Violin/Eugene Meinel label


I have been looking at a Eugene Meinel labeled violin, but the label appears to be block lettering, and the other ones I have seen are in script.  Do you know if this means it is not authentic?  Even if it is a copy, would it be worth more than 1000 dollars or so?  It was not claimed to be authentic, but even a good German copy would be fine for me.  I am looking for a good quality violin for my son.  We live far up in the mountains of NC and there is NO place to get one appraised, even if I could get my hands on it before buying.  Thank you for any assistance/advice!

Seriel brand
Seriel brand  

Serial number
Serial number  
Hi Amy

I have never seen one that didn't have the Script text.  As Eugen Meinel (there should not be an extra "e" at the end) was a trade name of the E. H. Roth firm, and they have reached some reasonably high prices, much counterfeiting has been done. The Eugen trade name was used by Roth to sell additional instruments outside of their contracts with dealers that were purchasing the Roth named instruments. As far as I know, there are none that don't have the branded Serial number almost always above the label. (see attached photo) With this number, it can be verified through the E. H. Roth firm in Germany the actual build date of the instrument. At the very minimum, you should share quality photos of the instrument and label if you want a better sense of it's origins. As labels are easily replaced, only the instrument itself can speak to it's authenticity. A real E. Meinel could be worth as much as $7500 depending on workmanship, wood selection, condition and sound.

If it turns out to not be a counterfeit, it is impossible to give a value as it could be anything from a real piece of junk to something worth even more than a E. Meinel.  I have seen Roth's that had labels removed and had other labels inserted since the firm selling them didn't have permission to sell new Roth's. So it's all about if it can be proven that it was made at the Roth firm and that would be based on the serial number brand. The other thing is what model instrument it is. They are always copied after a great Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati or Ruggieri, so that information should also be supplied, another reason to get pictures of the label as well as the instrument.

Edit: I forgot to include the serial number brand, so I have attached it this reply


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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.

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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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