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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Is my fiddle worth $..? @member-doad cogswell

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Doad_cogswell - Posted - 03/29/2019:  13:26:23

I found a fiddle in an old farm house, the label says "made in Berlin copy of Nicolaus amati". There is a wreath around the letter "L".. it is in great condition, and has spruce top,birds eye maple back and sides...the tuning pegs also have tighteners built into the end of them, to lock them in place..? I asked a feller at a local music store and he said he thinks I may very well have a fiddle worth $300-$6,000. But I would need to research it and I dont know how or where to start.

ChickenMan - Posted - 03/29/2019:  16:45:18

Start with pictures. Lots of pictures, scroll from a couple angles, f holes, corners, inside if possible....

amwildman - Posted - 03/29/2019:  17:05:32

Probably on the low end of that figure.

1.Cheap instruments had mechanical tuners

2. Amati style fiddles are generally out of favor.

3. No maker name generally equals mass-churned out of a factory.


A. there are very occasional exceptions, but the chances are that you shouldn't get your hopes up.

B. None of the factors above say anything about how the fiddle plays and sounds. Monetary value generally has little to do with the playing characteristics of old fiddles. You could have a great fiddle with a tiny price tag.

C. Am not familiar with Berlin violins. Possibly a step or two above the average student fiddle from that era?

Edited by - amwildman on 03/29/2019 17:06:13

DougD - Posted - 03/29/2019:  17:27:55

I think the "L" with a wreath around it is the symbol of Lowendall violins, who were a German manufacturer (?) and distributor. There's quite a bit about him online (a lot of it probably mythical, BTW).

Edited by - DougD on 03/29/2019 17:30:28

DougD - Posted - 03/30/2019:  03:23:22

PS - Louis Lowendall was a businessman and possibly a violinmaker in the boom years of "trade" violins (late 19th and esrly 20th centuries). He had a "factory" in Berlin, but its unclear whether many, if any of his instruments were actually made there.
His instruments were sold by Sears: These are more expensive than the average fiddles in the catalog, but they sold all quality levels and prices.

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