I have a violin that has a label inside it with Gafparo da Salo , In Brefeia. 1840 is there any value to this instrument or is a fake.

Hi Bradley,

Thanks for your question.  Your instrument is a factory-made violin, intended for import to the U.S. or elsewhere via catalogs or distribution through dealers and other merchants.  Such instruments are commonly given such labels, partly as an indication of the violin that they are patterned after, partly just to look attractive to uninformed buyers.  However, there is not really an attempt to deceive here.  This is simply the tradition for labels in violins of this sort.  If they really wanted it to look like a genuine Gasparo da Salo', they would certainly have printed a date consistent with this maker's life.  (He died in 1609.) I'd guess that the date printed on the label is the date the violin was made, though there's no guarantee of that.

Many such instruments are quite nice, particularly if they have been around for a while.  But, the only way to get a proper value for the instrument would be to take it in person to a reputable violin shop for a proper appraisal.

So, in short: No, it's not a da Salo.  But, it could be worth getting appraised.  

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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