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Violin/Violinmaker Andrea Vettrini


My grandmother's violin has the markings inside of Andrea Vettrini Feiit Brescia 1763. I was wondering about this maker and the approximate value of such a fine old instrument. I am looking at having it appraised by a well known auction house as I don't play violin and I feel that an instrument needs to be played. Also the bow is by Saunders Brothers Toledo,Oh. build in 1750.  

My grandmother was going to study in Vienna, however, the sinking of the Luisitania and the start of World War I ended her dream.

Thank you,


Hi Pamela
I have searched all of my reference books and violin maker databases and I find no record of an Andrea Vettrini.  There was an Antonio Vettrini but that was a trade instrument from around 1900. There was a Vettrini family of violin makers in Brescia, but none of them were named Andrea. There was also an Andrea Verini but he didn't work in Brescia and an Andreas Verini but that was also a trade name. It was a common practice to take an Italian last name of a known maker and add a different first name.  So you can see it is fairly confusing and labels are easily inserted in instruments. There are more violins with fake or fictitious labels than with real ones.

The Saunders Bros. in Ohio (Alton C. & Eugene D.), worked circa. 1895-1930, not in the 1700's and they were primarily sellers of instruments and bows, so a Saunders Bros. bow would most likely have been a bow that they sold, although they did make a very few instruments and bows. This could be of any number of qualities. Without seeing the items in person I couldn't get you any more information.  

I think it is wise that you do follow up at an auction house or a violin shops that can look at them in person. I hope that it turns out to be an authentic instrument from a maker that I have no record of.


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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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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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