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Violin/Strad copy 1721 france JTL

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QUESTION: I have a Strad violin copy 1721 France, Initials on the label below a Harp like symbol say JTL. Its in fair condition I would say. The bridge has a stamp on it that says Aubert with a star like symbol above it. I received this violin from a bandmate of my dads when I was like 5 years old. wondering if its worth anything?

ANSWER: Hi Jennifer

JTL - Jerome Thibouville Lamy, was a huge firm in France that produced hundreds of thousands of violins in many different models, mostly between 1870-1930, the age of your violin fits in this range, (They peaked at an annual production of over 150,000 instruments). Here is a partial list of the models - http://www.jtlamy.co.uk/catalogue.htm  The Lyre symbol, also on this page, with the JTL initials was typical for them, but not on all of their instruments.  They had dozens of different models from the very, very cheap, to some that were very decent.  I really can't tell which model yours is, but it looks to be on the lower end of the range and also in need of lots of repair work, at least cosmetically, which is what I can see.  I suspect that the repairs may cost close to the value that could be reached once repaired.  Some of these instruments can still have a nice sound and I would still recommend you take it to be seen at a violin shop where both the quality and the cost of repairs can be evaluated in person. The stamp on the bridge is useless as bridges are often changes as often as tires on a car.

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QUESTION: Mr. Lashof,
Thank you for quick response! I noticed that the other labels ive seen online are different than mine. And I have 2 differntlabels. first one says Copie de Antonious Stradiuarius Cremonenfis faciebat Anno 1721 with the circle symbol w the AS in it and a cross and then another symbol stamp that says trademark harp with violin on it that says deposee underneath, other label says Made in france with the harp symbol by itself and the initials JTL underneath.

Ive managed to get a couple of pictures of the label, if you wouldn't mind taking a look. Apologies if I get the same response. feel a need for a double check, tahnk you for your time!

Answer
There are a number of different JTL logos and some don't even have the harp or even say they are from JTL. The Made in France dates the violin to post 1921, the deposee really just means "made by", so that doesn't help although it was mostly only used on a few of the lower models.

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David Lashof

Expertise

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.)

Experience

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.

Organizations
Violin Society of America (VSA). American String Teachers Association (ASTA)

Education/Credentials
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.

Past/Present Clients
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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