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Violin/Jacobus Stainer Violin?

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Question
Hi. Im not a musician at all. My father left me a violin that inside is written: "Jacobus Stainer, Made in Czecho=Slowakia".
It is very well conserved (nobody have played it in 80 years).
Is that a copy? How much can I ask for it, to sell it?
Which one is the best place to offer it?
Thanks in advance for your help.

Answer
Hi Sergio,

Thanks for your question.  Yes, the violin you have purports to be a copy of a Stainer violin. (It's not a Stainer original.) Many such factory-made instruments have been imported to the U.S., some of good quality, others not.  As to it being a copy, the manufacturer may have copied from a Stainer violin pattern, or they may have just used the name as a selling point.  Either way, to get an accurate appraisal of its value, you'll want to take it in person to a good string shop.  Most factory instruments of this type fetch under $1,000.  Many are not worth fixing at all.  But, some do fetch as much as $4,000 to $5,000.  Much will depend on the original quality of its materials and construction.  The current condition will also play a role in the value.  I'm sorry that I can't tell you more without looking at it.  Note that you'll also want to have the bow appraised, if it is still with the violin.  The bow could easily be worth more than the instrument.

As for selling it, assuming that the value is under $1,000, your best bet would be to find a string shop willing to sell it for you on consignment.  Or, you could try to find a buyer yourself by checking with your local school string programs or putting an ad in the paper or local online trading websites.  For an instrument of greater value, you might consider having it appraised and/or sold by an auction house like Tarisio.

Best of luck with it!
Jim Fisher

Violin

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James S. Fisher

Expertise

Please Note: For an accurate appraisal of your instrument's value or history, I must advise you to take it to a local luthier or string shop for an evaluation. It's really not possible to do this with any accuracy via email.

However, I am happy to answer other questions about violins, bows, violin playing, and violin/bow repair. I can also talk with you about what bows, rosin, strings, cases, shoulder rests, etc. might work best for you and your particular instrument. (There are some great new products on the market.) I've taught violin and fiddle playing for the past 18 years and will answer questions about playing and technique.

Experience

I've been studying the violin for over thirty years. I started teaching in 1996. In addition to my training at Lebanon Valley College and at the Violin Institute, I handle violins, bows, and customer questions of all sorts on a daily basis in my shop - J.S. Fisher Violins, www.fisherviolins.com.

Organizations
NAAM, ASTA

Education/Credentials
I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College, as well as certificates in violin repair, violin maintenance, and bow rehairing from the Violin Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

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