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Apr 23

Stradivarius in the Attic?

So you’re at Grandpa’s house helping him clean out his attic.  While cleaning, you stumble across a dusty trunk and inside you find some old books, a quilt, and a violin.  At first, it doesn’t look like much, the bridge is missing and who knows the last time the strings were changes.  But wait!  Something catches your eye inside the f-hole.  You take a closer look and see, “Antonius Stradivarius, Cremonenfis, Faciebat Anno 17XX” along with a symbol of an A and an S enclosed in a circle.  That name, “Stradivarius,” isn’t that the one you hear on the news or read about online when a violin is worth millions of dollars.  Your heart starts beating faster and you immediately begin planning out how many yachts that you will be buying….STOP!  Take a breath and read on.

Label from a Stradivarius Violin Copy

Yes, it is true that a genuine Stradivarius violin, or Strad, can be worth millions of dollars, but that is only if it’s genuine.  The reality is that there are only about 500 genuine Strads in existence today (depending on who you ask) and they are all pretty much accounted for.  There are millions copies out there and some date back to the time when Antonio Stradivari was alive.  So how do you know if what you have found is the real deal?

Copy of a Stradivarius Violin from the late 19th Century

The best thing for you to do in this situation is to take it to a reputable violin maker/dealer for an appraisal.  Most places will do this for free.  It’s important to go in with realistic expectations.  There were thousands and thousands of Strad copies manufactured during the late 19th century and on into the mid 20th century which means that you have a 99.997% chance that your “Strad” is a copy.

 

1903 Sears Catalog Listing for a "Genuine Stradivarius"

Strad copies from this time are not worthless though.  Monetarily speaking, if there aren’t any major repairs needed, most are worth $100-$300 (or more if they were well taken care of).  If there are repairs needed, however, the cost to repair the violin could easily override the potential value.  Whether or not you repaired the violin would be up to you.  If money isn’t important to you, why not use this serendipitous find as your chance to start learning how to play the violin?  Or, it could be a gift for another friend or relative wanting to play.  Besides, there is always the sentimental value that is  attached with heirlooms and that is priceless.

90 comments

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  1. Doris Butcher

    My mother has in her possession a Stradiuarius which belonged to my father. We do not know if it is the real deal or a copy. I would like to know if there is anyone in the State of Tennessee that we could take it to, to see if it is an “original” Stradiuarius. On the inside is a label that says: “Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonenfis” Faciebat Anno 1719 and has the circle with A S and a cross in the center. I have a copy of the label in my possession. There is also some markings on the chin piece, but I’m not able to make out exactly what it says. I would really like to know if she has something that needs to be insured and locked away.

    I will be waiting to hear from you regarding this matter.

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Doris,

      I just sent you an e-mail on this matter. I hope it helps!

      Rachel

      1. A.Orhan Selek

        Hi Mrs. Davis,
        My Father (1900-1970) was playing violin. I think that he begun at 20 years old. He dead on 24.01.1970. His violin is sound and perfect. I am keeping it since 46 years. İt’s mean the violin’s age more than 100 years. There is a label inside, but not a label it is print : Antonius Stradivarius Cromonensis Faciebat Anno 17 76
        along with a symbol of an A and an S enclosed in a circle. The year of 1776’s 17 is print, but 76 is hand write.
        Please help me ! What is this violin, original or copy ? What is it’s value?
        I am waiting your answer.
        Best regards.
        A.Orhan Selek

        1. Liz Lambson

          Hi A. Orhan,

          Thank you for contacting us! It sounds like you have a high-quality violin in your possesion. I will say that most violins are constructed based on a plan (like a blueprint for a house or boat) using Strad template and measurements and are labeled as Strads as a result. For example, your violin may be based on a Strad 1776 plan. But if you’d like to learn more about your instrument, our best recommendation is the take the violin to an experienced violin maker/luthier in your area who offers appraisals and can personally handle and examine the instrument. It’s hard to judge from photographs or descriptions, which is why physically taking the violin to a violin maker is so helpful. Try Googling violin makers or shops near you and contact them to take a look at your violin. Whatever you discover, we hope the violin continues to make music for many years to come!

