Violin/violin and bow


Hi David
Could you give me a rough estimate on value of Lyon & Healy violin model 1028 made in 1912, imported from France. I have been trying to research exactly where it was made and by whom.
Also have Lafleur bow (Germany) It is stamped and looks like XXIZZ stamped also. I have given this violin to my daughter. It is in fair to good condition.
Hope you are doing well.


Hi John
That model number was used by Lyon and Healy for a number of years. In 1924 it was sold for $37 and in 1978 was worth around $400. Today, these are generally worth around $1200. However, because labels are so easily inserted into instruments, it really should be seen in person to see if this is the same instrument. Condition and sound will also effect the value. This particular model as you said was made in France and imported by Lyon and Healy. We will never know which firm actually made it as there were many hundreds of factories that produced many thousands of instruments each year. Lyon and Healy would have contracted for a certain number of instruments that would not have all been made by the same person, but rather just to certain specifications. One such French firm is known to have produced over 10,000 violins in just one year. So it would have been made in an assembly line format where one person made the top and another the scroll and so on.

The real Lafleur bows are worth many thousands and were made in France. This makes yours a copy with just a stamp showing the model it was designed after. They were, along with many other similar bows, inserted in cases that were sold as outfits. Generally the value of the bows in in the $75-125 range. The letters stamped on it are probably just marks to keep the frog and stick matched as the maker would have been working on about a dozen bows at one time. the underside of the frog and an area under the grip area should have the same markings. If you have a grip, it won't be visible. Usually these marking are Roman Numerals.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.