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Violin/Violin Mathias NeŁner


NeŁner ticket
NeŁner ticket  
Hello David,
A close friend of mine Colonel Joan DAVIS left me this Violin in her will. She purchased it in Europe while she was on active duty at the end of the 2nd World War. She was a great lover of Opera and classical music. She was a very dear Lady. I don't play the Violin and don't know if it should be in a museum collection or if it has only sentimental value. I could loan it to the local music school at least that way it's musical life will continue on. There are two tickets inside
Mathias NeŁner Geigenmacher in Mittenwald 18?? Nro.94
I would appreciate any help you might give. I do have photos.
Thank you David.
All the best, Henry

Hi Henry

There were actually 5 members of the Neuner violin making family with the name Neuner working from the late 1600's to the late 1800's. Not that labels mean much but it appears that yours might be from the latest period. These labels were often copied and inserted into other instruments of less quality. The Neuner instruments can vary from around $1000 to as much as around $8000 depending on which maker and the condition and sound. Unless it is in absolute perfect original condition, it is probably not of a level that a museum would be looking for, but sometimes they still want lesser instruments of different time periods and country of origin. The 94 on the label is their address (house number). The second label is probably a repair label.  You should have the instrument looked at by a violin shop to determine if it is a real Neuner - they are usually an amber color with a deep red brown edge and in the center. Often times the copies are much greener in color. This is just one way it will be authenticated. You certainly can send me photos, but it will need to be seen in person to be sure.


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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 makersí 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 Dubť, 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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