Examine the interior of the violin through the F-holes (the slots on the front of the instrument) for a label. It might be pasted to the inside of the violin's back. If the label plainly states "manufactured in (country)," it is a factory-built violin, not an antique. If the label does not specify, check the bottom of the violin where it connects to the bow for its make and country of origin.
If the violin is not factory-built, it is an original instrument. Antique violins are those that were built more than 100 years ago. They are rare and expensive because good wood is needed for these instruments. The best woods for antiques are maple, pine, mahogany, and poplar. The body of the violin should have no signs of wear or damage such as dents, scratches, or cracks. The nut and the bridge are also important factors in determining an instrument's price. The nut should be smooth with no defects such as cracks or holes. The bridge should have no broken strings but rather should be solid and flat.
Violins can last for hundreds of years if taken care of properly. However, they do need to be played occasionally to maintain their quality and sound.
If the label plainly states "manufactured in (country)," it is a factory-built violin, not an antique. After 1891, all imported objects, including violins, were obliged to bear the nation of origin on the label. The prize violin would have a label that said "Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonenfis" and other Latin inscriptions.
Here's a brief outline of what you might be able to accomplish at home. It's possible that the label will inform you who built your violin. A label can be found inside the violin's (typically) left-hand f-hole. Some violins do not have labels, so you may need to blow away the dust and move the instrument under the light to see whether yours does.
It's not an old violin if you have several or all of the qualities of a fake antique violin. It might be German from the 1900s, or it could be modern Chinese or German. And if your violin does not exhibit any of these qualities, it is most likely a contemporary violin. We will be very delighted if you call us and correctly identify your instrument.
A genuine Stradivarius violin, as assessed and authenticated by a respectable violin dealer, may fetch millions of dollars.
An antique violin, most likely Italian! E. Martin Sachsen, Amati Violin, Antique Quality 4/4, NO RESERVE! A beautiful French certified violin bow, E.F. Ouchard/Cuniot-Hury, Tourte model, about 1900. Comes with case and crumpled paper bag.
The American violin was developed by Antonio Stradivari in the late 17th century. This wonderful instrument has been played by many great musicians including Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Horowitz, and Isaac Stern. It is estimated that only about 150 Strads survive today. An early American copy called the Breslau was also made by Friedrich Guarneri around 1750. In 1872, Carl F. Graf began manufacturing violins in Milwaukee, which became one of the largest violin manufacturers in the world until they went out of business in 1979. Since then, various small companies have tried to revive the tradition, but no one makes a true American violin anymore.
American violins are very expensive instruments due to their rarity and quality. The best ones can cost up to $500,000!
This is a vintage Antonius Stradivarius Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 1721 violin produced in Czechoslovakia and signed on the paper label inside. All stock must be refined. The chin rest case is in good condition and is rather ancient, however the bow has to be rehired. This is a fantastic constructor, however this violin need woodwork or the expertise of an expert to be restored. Lovely wood marks. The sound post is roto-molded which may not be original to the instrument.
The string spacing is 1/4 inch, the nut width is 5mm and the peg height is 35mm. This violin was built for performance and is designed for use with bow drills. It has been well cared for over time and its present condition is the result of that care. This is a beautiful violin that deserves a new owner who will take excellent care of it.
It is played frequently and used regularly. The playability of this instrument is very good, but due to its age some attention should be paid to prevent any damage from occurring.
This violin is a real beauty and easy to play. It has a strong solid body and fine craftsmanship. Its sound is bright with good volume. It has nice smooth pegs that are not too tight nor too loose. The bridge is flat which gives a clear sound with no muddy quality. The soundpost inside the body is roto-molded which helps to stabilize the structure while giving better acoustic properties. The top is made of maple with the belly being made of sycamore.