My name is Alex, I'm an European pro clarinetist (and an avid amateur fiddler!) working in NY. I play classical music as a job with the clarinet but I always wanted to play violin, so a few years ago I just bought a cheapo violin in a pawn shop and began teaching myself (with the constant help of some of the colleages in my orchestra) in order to play bluegrass.
Ok, let me go directly to the point of the question: Two years ago I found this violin in a garage sale in a farm in rural WA and bought it, I just like a lot the wood. For whatever reason that I can't fully explain, I really like this violin; I'm curious about its origins. any opinions would be greatly appreciated!
My guess is that it's not worth the $150 or $200 that will cost an appraisal, but I'm very curious about this fiddle. Until now I heard from different people that this fiddle is a: 1 Rustic American fiddle, 2 South German, 3 Mnk/Schb trade, 3 the body looks very similar to british (or american?) autodidactic made fiddles, probably using an inside mould, maybe from the late 19th/early 20th century period, 3a whittled American fiddle with a commercial Markie scroll grafted on. What do you think?
Thank you so much again!!
I'm significantly more ignorant than you, but if by autodidactic you mean the luthier was an amateur with no formal training, yeah that seems to fit the bill. It's a good thing, too, that the maker just out-and-out bought a scroll. Anyway, a wonderful-looking instrument. If it sounds and plays good, all the better!
I completely agree. Thank you for your reply!
Oops!! hahahaha, I meant to say that I agree with the possible origin of the fiddle, not that you are significantly more ignorant thank me in this; I'm a 100% sure than you know light years more than me about fiddles, I'm just a pro clarinetist who loves to play fiddle. Thanks!
It's probably not the work of a master, but I think it looks very nice and has a lot of character. The possible fact that it is amateur-made is kind of cool, actually.
I'd say it definitely has the "nubby corners" described here:
I have a turn of the century German fiddle and I don't think that is what you have.
Oh, and if you look to the different auction houses, you can send in some pictures for a free appraisal. You can also go in person if you live near NYC. I'm sure they have frequent free appraisal days there.
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