Violin/Violin bow

Advertisement


Question
Jim
Would you be so kind as to tell me all you know about a bow maker named Albert Schubert. I've tried to research but not having much luck. I saw one of his bows for sale $350 at a violin shop. Some of his bows are stamped made in Germany, some are not stamped with country. I'm thinking he worked between 1880 and early 1920's, but that is just a guess. Thought maybe you have heard of him. Also do you think a copy of a Joseph Guarnerius, not stamped with country of origin was made prior to 1891. One more thing. Do you think it could have been made in a smaller shop or did they have the factories going strong at that time.
Thank you so much for your time Jim.

Regards
John

Answer
Hi John,

Thanks for your questions.  I'm not familiar with that maker.  But, I do see a number records for auction sales ranging between about $200 and $350.  The value of your particular bow would depend on the condition, among other factors.  But, if it is in good shape, $350 might not be a unreasonable price.  Keep in mind, though, that $350 is not very much to spend on a bow.  I'd recommend taking it in person to a reputable shop to have it appraised.

Regarding the Guarnerius copy . . . It's possible, but the label alone is not enough to give a definitive answer.  It's true that factory instruments, intended for sale in the U.S., made after the passage of the McKinley act in 1891, were required to be marked with the country of origin.  But, not all instruments were intended for U.S. distribution.  And, many instruments were produced here in the U.S.  

The mass production of violins really took off around the turn of the 20th century.  But, yes, there were factory instruments produced before that time.  And, of course, there were and still are many fine small shops producing instruments of all qualities.  Again, I'd recommend having it appraised, in person, at a reputable shop.  By looking at the quality of construction, the varnish, the label, and other details, a professional should be able to give you a much better idea of the age and origin, as well as its current value.

Sorry that I'm not more help.  Best of luck with your instrument and bow.

Regards,
Jim Fisher  

Violin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


James S. Fisher

Expertise

Please Note: For an accurate appraisal of your instrument's value or history, I must advise you to take it to a local luthier or string shop for an evaluation. It's really not possible to do this with any accuracy via email.

However, I am happy to answer other questions about violins, bows, violin playing, and violin/bow repair. I can also talk with you about what bows, rosin, strings, cases, shoulder rests, etc. might work best for you and your particular instrument. (There are some great new products on the market.) I've taught violin and fiddle playing for the past 18 years and will answer questions about playing and technique.

Experience

I've been studying the violin for over thirty years. I started teaching in 1996. In addition to my training at Lebanon Valley College and at the Violin Institute, I handle violins, bows, and customer questions of all sorts on a daily basis in my shop - J.S. Fisher Violins, www.fisherviolins.com.

Organizations
NAAM, ASTA

Education/Credentials
I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College, as well as certificates in violin repair, violin maintenance, and bow rehairing from the Violin Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.