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New purchase, German, French or new Chinese????


Strad O Various Jr.
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Bought this violin thinking the label might be real; Heinrich Kessler fecit Mannheim anno 19?8. It is not Markneukirchen which made me think maybe it was real, Kessler's violins go for like $2300 at auction but he seems to have made more cellos. The scroll carving goes all the way into the throat, the bitter end, corner blocks are triangular with liners possibly inset, its hard to tell. French features are the flat scroll eyes and flat plate corners, ribs set back from the edge and ribs coming to a sharp point, mitred?? The inside of the violin is a tan color, not white like on a new Chinese, and the back of the neck is dirty like an aged instrument, not new, however the varnish is a little amateurish in some places, no cracks at all, odd thing is the fingerboard is totally too flat, like a 55mm radius instead of 43mm, this might be a vote for sloppy Chinese. Here are the pics, paid $600 hope it could be profitable but if its Chinese maybe not?? The pictures were taken in bad light near sunset  and I had to use edit function to make them brighter which makes them look grainy, especially the scroll feature, It actually looks a bit better in person. The far right edge of the label is torn off, and there's no glue outline where it was which is suspicious to label being added alter.

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Well I have planed the fingerboard to the correct curve and finished it, fit a new soundpost, and in the middle of fitting a new bridge, after which I can give some feedback on the sound, violad'amore!!

The color of the inside back looks more like 50 years of age than near new, and doesn't appear to be treated, the label doesn't look so old though

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The violin looks new to me though I wouldn't know where it came from.

The dirty look to the back of the neck and the inside are easily achieved so I wouldn't take these as an indication of wear.

The ebony crown, the fake label and the fake pins in the back would lead me either to China or more likely the "Roma diaspora".

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Well I just finished a full set up with new strings etc, the sound is disappointing to say the least, fairly loud but raw and unrefined, at my store I would have trouble justifying selling it for $1000, $600 sounds about right and I just put $200 into set up

This was a whole conman routine, the a hole said it had been his fathers and in the family for years, a store had told him it was worth 9000 and offered him 2200, total bullshit, took me for a sucker and I fell for it, lucky this doesn't happen to me very often or I would be out of business.

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1 hour ago, Shelbow said:

Do you think this is the original varnish or has it been over varnished?

Its the original varnish, it looks better than it does in the pictures, too bad it doesn't sound any good, I could sell it for $1500 if it had a good tone, but it doesn't

i agree with Martin, its more likely Eastern European than Chinese, the seller was an Iranian that said he came from Europe. Maybe its a 20-30 year old Eastern European violin, that could explain the wood darkening some

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Here's the same violin under much better lighting, with no edited brightening like the previous pictures, now you can get an idea why I said the violin looks much better in person than the previous bad lighting pictures

The seller seemed genuinely surprised that the violin was fake and seems to be willing to refund the $600, I'm not going to try and charge him the $200 I've put into putting it in top playing condition, its only $50 in parts to me and some labor, so maybe it wasn't a deliberate con job, just someone that thought the label must be real, kind of like me initially, I hate to admit

 

 

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I'd have to look inside and also test the varnish. I recently posted a violin that I first took for modern French, but that step at the  nut turns out to be typically Bulgarian. Fortunately, I came out fine on mine, and just got a reminder to not jump to conclusions, and never to be to hasty to take advantage of a "deal." Apart from the step at the nut, many of the Bulgarian makers have a unique arrangement of corner blocks that is fairly distinctive that you can see on individual makers' promotional materials. with some blocks inlaid and some not.

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5 hours ago, germain said:

Reminds me of something like these...

https://dimitargeorgievstudio.com/violins/

 

5 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

At first glance, I'd guess it to be Eastern European and not that old... but photos can be a little deceiving and it's not the kind of fiddle I see/deal-with regularly. Looks healthy. Good luck.

 

On 11/5/2022 at 8:59 AM, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Its the original varnish, it looks better than it does in the pictures, too bad it doesn't sound any good, I could sell it for $1500 if it had a good tone, but it doesn't

i agree with Martin, its more likely Eastern European than Chinese, the seller was an Iranian that said he came from Europe. Maybe its a 20-30 year old Eastern European violin, that could explain the wood darkening some

[Sniffs deeply, and wrinkles her nose.]  I'm definitely getting more of an impression of kashkaval and kebab than of soy sauce here.  Why don't you loan it to @JacksonMaberry to lick all over [https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/356253-post-fitting-question/page/2/#comments], and see if he can place it?  :huh: :D :ph34r:

 

More seriously, if you look inside and don't see typically Chinese artifacts, such as white-colored glue stains, or continuous linings, staring back at you, I'd expect that it's most likely Eastern European.  :)

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On 11/5/2022 at 6:39 PM, Strad O Various Jr. said:

The seller seemed genuinely surprised that the violin was fake and seems to be willing to refund the $600

 

Presumably you didn’t tell him that you had referred to him here as an arsehole conman.

> I'm not going to try and charge him the $200 I've put into putting it in top playing condition

How bloody noble of you.

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well I'm going to have to agree with our experts that think Eastern European, it just doesn't look Chinese to me, and I'm thinking not brand new but a couple decades old which would account for the visible aging of the wood.

As to the sound and it's retail value, I'm thinking $1000-1500 depending a bit on how it sounds when I get a professional player to try it out. Its a nice looking violin, it might almost sell on looks alone, that is at this lower price range.

The seller who offered a refund never showed up and quit answering his phone so I'm back to thinking con job coupled with my naivety about newer violins and my stupidity at being taken in by a fake label!

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2 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

well I'm going to have to agree with our experts that think Eastern European

I’m not sure who “our experts” are (yourself? or just Jeffrey?), but should you count through the thread, 5 attribute it to China, 3 to vaguely Eastern Europe, and one not sure. For my part, I would characterise it as probably gypsied up Chinese, but I wonder if it really matters, certainly not enough to argue about

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51 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I’m not sure who “our experts” are (yourself? or just Jeffrey?), but should you count through the thread, 5 attribute it to China, 3 to vaguely Eastern Europe, and one not sure. For my part, I would characterise it as probably gypsied up Chinese, but I wonder if it really matters, certainly not enough to argue about

So everyone that posts is an expert in your opinion, the experts I recognized were Martin, Jefferey and Blank Face (by private message), I didn't see you contribute till now.

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