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Another counterfeit 'Stainer', but where might it really be from?


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I've inherited a fiddle / violin that belonged to my great uncle, and I'm hoping to learn something of its provenance. My great uncle was good enough to play for dances and wedding receptions and such, but not a professional musician. He was actively playing in the first half of the 20th century, mostly in the American southeast, in the Carolinas. I know this is not an authentic Stainer violin, but I'm hoping some knowledgeable people on this forum might notice features that could suggest something about its real provenance? Any observations or opinions are greatly appreciated by me. Thank you!





























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Says "Made in Germany" on the label. Country of origin and "Made in..." became mandatory with some US tariff act at some point, so it would most likely be younger than that. I think the year was 1921 for the "Made in..." , but I might be wrong. Someone will know.

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For a little information on who Jacob Stainer was, and what sort of violins he actually made:



Your example, while not a serious attempt to simulate Stainer, differs from the usual run of things stamped or labeled with his name by having shallow arching, instead of exaggeratedly high arching, which is much more common, though equally inaccurate.  The label is amusing, as it gives a date 69 years after Stainer died.  Another major fail, that you will notice from using the Tarisio link, is that the eyes on yours are much too high on the scroll to ever be considered Staineresque. 

From the more mainstream appearance of some of the details pf scroll and corners, I feel that your violin was more likely made in Markneukirchen {almost certainly shipped from there) than in Schönbach (they are very close together, but on either side of the German border; due to lower labor costs, more violins [and most cheaper models] were made in Schönbach), and was a higher priced model.  I'd expect that it dates somewhere between 1891 and 1915, rather than later, as the general  appearance might suggest.  Not every Markie trade fiddle prior to 1922 was built-on-back with a 6 o'clock scroll, just most of them. 

How does it sound?  :)

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On 10/31/2021 at 6:52 PM, glebert said:

"Made in..." started in 1914.

Nope.  Here's a German take on it:  https://www.dw.com/en/125-years-of-made-in-germany/a-16188583.   After the Brits got shirty about country of origin markings, it was cheaper to put "Made in Germany" on everything for export.  Yes, there were exceptions, notably "Dresden" or "Sachsen", or "Saxony" on porcelain, but most trade violins got a "Made in Germany".  It should also be remembered that the US customs laws and regs are loaded with exceptions and loopholes, as well as modified by court decisions, to a point that there exist many variations from the better-known laws.  Some imports were received in bonded warehouses, and not labeled until they got here.  Lastly, some importers have occasionally preferred to pay a modest fine, and do as they pleased.  COO markings are not always reliable as a date indicator, or, as "France" stamped on German bows reminds us, anything else.  :)

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