Violin/Eugen Meinel


A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to purchase an Eugen Meinel Violin.  It has been verified as authentic.  There is however no date filled in on the label as is usually the case.  There is an European style "7" written under the trble "ff' hole.  Any notion as to its significance?

Meinel Label
Meinel Label  
Hi Robert
Eugen Meinel violins can be very nice and all the authentic ones I have seen (at least a dozen), had dates, they also had both the label and the name branded into the wood. As far as the word "authentic" goes, that is a little confusing since the name is made up, they were actually made for the Roth firm as a different model from the namesake instruments of Ernst Heinrich Roth and were sold through the Lewis firm. The reason for the different names was that Roth granted one company exclusive distribution rights for Roth instruments in the United States. Then if Roth wanted to sell more instruments through another distributor it would have to be under a different name. They had a number of these "shop names". Even the style of the label and brand in the Meinel's is the same as the Roth's, except for the name of course. The quality is similar to the Roth's but because they are not as well known, they are not worth as much as the Roth's. Even so, they can be worth in the $2500-8000 range depending on the model, wood selection and condition.

I don't know why yours does not have a date. The date was on the label which was below the brand. The model that the instrument was copied after, such as "Stradivarius 1725" was also on the label. The brand was 2 curves forming an oval with the name on top and the city below. As far as the "7" goes, I am not sure if you mean under the "f" inside the instrument or on the varnish. If it is inside the instrument it could be a stock number from a seller, although I would think it would have more numerals than 1. From my records and from the early catalogs, there were only 4 models of the Meinel model.  If the "7" is in the varnish than that is simple graffiti. The only other thing that I can think of, but it would normally have been removed in the final process of making, the workers would make a number of instruments at the same time, the parts would all be numbered to keep them properly organized since the parts would be worked on by a number of different makers working on the same instrument.

I have included an image of a Eugen Meinel label from my archives

I know you only asked about the marking "7" on the instrument, but for others researching the Meinel instruments and in case you didn't already know, I included the information about the origins of the Meinel name.


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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.

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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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