Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.
I'm no expert either but I have a luthier half an hour away that I visit frequently. He tells me that every violin he sees that someone brings in for "can you make this playable" starts out with at least $150 worth of work needed, and that doesn't include violins with major problems like yours with open seams. Plus you'll need a bridge in addition to the other stuff Patricia mentioned. And the fingerboard most likely will need replaning, maybe a new nut, new soundpost, etc. I'd say you're looking at minimum of $200 in repairs. Your incomplete picture of the label gave no information at all about the brand or age. Most old fiddles were made in Germany where tens of thousands of them were built for export to USA and elsewhere. I would say you didn't get a very good deal for what you bought.
No telling if it may or may not be an antique, from a few pics. Very doubtful it is actually from 1716, though, if that is what you were hoping. If you have checked the search engines, then you already know that such labels with almost identical wording are not uncommon.
If you were hoping for a playable instrument, that one looks like it may need enough repair that it will cost a fair bit before it's in a good playable condition again.
If you take it to a luthier so they can inspect it in person, then you can find out how much it might be worth and/or how much it would cost to restore/repair it.
If you were actually hoping for an instrument you could play on soon, without a lot of repairs, you could have gotten a brand new violin for that much. Not a great one, perhaps, but one you could at least play.
Was it a good deal? Well, that depends on what you wanted, I suppose. After it is repaired, it might sound great. No telling from pics, or even for sure in person, with the shape it is in.
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
I think you payed market rate for that violin - not too much, and not too little. If You like it, it's more meaningful for you. Do you see yourself investing in a lot of time to make the bridge right, and the nut, getting a tailpeice and strings? You could get some clamps and glue down that crack easily. The question will be, will you like what you hear once it's all assembled and ready to play? Are you handy with tools and like to work on instruments? If so, you are a double winner. And if you like the look of the violin and it's feels special to you, then you are a triple winner.
Do you know how to put stings on it? If you'd like some amateur luthier work at a discounted rate, you could ask one of us for help getting the thing playing for you. But at least you could get some comparison rates by asking around how much people you know would chanrge you to put it into a playable conditiion. I don't think that the label means much, these violins they produced in factories were required to have a label for import to the US. You may have a very fine, beautiful violin on your hands... treat it gently and tenderly. If you aren't sure you want it, will the seller take it back? You could get a starter violin set up with all the various bells and whistles for about $100, and that would get you started into the violin world. BUt if you love this one, it doesn't matter if someone things it's worth $1000 or worth $100, because if it's yours and you love it, that's all that matters.
Let me know how far you get in making progress with strings, a bridge, a tailpeice etc. and compare prices before coming to me about what I would think of for my estimate for parts and labor.
Most Users Ever Online: 231
Currently Browsing this Page:
Guest Posters: 1
Newest Members:violin_tide, hfeather11, violin_vampire, timkoop, videoexpert, nwyatt
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11601, KindaScratchy: 1642