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How badly did I screw up?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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JiminTexas
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April 27, 2019 - 2:14 pm
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Once again my impulse buying syndrome has struck me squarely in the wallet. I have and will continue to be a staunch supporter of Goodwill Industries on line. I was looking for a. Violin case. I wanted an oblong one of good quality with plenty of storage space, pockets, etc. I found one and eventually won the bidding war. It is described as, "Jaeger ETOI (sic) Violin", and it cost me a grand total of $193.13 delivered to my door. Jaeger, of course does not make violins. They make some of the finest cases in the world, but there is an old violin in that case. So, I have bought a pig in a poke. I am not particularly worried about the pig, It's the poke I was looking for and I'm thinking that $193.13 is not an exorbitant price to pay for a used and in good condition Jaeger Etui case, even if they cannot spell it correctly. The mystety violin looks intriguing in the photos. When it arrives, I will haul it down to the local violin shop and get an appraisal on it, but whatever it is, I think that it will just be bonus bucks for me, but I am thinking, who would put a worthless old violin in so a fine case? Could I have fallen into into a real bargain? I could not resist.

The search for great technique does not always lead to great music, but the search for great music does always lead to great technique.

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MoonShadows
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April 27, 2019 - 2:34 pm
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Ah, if you have the cash, don't worry. Consider it a treasure hunt.

Jim

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There are only two things keeping me from becoming a great fiddler...My right hand and my left hand. 

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steveduf
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April 27, 2019 - 3:15 pm
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I was looking at that... if you’re happy with the case it’s a win.  Not a bad looking violin.  The violin appears to have a soundpost crack on the back, can be fixed

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pchoppin
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April 27, 2019 - 3:29 pm
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@JiminTexas 

Your topic title is somewhat confusing.. but be that as it may, I am assuming you have a violin and since you got the case you wanted for your violin you did not "screw up". 

You won't be able to determine if you have a treasure or not until you can take a look at the violin.  I would do some research on the maker, assuming there is a label inside the violin.  See if it is a known maker.  The internet can help with that. The label should offer information such as a serial number and possibly the year it was made... but not always.

I would check the overall condition.  Whether the body has any damage, cracks, splits.  Is the varnish in decent condition, worn, coming off, etc.?  Check the condition of the strings... do they look like it has been a long time since the violin was played?  Does it come with a bow?  If so, what is the condition of the bow? See if you can wipe down the violin and strings with a dry cloth and try playing it.  Can you turn the tuning pegs?  Is just slightly out of tune or completely out of tune?  Use caution when tuning if the strings look very old.. They could be prone to breaking.

Once you have determined the overall condition, if it is playable, see if a luthier can take a look at it and assess what it might take to get it to good condition.  A luthier could also possibly tell you more about the violin itself.  If there are any problems with the soundpost as @steveduf suggests the luthier can repair/replace that easily.

I don't think you have enough information at this point to determine if you have found a treasure or not but we would be really interested to find out what you have found.

- Pete -

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Irv
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April 27, 2019 - 3:50 pm
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Two quick points.

Request that the seller put a piece of cardboard between the top plate and the tailpiece so the tailpiece fine tuners and/or string balls do not mar finish during transit.

I would be careful requesting appraisal since it is possible to spend more on one than your purchase price.  

Best of luck.  

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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pchoppin
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April 27, 2019 - 4:03 pm
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Irv said

I would be careful requesting appraisal since it is possible to spend more on one than your purchase price.  
Best of luck.  

  

I agree

Until you find out something about the maker and/or when it was made I don't think it is worth paying for an appraisal.  If it indeed has the potential to have a high value, then I would get it appraised for insurance purposes.

- Pete -

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Irv
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April 27, 2019 - 4:08 pm
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With my luck it would be a 3/4 violin or a viola.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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MoonShadows
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April 27, 2019 - 4:08 pm
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steveduf said
I was looking at that... if you’re happy with the case it’s a win.  Not a bad looking violin.  The violin appears to have a soundpost crack on the back, can be fixed

  

OK. I didn't see a picture. Where are you seeing this @steveduf 

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks

There are only two things keeping me from becoming a great fiddler...My right hand and my left hand. 