          1. A.Orhan Selek

            Hi Mrs. Lambson,
            I thank you very much your replay and advise. I will look for a violin maker in İstanbul.
            Best regards.
            A.Orhan Selek

    2. Anu

      It might be real, any instruments after 1737 are fake

  2. BOBBY VINCENT

    An upright bass with the label antonius stradivarius cremonensis 1712. Needs some body work. Is it worth repairing?
    Thank you

    1. Rachel Davis

      That would depend on what needs to be fixed. If you take it to a trained luthier, they can give you a more precise answer after seeing it.

  3. MARIE

    i just bought antonius stradinarius cremonensis faciebat Anno 1719 A S with a cross between
    A and S it look verry old and the snairs needs repairing and it has a very old black case which is
    black comming off it feels ever so light , i just wonder if this is one of the real stradivarius ??????
    pls could you reply marie

    1. Rachel Davis

      I am sorry for not responding to your question about the Stradivarius violin sooner. We have been swamped with Grand Opening activities.

      To answer your question: It’s hard to say for sure whether it is authentic or not without seeing the instrument or the label in person. If you have the time to send me some pictures, I’d be happy to look them over for you.

      Experience tells me that you probably do have a copy because instruments from his “Golden Period” (1700-1720s) are some of the most copied of all the Strads. This doesn’t mean it isn’t old. J.B. Vuillaume made 1719 model Strad copies in the mid 1800s and several German companies made copies in the late 1800s-early 1900s. What you have could still be valuable.

  4. tomislav

    I have a violin that I got as a gift from his grandfather, I’m interested in whether the copies or originals .. Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1713 Made in Germany .. no stamp with the crisis and the letters AS.

    1. Liz Lambson

      My recommendation is taking your violin to a local luthier for an appraisal. It can be difficult to tell! I definitely recommend getting a second opinion from someone with a trained eye and a background in violin identification and the history of violin making. Also, see if you can gather more information about where the violin came from if possible. Whatever it is, I hope the violin is a pleasure to play and sounds great!

  5. Kelly A.

    Can you advise me where I can take our so called Stradivariius violin to be appraised. After reading you article,
    I know it is one of the fakes but I would love to have it appraised. I live in Raleigh, nc
    Thank you,
    kelly

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi, Kelly, you might try John Montgomery at Montgomery Violins (http://www.montgomeryviolins.com/contact-us), 509 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603. Telephone: (919)-821-4459, Email: john@montgomeryviolins.com.

  6. Kelly Anderton

    Need violin appraiser in or near Raleigh nc

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi, Kelly, you might try John Montgomery at Montgomery Violins (http://www.montgomeryviolins.com/contact-us), 509 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603. Telephone: (919)-821-4459, Email: john@montgomeryviolins.com.

  7. Barbara Pence

    I need an appraiser in or near Chicago, Illinois. I live in northwest Indiana, zip 46311. My violin is dated 1736. Thank you in advance

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi Barbara, try contacting one of these shops:

      Sean Colledge violin maker
      http://www.colledgeviolins.com
      6934 N Glenwood Ave
      Chicago, IL
      (773) 350-0655

      Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins
      http://www.darntonhersh.com
      30 E Adams St
      Chicago, IL
      (312) 566-0429

      Carl Becker & Son
      http://www.carlbeckerandson.com
      30 E Adams St #500
      Chicago, IL
      (312) 220-9700

      Vanna So Violin Workshop
      http://www.vannaso.com
      6104 N Kedvale Ave
      Chicago, IL
      (773) 987-7248

      Let us know if you find an appraiser. Best of luck!

  8. JANELLE

    MY MOTHER BOUGHT A VIOLIN IN MILWAUKEE AND IT HAS A STRADIVARIUS LABEL IN IT. WE ARE TRYING TO FIND OUT IF IT IS AUTHENTIC. SHE LIVES IN LOUISIANA. CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE WE CAN TAKE IT TO SEE IF IT IS AUTHENTIC.

