Violin/spelling on my strad


My violin has a =u=and a =v= together in the word stradiuvarius.I have been told its very old and well built.Any info on the spelling would be great.

Hi Mike
I think I answered your question the other day on Yahoo Answers. Stradivari never spelled it that way.  For most of his life instead of a "v" he used an "u". After 1700, he switched to the Roman V. Spelled like yours was a mistake by the company that manufactured your violin. The other thing is that you should not go strictly by the label since more instruments have false or misleading labels than correct ones. The true story of a violin comes from the instrument and not the label. I would take the instrument in to have it examined in person at a violin shop. That's the only way you'll get a real take on your violin.

UPDATE: Mike, I saw you had posted a similar question in the question pool section so I didn't answer it but wanted to give you some additional information.  I'll leave the other question posted and let one of the others give you any additional info if they have any. Yours was also most likely made in Bohemia and that just means that is was made in the regions of Czechoslovakia and Germany where they border one another. The regions include the violin making towns of Schonbach, Markneukirchen, and Klingenthal. Because of the way instruments crossed the border during the heyday from 1880-1930 it may never be known exactly which country it was made in and it really doesn't matter much.  As I stated before, it is almost certainly a trade violin, and yes it was probably made by hand, but not by an individual maker that could ever be named.  Also, as I stated before, the best way is to have it examined in person, no one here is going to be able to truly evaluate your violin from a description or even from a few pictures. The best you might get is a small window for a construction date and a country of origin if there are enough of the appropriate markers to signify the region under the eye of an experienced appraiser.

As far as the decoration goes, that is certainly not specifically attributed to instruments that are labeled with the "uv" spelling, instruments with pearl inlay made in that time period are very common and labeled with many different makers names.

You may want to read the following pages on my website to more fully explain all this region and trade instrument stuff.

Hopefully you'll get some additional information from one of the others on the site.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

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.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]