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Violin/Nicolaus Amates Cremonen Hieromymi 1677


Inside label 1
Inside label 1  

Inside label 2
Inside label 2  
Hi David,

I'm writing to inquire about the value of my violin.  I have attached two images of the label inside and have some more I could send if you'd like.  My Grandfather bought it for me 30 years ago and I am curious as to what it is now worth.

Many thanks for your knowledge and advice


Nicolo Amati II Label
Nicolo Amati II Label  
Hi Jane

I really can't tell much from the label. Good reproduction labels are easily inserted, were readily available and extremely often done so. (This is the most common label used down to the date,  as it was printed in many books, being the final year of his work). I have attached the same label from one of the reference books.   I can tell however from the "f" holes that this is almost certainly not a real Nicolo Amati violin, as the outline is very wrong for his work and is over exaggerated as is typical for the copies that were made. I would need to see more pictures of the instrument itself, but I suspect that it is one of the hundreds of thousands of trade violins made on the design of Amati between 1880-1920.  Some of these can still be very nice and depending on the wood selection, workmanship, condition and sound, it could be worth up to about $2500.

The only way to know for sure is to have it evaluated in person at a violin shop where they can look closely at the entire instrument including inside so that an age and quality can be accessed.

If you choose to send me more pictures, you can send them to me directly at that way more than two can be submitted. They should be of sufficient quality so that I can enlarge them substantially without them getting blurry and they need to be taken straight on, not at an angle.  A closeup view of the top and back as well as the front and side of the scroll will be useful.

For some reason the label isn't going through, but it is identical to yours.  


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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.

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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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