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Anybody know about Georges Chanot 19th century violins?

Instruments: I went to Bein & Fushi in Chicago the other day... Played on this violin made by Georges Chanot a Paris.

From Chris Chonly
Posted April 3, 2005 at 11:53 PM

I went to Bein & Fushi in Chicago the other day... Played on this violin made by Georges Chanot a Paris. The retail price they called was $23,000.
I was looking forward to purchase an Old italian instrument if possible, but for the price i thought the sound was more reasonable than how much they price the old italian violins' sound of about the same sound quality.
So i'm just wondering... Anybody know something about that Georges Chanot maker? How much are those violins' current market value if in near perfect condition? And if i don't have enough budget to own a really fine old italian, is it better off looking for an old French?

Thanks a lot!

From D Kurganov
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 01:27 AM
well..."old italian" is generaly garbage if its under 250,000 or so. So you'll definitely find something better sounding thats younger, unless you want to dish out half a million bucks.
From Enosh Kofler
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 03:32 AM
Yeah, it's alot safer to go with French. Many "old Italian" violins have alot of sicknesses and only get good at very high prices.
From Geoff Herd
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 04:03 AM
interesting haha you can get a testore for under 250,000 or a gagliano and many other fine makers, i wouldnt necessarily consider them garbage haha ;)
From Aimee Biasiello
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 04:16 AM
it's definitely true that old italian instruments tend to be more expensive, but there are a tremendous number of great, old, italian violins for reasonable prices. Not the case with Bein & Fushi, however. On the flip side, italian instruments also appreciate much more quickly. As far as an investment is concerned, though, you may want to consider how well/quickly Chanot's violins appreciate, since it probably will not be the last/best/most expensive violin you ever own.
From Nick Bleisch
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 04:10 AM
If you like the sound, buy it! It is true that Italian instruments (not Stradivarius Guarnerius or Amati) are overpriced but I wouldn't think that they're garbage!
I am trying out one right now for $18,000 which is at least worth $12,000 and is therefore not garbage.

But I would think that better to get a very good german or french violin that you can rely on in terms of sound and durability than to get italian violin for the same money if you don't like the sound just because it's italian

From Enosh Kofler
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 05:03 AM
Yeah, if you find a French violin and an Italian violin that are both equally good, the Italian is gauranteed to be more expensive.
From Christian Vachon
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 07:29 AM

What everybody said is good. The price range for a Chanot is around 20,000$ at this point. I could it being a little more if it's a great one.

In terms of instruments, I disagree with everyone. Go for sound. Unless you have tons of money (i.e. 250,000 or more to make an investment purchase), best to buy a good sounding instrument and save the rest and buy a house.

It is true that a French instrument will not gain as much value as an Italian one, but in the end, sound is all that matters in a concert hall. I do understand about all the old and modern Italian junk you are refering to. There is a lot of crappy instruments between 35,000 and 100,000 that are worth that only because they have an Italian name.

Besides, at that price, you can always invest in something else if you want to later.


From Christian Vachon
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 07:52 AM

Actually, just out of curiosity, can you describe the instrument's appearance? I recently saw an immaculate Chanot on Ebay, and, well... hmmm.


From Michael Avagliano
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 02:57 PM
I'm assuming that the Chanot you were seeing was Georges II, because Chanot I usually sells for a good deal more than $23,000...

The problem that never seems solvable for musicians is the separation of price and sound. The price of an instrument has almost nothing to do with its sound quality -- it has to do with the maker's origins, his importance, and his quality of craftsmanship. Sound quality is a part of all three of those, but because it's subjective, it's meaningless in terms of market value.

This isn't to say that anything with an Italian name is overpriced. The Turin makers, for instance, have grown to prominence for a reason -- because they made some high-quality instruments. