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SG
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05/12/2004
12:27:29
Subject: Age of my violin
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I have a violin which my grandfather purchased when he was young. The writing on the inside says

Giovan paolo Maggini
Brefcia 1695

There is no crossbar on the 'f' in Brefcia.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. It still sound great when played. If anyone can tell me where I could get it appraised I would appreciate it.

SG


Gerry Vandersanden
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22/1/2005
02:28:04
RE: Age of my violin
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I too have the same note inside my violin. Please forward any information you can to me. I have been unable to find information thus far. Thank you.
Gerry Vandersanden


Gordon
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22/1/2005
06:45:35
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi there,

Giovanni Paolo Maggini (born 1580) was the last member of the Brescian School of violin makers, which was wiped out with his death in the Great Plague in 1630. Thus, any violin dated 1695 is not by his hand. In fact, any Maggini label bearing a date will not be genuine, as there are no known examples of dated labels.

The Maggini model is characterised by its rather low arching, and its size, which is a good 3/8 inch longer than the standard 4/4 violin (often as long as 14.5 inches in the corpus) and quite a bit wider in the bouts. Because of this longer length, they can sometimes be a nightmare to set up properly, to get the correct stop length and can be difficult to play (or strange to get used to playing) by those with 'normal' sized hands and fingers.

Many copies exist, and most of them are not true to model, in that although they 'look' like a Maggini, they are made to conform with the standard 14 inch model.

Maggini's violins are characterised by having a double row of purfling round the edges, and often the backs are highly decorated with purfling inlay, sonsisting of 'acorns', trefoils and in the centre a St Andrew's Cross.

Maggini scrolls vary somewhat, with some having the standard 2 turns to the ears, and a couple with only 1.5 turns (these look particularly obtuse). Most copies have either 2 turns, or 3 turns. Here is the story of the 3 turns...

There is a Maggini 'cello with a scroll carved by the sculptor Cellini. It has 3 turns to the volute. There is a story that goes something like when the German factories started copying Magginis, someone translated 'half a turn less' as 'half a turn more' than the standard 2 turns of later times. The 'Cellini' scroll has 3 turns to it, so they made scrolls with 3 turns for the violin copies. Whether this tale is merely apocrophal, I don't know.

Most copies of Magginis would have been made in the various German factories, from c.1880-1900.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Gordon


Nona Belle Norris
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23/6/2005
16:01:08
RE: Age of my violin
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I have an old violin .. it has inside the following:
Giovan Paolo Maggini
Brefcia 1644

I also have the wooden case that appears very Old and hand made.
I would apprecciate help in finding out if it is genuine.



Gordon
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23/6/2005
21:12:32
RE: Age of my violin
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Please read my last message carefully. Maggini died of the plague in c.1630. This being the case, how could he possible make a violin 14 yrs later?

Regards,
Gordon


Kelly Koch
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25/6/2005
10:27:19
RE: Age of my violin
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Re: Copies of Giovanni Paolo Maggini violin after his death.

Where might we find more information regarding the German factories where violins bearing Maggini's name were made? Your site is the first place where we were able to get better insight into Maggini and whether or not he produced the violin we currently own.

Thank you!


Gordon
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25/6/2005
11:13:31
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Kelly,

This isn't my site, it's Graham Welsh's site. I am just a visitor here, hoping to offer the help I can to those with reasonable questions to ask. I try my best but as with us all professionals, there are some holes in my knowledge, so please bear this in mind.

OK, in my opinion, the best Maggini copies made in Germany were manufactured in the works of either Louis Lowenthal or Alfred Moritz. Both manufacturers pretty well portrayed the Maggini modelling, although it must be said that both erred on the side of 'safety' and produced theirs to the standard 4/4 back length of 14 inches, or thereabouts, whilst a true Maggini will have a back length of 14 3/8 to 14 1/2 inches (when measuring back length, do not include the semi-circular button at the top, where the neck root meets the corpus).

Mostly, instruments eminating from German (then Saxony) factories c 1880-1900 are pretty well anonymous, merely with facsimile tickets inside. Alfred Moritz violins are nicely made, as are Louis Lowenthal. Both manufacturers clearly marked their instruments (on the ticket) as being a Moritz or a Lowenthal. Obviously, they were proud enough to trade on their own name, rather than choosing to be anonymous on this point.

Maybe your best plan, if you own a Maggini copy, is to pay a visit to your local library, and check the reference section for books by William Henley (Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers), and Karel Jalovec (German and Austrian Violin Makers, Italian Violin Makers, and the Encyclopaedia of Violin Makers). In these volumes, you will find all you need to know about Maggini, and about the German makers who produced copies of his models.

In respect to your own violin, you should bear in mind that genuine Maggini's are extremely rare, and the chances of your owning one is very slim indeed... so slim, in fact, that I can lay extremely good odds on it being a copy. Maggini was one of the targets for the copyists and fakers, just as were the other great makers. An instrument of 300 years age will, at some point, been in for repair or restoration, and any restorer worth his salt would have picked up on the fact that it was genuine, and would have informed the owner that it ought to be authenticated and certificated. If this was the case, I have no doubt that you will have papers issued by a competent appraisor, stating that it is a genuine Maggini. If you have not, then it will be a copy, I have no doubt about that.

The first thing you should look for in determining authenticity of a violin which could, on the face of it (if genuine) be over 300 years old, is to detatch yourself emotionally from it, and look at it carefully. Is it really 300 years old? What does it look like? Is it in good condition? (probably a bad sign if it is, since a 300 yr old fiddle will look well used and will definitely be showing its age). Also, please bear in mind that if the violin is currently to the modern setup and configuration, it has either been made that way (post mid-1800's) or it has been converted to the modern setup from its original baroque configuration... this conversion would probably have taken place c.1830-1875, more likely later within this time window. Any such conversion will be evident to anyone who knows violins.

Probably the biggest drawback for you (as it is with most owners) will be the acceptance of the fact that it is not so old, and cannot possibly be genuine... but you must look at it as if it belonged to someone else, and take all emotion out of it... start by saying "OK, it's a copy!" and then prove that it isn't, rather than the other way around, by saying "It's genuine, let's try to show that it is!"

I maintain that the best way of determining originality is to take it to a luthier (a professional one... be wary of those who are nothing short of amateur repair men with no training in the art of lutherie). He/she will tell you in a few seconds whether it is a copy, or whether you have something that is worth further investigation.

Kindest regards,
Gordon


Franny
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27/6/2005
05:40:10
RE: Age of my violin
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I was given a violin that says "Giov.P Maggini Brescia, Fecit-1639". Could you please give me some information on this violin. It is old looking but I can play it and the sound is good


Gordon
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27/6/2005
06:38:48
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Franny,

I have a red car with the badge on the front that says "Ford". That is what you are saying, in effect. You are asking the impossible. For a start, it's a copy - the label doesn't comply with any of Maggini's labels. Other than that, it's impossible to comment, based on the scant information you have given.

Gordon




Mindi
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30/6/2005
07:35:55
RE: Age of my violin
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Gordon,

Thank you for all of the information you have given so far. After reading all of this I realize that my violin is a copy. I'm a little sad about it but I accept it. Is there any possibility that a copy (not neccesarily mine) is still valuable?

Should copies still be taken to luthiers? For those of us that have accepted we have copies, what is the next step to finding information or determining value?

Thanks again.


Gordon
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30/6/2005
10:42:52
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Mindi,

Just because it's a copy doesn't mean that it's a poor copy. Many decent and potentially valuable copies exist out there, and yours may just be one of them... and just because it's a copy doesn't mean that a luthier won't be able to tell you a little about it and its value (as luthiers, if we dealt only with genuine instruments, we'd all soon be out of business, I think).

Good luck, and kind regards,
Gordon


david crabtree
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11/7/2005
18:07:33
GIOVAN PAOLO MAGGINI BREfCIA1605
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(GORDON)I NO I'VE PROBABLY HAVE A COPY BUT IT SEEMS TO HAVE ALL THE CHARACTERISTIC OF AN ORIGINAL.DOUBLE ROW OF PURFLING TOP AND BOTTOM, TWO TURNS ON THE SCROLLS,IT MEASURES ABOUT 14.5" NOT COUNTING BUTTON.I DONT THINK IT LOOKS OLD ENOUGH,THE TOP IS A LITTLE ROUGH TWO CRACKS AND FADED.THE F HOLES OR A LITTLE ODD CUT LOW ON THE EDGES LARGER ON ONE END THAN THE OTHER.THE BACK SIDE IS SHINY WITH GOLD AND (RED MOSTY COVERING THE MIDDLE ITS LIKE THAT ON TOP AN SCROLL TO ,THE WORD BREfCIA 1605 PROBABLY TELLS A LOT,IT LOOKS A F RATHER THAN A S.IT HAS MOTHER OF PEARL INLAYS ON THE TAIL PIECE LOOKS LIKE A PRETTY NICE COPY (PLEASE REPLY IF YOU GET ANYTHING FROM THIS INFORMATION


Gordon
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11/7/2005
23:45:38
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi David,

Mother of pearl on the tailpiece suggests it is a copy from late 1800's-very early 1900's. These were very popular during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. The size is about right to make it an accurate copy (many copies were made sized down to what became the standard 4/4 model).

The lower-case f was in use as a lower case s centuries ago, where it appeared mid-word (there were rules, I think, as to where the f was used, but I don't know exactly what they were... like in i before e except after c). The ticket will be a facsimile of a Maggini original.

Many Maggini copies have a large 'bottom end' but can tend to be a bit thin in the upper register. This is due to the size of the box and the Helmholz resonance of the volume of air inside it. The is more air enclosed inside a Maggini box so its natural resonant frequency is lower, giving more power at these lower frequencies, but at the expense of power higher in the register.

Perhaps if you took it along to a violin maker, dealer, appraisor or collector, you may find out something that it's impossible to tell simply by reading a description of it.

Warmest regards,
Gordon


Else
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26/7/2005
11:09:53
RE: Age of my violin
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I'm accepting the probable fact that my "Giovan paolo Maggini,brescia 1625" is a copy. The "25" is hand-written and the ink seems too dark to be old, but does the fact that that date is before the death of Maggini add any change to thinking that it is indeed a copy?

Thank you for all the information and help.

Else


Gordon
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26/7/2005
11:40:45
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Else,

No, it makes no difference whatsoever. Maggini copies abound... most of them are dated to a year within his lifetime.

Regards,

Gordon


Gledson Castro
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01/8/2005
03:08:58
RE: Age of my violin
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I have a Paolo Maggini violin, but i know this violion is very old and it has a great sound. Many musicians from Campinas Synphonic orchestra have used my violin to play a concert. It has inside Gio Paolo Maggini in Brescia 16... I very glad with my violin. For me this violin no have price.


Brad
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14/8/2005
15:41:06
RE: Age of my violin
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Thank you Gordon for your very informative replys. I recently inherited my great-grandfathers violin. On the inside it says "Copy of GOVAN PAOLO MAGGINI Made in Germany" You have given me alot of insight on the origination of this violin. Although I would never sell it, I would like to know generally what these copies are worth if in very good shape.


Gordon
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14/8/2005
16:43:19
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Brad,

It depends who made it.

Those by who I consider to be the three best 'trade' producers (Lowenthal, Moritz and Wolff Bros) will be worth considerably more than one that is not by these makers.

If you want an appraisal, email graham@theviolinman.co.uk and arrange an appraisal by photographs, via his online store.

Regards,
Gordon


Mindi
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25/8/2005
05:49:17
RE: Age of my violin
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Hello,

I posted awhile back about my Maggini copy. I ended up selling it on ebay. I thought I'd come back and share the results with everyone. This might, or might not, shed some light on the current market value on your violin.

Even though it had been repaired several times in its life the auction ended at $410.


jake
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14/9/2005
09:25:48
RE: Age of my violin
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hello, i have a violin from early 1800 and I cant really make out the maker. Maybe initials L.G. maybe last name rulznav?fulznav? please help me . I appreciate it. sincerely jake



Alejandro
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05/10/2005
07:37:22
RE: Age of my violin
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I have a Maggini violin, Im guessing with its double purfling and beautiful oversized f holes. My question is, did authentic Magginis hav two piece back or one.


Gordon Burns
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05/10/2005
10:46:29
RE: Age of my violin
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Both


james
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06/10/2005
05:15:36
RE: Age of my violin
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My violin teacher owns two nice violins, her viola is a lovely antique maggini copy with gut strings and although it says maggini in the label it is dated 1886 and we believe this to be true, if your instruments are not genuiine do not be put off as they still have gorgeous tone


Tom
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08/10/2005
00:53:36
Jiovan not Giovan
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Gordon,
I've read your responses with great interest; however, could you comment on a maggini copy with Jiovan spelling made in France.
Thanks,
Tom


S Hofmann
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14/10/2005
18:24:37
RE: Age of my violin
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Gordon,
I am so grateful for your help. Today I inherited a Maggini copy (Brefcia 1695). I noticed two other web postings with this same year marked on their violins. Is the year 1695 significant to a particular maker/factory? My violin is almost 14 1/2", double row purfling, deeply arched back, 2 turns on scroll , no decoration on back, 2 piece back, deep tone, large sound holes, and very obviously old (but beautiful!). Another note, the scroll is more compact...thinner if you will, than my other violins. That may mean nothing. It is priceless to me regardless, but wondered if 1695 was relative.


Gordon M Burns
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14/10/2005
22:28:37
RE: Age of my violin
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1) Tom...

The spelling will be a quirk of the French language, no doubt. Personally, I've not come across one with such a spelling, so cannot give you any further information, unfortunately.

2) H Hofman...

Maggini was long dead by 1695 (died in the Great Plague, 1632 [although Henley states 1630]). If the instrument had been made in a notable factory workshop, I have no doubt that reference would have been made to that workshop. This was certainly the case with makers such as Lowenthal, Wolff Bros, Alfred Moritz, Neuner & Hornsteiner, Glaesel & Mossner, etc.

The fact that it's so long in the back tells you that at least it seems to be a faithful copy (most were resized to 14").

My advice? Love your violin!

Warmest regards,
Gordon


Amy
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24/10/2005
09:00:29
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi,
I have a violin that says "imitation of Paolo Magini, manufactured in Dresden", only one g, not two in Magini! I believe it dates to 1885 although the date is not on the label. Any idea who could have manufactured this? It looks similar to other copies from looking at pictures on the internet although mine is unusual in that the sides of the scroll are decorated with small flowers! It also, as mentioned earlier, has a very beautiful tone on the lower notes and a slightly thinner tone high up. Really interested in it now after reading all the opinions on this site!
Thanks
Amy


Lyndon J Taylor
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24/10/2005
11:33:27
RE: Age of my violin
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Sounds like a genuine Louis Lowendal, does it have acapital L surrounded by a wreath on the right side of the label if so it is probaly Lowendall, possibly worth up to $3000USD, sincerely, lyndon J Taylor violinljt@hotmail.com


Amy
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30/10/2005
02:32:10
RE: Age of my violin
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Yes, it has the wreath with the L in it! Thanks for the info, will get researching now!!


Phil Wade
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10/11/2005
00:36:57
RE: Age of my violin
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Sorry for me ignorance in all things to do with violins but i was wondering What would a genuine Maggini be worth .... for instant if it was badly in need of restoration, it had the carved "head" scroll, and an inlayed image on the back and written inside is
Giovan Paolo Maggini
fecit in Brecia 1617



Graham Welsh Owner
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10/11/2005
03:44:31
RE: Age of my violin
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For Jake,
In reply to your query. If you label looks like Vulzar I may know the maker of your violin. First name just looks like a scribble if this is the case and not clear initials.
Come back to me if you want to know more.
Thanks
Graham


Rupert
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13/11/2005
09:57:15
RE: Age of my violin
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hi i have the same question
my violin says:

copie of gio paolo maggini in brescia 1635
made in germany

i suppose its a 1900 violin, its very used, and i need to repair, how much does it worth, if i reapir, does it could sound good??




Clare
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25/11/2005
05:58:22
Any info?
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Hi there,

Just a general enquiry about a violin, I have a 3/4 violin that I am interested in taking to be re-valued soon.
The violin presumably originated in the 1900's and have been told is French made, the only writing I can find on the violin and original case is 'The Pindar school violin suite' then next to it 'B.B & co London'.
A year or so ago a relative of mine took the violin to be valued and was told it was roughly worth around £600/£700. I don't think this was accurate, Iím pretty sure the violin is worth much less than this perhaps as little as £100.
I'm interested to know a little more about this violin, as I can't seem to find any information on the internet as of yet.
Also the bow I have with this violin has mother of pearl in it.
Any information to the origins/value would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. :)





Brad
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11/12/2005
08:45:55
giovan paolo maggini briscia 16
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i have a violen that has a sticker stamped on the inside that says giovan paolo maggini briscia (not brefcia) 16 stamped on it, i was just wondering if that is a sign of being a copy? since all of the other ones i have read about have another couple of numbers occuring after the 16


Gordon M Burns
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11/12/2005
12:22:56
RE: Age of my violin
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Since Maggini didn't seem to date his instruments at all where the Maggini ticket exists (only the ones giving his surname as Megri are dated), and the tickets all definitely spell it Brefcia, then it surely is a sign of it being a later copy.

Regards,
Gordon


honey pot
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11/12/2005
23:24:47
Pindar
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I recently took my grandads violin out of the attic after years of neglect, cleaned it up (it looks great now, a lovely reddish mahoganny colour) and noticed that the name 'PINDAR' appeared along the back of it, inside its case there is a little plaque that says 'PINDAR VIOLIN SUITE LONDON'. Is PINDAR a reputable make?, Could it give me any indication of how old it is?
Answers much appreciated, honey potx




Brad
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13/12/2005
16:01:46
giovan
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i have a violin on ebay and someone should take a look at it and see if it looks like a fake, just type in giovan violin and it will be there, the background of the pic. is a multicolored sheet, thanx


Gordon M Burns
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13/12/2005
19:31:12
RE: Age of my violin
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of course it's a copy (not a fake). It was born around the same time as you grandfather.


Ken
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17/12/2005
10:44:43
I have a viola with a strange sticker inside
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I have just come across a voila from a family member that has passed away. It says "Giovan paolo Magini brefcia 16" on the label and after the 16 there is a 35 in very light ink. It has 3 1/2 scrolls, no decoration on back, 2 piece back, and is in fairly good condition. I have looked at many Maggini viola's and they look very simular. Any thoughts? I cannot find anything on Giovan paolo Magini brefcia anywhere.



Gordon M Burns
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17/12/2005
10:58:11
RE: Age of my violin
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Please be kind enough to read all the messages from the top of this page down to yours. They tell you everything you need to know, like the fact that Maggini died before 1635, that he never dated his instruments labelled Maggini (only those labelled Megri), that he never used 3-turn scrolls on violins and violas (only on one 'cello), and that his name is spelled with TWO G's, not ONE.

The fact it has a 3-turn scroll makes it a German trade instrument. You might have been lucky and had a Lowenthal, but since it is labelled as you say it is, you haven't.

When you say you have 'looked at many Maggini viola's and they look very simular' I take it you mean Maggini copies. I doubt that there are many people living who have looked at MANY genuine Maggini violas.

Your viola is one of the great anonymous ones, designated to be anonymous by the factory in which it was made, and forever to be so.

Regards,
Gordon


Ken
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17/12/2005
14:33:44
RE: Age of my violin
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Gordon

thank you - i didnt think is was a Maggini either - I just didnt see any reference to the label that I had "Giovan paolo Magini brefcia 16" with the rest of the date marked in after the fact. I cannot find that direct label anywhere... Could there be something under that label perhaps?

Thank you
Ken


Gordon M Burns
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17/12/2005
22:58:46
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Ken,

The copier took little care in the spelling, as often happens (either by accident or dcesign). There was no maker called Magini hence your failure to turn up any reference to one.

It's possible there is another ticket under the one you are looking at, and usually, close inspection can often reveal the edges of the ticket below embossed on the ticket above. It is likely, though, that this is the only ticket.

Regards,
Gordon


Chris Del Sordo
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01/1/2006
09:50:30
Info greatly appreciated
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Hi, we have recieved a violin as a Christmas Gift at our family - and after reading the inner label I couldn't find any information about the maker of the violin or the Possible cost - it says:

Reparirt
von
Johann Friderich Ropcke
inftrumentenutacher
in Wismar anno 1854

I take it it's German, but I myself am in 9th Grade and haven't gotten to study German yet so Im not sure.

Once again, any info would be greatly appreciated

Thanks, Chris Del Sordo


Gordon M Burns
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01/1/2006
12:58:24
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Chris,

Although your man was a maker at this time, this ticket appears to be one of his repair tickets, i.e. one placed in the instrument when he had it for repair (Reparirt von = repaired by).

It is possible that this violin is much older and that Ropcke was the one who converted it from a baroque violin to a modern one, by lengthening the neck.

This lengthening would normally (though not always) entail chopping off the peg-box/scroll from the top, and jointing it to a new piece of maple so that a longer neck can be carved from it. Sometimes, though, the neck would be removed and a wooden block (around 1/4 to 3/8 inch or so) glued onto the front face of the neck root, before gluing the 'lengthened' neck back into the neck block.

I think you should get it looked at by a professional, so that you know its value for insurance purposes. You may be surprised at its value if it is pre-1850!

Regards,
Gordon


Kathleen Stevenson
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03/1/2006
22:43:25
RE: Violins
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My uncle has just passed away and I now have the job of clearing out his flat. All his life he collected and played violins and I have now taken possession of 30+ violins and know nothing about them. Could you give me any advice on how I should go about selling these i.e. dealer or auction or other?There are a couple of them showing that they have been made for Stentor Music Co. Ltd., a couple saying they are copies of Maggini's made in Czechoslovakia. Also, many violins which have no label. E R Schmidt & Co, Samual Wren made for B & M London, Ch. C M Bastian - Luthiar Medaille D'or - exposition universelle de 1900 Paris, Made 1909 (it is signed but I cannot make out signature. My favourite violin has a label saying R G W supplied by W Thomson, Wembley. I like this one as it has a carved woman's head on it and mother of pearl inlays. One of the violins has a label showing Nicholas Amadus Cremonen Hieronymi Fil Antonij Nepos Fecit 1679?

There were also 2 violas one showing a label saying Julian Emerey, The Baird Centre (No.201) dated 1985 and the other one having a label saying Baraque specification viola. I wont go into the flutes, picalos or accordian he also had.


Gordon M Burns
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03/1/2006
23:43:11
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Kathleen,

Sounds like you have a job on your hands!

Whilst undoubtedly many of the violins are worth little, there may be one or two worth more.

The Stentors, the W Thomson and the Czech fiddles, you can safely sell through eBay - you're likely to get as much for them there as you would anywhere else. The others you should haul along to an expert who can advise you on how best to dispose of them. The Julian Emery viola especially may be of interest.

Regards,
Gordon


Jacquie Creson
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04/1/2006
10:18:58
RE: Age of my violin
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sorry, on second look it says '1695' now I know by reading the other messages that this is a copy...


Sharon McElroy
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04/1/2006
11:04:51
RE: Age of my violin
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I have been reading this board with much interest. I have a violin I purchased from a pawn shop years ago when I first started taking lessons. A friend who plays, went with me. Although the violin only had two rusted strings, when she played it I fell in love with its sound. I purchased it for $35.

Inside,the following is hand written in black ink: (I copied it EXACTLY as it is written)

Chas. Krawetzke
1935. BRaDNEO
No._ _ _ _ 5

It also has a very old bow with it, no name on the bow. I would like to insure both. Could someone give me an idea how much I should insure them for? Thank you very much!!



P. Fosbery
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09/1/2006
14:45:35
RE: Age of my violin
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Does anyone know the date notation for the authentic violins?

Mine has the year printed as ' 16 27 '
The '27' is printed much larger than the '16'
and the ' 2 ' is faint but cannot be any other number.