    THANKS, JANELLE

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi Janelle–thanks for your question. What city are you in? Keep in mind that most violins are labeled as Strads because they are made with a Stradivarius template/design. Try Googling local violin makers or music stores. If you can’t find someone who does instrument appraisals, let us know where you live and we can do some research to find an appraiser near your mother.

  9. ann

    Liz, I am needing to value a child size violin that is in rather sad shape but has conservatory violin carved on the back of the neck part that one holds and inside the cut out it reads what the folks say is on the Stratavarious labels but it looks like it is directly burned or written on the wood rather than on a label of any sort. I am near Framingham MA. Who can I get to look at this?

    1. Rachel Davis

      You are not far from so great shops. I would take it to Kloss Violins in Needham, MA or Johnson Strings in Newton Centre, MA.

    2. Liz Lambson

      Hi Ann, thanks for your inquiry. I’d recommend searching for violin shops near you on Google Maps. I just looked up shops near Framingham and found Cao Meyer Violins, Johnson String Instrument Inc., Wiessmeyer Violins LLC, and Reuning & Sons Violins amongst others. Look up those shops and give them a call to see if they might to appraisals.

      Still, an original Strad in a fractional size would be unusual. I’m assuming it’s a copy, but it may be worth appraising to satisfy your curiosity!

  10. Chris Albury

    What does the actual label from a real Stradivarius look like? Please put a picture of it up if you can. Does the name L.O. Grove Boston Massachusetts. It is in my violin.

    1. Rachel Davis

      If you click here, you will see a picture of a genuine Stradavarius label. Antonio Stradavari used several different formats and styles for his labels, though. The way appraisers can tell if a label is fake or not is based on the paper, ink, printing, and knowledge of Stradavari’s life. Still, a label is not a reliable way to authenticate an instrument. It’s best to take the violin to a shop or an appraiser to see what an instrument is worth.

      I have not heard of “L.O. Grove.” That could be the maker, it could be the shop it was sold in, or it could be a luthier that repaired the violin. You might try asking a shop in the MA area since they will have a better knowledge of local history.

    2. Liz Lambson

      Hi Chris, check out http://www.cello.org/heaven/hill/nine.htm to see some interesting images of original Strad labels. It sounds like your violin was made by a luthier named L.O Grove from Boston who used a Stradivarius plan to make the violin.

  11. John King

    I just had my “Copy of Antonius Stradivarius – Made in Germany” violin repaired and appraised for $5,000 -$5,500. I’m curious why the value might have been set so high considering that you say most such instruments are worth $100-300 (a figure which I’ve seen posted elsewhere, by the way). Thanks!

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your comment! How exciting to discover the value of your instrument. So most violins–from the cheapest and most poorly manufactured to incredibly handcrafted violins by master luthiers–are made using Stradivarius plans, measurements, and specs, making them all “copies.” It sounds like yours was made by a talented maker who used quality materials to produce a great violin.

      Think of it this way: you could have a Strad copy made of cardboard and Elmer’s glue worth $5.00, or a well-crafted violin made of good materials that’s a copy of one of Stradivarius’s Golden period violins worth $5,000–and it sounds like you have the latter. Very few luthiers make their own instrument designs and plans, but will either exactly copy or base their design on Stradivarius, Amati, Guarneri, or Stainer violins. But Strad plans are the most often used because Stradivarius created a violin model that sounded (and still sound) so good!

  12. David West

    Violin in family since 1815-1840 range. Has the normal looks but has a different bridge than research would present. Any idea on a qualified appraiser in the Birmingham, AL area. May I ssend some pics to you?
    Thanks for your time!

  13. Joshua

    Hey there – we also came across a (most likely replicated) violin belonging to my great grandfather (possibly 2nd ‘great’…more to follow) who was a stowaway on a steamship from Norway to New York around 1889-1891. As a stowaway I don’t imagine he would risk being caught by carrying something so large as a violin case; unless it carried great monetary or (more likely) sentimental value. This is what leads me to believe it could’ve been passed from his father to him. Given we can trace ownership of this instrument within our family for (at least) 125 years, I felt it was worth a second opinion.

