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Information and Value of Old Fiddles and Violins

Category Miscellaneous
Old Violin
It can be a challenge to determine the value of an old musical instrument without professional advice. This is a guide about information and value of old fiddles and violins.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 24, 2011

I have a fiddle that reads inside, Antonius Stradiuaius Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 1722. by Howard Coato pay-something. I can"t make out the last name. It also has a symbol on it, a circle with AtS in it. It has superb sound.

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I have played it for thirty years now in contests and mini concerts. I have never had to have an amp or a mic with it. It is a double back blonde with all four fine tuners. I am trying to find its history and see how much it is worth. My father bought it for me thirty year ago at a small pawn shop.

By Tami F. from Horseshoe Bend, ID

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 24, 20110 found this helpful

Go to the library and look in books about fiddles/violins, and see what you can find out.

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April 24, 20110 found this helpful

You are best to go to a person who specializes in appraising stringed instruments. It might cost a few dollars, but you should know its value for insurance purposes.

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Unfortunately, it is most likely not a "real" Stradivarious, but still may be worth a fair bit.

You can also look on Ebay, just to get a ball park idea, but really, you should find a luthier/appraiser.

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Anonymous
April 25, 20110 found this helpful

You should pay to have it appraised by an expert. The authentication of a violin can be determined only by a careful examination of such things as the design, model, craftsmanship, wood, and varnish. It is not hard to distinguish the mass produced violins from the actual hand made instruments but it takes a well trained violin appraiser to be able to attribute the violin to a specific maker or place of manufacture.

At the very least have a violinist or two who play in a professional orchestra take a look at it because they most likely will be able to give you some idea of it's value. The odds against finding the real thing are slim to none. Only 512 of Stradivari original violins survive. Virtually none are unaccounted for.

You can find out a lot about Stradivari and his work at this link. There are 12 chapters with illustrations to check out including 'ticket/label' illustrations in one of the chapters.

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http://www.cell  n/hill/index.htm

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April 26, 20110 found this helpful

I don't believe a single word you wrote. You're obviously a simple scammer looking for profit. Shame on anyone who believes your post.

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Anonymous
April 26, 20110 found this helpful

With all due respect, tomatohanger, I am certain that Tami's request is on the up and up. I did a couple of hours of searches on Stradivarius violins and 'ticket/labels' and there are thousands upon thousands and thousands of Stradivari copies in the entire world that have been made all around the world with labels that read as her fiddle says. Although they are copies they are still violins/fiddles and each have their own unique sound and beauty even if they aren't worth millions as the 512 authentic Stradivari that still remain are worth.

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April 27, 20110 found this helpful

If you have played this instrument for the last thirty years why the sudden interest in it's history and value.?

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April 27, 20110 found this helpful

There is no way to find out the value unless it's evaluated by a professional. The label is certainly a fake but that is a very common problem. "Regular" violins are valued mainly for their sound quality and can vary in value drastically.

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July 22, 20120 found this helpful

I have inherited my grandfather's fiddle. The story goes he purchased it from a peddler when he was about 13. That would make the fiddle at least 100 years old as Grandpa was born about the turn of the century. There is a sticker on the inside that says, Richard Rubin, made in Germany. I have researched that name, but have come up with nothing. Any help to find info on this heirloom would be appreciated.

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Thank you.

By CK

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July 23, 20120 found this helpful

I took my old violin to a repair shop that specialized in stringed instruments and they were very helpful. I am surprised there was nothing on line about the maker. Mine was complicated to research as the name was spelled several ways - Steiner, Stainer - the date in mine was the date of the design, not the year made. I am 70 and mine belonged to my grandfather who paid the gypsies a quarter for it - now worth about $600, but that was the buyer's price.

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July 23, 20120 found this helpful

Look up in the yellow pages apprasisers and antiques. They should be able to help out.

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July 25, 20120 found this helpful

Check on Antique Roadshow and see if they have appraised on e on there. GL

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January 23, 20150 found this helpful

I have a fiddle by maker Nazaire Boivin, New Bedford, Massachusetts. I would like to sell it and am wondering it's value.

By Deborah

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 24, 20110 found this helpful

What would a 1726 fiddle be worth if signed by Stradivarius?

By Cheryl from Barnesville, OH

Answers:

Information About An Antique Fiddle

Millions if it were really a Strad., but many violins are marked with that name. Best to take it to a dealer/luthier to see what it really is. (11/09/2010)

By pamphyila

Information About An Antique Fiddle

You will need a professional appraisal. I would not hold my breath that you have the real article, sadly. The chances are it is not authentic; but it may still be a very valuable item. Call around and find a good appraiser. (11/09/2010)

By Jilson

Information About An Antique Fiddle

http://www.news24.com/Entertainment/International/Rare-Stradivarius-violin-on-auction-20020904
if it's real. Good advice from the others. Do not sell it if someone offers you a few thousand, then you know you have something. They use x-rays now days to determine authenticity. Good luck!
(11/11/2010)

By Poor But Proud

Information About An Antique Fiddle

If it's a true Stradivarius you are indeed blessed! You be careful with it and don't let it out of your sight or leave it with anyone just in case it is the real deal! And don't talk about it to a lot of people locally until you know for certain what it is and if it is the real deal. Then pay to have it insured and keep it in a safety deposit box at the bank!

I am not positive, but I think your closest major city is Akron? You might want to call their local city orchestra to ask where to get an appraisal (talking to them is more trustworthy and knowledgeable than someone in a small town like where you live in my honest opinion) and maybe one of the violin players in the orchestra would even be willing to take a look to see. (11/11/2010)

By Deeli

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November 9, 20100 found this helpful

How would I find information on an antique violin with very distinctive markings?

For example, there is an eagle inlaid on the back of the violin surrounded by 31 inlaid stars. There is a mark (I think I have this right...) on the underside of the (maybe rosewood) fret board. The word (name?) PANPI is on the intricately carved piece that the strings fall across on their way up to the frets.

As you may have guessed, I am not the musician in the family. This possibly well over 100 year old fiddle belongs to my talented son-in-law.

Joan from Dilley, TX

Answers:

Information About An Antique Fiddle

There are violin/fiddle websites on line that you can go to for information about your instrument. I checked out a violin that I had inherited that way. Not too valuable, but it helped to evaluate it. (05/27/2008)

By pamphyila

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