Violin/follow up question


violin in case
violin in case  
case and bow
case and bow  
QUESTION: hi.  I submitted a question this morning.  and after taking another look, I found what I believe says "German" on the bow. and a Roth stamp on the alligator? case.  here are the pictures.  thanks again.

ANSWER: Hi again
After looking at the pictures, it only corroborates my previous statement.  This is a commercially made violin, originally sold by the Roth firm who sold many different qualities of violins, in 1964 Roth (Scherl and Roth), sold that violin outfit for $365.00.  This level of instrument does not appreciate in value, in 1964 as a used instrument, it would have been worth less than $200. In today's dollars, the used value will have risen slightly to the range that I mentioned earlier. The bow is probably original, it is Brazilwood and mounted in nickel silver. Today, similar bows sell for $50-75.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Interesting.  this ad on Ebay looks to be like the same violin, more or less, for a buy it now price of $2,200. thoughts?


Anyone can advertise anything for any price, that does not mean that they will get that price. The seller is obviously trying to sell this to some unknowledgeable person and keep in mind that the term "Vintage", really doesn't mean anything since it just means the date it was made - as in the date the wine was made. Again a term used to try to make people think it is more valuable than it is.

Since you are looking on Ebay, here is another listing for one for $190 - and anoth er for $239 -

Here is a 1955 one that sold for $200 - and a 1953 that sold for $91 -

Here is one being sold at a store for $200 -

You will also notice that the highest bid for any E. R. Pfretzschner instrument is $25.00 and no bids have been made on the overpriced "Buy it Now" instruments. Very little changed between the instruments made in the 50's and those in the 60's, so those are also good comparisons. A 3/4 typically sells for about 2/3's of a 4/4.

I have no dog in this show, so to speak, I am not trying to sell anything or recommend any specific store to go to buy a violin. It is unfortunate with the internet, it becomes so easy to make claims where you don't have to stand behind what you sell, or at minimum just try to sell things for much more than they are worth.

The Roth's were good instruments for students, today, the same quality instrument would sell new in the $600-750 range.


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David Lashof


I can answer questions on violin, viola, cello and bass making, repair and maintenance as well as supply general violin value ranges and information on instrument makers’ assuming the instrument's as labeled. I don't give values for modern makers as many of these modern makers are yet unknown to me. I can only give you feedback based on what information you give me, and no authority on the instrument can know every maker's work that ever lived. I have access to many books on makers and auction prices on over 25,000 makers, as well as having 36 years of experience with selling and appraising violins. Without having the instrument in hand, any estimate over the internet is just a guess as the label inside an instrument is more often wrong than right, so just having that information is not very useful. Pictures can sometimes be helpful but only so much, as the "feel" of the instrument along with small clues in workmanship and varnish cannot be seen in pictures. Any pictures should be high quality close-ups of the top and back. Additional photos of the front and treble side of the neck are also useful. It is always best to have an instrument seen in person at a violin shop that does appraisals. I can also provide advice on bows, rosin, strings and other string instrument accessories. As I am now retired, I have no bias towards selling anything; I only wish to share my knowledge and experience by providing information for those that may be getting confused by misinformation, misdirection or conflicting statements. (While I have seen many thousands of instruments and have performed numerous appraisals; if I have not evaluated an instrument in person, any information I set forth in an opinion is just that, an opinion based solely on what you have provided. Thusly, no financial decision should be based on that opinion, but rather, further investigation should be performed by having the instrument examined in person.)


I am a retired violin maker and repairman with 35 years experience having worked in Chicago and Maryland at 5 different violin shops and music stores including the first violin repairman at William Harris Lee in Chicago, the head repairman at Weavers Violins in Maryland, and in my own shop of 25 years. I have made 160 instruments and have restored countless professional level and student grade instruments. I am an accomplished violinist having performed with semi-professional as well as amateur groups although I haven't played for years and mostly stay away from questions about playing. I have taught violin making and restoration to about 20 students; three of which have gone on professionally and now have their own shops. I know violins from playing, selling, repairing, making and teaching.

Violin Society of America (VSA). American String Teachers Association (ASTA)

I graduated from the prestigious 4 year Chicago School of Violin Making in 1981 under Master Violin Maker Tschu Ho Lee. I also studied with violin maker Willis M. Gault in Washington DC from 1973-75, who was the former owner of the oldest known example of an instrument from the modern violin family, an Andreas Amati Viola.

Awards and Honors
2008 Chester Petranek Award for service to the music community. ASTA award for service. Top All Expert in Violin for 2014 and 2015.

Past/Present Clients
I have worked with many professional musicians from DC area Symphonies as well as players from all over the US. Here are just a few, Leonard Slatkin - Former conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. Doris Gazda - Nationally renowned string specialist and composer. Bernard Greenhouse, Tanya Anisimova - Internationally renowned Solo Cellists. Jody Gatwood, Mark Pfannschmidt, Lori Barnet, Doug Dubé, Judy Silverman - National Philharmonic Orchestra. Robert Blatt, David Hardy, Glen Garlick - National Symphony Orchestra. Eddie Stubbs, Brendan Mulvahill, Nate Leath - Professional Fiddle Players. David Basche, Pat Braunlich, John Knudson, Romano Solano, Ed Ferris, Fred Lieder - freelance musicians.

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