QUOTE(DiscoPants @ Sep 12 2009, 11:40 AM)
this all sounds a bit odd for a chinese violin. They normally have bulletproof varnish. Sometimes, though, makers/shops buy Chinese violins "in the white" and varnish them themselves. Is this the case for your instrument?
Chinese violins aren't exactly in short supply, so if you're not 100% sure I think you should walk away. Plenty more to choose from!
well, it's not an especially cheap Chinese fiddle; they want £750 for it.
i know they do buy in Chinese instruments and do some work on them before selling them; last time i was there they had a similar instrument for £450, although that seemed like a more typical Chinese instrument. unfortunately the owner, who does the actual work, wasn't there when i went in, so i wasn't able to find out much about it apart from what the price tag said. (but i'll definitely ask before i actually spend any money.)
i wouldn't say i'm unsure about it, although i won't know if it's really worth the price until i've had a chance to play it at a session or two...