $400 for a bridge from a different, more famous luthier even. I just wanted to know if this was worth fixing up. It's interesting because the second the luthier picked up the violin when I brought it to him, he said it was a >$5000 instrument when just looking it over quickly. I don't mind the value because I want to play on it but thinking if i should go to a shop and build a violin. My original budget was $3,000 and $1,000 for a bow. Thanks all!

It appears your luthier is confusing Heinrich Th Heberlein, which is worth that much, with the ficticious Heinrich E Heberlein, who is not a real person and worth a fraction as much.

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On 10/2/2020 at 9:24 AM, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Heinrich E Heberlein violins are common enough, and have nothing to do with genuine Heberlein violins, it is not a typo, they are cheaper Markenukirchen trade violins, not $7000 genuine Heberleins, they commonly go for about $500 on ebay.

Or a lot less when the label says Made in Czechoslovakia.

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On 10/1/2020 at 5:53 PM, bsharma8 said:

Someone was clearly selling something they had no idea what it was. I was able to buy it for $150. My Luthier in NYC told me when it properly repaired which should be about ~700 dollars, it will be worth around ~7,000. Does this seem right at all? Label says Heinrich E. Heberlein Jr. 1922. Strad Copy. Thanks for your insight!

 

You got a bargain, but it looks to me like decent quality but inexpensive Czechoslovakian early 20th century instrument of which huge numbers were made as replicas of Stradivari's Golden period. As Stradovarious Junior says, the label is ficiticious.

 

20 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Might want to find a more knowledgeable  luthier.

That too.

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I’m glad I live where I do....that being said do you intend to play this violin or resell?  That may determine what you do. I’m sure you can cut a few corners. Ie case, tailpiece, chinrest.  If it sounds steep then ask the luthier what is the bare minimum to string it up and be playable. Hard to tell from pictures on a forum. If you get some strings on there and you like how it sounds then maybe you will be more enthusiastic to jump into investing into the instrument. 

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Thats a typical bill to get an old instrument up again. Its worth it if its done right. You could hold off on the case.

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On 10/2/2020 at 6:03 PM, bsharma8 said:

I've been following the thread but am restricted to 2 comments a day. First off, the luthier is not bad, he studied with Carlos Archieri and Rene Morel so I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt. The repairs needed are: New bridge, new soundpost, new tailpiece, closing an open seam, new ebony fittings, new evah pirazzi strings, planing the fingerboard slightly and maybe filing the nut. In NYC I can see how this would be expensive. I was quoted $400 for a bridge from a different, more famous luthier even. I just wanted to know if this was worth fixing up. It's interesting because the second the luthier picked up the violin when I brought it to him, he said it was a >$5000 instrument when just looking it over quickly. I don't mind the value because I want to play on it but thinking if i should go to a shop and build a violin. My original budget was $3,000 and $1,000 for a bow. Thanks all!

How many of these "repairs" are essential and how many merely desirable in order to put it into showroom condition? It already has a bridge, a tailpiece and presumably a sound post that must fit reasonably well. If it were my discovery I'd want to be confident of its playing qualities before investing a whole lot more.

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The experts here seem to think it was a cheaper model made on a Thau milling machine so  $1200 to set up a violin that is already playable seems inadvisable.

Did the OP tune it and find out if it was playable ?

It does not appear to have deep grooves in the fretboard so why does it need planing ?

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8 minutes ago, Delabo said:

It does not appear to have deep grooves in the fretboard so why does it need planing ?

Fingerboards can become warped, twisted, incorrect radius etc. It might have too much relief, not enough,  or even be crowned. Fingerboards aren’t only planed because of grooves.

A lot of people in this thread seem to be taking the line that the violin doesn’t need much work, and that the list quoted seems overly extensive. Quite how anyone here can judge that, based solely on the pictures provided, compared to someone who has examined in person is baffling.

 

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On 10/1/2020 at 5:53 PM, bsharma8 said:

Someone was clearly selling something they had no idea what it was. I was able to buy it for $150. My Luthier in NYC told me when it properly repaired which should be about ~700 dollars, it will be worth around ~7,000. Does this seem right at all? Label says Heinrich E. Heberlein Jr. 1922. Strad Copy. Thanks for your insight

Find another Luthier. 

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4 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Fingerboards can become warped, twisted, incorrect radius etc. It might have too much relief, not enough,  or even be crowned. Fingerboards aren’t only planed because of grooves.

A lot of people in this thread seem to be taking the line that the violin doesn’t need much work, and that the list quoted seems overly extensive. Quite how anyone here can judge that, based solely on the pictures provided, compared to someone who has examined in person is baffling.

 

This is the OP's opening statement.....

"Someone was clearly selling something they had no idea what it was. I was able to buy it for $150"

Does it sound like he is in an orchestra and was looking for a concert ready violin ?

