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Is this Dominicus Montagnana labeled violin worth anything?


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Recently I purchased a violin labeled "Dominicus Montagnana Sub Signo Cremonae Venetia 1714". It was listed for sale in a local classifieds website listing. The owner said that they had the violin in their family but had no use for it. They were asking for $70, so I decided to purchase the violin. I would be grateful if you would be kind enough to share your thoughts.

















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6 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

It’s German of that period, but certainly not a copy of a Montagnana. It’s the usual violin body, just that day they were using the Montagnana page of labels at the workshop.

It's easy to see why so many get confused as to what style of violin they have. When I purchase my next old violin... I never want one with a label. 99.9% fake and misleading. I would rather spend a few thousand for a difficult to repair 18thc. instrument from a good luthier than think I can get a deal on e-bay. 

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1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

Because of the ugly holes, or because you prefer machine heads?

Both.  I wouldn't prefer the screw-on plate type of machine heads on anything of appreciable value, but on low-value fiddles they have a Tommy Jarrell type of aesthetic.


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Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it very much! The violin is missing a soundpost and all fittings are quite worn, so I decided that the only way to hear how it sounds is to have it repaired. I understand that this isn't a valuable instrument, so I took it to a local (advertises himself as an inexpensive) luthier who works out of his home for an evaluation. My main complain was that the fingerboard was very low with projection at the bridge around 21.5mm. He said that there are 5 open seams. The original fingerboard isn't ebony as some of you already mentioned. He suggested adding a shim and installing a new ebony fingerboard. From what I have read, resetting the neck is the better procedure, but not really worth it in this case and he didn't even mention this option.

His quote was as follows: 
New shimmed ebony fingerboard: $120
Glue 5 open seams: $150
New bridge: $35
New sound post: $20

According to him, this violin was made in Germany around a century ago by a single person and is a good one which should sell for at least $1,500 if repaired. Quite unrealistic. Anyway, I was a bit suspicious at the low service fees, but given the instrument, I decided to give it a try and see what will come out if it.

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I think that your luthier might be a bit wrong on some things. I would say that this is a typical dutzendarbeit, cottage industry violin, not made by a single maker. It also appears to have a through neck, and is probably late 1800s. I also think that the $1500 is too optimistic, and getting it repaired/restored to that point would probably cost almost that much. The biggest problems are that the pegbox is trashed, and that it is only a dutzendarbeit. They are a dime a dozen. The through neck would complicate "resetting" the neck. With that type of neck, you have to totally rebuild the neck/body area to do that.

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