    Label reads as follows:
    Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonenfis
    Faciebat Anno 1713
    Also contains the circled A/S symbol with a cross in the lower right portion

    I’ve done some online research regarding distinguishable characteristics between a fake and real ‘Strad’ – IE: spelling of StradiUarius vs StradiVarius prior to a certain yr; the last two digits of the yr being handwritten (not the case in ours); slightly offset F holes (which ours are); and wood density (ours is very light compared to other well aged instruments I’ve handled).

    We’ve made the decision to have it appraised; if for nothing else to learn more about the family history. Before we do however, I’m wondering if you can give me any more information regarding distinguishing markings I should be looking for.

    Thanks in advance,
    Josh

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for your message. It sounds like your ancestor’s violin is a very special instrument with a meaningful history, especially for you and your family. We definitely recommend taking the instrument to get appraised. If it’s in good condition with a good sound, it may be valuable monetarily as well as sentimentally as an heirloom.

      Violin makers who specialize in historical instruments will be able to tell you more about your instrument. Seeing the instrument, handling it, and viewing it in person is the best way to analyze it. Even if your violin is a replica, as there were many (and still are many) violins made with the Stradivari design and label during the 19th century, it may still be of considerable value from the hundreds to the thousands of dollars all things considered. Good luck with the appraisal, and do take care of your heirloom instrument regardless of its background!

      KV

  14. Tomislav

    can you help me to tell about the old violin, I do not know whether the copy or the original.
    My Meil to send you a picture to see: krsictomislav@gmail.com

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi there,

      Thanks for your comment. As we’re not experts on historical instruments, we recommend contacting a violin maker or luthier in your area who is able to do appraisals. Identifying instruments is much easier to do when the violin can be viewed, handled, and played in person. Photographs are often insufficient to determine the background of an instrument. Let us know if you have more questions or if you need help locating a luthier near you.

      Best,

      KV

  15. heather

    Know of any places near Dallas TX to get appraisal and restoration. Sure it a fake it has the year 1726 and in rough shape

    1. Liz Lambson

      Thanks for your inquiry. Our recommendation is to Google “violin shop” or “violin repair” in the Dallas area. Call ahead before you stop by and ask if there is a violin maker available to do an appraisal. When you do take your violin to be appraised, they can also give you an estimate or quote of how much it may cost or require to restore you instrument back to a playable state. All the best as you learn more about your violin!

      KV

  16. sebastien tey

    Hi liz/rachel,
    I am from mauritius and there are no reknowed luthier here.
    I have a stradivarius violon belonging to my grand father and i would like to know if its a copy…or not…
    Can you give me ur email add so that i may send you some pictures?
    Thank you
    Best regards
    Sebastien

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Sebastian,

      We are happy to look at any photos you have. Our e-mail is support@kennedyviolins.com.

      Thank you,

      Rachel

  17. reba taylor

    Is there an appraiser for a violin around Rogers, AR?

    1. Rachel Davis

      There is Palmer Violins in Rogers, AR. I don’t know if they offer appraisals but, it would be a good place to start.

  18. Erin Albert

    Hello,

    My father-in-law has a violin that he would like to have appraised. The violin is in great condition, with a label that reads Antonius Stradavarius Cremonfis Faciebat Anno 1736, with the 36 being handwritten, as well as the circle with the AS and cross inside it. Do you know of any reputable places near Lee, MA that we could bring it to?

    Thank you.

    1. Rachel Davis

      There’s Francis Morris Violins in Great Barrington, MA. Is that close to you?

  19. Paul Anderson

    Hi there!
    I know an older man that lives in a small shack on a lake in northern Ontario. He recently showed me and let me play a violin that has been in his family for 300 years. When I looked inside it appears that it is a Stradivarius…he has had a bit of work done to it but kept the original part he replaced… Just wondering if I could send you some pictures to confirm my suspicions that it is what it is. He is very poor and something like this might change his life!
    Thanks!
    Paul

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Paul,

      I’m happy to look at the pictures you have. If you REALLY think it’s a Strad, it’s best to take it to a violin shop and have an expert look at it in person. There are few key things to look for that don’t always show up well in pictures. There are several reputable shops in and around Toronto. Is that close to you and your friend?

