I have an old violin . Makers name is Nazaire Boivin from New Bedford Mass. U.S.A. would like to get an idea of its worth.
thank you.

Hi Deborah,

Thank you for your question.  I'm afraid I don't know much about the maker.  Claude Boivin was a luthier who worked in Paris (1735-1753), producing instruments of "fair" quality.  In these circumstances, "fair" quality could mean an instrument worth $10,000 or more, today.  But, for Nazaire, I can't find much information.

Nazaire is a French name, as is Boivin.  I'd guess that this maker is a descendant of Claude.  The only listing I see in auction records is for an violin dated 1900, appraised in 2008 at $800 - $1200.  However, it did not look to be in very good condition.

As with any requests for appraisal, I must tell you that it's really not possible to give an accurate value of an instrument without being able to see and touch it.  Without being able to see the quality of craftsmanship or the current condition, all I can really do is tell you what I know of the maker (which in this case isn't much, I'm afraid) and recommend that you make an appointment with a violin shop of good reputation.  For this you will most likely need to travel to a major city.  But, if the label is genuine, and the instrument is in fair condition, I'd certainly think that worth doing in this case.  Find someone who is experienced with valuing older instruments, who might be able to tell you something of the violins's history, and request an appraisal.  If it does turn out to be a good quality instrument, you might consider contacting one of the major auction houses (like Tarisio) to get a second appraisal and/or to arrange a sale.

Best of luck with it!

Jim Fisher


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James S. Fisher


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.


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,


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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