JD Sivula
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09/1/2006
18:36:34
RE: Age of my violin
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Hello, Ijust got a new vioin that is very old. The only label is a repaired in 1915, in america. The varnish is red on yellow ground and it looks like wormholes ion peg box. scroll is different from the front the long fingerprint shapes stop insted of going down to the inside of peg box, you can see the carved marks and it looks as if the neck was broken or removed in1915 under the finger board on the top where the neck goes over the violin top this one looks cut and only meets the top without covering it. The 2 piece back is very arched but the front is flat. The F holes are nicey but long and irregular at the ends. the back and front look as if they were seperating and have been repaired long ago. I see what looks like the sides and neck at the base have been glued it must have been a big job in1915. Iwonder age and origin, country any Ideas???? I think maybe 1800 to 1850?? German?? not factory that seems clear. French Tazmanian??? Mars???? Thanks



Benjamin
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21/1/2006
07:42:29
RE: Age of my violin
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Hello Gordon,
I have been reading this message board, and have a question about Maggini copy violins. I am twelve, and we have a violin that is from my great grandmother, who came to the United States around 1913. She was around 18, and had been playing already for a while. Since it is a German violin, I assume it was made in a German factory in the end of the 19th century. It is labled "Giovan Paolo Maggini, Brescia 1624" (the 24 is hand written). It is the normal length of a violin, but is a little narrower. I was wondering if you could tell me how I could find out about the actual maker? The only handwritten word I can find on the violin that seems to be a hint to the maker is on the back of the tailpiece (which has a mother of pearl inlay of a flower), and it is pencil written and looks like "Rosenburg." The original case it was in had a bow that has "Sivori" engraved on the wood above the frog. The bow also has mother of pearl on underside of the frog. Thanks a lot!


Gordon M Burns
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21/1/2006
12:21:48
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Benjamin,

I think you are just about spot on with your violin's age. If there is no other name inside the violin, it will be an anonymous copy (many, many thousands were made in the German factory workshops, mainly for export but many for the home market, i.e. Germany). I am guessing that your great-grandmother is German by birth, so it is likely that her violin originates from late 1800s to 1900. The flowery tailpiece is another clue - they were extremely popular from around 1890 to 1910. The 'Rosenburg' name is likely to have been the seller of the fiddle, not the maker.

The 'Sivori' bow is a German trade bow from anywhere around the turn of the century, and as such, is possibly original to the original 'outfit' when it was bought new.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Kindest regards,
Gordon


Benjamin
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21/1/2006
14:15:49
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi Gordon,
Thanks a lot for the information! It must have been one of the violins exported from Germany, since my great grandmother bought it in Russia, in the Ukraine. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Thanks again!
Benjamin


JAQ
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27/1/2006
07:01:40
RE: Age of my violin
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Hello.
I just recently upgraded my violin to one that is labeled "FRANCE" Giovan Paolo Maggini, Brescia 1597 - does this mean that this copy was made in France? Would you happen to know approximately when this was made, factory or hand-made? I would appreciate any information you have....
Thank you


Gordon M Burns
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27/1/2006
14:46:27
RE: Age of my violin
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FRANCE would suggest it was made in France. The absence of any other indicator as to maker, suggests a factory fiddle, possibly Mirecourt. A French hand made fiddle would definitely tell you who made it (it may even be German... they lied, you know!).

The approximate age can only be determined by examining it in real time, not on this forum.

Regards,
Gordon


Richard
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02/2/2006
03:19:56
RE: Age of my violin
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I inherited what I now know (thanks to this site)is a copy of a Maggini violin. (no date, 2 Labels: Gio Paolo Maggini in Brefcia, Made in France) Should I have this violin worked on or refinished? It is dirty, some of the varnish is worn right away, someone did a hasty repair on the thing that holds the strings up, and there are some tiny cracks where the strings come up from the base of the violin. The violin sounds good but could look a lot better with some attention. If I have to send it out for work should I insure it? for how much? Idon't want to do anything done that will wreck it or de value it. I'd like one of my children to play and have this someday.


Gordon M Burns
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02/2/2006
13:40:17
RE: Age of my violin
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If you take it to a restorer, no doubt he or she will be able to tell you exactly what is needed to bring it to playing condition. It is rare that a restorer will advocate 'refinishing' (I hate this expression... people who spray cars are 'refinishers').

Normally, a restorer will carry insurance to cover instruments in his/her possession whilst being restored, but you should check on this.

Being a factory copy of a Maggini, there is no way on this planet that a restorer could devalue it... only the opposite is possible.

Trust me... I'm a restorer!

