Violin/Violin ID Help


I have an old violin here with an old label but was hoping you can help id the fiddle. It has a very unique scroll (maybe kind of crude) that seems to point mid to late 18th century. The neck has been changed with the scroll grafted nicely and the front block changed at that time also. The bottom block looks a lot older and I have the belly off the vioin now and repairing some older cracks. There is a repair note on the underside of the belly that states 1912.

There is some writing or stamp next to the front block on the back that says "xxxbricia", e or o on the end...not sure as the old glue is covering the first few letters. Also near the bottom block has writing and noticed the word Techler. I know...Lol, but I'm just telling it as it is.

I showed the fiddle to 3 luthiers. The 1st said early 20th century. The 2nd guy with the belly off said its much older and possibly mid to late 18th century...maybe French. The 3rd said he thought it could be Mittenwald but was not sure, so I'm at a loss and confused.

The back is one piece and the belly is two pieces, linning and 4 corner blocks. There has been a lot of repairs on the belly and a few to the ribs but the back has no cracks that I can see.

Thank you for any help, I appreciate it.

I don't know if I can help much as I am at a disadvantage compared to the others who actually saw the instrument. I will probably add even more confusion to the mix. From the pictures it appears to me to be Tyrolean early to mid 1800's. Who knows what the various information marked on the inside is. The XXXbricia might be trying to refer to Brescia but I don't think anyone is saying it was made there. It doesn't look at all French to me and I feel also that it is 19th and not 18th century. It also looks nothing like a David Techler.  It may never be determined the actual origin of it, but certainly not without a very close up personnel evaluation. I wish you luck with your quest.

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Thank you so much for your help. I have photos of the scroll and inside showing the old blocks and linnings etc. If you could take one more peek at this I would be greatful. I know your a busy guy so if you feel you don't have time or it won't do any good I understand.

Thank you again,


I would be glad to take another look for you.

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QUESTION: Ok thanks David,

Can you take a look here the photo's:

Sorry I might have posted in the wrong area but found my way back here.

Hi again
The pictures don't help any but they also don't change my initial opinion other than I might be leaning more towards the early 1800's. It really isn't possible with pictures to get any better sense of maker and time unless they are of very high quality digital pictures taken of all the correct views and not at angles which distort the image. I am sorry that I couldn't give you any more information.


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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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