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pchoppin
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April 27, 2019 - 4:15 pm
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MoonShadows said

OK. I didn't see a picture. Where are you seeing this @steveduf 

 

They may have seen the same website... Quite the coincidence, eh?

- Pete -

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JiminTexas
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April 27, 2019 - 4:40 pm
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Way back when.....there was a T.V. show titled  "Sugarfoot".  Ostensibly a sugarfoot is one step  below a tenderfoot, and that is where I am as a violinist. Yes, it does appear that the crack mentioned is a soundpost crack in the back, and yes it can be repaired, but how easily is yet to be determined. There is no bow with this violin. Oh well, one can't have everything. We are fortunate enough to have  two excellent violin shops here that do very good work for reasinable prices.  The one that I have dealt with in the past took the time to give me a free estimate of the cost to do some work and stuck to their estimate. They will get my business again. Obviously I do not yet have the violin in hand, but I was told by the shop that if I left it with them for a few days, they would tell me who made it, when it was made (year, decade, century, epoch, etc., assuming that this is doable and whether or not there is label in it), what needs to be done to it and how much that will cost, all for free. I consider that the bargain of a lifetime. An appraisal would be $100 or 10% of the appraisal up to $1,000, whichever is more. If the violin is of little or no value, they will not charge me at all. That all sounds more than fair to me.

The search for great technique does not always lead to great music, but the search for great music does always lead to great technique.

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steveduf
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April 27, 2019 - 4:44 pm
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steveduf
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April 27, 2019 - 4:46 pm
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It is a beautiful case, violin looks promising also, has Prelude strings it looks like

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Irv
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April 27, 2019 - 4:59 pm
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Biggest peg knobs I have ever seen on a violin (3 out of four).   Not bad at all for a “free” violin.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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pchoppin
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April 27, 2019 - 5:26 pm
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Now I am very interested to see what the maker is and whether the manufacture date can be assessed.

The E string peg looks like it may be from another type of instrument.  That would concern me.  The hole may now be too big to accommodate a normal peg and be properly tightened.

I doubt the violin came in this case originally. In fact, the scratches and scuffs on the back suggest it may not have been stored in a case for some time.

The strings may have been recently purchased, but like I said, the E string tuning peg is not the original. It may be difficult to keep the E string tuned properly.

Overall the violin looks playable and getting it to it's proper condition is very doable. Even the scratches on the varnish on the back look superficial and can be repaired.

- Pete -

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Irv
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April 27, 2019 - 5:42 pm
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@pchoppin and others.  The a peg is the odd man out.  You are just viewing a different projection of the peg knob (like a flue damper viewed as a circle, then oval, then flat line as it is rotated through 90 degrees).

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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pchoppin
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April 27, 2019 - 5:52 pm
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Ah, I see that now.

Difficult to see in photos.

- Pete -

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cid
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April 27, 2019 - 6:27 pm
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It does look like the D string peg may not be original, though. Not as worn and looks of a different material. But, that peg does look like it replaced the original peg. Just looks new and now used nearly as much.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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cid
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April 27, 2019 - 6:34 pm
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The A string peg looks like a replacement. Looks newer and not nearly as used. Also, under the end part you hold to turn the peg, the narrower part leading to it hole in the violin neck, the little ornate carving right under that part is a different pattern. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Irv
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April 27, 2019 - 9:59 pm
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@pchoppin and others.  The sound post crack on the back plate need attention before I would put tension on the strings, particularly if the sound post remains in place (which I doubt).  

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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pchoppin
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April 27, 2019 - 10:02 pm
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Irv said
@pchoppin and others.  The sound post crack on the back plate need attention before I would put tension on the strings, particularly if the sound post remains in place (which I doubt).  

  

Yeah I agree.  I posted before I saw the pictures of this violin and had no idea of the condition of the strings.  The visit to the luthier would include changing strings, as well as repairing the soundpost, assuming the strings were in bad shape.

The strings look ok from what I can tell in the pictures.  But certainly the soundpost would take priority.

- Pete -

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