Jump to content


Photo

Fake? Stradivarius And Stainer


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 sarah123

sarah123

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6484 posts
  • Member: 13655
    Joined: 27-July 07
  • Cambridge

Posted 13 July 2008 - 00:52

I have found two old violins lying around in my loft. Both are a bit worse for wear. I was wondering if anyone could tell me a bit about them....

One has a label pretty typical of a fake Strad, if the internet is anything to go by. It has a big crack on the front and a bit of a split around the end, but would otherwise appear to be fine (if it had some new strings). It is really beautiful wood too. It has a different type of chin-rest to any violins i've seen before (its long and thin rather than round).

The other one has a Stainer label, but again, the internet would suggest its probably a fake (its label is printed, not handwritten). This one appears to be in generally worse condition than the 'strad' but doesnt have any major cracks as far as i can see.

I really doubt they're the real thing, but especially the strad looks like it would be a really nice violin anyway, so it would be nice to have a rough idea of how much it would cost for it to be repaired.

Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated,

Sarah smile.gif
  • 0

#2 earplugs

earplugs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 551 posts
  • Member: 7064
    Joined: 05-June 06

Posted 13 July 2008 - 07:28

If you are in Cambridge these people are local to you and knowledgeable. They can certainly tell you how much it will take to repair/restore them. Always best to phone first to check they are there as they sometimes start late and work late.


http://www.makeviolins.com/
  • 0

#3 cellocase

cellocase

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 748 posts
  • Member: 7181
    Joined: 17-June 06

Posted 13 July 2008 - 10:41

I think Aitchison is another luthier based in Cambridge - I went up there once to try cellos, and they were great - very knowledgable and very friendly.

Your best bet is to get them to a luthier - doesn't really matter which too much - for them to have a look at them. A luthier will be much more knowledgable than us lot!
  • 0

#4 sarah123

sarah123

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6484 posts
  • Member: 13655
    Joined: 27-July 07
  • Cambridge

Posted 13 July 2008 - 11:50

I'll probably take them along to the place in Cambridge in the next few days to see what they say (the Aitchison place seems to be just cellos).

I wasn't expecting expert advice from anyone here, just an idea of whether it might be worth having them repaired.


  • 0

#5 iona

iona

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 477 posts
  • Member: 4776
    Joined: 23-September 05
  • South East London

Posted 13 July 2008 - 14:16

Over the years I've had a few instruments repaired or overhauled, and I've never found it easy to get an up front estimate (especially written) out of a luthier. The last time I actually ended up saying...I have £x I can't spend any more. And yes.,,,,..the bill came in at £x. Now, at least I have a fair idea of the going rate in my area for a new bridge (for my cello) , a basic set up including moving the soundpost etc. and any work which is likely to involve opening up the instrument.

Some luthiers do post costs of basic repairs on their websites, so it might be worth acquainting yourself with some of these before walking into a shop.
  • 0

#6 earplugs

earplugs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 551 posts
  • Member: 7064
    Joined: 05-June 06

Posted 13 July 2008 - 16:50

The two regular luthiers at the violin workshop I gave the link to have always been fair in my experience and will give you a quick assessment of what needs doing and whether it is worth it given the quality of the instrument.

Good Luck
  • 0

#7 sarah123

sarah123

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6484 posts
  • Member: 13655
    Joined: 27-July 07
  • Cambridge

Posted 24 July 2008 - 11:26

I've just taken them to be seen.

The 'Strad' is actually a copy of a different make (so not even a fake strad) with the wrong label in laugh.gif
But it could be worth up to about £800 when its fixed. It's going to be taken pretty much completely apart and glued back together, then will probably be ready around the end of August. The man said it would be a really nice violin, and commented that it was nice and light, which is apparently good biggrin.gif

The other one, he said probably was even better, but would cost more than its worth to repair, so that's a shame, but one violin is probably enough anyway.

Two of the bows are complete no-hopers, but the other one may have a stick worth keeping, but would need a new frog? and restringing...they said they'd let us know when the bow expert had seen it, but it looks like I'll probably need a new bow.

biggrin.gif Excited Sarah biggrin.gif
  • 0

#8 sarah123

sarah123

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6484 posts
  • Member: 13655
    Joined: 27-July 07
  • Cambridge

Posted 28 August 2008 - 11:19

It's done!! (well has been for a couple of days, but I forgot about this thread) It was a bit of a shock because i wasn't expecting it for another couple of weeks at least, but a nice shock.

IPB Image
IPB Image
IPB Image

It's been taken apart completely and glued back together again. I can't remember exactly whats been done apart from the general sticking together... two of the peg holes are bushed, something about having a new block at the bottom, something about the fingerboard, new pegs, strings, chinrest and fine-tuners, and its been given a polish. There's a whole load more, but I can't remember, basically if it could be done, it probably has been.

It sounds lovely (well, as lovely as is possible for someone who can't play it...). It isn't the prettiest of violins, but that isn't exactly important: i might get it revarnished one-day, but it's fine for now.

All three bows were beyond repair, so I have 4 on approval to choose between. Any advice on how to choose would be much appreciated, as all i can really judge is which looks best, and that's obviously not the way to do it. One is carbon fibre, two say brazilwood on their labels, and the other one is probably the same again, but doesnt say. They're all priced between £100 and £150.