      Thanks,

      Rachel

  20. Bobby Flores

    I recently purchased a violin from a friend. The label says Copy of Antonius Stradiuarius with “Made in Germany” underneath. It also has a small label glued on the inside back by the soundpost that reads 182. That number is stamped in what looks like a purple ink. I’m just trying to find out more about the history of this instrument. It sounds fantastic, deep clear low end and nice silky highs that really sing. Thanks for any leads you may be able to offer. Bobby

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Bobby,

      There were so many Strad copies that were “made in Germany.” It is difficult to offer any additional information without seeing the violin in person. Is there a luthier close to you that you can take it to?

      All the best,

      Rachel

  21. Ken Paul

    I have a Stradivarius copy that has the word “Stradivarius” burned into the wood at the top of the back panel. I bought it from an elderly woman at garage sale about 45 years ago. It came in a Gand and Bernadel case with hinges stamped 868. Do you know what maker used this marking? There are also 3 handwritten symbols on the back. Possibly V & P.

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Ken,

      It sounds like you have an interesting instrument. I have not seen many violins with words burned in to the wood. I don’t know of any makers that burned “Stradivarius” into the backs of violins. Is there a luthier close to you that you can take the violin to?

      All the best,

      Rachel

  22. Ken Paul

    Whoops. The hinges in the above post are 1868, obviously not 868.

    Ken

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi again,

      If the hinges were stamped with 1868, that is most likely the patent date for the hardware on the case. It’s not a great indicator for the violin’s age or origin, though.

      Rachel

  23. Gilda

    Hi, I have a Antonius Stradiuarius Cremona Faciebat Anno 1763. I’m sure it’s fake but would still like to know how much it’s worth. Could you please assist me?

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Gilda,

      The best thing to do is to take the instrument to a violin shop or luthier to have it appraised. It is very difficult to make an evaluation without seeing the instrument in person.

      All the best,

      Rachel

  24. Chaad

    Hey. I recently purchased an old violin from a friend which had purchased from an elderly lady that said it had belonged to her mother and was passed down. With that being said upon getting it home I started doing research on the label quite a bit actually. Now I’m aware that there are literally thousands and thousands of copies out there for the Antonio Stradivarius violins. I have read extensively and I am and have not been able to rule it out as being a copy or fake. Do you know of anyone in or around Hickory North Carolina I could take it to maybe to verify it to be authentic or just an appraisal? the label Reads
    Antonius Straduarius Cremona
    faciebat Anno 1723 and the 23 is written in with black ink..no other markings on the lableThank you in advance for your reply Chad

    1. Rachel Davis

      I would try Blue Ridge Violins. They are right in Hickory, NC.

  25. Jennifer

    I have a Stradavarius. It is a family heirloom from Poland. I would like it looked at if you don’t mind. I can send pics to help with this. I cannot afford to insure it. We refuse to sell it. What would you suggest?

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Jennifer,

      If you are really interested in knowing the value, it is best to have a professional look at it. Where are you located?

      Thanks,

      Rachel

  26. Larry Jordan

    Years ago while attending a large flea market at the state fair grounds in Des Moines, Iowa, I came upon a table on which there were a couple of dozen violins for sale. An elderly man was picking up each one in turn and playing it a little, and soon a small crowd gathered. He went around the entire table and finally when he reached the last one and picked it up and started to play, the crowd involuntarily grasped. The tone of this instrument was so obviously superior to all the rest! To my surprise, he laid down the violin and walked away. Whereupon I quickly bought it…for $100. It had new strings, and bridge on it, but the case was very old and from the slight imperfections it is obvious this is handmade. Inside it says merely “Stradivarius, Cremonenfis, Faciebat Anno 1736” along with a symbol of an A and an S enclosed in a circle. The “36” are handwritten whereas the rest of the wording is like typography /ink. Underneath this is a yellowed label that says GERMANY. What are your thoughts on this? I can tell you that regardless of its monetary value, the sound of this instrument was so superior to all the rest the man played, that even the crowd reaction was awesome to behold. Some even applauded. He was just a spectator who wandered off. The horsehair on the bow has now deteriorated and I need to replace that, but it came with an old block of rosin…