Very - very - very - many people buy a violin on a whim, try learning how to play it for a few weeks or months, give up, put it in its case and never touch it again.

Now if this person is a professional violinist and needs a good violin to be in an orchestra, then sure, go pay a good luthier for a top flight setup. But if this is someone who just wants a cheap violin to try out on, then where is the common sense in spending such a large sum of money (yes,$1200 IS a lot of money),only to give up in a short while ?

Jacob Saunders and BF have thrown doubt on the value of this instrument, and instead of it being a worth thousands, its probably low hundreds.

So wheres the financial investment potential even ?

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On 10/3/2020 at 7:54 PM, bsharma8 said:

So I spoke to the luthier again and he is assuring me its worth repairing. I also got this price list. I'm just confused at this point of what to do.8DD8A553-D56E-40A5-8325-1700BA189798_4_5005_c.jpeg.2fd4b2a20108f1f4c41bad14fe0ee88d.jpeg

Violin case? Well you can get a cheaper one somewhere else if you don't mind a cheaper one. The soundpost...there is no way we can tell you if you 'need' that or not, since obviously we can't see it. The bridge, OK, usually a good idea to get a new one if the old one is reasonably old. The pegs? I bet you can live with the current pegs for a while. Rub them with soap or whatever tips you can find on the net if they are too sticky. Planing the fingerboard...it's impossible to tell from photos how needed that is, but again something you can probably wait on. New strings...probably a good idea and 60 bucks seems fair. Gluing the seams? Could improve the sound a bit, and you ought to do it anyway. new chin rest? Nah. New tailpiece...i dunno...unless it looks like it is going to break, or the luthier is convinced it is the wrong size...you don't need to do it. There...I saved you almost 50% of the bill, and you'll have a violin you can play and evaluate for yourself, and you can do the other stuff as needed if you want. 

Now, mind you, when you tell the luthier that 'some guy on the internet' told you only need to do half of the stuff he proposed, he might have a hissy fit. But you're the customer. Go somewhere else if he gives you a hard time. None of this stuff is structural, even the open seam. It all could wait in theory. 

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46 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Those prices are perfectly reasonable, and the luthier is likely describing exactly what needs to be done to put that fiddle in salable condition.

 

Agreed.  He's not going to want to "schlok" it as his rep is on the line if a teacher see's it.  I think you should fix it up.  I rarely find a Markie like that, that doesn't need the fingerboard radiused and planed for proper relief.  Those are basically my prices (except he must be using high end pegs).  As far as finding another luthier, the fact that he may have mixed up the grade of the violin doesn't mean he isn't good at the luthiery part of things.  A lot of luthiers are not great at id'ing and the "dealer" side of things.  Does that mean that he shouldn't have said what he said???  Kind of.   Based on his history, I'm sure he's fine.  It's worth doing on that violin and if you want to save some money, buy a cheaper case.

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36 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Those prices are perfectly reasonable, and the luthier is likely describing exactly what needs to be done to put that fiddle in salable condition.

 

If he's looking to sell it, why do anything at all? If it is in fact valuable, the buyer will want to pick their own tailpiece, chinrest, pegs, case....they'll certainly want their own bridge cut. 

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6 hours ago, Delabo said:

This is the OP's opening statement.....

"Someone was clearly selling something they had no idea what it was. I was able to buy it for $150"

Does it sound like he is in an orchestra and was looking for a concert ready violin ?

Very - very - very - many people buy a violin on a whim, try learning how to play it for a few weeks or months, give up, put it in its case and never touch it again.

Now if this person is a professional violinist and needs a good violin to be in an orchestra, then sure, go pay a good luthier for a top flight setup. But if this is someone who just wants a cheap violin to try out on, then where is the common sense in spending such a large sum of money (yes,$1200 IS a lot of money),only to give up in a short while ?

Jacob Saunders and BF have thrown doubt on the value of this instrument, and instead of it being a worth thousands, its probably low hundreds.

So wheres the financial investment potential even ?

If you go to someone and ask what it needs, then they will tell you. Same as if you took your car to a garage, or had a builder look at your home. We have no idea what the conversation actually involved.

I would agree that there is no need to go all in at first simply to try the instrument briefly.

To set something up well will cost money, it’s as simple as that. If you take something to a high end luthier (assuming this could be the case due to Rene Morel connection), they will not be making things workable for €15.

As to your final point,  any financial potential is independent of the repair costs. There are plenty of violins barely worth fixing, but a violin you can’t use is worth nothing to a player.

Do you think professional luthiers should work on a sliding scale, based on the value of the instrument? To true and refinish the fingerboard of a German violin is €150, a Gagliano €1500, and a kids violin €1.50,  for the same job?

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