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Violin/Inherited old violin from grandfather who was from germany


We have a violin,bow,case.Inside grandpa wrote with pen.1901-1902.On bottom of case reads.otiginal G.S.B.Improved Trademark.None genuine unless impress of this trademark is on bottom case.When looking through old black diamond strings.Folded in a square.Found certificate.States: This is to guarantee that Eduard Reichert tone violin P A348 is strictly handmadeout of the best seasoned material and that the most skillful workmanship has been used in constructing the same-Thisviolin has been tested by competent experts and is warranted to be true and correct in all respects and to have a clear full musical tone throughout the entire scale.There is a red crest seal.G.A PFRETZCHNER mark neukirchen.Sole distributor hand signed G.A.not sure of spelling think nuyiclwey hard to read handwritting.Is in fair condition no cracks or seam seperation .needs cleaned dusty.strings there also extra strings.Bow has mother of pearl on handle.good cond.Is shredded.on wooden part there is a mark XNII.Do not have a light to look inside at label.Can you tell me what you know about it?And what the value might be.Thanks for your time.Any info would be greatfully appreciated

Hi Jackie

The case was made by the GSB company from Charlestown, New Hampshire and they date from the late 1800's to early 1900's. George S. Bond (GSB), was a case manufacturer, he was born in that town. In 1880 he bought an existing violin case factory in Charlestown.  The factory is said to have been the best equipped establishment of its kind in the world at that time, having a capacity of twenty-four dozen violin cases per day. Mr. Bond had dealings with some of the largest firms in the country. The case doesn't have any real value, they are very common and since they don't offer the kind of protection of today's cases, they are not sought after.

The violin by Eduard Reichert is a trade instrument , no one by that name actually made it.  It was exported by G. A. Pfretzschner, a large exporter of violins and bows. G A Pfretzschner was actually a fine bow maker, but his bows were stamped with his name. Reichert instruments have auctioned in the $500-1200 range and retail up to about $2500.  Without an in person evaluation there is no way to say if it is worth $100 or $2500 as wood selection, workmanship, condition and sound all factor into the value.

As for the bow, the marking is just the way the maker marked which bow went with which frog, the same marking will be on the underside of the frog. Generally a bow maker will make anywhere from 6-24 bows at a time and use these markings to keep track. So without some makers name, its value could be just about anything.  Sometimes, the bow can be worth more than the instrument, so it is important to have it looked at.

I would recommend that you take it to a violin shop where everything can be looked at in person.


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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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