  • 0

#9 DiscoPants

DiscoPants

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 654 posts
  • Member: 19120
    Joined: 05-November 07

Posted 28 August 2008 - 15:58

Please, whatever you do, don't even think about getting it re-varnished!
  • 0

#10 Misterioso

Misterioso

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4079 posts
  • Member: 13351
    Joined: 18-July 07
  • Outer Hebrides

Posted 28 August 2008 - 16:21

QUOTE(sarah123 @ Aug 28 2008, 12:19 PM) View Post

All three bows were beyond repair, so I have 4 on approval to choose between. Any advice on how to choose would be much appreciated, as all i can really judge is which looks best, and that's obviously not the way to do it. One is carbon fibre, two say brazilwood on their labels, and the other one is probably the same again, but doesnt say. They're all priced between £100 and £150.

Try them all out with long, slow bows. Which feels good and sounds nice? If you narrow it down to two that you can't choose between, it's usually best to go for the lighter one. I would steer away from the carbon fibre bow, but that's a personal thing; I don't think they ever play as well. Check that your chosen bow has a good strong stick before you buy it. And enjoy!!
  • 0

#11 TRACY

TRACY

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 112 posts
  • Member: 2891
    Joined: 08-January 05

Posted 30 August 2008 - 00:37

I feel, (and I'm probably going to get slated for saying this) unless you are grade 5 and above, many can adapt their playing to any reasonable bow. It appears things only get more technical later on as regards offstring bowing etc. Obviously, if you have a few bows to try, balance and weight are all things to consider, as well as the sound it draws from the violin. If it was me however, and had less than £300 to spend, I would go on ebay, put in a search for Paesold bows, which would bring up a Paesold 237R (this model can be found on Courtney and Walker website for £335 approx) the seller has 2 for sale from some kind of insolvency stock. The seller has 100% feedback and he is asking only £100 for each. I had a Stentor Arcadia violin from ebay a few years ago, as well as a Col Legno Carbon bow, both of which to be honest were bargains at the time, although you obviously should always be cautious!

In case anyone is wondering why I haven't purchased one of these Paesold bows myself, I was and still am very tempted, but truth is, I am looking for a spare bow for younger daughter who is grade 7, and feel this bow would probably not be good enough even as a spare, especially as I was originally looking for a second hand carbon bow (Coda or Arcus) as a spare to use at school and other potentially dangerous situations where her wooden bow is best kept in her case! (Her older sister had her bow sat on last year at school!)

Do not write off carbon bows either. Younger daughter previously had a 3/4 Coda Prodigy, which outperformed any other wooden bow we tried in the same price bracket! Like wooden bows, not all carbon bows are the same. Glasser are also a good alternative carbon bow which are a bit more affordable than Coda. Elida Trading sell these - the one below the top of the range braided ones are approx £125 I think, and produce a far better sound than a wooden one of same RRP price.

Good luck in your hunt......and like mentioned by others ...don't re-varnish! rolleyes.gif

  • 0

#12 sarah123

sarah123

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6484 posts
  • Member: 13655
    Joined: 27-July 07
  • Cambridge

Posted 30 August 2008 - 13:23

Thanks for the advice.

I didn't realise it quite so bad to revarnish a violin ph34r.gif Don't worry, I won't do it!!

The four bows I have were picked out by the the violin repairer/maker as being relatively good, but not too expensive, so its not really a case of needing to find a good make, where to get them, etc.

I took the violin and bows to my recorder lesson yesterday (my teacher also plays the violin). Out of the 4, the carbon fibre bow sounded 'dead', and one of the wooden ones was noticeably not as nice sounding as the other two. The other two both had a nice sound, so its a case of choosing between those two now, which is prooving difficult!


  • 0

#13 Shaolin_monkey

Shaolin_monkey

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 97 posts
  • Member: 10075
    Joined: 14-March 07

Posted 31 August 2008 - 19:44

QUOTE(sarah123 @ Aug 30 2008, 02:23 PM) View Post

Thanks for the advice.

I didn't realise it quite so bad to revarnish a violin ph34r.gif Don't worry, I won't do it!!




I don't play the violin or anything, but I've been following the progress of these violins. I'm curious, what effect would a re-varnish have had on it?
  • 0

#14 DiscoPants

DiscoPants

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 654 posts
  • Member: 19120
    Joined: 05-November 07

Posted 01 September 2008 - 13:18

QUOTE(Shaolin_monkey @ Aug 31 2008, 08:44 PM) View Post

QUOTE(sarah123 @ Aug 30 2008, 02:23 PM) View Post

Thanks for the advice.

I didn't realise it quite so bad to revarnish a violin ph34r.gif Don't worry, I won't do it!!




I don't play the violin or anything, but I've been following the progress of these violins. I'm curious, what effect would a re-varnish have had on it?



Well, the main effect would be that you would decrease the value by at least a factor of 2, probably more. Revarnishing would make little difference to the sound, unless done completely incompetently, but it would always be obvious as a revarnished violin, and look aesthetically weird (worn edges, scroll, corners etc, spanking new varnish....). Dealers hate revarnished violins.
Anyway, I think your fiddle looks nice as it is. Some makers spend a lot of time wearing off varnish to make their new instruments look like this!
BTW Rosfrog, do all the violin makers around your way drive Ferraris ?smile.gif
  • 0