Advice from an Expert Violin Appraiser: How to Identify an Original 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. In a good year the tree will grow healthily and there will be a wide ring, in a colder or unusually dry year the ring will be narrower. Trees of the same species growing in similar areas all have the exact same pattern. Precise measurements and computer analysis mean that the patterns in the spruce on the table of a violin of unknown age can now be compared with data from a wide range of other instruments. If you want a dendrochronological analysis to find out how old your violin is, contact Peter Ratcliff. Cello bows. Email address:. Search for: Search.

Violin makers and the expanding industry

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. I’m buying this violin from a violin player. I inspected the label inside it and I found Suzuki Anno The label means that the instrument was probably made in

short excerpts on four different violins. You might want to make a note of these: 1. a Stradivarius, 2. a Guarnerius, both of these dating from the hundreds.

What makes Stradivarius violins so special? Made by Antonio Stradivari and his family, these instruments are among the most valuable violins in the world, highly regarded by performers and audiences. Take a look at pictures from the Stradivarius exhibition at Oxford’s Ashmolean museum, uncovering the beauty of these musical works of art.

Antonio Stradivari is one of the most famous makers of stringed instruments otherwise known as luthiers of all time. His instruments are highly regarded and often sell for six figure sums at auction thanks to their unique sound and esteemed history. Created in , in Stradivari’s ‘golden period’ this violin takes its name from French violinist Jean-Delphin Alard, its most famed owner. Look at the ornate carving on the tailpiece. Stradivari wasn’t just a violin maker.

He’s well-known for his incredible stringed instruments, including violins, cellos, guitars, violas, and even harps, famous for their unparalleled sound quality. This cello, nicknamed Cristiani, was made around and currently resides at the Museo Stradivariano in the City of Cremona. A great violin maker like Stradivari needs a great teacher.

Inquiry on “Stradivarius”

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.

Klein now declines to date violins, which is a great loss to those of us who Making year-ring measurements of an old, heavily restored violin or viola top can be.

This site, like many others, uses small files called cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website Cookie Policy. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Luthier Jacob Saunders tracks the evolution of 18th- and early 19th-century bows, creating a downloadable guide as a resource for other makers and researchers.

When my father failed to survive heart surgery in , he left me with several questions to solve. One of the biggest surprises, when I reluctantly had to dismantle his workshop, was the immense number of boxes of old bows I found, some even serving as an integral part of the workshop furniture. For a violin restorer who has worked near Vienna since the mids, sorting out a selection of cranky old English bows is, to put it mildly, a pretty esoteric assignment.

Unfortunately Tim listed the bows in alphabetical order, which is useful if you are looking for one particular maker but hinders one in getting a feeling for their development over time. When I was finished I was quite surprised to see that one could draw some important conclusions from it. Firstly, when confronted with old English bows, compilers of nearly all old books, auction catalogues etc.

Don’t be fiddled by the label inside a violin

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.

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.

Every week I find myself working with clients with the hope that they have found a genuine Stradivarius violin. They seek my expert advice, and ask me to help them understand what they have really found in their attic. For any experienced violin maker or restorer it takes one second to know a real Stradivarius from an average copy. And as you can imagine it would not be written in German or English. The label in these student instruments typically print the first two digits and the last two digits were hand written.

Many other important and obscure Italian names were also used on labels by factories, workshops and dealers of instruments: Amati, Guarneri, Gagliano, Ruggieri and many others. One should also give attention to the font. It is likely the font is fairly modern — a font unknown in the 18 th century. However, even decent copies of Stradivarius could be worth serious money. So, never throw away any instrument.

Bring it to an expert and have it examined — it might possibly be worth something. There is certainly a demand for old instruments, and very often an instrument might be worth restoring and thereby giving the opportunity of playing it to a young talented musician. Instruments of this caliber are highly sought after and prices are steadily rising.

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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. She’s two years older than I am.

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

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? Or even from a not-so-fine instrument? No prizes for guessing which triumphed.

History of the violin

Captain Fiddle Music. Ryan and Brennish. How much is my old violin. I found an old violin several years ago in an old turn of the century theater before it was. I realize many old violins carry the Stradivarius label. I was told by one dealer.

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.

Gillingham, of Chiswick. The front view of this violin will be found on the cover. Publisher of Books on Music. Made by Mr. This little work is the outcome of some little thought, born of hesitation. To be clear, I should mention that some years ago I completed a somewhat exhaustive work on the violin, the first portion of which reached the stereotype stage, but unfortunately owing to a fire the plates were destroyed.

Other business pressing, the work was laid aside. In the meantime other books on the violin have been published, a fact which might be taken as rendering any further work on the subject superfluous. However, it has been suggested to me by some musical friends that if I could produce a popular work which could be issued at a low price it would be well received. Buoyed up with this hope, I set to work with the object of presenting in a concise form such information as I have thought necessary or at least iv of interest to every one who elects to take up the violin, either as an object of recreation or serious study.

Time alone will prove whether or not the appearance of this addition to the literature of the violin is justified. In order to facilitate my labours I have consulted the leading British and foreign authorities on the violin and kindred instruments.

Interview with Luthier, Kevin McElroy on Antique Violins


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