George Craske ViolinInstruments: A dealer has offered me a George Craske Violin. I would like to know the current price range that his violins attract. How would I go about finding this? Ian
From Ian Williams
From Scott ColeIan,
Posted on August 11, 2008 at 12:31 AM
I used to own a Craske. When I go back and listen to recital tapes, I realize I should have kept it. Oh well.
Anyway, I did see one or two recently advertised and I believe they went for maybe $15-16?
From Bob AnnisI reviewed a list of auction prices for this maker. His violins sell at auction in the 3-9000 range; there was one retail sale listed for 12K. Average price seemed to be around 5K.
Posted on August 11, 2008 at 01:30 AM
Interestingly enough, while a half-dozen of his instruments have come up for auction since 1999, not one of them has sold. (At least on the list I saw).
From Jim W. Miller5 seems really low for any name that well-known.
Posted on August 11, 2008 at 02:01 AM
From Bob AnnisMaybe a bit low, but remember that these prices date from pre-2000. And of course auction prices (back then, anyway) were pretty much wholesale.
Posted on August 11, 2008 at 02:45 AM
But the fact that a half dozen violins since then failed to make their reserve might indicate that the Craske market is rather soft this century.
From Ian WilliamsOk, well this UK dealer is asking £10,000. So this seems like it may be more than the market value.
Posted on August 11, 2008 at 07:24 AM
I think perhaps I need to take it to a third party valuer.
From Jeffrey HolmesBob A. wrote: "Interestingly enough, while a half-dozen of his instruments have come up for auction since 1999, not one of them has sold. (At least on the list I saw)."
Posted on August 11, 2008 at 02:04 PM
The auction sales list I just reviewed listed about 24 sales since 2000... maybe you have a more limited list?
Anyway, there are a few interesting points to keep in mind about Craske. He was a recluse, a VERY prolific maker (made around 3,000), and his output varied... as did the models he produced. In addition, the Hill workshop purchased the remaining unsold and partially completed instruments upon his death. Many of those I see have Hill scrolls, evidence of other work from the shop, and/or Hill/Craske labels (which often bear a "grading" code). Also, most of the Craske instruments I see at auction require a good deal of TLC (and the cost of restoration work adds up quickly)... which performed correctly, on a good example, can add value well over the sales room hammer price "as is".
Yes, it's a good idea to get an independent valuation if you're not familiar with the market of a specific maker's instruments. Nice to know you're paying the right price in the end.
From Ian WilliamsThe instrument has plenty of marks to indicate the age, but is generally in sound condition. This instrument has a Hill label inside, but no grading. How can I tell if this is a Hill scroll or a Craske scroll?
Posted on August 11, 2008 at 06:16 PM
From Jeffrey HolmesI'd say you should rely on the independent for that information. If your third party appraiser knows Craske's work, they'll have an opinion.
Posted on August 11, 2008 at 08:23 PM
From andrew weinsteinSome of the Hill labeled ones say special quality, and generally those have the Hill scrolls, which is rather confusing for value. There is also a wide range of sizes he made, more than half being over 360 mm, and this affects value as well.
Posted on August 12, 2008 at 12:55 PM
Violinist.com Editor Laurie Niles went to Austin, Texas to cover the Menuhin Competition 2014, watching some of the world's top young violinists. Read her ongoing coverage.
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!