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Early 1900’s German Violin?


mbolen

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I recently picked up an old violin from the local classifieds, and I was hoping for some additional information on it.  The front looks a little “meh” to me, but I bought it because the back looked so pretty.  

I don’t know much about old violins, but my best guess is that it is an early 1900’s German violin.  There is a printed label on the inside that says “Nicolaus Amatus, fecit in Cremona 16”, but I assume that’s just a generic label they put in it at the time.  Any ideas which city, violin shop, and or age?

It has a very nice sound, and it’s very lovely to play.  I am teaching my wife to play, so this will be her violin for now.  If I had to put a retail value on it, I’d guess somewhere around $2,500?  Is that anywhere close?

 

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13 hours ago, Blank face said:

There would be two things to note: First is that the production during the assumed period of making this violin, which would be the late 19th/early 20th century, happened in a division of labor between different shops in different places, f.e. white boxes made in Schönbach were brought to Markneukirchen, Klingenthal or Brünndobra etc., where they were finished, and after this often exported than to very far away places, often oversea, where dealers would apply their labels or brands to them. 

Similar would apply for this violin. From the photos I would even assume that it is a 3/4, not full-size, but I might be wrong. The value depends of a lot of things, but I would it put more close to 250 than 2,5 K (Euro/Dollar) in the most places in the world.

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6 hours ago, mbolen said:

 

1 hour ago, Blank face said:

Similar would apply for this violin. From the photos I would even assume that it is a 3/4, not full-size, but I might be wrong. The value depends of a lot of things, but I would it put more close to 250 than 2,5 K (Euro/Dollar) in the most places in the world.

Thanks for the reply.  Maybe it’s just the camera angle, but it is full size.

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35 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

I think that your $2500 estimate is a pipe dream. The scroll is really funky, it needs a new set of pegs, and the fingerboard looks thin and might need replacing. More like $500.

For a total beginner to get started on, none of this is necessary. I would be more concerned about the state of the nut, which will undoubtedly start to eat up the strings.
If the person playing it enjoys the violin, and wants to keep going, it would warrant further work then. The pegs don't look great, but it has at least a fine-tuning tailpiece.

I would agree that $2,500 is way, way off the mark.

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2 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

For a total beginner to get started on, none of this is necessary. I would be more concerned about the state of the nut, which will undoubtedly start to eat up the strings.
If the person playing it enjoys the violin, and wants to keep going, it would warrant further work then. The pegs don't look great, but it has at least a fine-tuning tailpiece.

I would agree that $2,500 is way, way off the mark.

Just saying that stuff like that affects the value.

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16 hours ago, xyz said:

What do you mean by "nut eating up the strings"? 

Exactly that.

The nut looks neither to be well shaped, nor the string grooves of an appropriate size. It is very common for a poorly done nut to damage the strings, breaking the windings, causing a stress point etc. All of which leads to strings breaking, long before they should.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/4/2022 at 11:34 AM, Wood Butcher said:

The nut looks neither to be well shaped, nor the string grooves of an appropriate size. It is very common for a poorly done nut to damage the strings, breaking the windings, causing a stress point etc. All of which leads to strings breaking, long before they should.

Thank you. 

 

How exactly can I tell from the photo that the nut is bad? What I can see is that the grooves of D and A strings are either too large or misaligned. I am not sure whether the groove of G string too small. Is there anything else?

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8 hours ago, xyz said:

Thank you. 

 

How exactly can I tell from the photo that the nut is bad? What I can see is that the grooves of D and A strings are either too large or misaligned. I am not sure whether the groove of G string too small. Is there anything else?

Generally, if one thing is wrong, you can be sure there are more.
In addition to the grooves not being correct, and now having different string spacings to each other, I'd expect the height may not be right. Looking at what we can see of a side view, it doesn't look to fit well against the end of the fingerboard, seems rather heavily ramped down, which might mean the strings drag over some of the pegs etc.

But my main concern would be the grooves themselves. As I mentioned previously, these can damage the strings, and that gets expensive fast, unless you are using cheap steel strings.

 

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