If you come across a violin and don’t have any way of knowing where it came from, you might wonder if it is an antique. Most often, when given a violin, the giver will tell you about the violin’s origin, age, and condition. Although the odds are low, you might find a mysterious violin say, in your grandmother’s attic that looks old enough to be antique. If this is the case, there are a number of ways to discern where the violin came from and when it was made. Keep in mind that antique violins are not necessarily valuable, and value will depend greatly on the condition of the instrument. Look inside the violin through the F-holes the spaces on the front of the violin and check for a label inside the instrument. It may be glued to the inside back of the violin. If the label clearly says in English, “made in country ” then it is a factory-produced violin, not an antique. All imported items, including violins, made after , were required to have the country of origin on the label. The jackpot of violins would have a label printed with “Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonenfis” and other Latin text.
Who Made My Violin?
My family moved from Colorado to Washington, D. My dad took a job with the Department of Agriculture. And my sister already played the viola.
When you see an old violin, what are the signs that it is indeed an old genuine and phony, and also has a repair label dating to the ‘s.
Highly Flamed Wood 2. Label 3. Craftsmanship 4. Country of Origin 5. There is a lot that can be said about various qualities of violins. Many factory-made instruments usually made in China are many and far-between. You can typically spot a cheap Chinese violin by analyzing the wood especially on the back , the craftsmanship and label. How the edges are carved is also a tell-tale sign. If you find the label inside a violin says it’s made by a specific maker, that is a tell-tale sign it is a hand-crafted and would imply that it is more valuable.
If an instrument just has a fancy name or no label at all , it many times is Chinese-made. One of the biggest things to consider with a violin is the quality of sound. If the violin shows a lot of depth and richness especially on the lower strings , this is a tell-tale sign that it is a valuable instrument. If you guys are interested in learning more about violins and bows understanding the differences , I’ll be holding a webinar soon where I’ll be comparing between many cheap and expensive instruments and bows.
If you aren’t sure how much a bow makes a difference in sound quality, you’ll be really surprised by some of my demonstrations.
By Diane Bruce
Dendrochronology, which may be defined as the dating of the year-rings of wood, has only recently been employed in the dating of violins. In , Lottermoser and Meyer attempted a relative dating of Italian stringed instruments by comparing the year-ring patterns of three violins, though actual dating was not achieved until the s by Corona, Schweingruber, and Klein .
I met Dr. Klein many years before the Guarneri exhibition, for in the s and s, he was often invited to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to date panel paintings and other wooden objects. In dating musical instruments for the Department of Musical Instruments including violins, viols, lutes, guitars, and harpsichords , I never had any reason to question his findings, which were always in agreement with my assessments regarding age and attribution.
However, because of a dispute that developed during that session, he was unable to leave the Ashmolean with his measurements.
The violins had relatively few tree rings (51–72) but it was possible to date them with old. and. possibly. made. in. a. German. workshop,. remained. undated.
Almost every day someone walks into our shop and probably most other large violin shops in the United States and presents an old, tattered violin case with loose bow hair sticking out. I know instinctively what lies inside. Each one has its own story, excitedly told by the owner. Inside, the instruments often have some sort of facsimile label of one of the great Italian masters; Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati, or perhaps the Tyrolean Jacob Stainer.
These violins always have a great deal in common and are among the millions of generally inexpensive student violins made for the vast, mostly American market at a time before radio and television, motion pictures, or even recordings, when people had to entertain themselves. I know I did. In fact, several generations of musicians learned to play violin and continue to play on these instruments.
Photo: Inside the Musikinstrumenten-Museum in Markneukirchen. In those days, the violin was the most popular form of musical entertainment, next to the piano. To meet the demand, a thriving industry developed in a remote area of eastern Germany on the Czech border, a region then known as Western Bohemia. The center of this industry was the town of Markneukirchen in the state of Saxony.
It was by no means a new industry. The area had been the center of German violin making since the early s and many of these violins were made, finished, and shipped to distant ports. There were also many makers in Klingenthal about 20 kilometers north and some other surrounding towns and villages.
10 Things You Need to Know in Order to Date a Violinist
Knowing who made your violin is one of the most important clues to its value. Unfortunately for most instruments you might need the help of an expert, such as our team of specialists at Amati. However, here is a quick run down of what you might be able to do at home.
Where are violins made? violin makers us with older, master made instruments (typically violins) dating from the late s through s.
What else does a man need to be happy? February is here, and with it the season of love! Maybe you enjoy everything romantic, and I’m not just talking about the musical time period! You need to live on European or South American time: Dinner starts whenever we have finished teaching our students, practicing, or meeting with prospective clients. It may be later if we have rehearsals or a concert. Better yet, just plan on cooking for yourself!
Plan an escape room where you can block out the noise of beginning violin students. Uncle Brian had an entire room where musicians were not allowed to enter and bother him. We broke this rule frequently. This room may be your study, basement, or if these are still too close, the garage my husband’s favorite place to hide.
You have a large role to play at home recitals: Vacuum the house, set up at least 25 chairs, keep your own children quiet, clean up, and prepare a special treat for the guests. My uncle was famous for his green lime sherbet punch at the St.