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Larry,

      Sorry for the late response. Your comment got lost in the spam folder. It sounds like you found a factory Strad copy from Germany. These instruments are starting to come in to their own sound-wise and I can imagine that the sound quality would be better than other violins. $100 well spent! A new case, new rosin, and re-hairing your bow will add to the cost of the outfit but still a great buy!

      All the best,

      Rachel

  27. jaime ryes

    hi. i have a violin with the regular label that claims to be fake. i´m related to musicians and, if i’m truly honest, ashamed me to ask them about this issue. the only thing that makes me ak you about its because this violin has been in my family for more than 40 years, and comes from a musician family, related to pedro d andurain, the chilean concertino of the santiago philharmonic until his death, in 1974. as i live in chile this kind of research for trusteed people that can evalute this violin is mostly impossible. best

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Jaime,

      You can always try to e-mail a violin shop your trust with pictures and they may be able to offer more information. The thing to keep in mind about authenticating Strads is that luthiers have been copying the techniques of Stradivari from the time he was alive. It is possible that you have an older instrument that is made by a talented maker but is still a copy.

      All the best,

      Rachel

  28. Ed

    I have a violin with the label antonius “stradiuarius cremonenfis faciebat anno 1723”. The letters I and s in cremonenfis look like it might be hand written. 23 is also hand written. Is it worth getting it looked at? Thanks in advance.

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Ed,

      Any violin that you are curious about is worth getting appraised. 🙂

      Thanks for your question!

      Rachel

  29. shawn brown

    bit confused as to why an 100 year old strad copy would be worth $100 to $ 300, which is what you would pay for a 1/2 way decent fiddle anyway, It has been verified as a copy. But is it to do with the share numbers of them. Does sound good though

    1. Rachel Davis

      The price quote I listed was based on the market at the time the article was written and it was based on the fact that many of the Strad copies from that time need repairs (i.e. new bridge, new pegs, crack repairs, etc.) and that effects the value. Instruments that are in better condition or that have been restored can bring in higher prices.

      1. bev

        i have a “Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonenfis; Faciebat Anno 17 but nothing after 17…little letters on top of label that says “fiddle”…it belonged to my grandfather…

        1. bev

          looked again and it does not say fiddle…looks like wodel

  30. Nick

    I have a Stradavarius that has 1734 in the label. The craft of it is beautiful and I’m not sure if it is real but the maple is certainly age very well. It doesn’t say made anywhere . I would really love to send some pictures if that’s ok

    1. Rachel Davis

      Hi Nick,

      If you haven’t already, you should totally send up photos. We would be happy to look at it for you.

      All the best,

      Rachel

  31. Anna

    Rachel, my father has a violin that has all of the markings of a stradavarius. I have researched the instrument and had it looked at by a professional in Louisville. He stated that it was either real or the best reproduction he has ever seen. He offered $2000 on the spot. Can I send you some pictures to look at?

    1. Liz Lambson

      Most likely the violin is a replica of a Strad plan. Most violins are constructed based on a plan (like a blueprint for a house or boat) using Strad template and measurements and are labeled as Strads as a result. Also, if it were genuinely made by the original Stradivarius, $2,000 would be a very low offer. If you’d like to learn more about your instrument, our best recommendation is the take the violin to an experienced violin maker/luthier in your area who offers appraisals. It’s hard to judge from photographs, which is why physically taking the violin to a violin maker is so helpful. Try Googling violin makers or shops near you and contact them to take a look at your violin. And if you’re a player, we hope the violin sounds and plays wonderfully for you!

