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Hi, I'm a guitarist who would love to have a nice violin on hand for recording of subtle atmospheric bits on my tunes. I'm not a player but, who knows? Maybe some day I will be.
Can anyone tell me if the attached seems like a worthy investment for $225? I am a diehard fan of antique instruments and would be willing to pay for any work but it appears in super good shape, if indeed it is as the label says, an 1874 violin.
I can't find any info on the maker: Jarquet Boquet.
I'd love if any of your serious collectors of antique fiddles can tell me if you think this looks like a good quality instrument, based on f-holes, varnish, and other details I'm not too familiar with.
I'm no expert, and can't say much about the quality or value by looking at pictures. I'll leave that to others who know more.
But looking at the label closely, it appears to actually read "Jacques Boquet" -- at least a Google search for that name turned up a number of violins, though it's still not a name I've heard of and I can't find biographical information. But it appears Boquet was active in the 18th century, and was well known enough in France for some time that at least some copies of his violins were made in the late 19th century. It seems likely based on this info and the violin's condition that this violin is one of those copies.
Ideally I'd play it and if it sounds nice, buy it at that low price if I could set it up myself, but because it needs setting up, it can't be played. At my community orchestra there are people with old pieces of junk that look terrible and sound fantastic. I don't know how much it would cost to set it up. The tailpiece looks pretty authentic, i.e. old and bit knackered, and Andrew's estimate that it's a late 19th c copy is plausible. The grain on top looks odd in places, but that may be because the varnish is so thick. If the wood is all sound, I'd take the gamble. (I speak as an ignoramus who never gets presented with the happy dilemma of whether to buy a cheap violin or not).
The only thing that makes me wonder is the newness of the bridge with those trashed strings, one missing. I'm also wondering if the bridge is glued on.
As Andrew says, it should probably say "Jacques Boquet", but it looks rather like "Jacquet Boquet" to me!
Thanks for your info, Andrew. Yes- I came across the name "Jacques Boquet" also, and it's possible the third letter on the label is in fact a "c" rather than an "r", but that last letter of the first name is definitely a "t" (plus it's identical to the last letter of the second name on the label.)
So, it's either "Jacquet Boquet" or (more likely I think) "Jarquet Boquet".
A quick google on both spellings yielded this from ancestry.com:
Jarquet Name Meaning
It's definitely meant to be Jacques Boquet, in my opinion, but the label has been misprinted. I guess it was lead type and letter taken from, or fell into, the adjacent box, and I don't know why there's a hyphen. How much suspicion it creates, I don't know.
Google has no hits for "jarquet-boquet"
If you'd like a bunch of "experts" (real or self professed!) to evaluate your violin you can post pictures to Maestronet at https://maestronet.com/forum/i.....he-pegbox/
However, you have to be prepared for some "strong" opinions 🙂
Bob in Lone Oak, Texas
Hi Bob and Jim, thanks for jumping in!
I posted at maestronet, and am anxious to see what folks will have to say about this.
I've assumed the included bow is nothing special so haven't bothered asking. Though considering the hairs nearly touch the wood along a good portion of the shaft I do need to consider the expense of re-stringing that, also.
Hey Jim. An expert evaluation is likely to cost more than the fiddle. In regard to that other forum, raise up the force fields and thicken your skin.
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. —Frank Zappa
It is unpleasant to be thought so uncleverly unclean and capable of poisoning a whole city.—Sir Walter Scott