Regards,
Gordon


Glen
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05/2/2006
19:50:00
RE: Age of my violin
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I have a violin labeled

Sebastion Rauchine et
wradislavie Anno 1696

does anyone have any information on it

regards Glen




Gordon M Burns
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06/2/2006
03:04:48
RE: Age of my violin
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This is more or less, but not exact enough to be the ticket of Sebastian Rauch (2nd). Besides being off-format, he wasn't born until 1730. His father, Sebastian (1st) wasn't making violins until 1700 and his tickets were not like yours.

Seb. (2nd) tickets should run...

Sebastianus Rauch me fecit
Wratislaviae. 17XX

OR

Sebastianus Rauch
fecit Wratislaviae. 17XX

So, you have a non-standard, pre-dated ticket, which will mean it's in a fake violin.

Regards,
Gordon


Tori
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13/2/2006
09:36:22
RE: Age of my violin
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MY AUNT SAYS MY VIOLIN IS FROM THE LATE 1800'S EARLY 1900'S WERE NOT SURE ON THE INSIDE THERE IS NO DATE BUT IT SAYS JEANNS FLORONOS GNIDANTANS LECIT BONONIAE ARRO OR AT LEAST WE THINK WE CANT REALLY MAKE IT OUT?


Gordon M Burns
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13/2/2006
11:40:55
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What a great pity you chose to shout! I don't reply to impolite people who think that shouting gets them noticed.


Cliff
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18/2/2006
11:27:43
RE: Age of my violin
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I want to thank you for the information posted on this website. My father received a violin from his sister recently. My uncle had played this violin on occassion until his death. It is unknown where or how he obtained the instrument. On the label was Giovan paolo Maggini with a date of 1644 (44 was handwritten.) It is in excellent condition and it has a leather case that is in fair condition. We were told that it was probably a very good copy (after reading this site I now know it is.) We have no idea of its value. Do you think we should have it appraised and/or insured?


Russell
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19/2/2006
01:30:53
RE: Age of my violin
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Hi I have two violins No 1 is a 4/4 violin with the label inside that reads Wolff Bros
Violin Manufacturers class 2 N2944 1899 it is in very good condition I think this one is genuine the other on is a 7/8 and has the label Lutherie Artistique
M COUTURIEUX I am not sure if this on is genuine good quality but not sure of the age thanks for the time RUSSELL



total_mediocrity
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19/2/2006
03:22:57
RE: Age of my violin
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Does anyone hold any information on 'Aubert A Mirecourt' this is written on the bridge of my violin, i'm sure it's probably just a copy but i'd like to find out a little more about this make.

thanks


Gordon M Burns
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19/2/2006
12:11:03
RE: Age of my violin
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Aubert make violin bridges, hence the name on your bridge. It has nothing to do with the maker of the violin.


Bradley
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20/2/2006
08:35:43
RE: Age of my violin
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I purchased this copy on ebay #7390224093 for $395.00 for me,a student violinist.Do you think I got a good instrument? And could you tell me anything about it by looking at the e-bay photo.Thanks!


Gordon M Burns
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20/2/2006
10:17:41
RE: Age of my violin
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I think you made a typo... you actually got it for $295. As such, I don't think you did too badly, provided you don't need any work doing to it. (I question the mentality of anyone who places an instrument under a tree, on the ground! Is he a complete numb-skull?)

It is undoubtedly German, and probably from around 1950s, not 1920s. The description of it playing would have put me off it immediately... 'screaming' and 'the e-string sounded as if a microphone was hooked up to it it was really crisp and loud' are not, in my opinion, good selling points, nor are they desirable traits of a violin.

Still, it's yours now, so you can indulge yourself in the knowledge that you bought a fiddle from an ebay seller who thinks that hornet's nests are a big thing and worth selling on eBay! The mind boggles!

In my opinion, his other violin would have been a better gamble.

Regards,
Gordon


Graham Welsh
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20/2/2006
21:26:45
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PLEASE NOW USE THE NEW FORUM. MESSAGES HERE ARE NO LONGER SEEN BY ME AND THE MAJORITY OF VISITORS. FIND THE NEW BOARD HERE.

It's easy to use just register your details, remembering to add your location please.


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