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For Sale: A Fine and Interesting Old American Violin by Oscar Davis c. 1940, Bow, New Case

Posted By: GeorgeH (0) | Rate Member
 New Member  Returns allowed with money back refund

$1,299 USD

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Here is your chance to own a unique American beauty!

This full-size violin was made by Oscar Davis in Stewart, Ohio in 1940, and bears his original handwritten label. It is a fascinating violin. According to his grand niece, Oscar Davis was a well-known Ohio fiddle player as well as an engineer and violin-maker. I am quite certain that this is a fiddle made for playing fiddle music. This is a perfect violin for old-timey, bluegrass, or other traditional music.

The top is made of tightly-grained cedar. The back, ribs, neck, and scroll are carved from highly-flamed mahogany, a tone wood often used in fine guitars. As you can see from the picture, the flame in the mahogany back and ribs is absolutely spectacular!

The scroll is masterfully carved. The grain of the cedar top is tight and straight. The gorgeous one-piece mahogany back is beautifully figured. The arching and f-holes are precisely and expertly carved. This is not a factory-made violin.

The transparent brown varnish is original, and was artistically applied such that the figure and flame of the wood changes with the angle of the light. Both sides are outlined with inlaid white-black-white purfling around the edges. Purfling is usually black-white-black, so this purfling gives the violin a gorgeous and unique appearance!

There are no cracks or repairs in the pegbox, and the pegs turn smoothly and hold well. The fingerboard and fittings are ebony.

I had it completely restored by a top professional luthier including having the bridge and sound post replaced, a small saddle crack repaired, the varnish touched-up, the fingerboard planed and dressed, and a new endpin and tailpiece installed. The repaired saddle crack is the only crack in the entire instrument.

The result is a beautiful, well-preserved, 78 year-old violin in perfect playing condition!

I believe that this violin was made by Oscar Davis specifically for playing traditional American fiddle music, and that is why he selected the unusual tone woods.

The original bridge that came with it (included) was flat on top, a common characteristic of old-timey and bluegrass fiddle bridges. (It was replaced with a more traditional bridge.) The fingerboard width is slightly narrower at the nut, and the neck is slightly thinner than standard classical violins, making double-stops and fast playing much easier. The action is low and comfortable, but without any buzzes up the fingerboard. All this combines to make an outstanding vintage fiddle for playing old-timey, bluegrass or other traditional music.

The tone on this fiddle is lively, bright and full, but not thin, tinny or breathy. It is focused across all 4 strings. The G and D strings are warm without being overly dark while the A and E have soprano voices with bit of edge that cuts very well when playing with guitars and banjos. This fiddle's tone and appearance match up wonderfully for the traditional fiddle music it was built for.

This violin's tone would be fine for classical music, too, but the fingerboard length is approximately 1.5 cm shorter than most classic violins.

The violin comes fitted with fresh Prim strings.

This is a rare opportunity for you to invest in an authentic, one-of-a-kind, vintage American violin from an Ohio maker at an affordable price. Ohio was a major center of American violin making during the pre-war World War II period, and included famous makers such as Rembert Wurlitzer, Robert Glier, and James Reynolds Carlisle. This original violin is a fine example of the Ohio violin-making tradition.

The dimensions are as follows:

Length of Back: 354mm
Upper Bout: 166mm
Center Bout: 116mm
Lower Bout: 203mm
Body stop: 195mm
Over stand: 2mm
Neck width at nut: 22.5mm
Fingerboard length: 256mm

The authentic violin is priced at about one-half the price you could expect to pay if you purchased it from a dealer. Unlike modern factory violins, a rare old violin like this one is an investment that can grow in value over time.

The violin comes in a new high-quality wooden-shell Shar case and a good carbon-fiber bow.

All reasonable offers will be seriously considered.

I have included detailed un-retouched pictures and described the violin as best as I can. The colors are accurately captured in the pictures. I have disclosed any and all defects and repairs that I know about, so you can buy with confidence. Please feel free to ask questions or request additional pictures.


United States, Wilmington, DE, 19810



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Payment Option Notes:

This violin can also be purchased through eBay with 14 day return guarantee .

Return Policy:

Returns accepted. Buyer must contact seller within 14 days to arrange return. Refund will be given as Money Back. Buyer pays return shipping.

Additional return policy details: An investment in a good violin is an important personal decision. Therefore, if you buy this violin and decide it isn't the instrument for you, you can return it by USPS Priority 1 or 2-day Express, insured and undamaged, within 14 days for a full refund excluding my actual shipping charge or $39.95, whichever is larger (my actual shipping charge may be higher than $39.95). You are responsible for the return shipping charges. It is obviously not returnable if the violin has been damaged in any way in comparison with the pictures I have posted.

Condition of Item(s):

Used - Excellent Condition

More Info URL:



Oscar Davis c. 1940

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This ad will automatically expire 4/28/2018 4:43:30 AM unless updated before that date. To keep the system current, ads expire if not updated for more than 60 days.

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