  32. Stephen

    I too have found a Violin in a old case in the attic. The label inside is printed with Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1713 or 1712, with a circle Cross A S inside. Not sure where or when it was made. Thanks

    1. Liz Lambson

      Most likely the violin is a replica of a 1713/1712 Strad plan. Most violins are constructed based on a plan (like a blueprint for a house or boat) using Strad template and measurements and are labeled as Strads as a result. If you’d like to learn more about your instrument, our best recommendation is the take the violin to an experienced violin maker/luthier in your area who offers appraisals. It’s hard to judge from photographs, which is why physically taking the violin to a violin maker is so helpful. Try Googling violin makers or shops near you and contact them to take a look at your violin. And if you’re a player, we hope the violin sounds and plays wonderfully for you!

  33. Jan Brown

    I have two of my godfather’s violins. They are in serious state of disrepair. We found them after he died. They have not been played since the 1950’s. An acquaintance, whose parents pay in the Columbus symphony, said they are definitely worth restoring. The labels both say Stainer. Do you have any suggestions as to who we should take them to in Ohio for evaluation?

    1. Liz Lambson

      Stainer was one of four pioneers of the modern violin (check out Jacob Stainer’s Wikipedia entry). Most violins are constructed based on a plan (like a blueprint for a house or boat) using Strad template and measurements, but Stainer replicas are also very common. One of our luthiers is actually building a violin right now using a Stainer plan. If you’d like to learn more about your instrument though, our best recommendation is the take the violin to an experienced violin maker/luthier in your area who offers appraisals. It’s hard to judge from photographs, which is why physically taking the violin to a violin maker is so helpful, and they can “diagnose” the instrument and let you know what work would need to be done to make it playable. As we are located in Vancouver, Washington, we don’t personally know luthiers in your area. Try Googling violin makers or shops near you and contact them to take a look at your violin. And if you’re a player, we hope the violin sounds and plays wonderfully for you!

  34. Tammy Holloway

    Hello I too have a violin( antonio stradivarius cremento 1780) I live in Hamilton Ontario Canada….. Do you know who I can reach out too have my violin looked at….. Thank you

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi Tammy,

      Most violins are constructed based on a plan (like a blueprint for a house or boat) using Strad template and measurements and are labeled as Strads as a result. If you’d like to learn more about your instrument, our best recommendation is the take the violin to an experienced violin maker/luthier in your area who offers appraisals. It’s hard to judge from photographs, which is why physically taking the violin to a violin maker is so helpful. As we are located in Vancouver, Washington, we don’t personally know luthiers in your area. Try Googling violin makers or shops near you and contact them to take a look at your violin. And if you’re a player, we hope the violin sounds and plays wonderfully for you!

  35. Trent

    So I have read numerous articles on this Strad Violin. I am puzzled. My dad has held on to what he says is a Antonius Stradivarius 1720. Has an Old Old Newspaper article in it as well. Scared to try and read its so frail. Has the correct Label and does not say made anywhere. But it has another “label” in there that says From the shop of JC Ashlock Columbia MO 1926. Strange. I look up JC Ashlock and find nothing. Did they sell Violins or did they make Violins and maybe made a copy of this model.

    Your Thoughts if you get a chance.
    Thanks,

    Trent

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi Trent,

      Most likely the violin is a replica of a 1720 Strad plan. Most violins are constructed based on a plan (like a blueprint for a house or boat) using Strad template and measurements and are labeled as Strads as a result. If you’d like to learn more about your instrument, our best recommendation is the take the violin to an experienced violin maker/luthier in your area who offers appraisals. It’s hard to judge from photographs, which is why physically taking the violin to a violin maker is so helpful. Try Googling violin makers or shops near you and contact them to take a look at your violin. And if you’re a player, we hope the violin sounds and plays wonderfully for you!

  36. John Barro

    Where do you recommend in Southern California (L.A area) to get a violin appraised?

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi John,

      As we are located in Vancouver, Washington, we don’t personally know luthiers in your area we could recommend. Our best recommendation is to Google local violin makers in your area and contact them directly to find out what services they offer. Most established violin makers/luthiers do appraisals at a reasonable cost.

