Welcome to our forum. A Message To Our New and Prospective Members . Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

Check out our 2023 Group Christmas Project HERE

AAA
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log Insp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSSsp_TopicIcon
Worth restoring old violin?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
Avatar
Sasha
Members

Regulars
December 8, 2023 - 3:09 pm
Member Since: December 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 130
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I am picking up an old violin, looks to be an early 1900s German made, the kind that were sold in the Sears and Roebucks catalog. It definitely needs restoring, but I kind of figure for $200 if it's a dud and not really playable I could turn it in to a nice Christmas wreath or something.

I know it will never be worth money, just looking for an 'old' fiddle that could be a nice one to play. 

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on these old, catalog/trade shop instruments and anything to look out for?

Avatar
Grandpafiddle
USA
Members

Regulars
December 8, 2023 - 8:10 pm
Member Since: March 3, 2020
Forum Posts: 100
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Sasha,

I have an old German trade fiddle that was probably $20 from (most likely) Sears and was made in the early 1900's. I spent close to $500 having it completely re-graduated. Top off, inside planed, fingerboard shaved, new bass bar and sound post, bridge, expensive strings, - the works.

HOWEVER, I only spent that much because it was my grandfather's violin and has a lot of sentimental value. Even after all the expense, the violin is just an average player and will never be worth what I have in it. It's about 115 - 120 years old and is a prized possession to me and will be kept in the family.

If i found another one that was similar, all I would do is put on good strings, sound post adjustments to get the best sound, and leave it at that.

Just my opinion.

Grandpaviolin

Violin ---- the most human of all instruments

Avatar
Sasha
Members

Regulars
December 8, 2023 - 8:43 pm
Member Since: December 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 130
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Perfect, and what I needed to hear. About what I expected. It’s no an heirloom, and I can probably find a cheaper antique one for a wreath if it’s not likely to be a good player.

Avatar
Unfretted
Members

Regulars
December 8, 2023 - 11:05 pm
Member Since: October 17, 2020
Forum Posts: 155
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Sasha , I have an old German made trade violin, a copy of a Stainer, probably 120 or so years old.  It may be something similar to what you have.  Not fully sure of its origins, bought used.  Plenty of character to it. This was bought for me when I was a kid and progressed to my first 4/4 size violin.  It served me well.  Of course that was before the internet, in another universe, when kids and beginning musicians were just happy to have an instrument and didn’t question things.

My old violin has several splits that need repair.  At one point I did reset the dropped sound post.  I will eventually take it to a luthier to have the cracks repaired, the pegs adjusted, and a general check up.  Will restring it with Visions.  Believe it or not, I used to play it with its ancient gut strings back in the day!  I’m not going to invest a lot or go crazy with the repairs.  Just the essentials.  It has a bit of sentimental value and I’m also really curious how I could make it sound now.

I have a few violins now, including a Fiddlerman Master that I enjoy, so there’s no urgency to get the ancient fiddle repaired.  But I will keep you posted when I get the work done sometime.

Avatar
Sasha
Members

Regulars
December 8, 2023 - 11:34 pm
Member Since: December 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 130
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@Unfretted yeah, it seems to make more sense if they have sentimental value. 

I currently have a Fiddlerman Soloist that I like so it is not like I am needing something to play. 

Would love to hear your experiences with it once repaired. 

Avatar
Mouse
December 9, 2023 - 7:19 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 5244
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

@Sasha Here is my refurbish story.

https://fiddlerman.com/2021/06.....lk-fiddle/

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.

Avatar
Unfretted
Members

Regulars
December 10, 2023 - 12:15 pm
Member Since: October 17, 2020
Forum Posts: 155
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Mouse said
@Sasha Here is my refurbish story.

https://fiddlerman.com/2021/06.....lk-fiddle/

🐭

  

@Mouse , this an amazing story, and beautifully written, as well.

Thanks for re-sharing.  I missed this the first time.

Hey Forum Folks, this link is worth the click with an essay worth your time. It’s not really about luthier technicalities at all. 🥰

Avatar
Mouse
December 10, 2023 - 1:30 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 5244
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

Thank you, @Unfretted. I love playing this violin. Maybe I will use it for the party I am going to start after I get a piece provided to forum members by Worldfiddler up to par. I should play it on that violin. I usually play it for my own hearing, and use the others for any videos, on the rare occasion I make a video, but I think my Grandpa's violin should be used next time.I was just playing it yesterday.

So, @Sasha If you find an old one with a story, not specifically about someone you know, but a story, the history, they are so worth keeping, if you don't go overboard and collect too many of them. For the older ones that have no sentimental or a history that comes with it that interests you, not so sure, but it is personal preference.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.

Avatar
Sasha
Members

Regulars
December 12, 2023 - 9:59 am
Member Since: December 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 130
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I ended up getting one this weekend. It was considerably more than a $200 antique to fix up, but it is a really neat instrument and requires no fixing. I went to try some higher end violins and one just really grabbed me. It's was made in 1905 in Nebraska by Joseph Geiger.

I hadn't intended to necessarily get an older one, but that is the one of those that immediately sounded and felt *right* when I played it. There was another one that was close, and I spent quite a bit of time going back and forth between those two fiddles, but this one was just the one even though it is a bit of an odd duck as a fiddle.

The sun is out today so my office actually has some good light, and hopefully this afternoon and evening can post some pics and also want to do a post on a few other things.

I guess it worked out though, I got a new fiddle, and an old fiddle.

Avatar
Mouse
December 12, 2023 - 10:11 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 5244
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Sounds wonderful, @Sasha!

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.

Avatar
Mark
Members

Regulars
December 13, 2023 - 12:05 am
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 2130
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Sasha

Grats,

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
December 13, 2023 - 3:35 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 7611
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

15cf851a11eb877630dfacf06c3064d4.jpg

 

@Sasha -

Sounds like a GREAT Christmas for you!

Can't wait to see your 'old' new violin! 

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online: AndrewH, Mouse
Guest(s) 80
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today uncledave, sr
Upcoming terezka, AndrewAllanRoberts, DanielB, Nick, Kmmoon, StaceyC, RSorderfans, SiennaAViolin, GiovanniWhite
Top Posters:
ELCBK: 7611
ABitRusty: 3818
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2690
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
Gordon Shumway: 2414
DanielB: 2379
Mark: 2130
damfino: 2113
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 31649
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 81
Topics: 10560
Posts: 133787
Newest Members:
Alison, David, boredmeddlesome, KennethPearce, alexreynolds, soophiemartin84, LateBeginner, Marianne, swell1, yoyogogo
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 16422, KindaScratchy: 1760, coolpinkone: 4180, BillyG: 3744, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, Mouse: 5244