Violin makers and the expanding industry
One was a Guarnerius and two were Stradivariuses, among the most storied names in instrument making and considered the epitome of violins; three were modern. The players were asked their preference. Only 8 of the 21 picked the precious products of the old masters, according to an academic article published this month. It was the latest salvo in the Strad wars, a long-running debate over whether the enormous worth of such instruments is rooted in myth or merit.
The tradition of challenging the intrinsic musical worth of antique instruments is nearly as venerable as the instruments themselves.
Keep in mind that antique violins are not necessarily valuable, and he worked in (Cremona), followed by the words “Made in the year (date).
Just imagine if the Wright brothers had it right first time around — if the planes that took us around the globe today were identical to those flown in Imagine if you had invented something centuries ago whose form and function nobody had ever been able to improve? It is the first time an exhibition like this has ever been mounted and, unsurprisingly, has proved an irresistible draw for violin aficionados and music geeks from all over the world — including me.
But even if you have never picked up a violin and have less than a passing interest in the history of musical instruments, the story of Stradivari is a compelling one. How did this one man, who emerged out of nowhere, figure out how to create from a lifeless, silent block of wood the most remarkable sound machine we have ever known? And why is it that, over years since he was born, we still have not grasped how he did what he did?
And given that the history of human development is generally one of progress and improvement, why on earth have we not worked out how to do it any better? Stradivari was born in and lived to the grand old age of 92, during which time he probably made more than a thousand fiddles, around half of which survive to this day.
I had the extraordinary privilege of being able to play this fiddle at the Ashmolean: a mind-boggling experience when you consider the instrument was created the same year as the Great Fire of London. And it is no first draft, no prototype. It looks, feels and sounds like the ultimate violin: as perfect today as it has ever been. Listening blind, could you really tell a Strad from another fine instrument?
The British bow: a rough guide to dating and development
Save Password. Please note this is an archived topic , so it is locked and unable to be replied to. Here is an academic question to all the pros on the board, I know there isn’t a simple answer. When you see an old violin, what are the signs that it is indeed an old good instrument, not just some box with an Antonio Stradivari sticker made in ? An alternatively what is the dead giveaway that it isn’t so.
I realize many old violins carry the Stradivarius label. I was told by one There appears to be a date of , but it is not very legible. However.
The piece of paper stuck inside your violin, viola or cello may not be a very reliable guide to the instrument’s age, maker or country of origin. It happens in violin shops all around the world every day. A customer phones or emails to enquire about an instrument that has been in the family for generations. They know it is very old and it has a label that says “Antonio Stradivarius, Cremona, ” or Guarnerius, or Amati, or Maggini, or any other impressive name from the history of violin making.
What is it worth and what should they do with it? The initial response will always be: “I need to see it”. It is totally impossible to give any advice, valuations or repair quotes over the phone, and virtually impossible by e-mail. Once it is in their hands, most violin makers or dealers who are assessing an instrument will have a standard routine – they may look at the scroll side view then front , examine the f-holes and purfling, hold the instrument at arm’s length to look at the outline, then turn it sideways to check on the arching shape, and so on.
The order may vary, but one of the last things they will do is look at the label. This is because the labelling on a large number of violins, violas and cellos is often inaccurate, misleading, doubtful or just completely false. The history of mislabelling instruments goes back a long way.
What’s in a violin label
Sadly, this iPhone app for instantly discovering the age of a violin by visual analysis of the wood was an April Fool, but the principle of Dendrochronology is sound. Specialists use dendrochronology to find out the when the wood used in an instrument was grown. The history of a tree can be read in its rings, as year by year they reflect the climatic conditions.
Stradivari was born in and lived to the grand old age of 92, during Stradivari burst onto the scene with his first violin, dating from
Antonio Stradivari , Latin Stradivarius , born ? In Stradivari began to produce larger models, using a deeper-coloured varnish and experimenting with minute details in the form of the instrument. He also made some fine cellos and violas. The Stradivari method of violin making created a standard for subsequent times; he devised the modern form of the violin bridge and set the proportions of the modern violin, with its shallower body that yields a more powerful and penetrating tone than earlier violins.
Among these are the thickness and, hence, the vibrational properties of its wooden top and back plates, the condition of the microscopic pores within the wood of the violin, and lastly the formula of the varnish. Antonio Stradivari.
Inquiry on “Stradivarius”
Captain Fiddle Music. Ryan and Brennish. How much is my old violin.
This complex approach is very often used for extensive expert examinations and characterizations of old violins [1,2]. Authentication means more than dating.
It is usually a case of the expert having years of contact with similar sorts of instruments in which the origin is actually known. That is why all experts at least the ones I have been fortunate enough to know tended to learn their trade under the guidance of an already established expert. I am by no means any sort of expert myself, although I have had sufficient contact with them over many years to have basic knowledge regarding the sorts of things they look at and do in order to determine origin.
Some of the knowledge too, would probably be better classified under the guise of “black art”. By that I mean there are many intangibles they look for that are much easier to visualise in one’s mind than put into express words. A picture is worth at least words. The more authentic violins someone has access to, the more they can visualise in their own minds the physical characteristics that identify them. To be honest, the label on a violin is the last thing a professional appraiser is going to look at during an evaluation in any case.
Or at least it should be. The presence of a label does help to confirm the opinion of an expert, certainly. But an accomplished appraiser does not look for a label and then try to find things about the instrument that are consistent with the information depicted on the label.