Violin/Violin and Bow Value



Dear James,
I have in, my possession, what I believe is a Giuseppe Guarnerius fecet Cremona 16?? JHS Violin, or so the label states.
There is another label inside that says it was repaired by John Justus Hull (no date).
I also have the bow with E Santory A Paris stamped on it, along with the original violin case.
I can trace this instrument back in my family 150 years and I remember my grandfather playing it.
I have done research on the violin and all the measurements are correct.
I have attached photos, sorry, they are the best my webcam can do.I have more pictures, but I can only attach 2 at a time. Can you tell me if there is any value here?

Hi Clarence,

Thank you for your question.  I'm very sorry to have to tell you that this is not a Guarneri.  Labels of the type you describe are extremely common and do not indicate the maker, but rather the instrument that it was patterned after.  This would be a factory instrument, such as were commonly available through catalogs, imported to the U.S. from Europe.  Now, that doesn't mean that your instrument is without value.  some factory instruments with similar labels sell for as much as a few thousand dollars at auction.  Though, from the photos you provided, I doubt that this one will fetch that much.

The bow also is unlikely to be a genuine Eugene Sartory, although it would be worth getting it appraised.  In any event, it is probably worth more than the violin.  

I'd recommend making an appointment with a reputable violin shop.  You may need to take it to a major city to get someone skilled in appraising older instruments.  Your general local music store is not the place to go.  You want a violin maker, with knowledge and experience with antique violins.

At the very least, you have a nice family heirloom.  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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