  37. Sonia

    I recently got a violin from my mother’s friend for my daughter. The gentleman had an uncle who travels and collect violins and gave his collections to this gentleman. It sounds beautifully and in excellent condition (I am not surprised this gentleman had kept all his collection in its best condition). We paid $1500 for this and supposed to be a full handmade piece from Italy with a full back and slightly lighter than a regular full size violin. The gentleman told my mom that this violin is about 50 years old.

    When I received the violin, it has a label inside stating “Antonio Stradiuarius Cremonenfis, faciebat 1713 with the A /T circular logo. The label is still very clean nice. I am sure it will be a replica but there is no sign of it stating where it is made.

    Would you recommend I take it to an appraiser? My mom said it could cost me thousands of dollars to do so. I live in Los Angeles and just want to learn a little bit more about the violin.

    Thank you!
    Sonia

    1. Liz Lambson

      Hi Sonia,

      Instrument appraisals are usually around $75 — but it depends on the violin maker or luthier with whom you consult. If your violin is worth $1500+, I would recommend getting a written appraisal to keep in your records should you decided to resell the instrument or have it covered by insurance. Try Googling and contacting violin makers in your area who could appraise the instrument for you. Enjoy the violin!

  38. Dawson W.B.

    Hey, I have a Antonius Stradiuvarius Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 17, is this a genuine? Can you point me in the direction of an apraiser near Burlington, Ontario. Canada.

    It would be much appreciated, thank you.

    1. Liz Lambson

      I’d recommend having your instrument looked over by a local maker as it’s difficult to identify instruments from photos or descriptions. Many Strad replicas have Strad labels inside as most violins are made using a Stradivarius plan or template. Try contacting luthier Johann Lotter or Quinney Violins in your area, or Google other violin shops in Burlington. Call ahead and ask if appraisals are available. Best of luck!

  39. DeVore Sherman

    I found Strad but there is no lable but what looks like a ink stamp inside with the same info found on the ones with lables what do you think of this?

    1. Liz Lambson

      Thank you for contacting us! I will say that most violins are constructed based on a plan (like a blueprint for a house or boat) using Strad template and measurements and are labeled as Strads as a result. For example, your violin may be based on a Strad 1776 plan. But if you’d like to learn more about your instrument, our best recommendation is the take the violin to an experienced violin maker/luthier in your area who offers appraisals and can personally handle and examine the instrument. It’s hard to judge from photographs or descriptions, which is why physically taking the violin to a violin maker is so helpful. Try Googling violin makers or shops near you and contact them to take a look at your violin. Whatever you discover, we hope the violin continues to make music for many years to come!

  40. DeVore Sherman

    O.buy the way the ink stamp in directly on the wood not on a paper lable

  41. Nubia Rocio Camacho

    I have a copy of violín Antonious Stradivariuos faciebat Cremona year 1713.

  42. Sherry myers

    Hi there, I have a Stainer violin that my aunt has given me. It was back in 1988 when she handed it to me. I’ve had it since than. I had alittle work done to it. But it’s in the original case and cloth. All it has on it is Steiner. The case has a seal which is hard to see. All I can make out is Denmark at the top and branded July 1890. Can’t make anything else out. Would love to know it’s value. Can u please help??

    1. Liz Lambson

      Thank you for contacting us! It sounds like you have a high-quality violin in your possession. I will say that most violins are constructed based on a plan (like a blueprint for a house or boat) using a template and measurements and are labeled based on the plan’s creator (in this case, Stainer) as a result. If you’d like to learn more about your instrument, our best recommendation is the take the violin to an experienced violin maker/luthier in your area who offers appraisals and can personally handle and examine the instrument. It’s hard to judge from photographs or descriptions, which is why physically taking the violin to a violin maker is so helpful. Try Googling violin makers or shops near you and contact them to take a look at your violin. Whatever you discover, we hope the violin continues to make music for many years to come!

  43. Lori Robinson

    My mom use to play this violin when she was younger. I look inside and it said, Antonus Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1734. I’m sure that it maybe a fake. But I would like to get appraised.

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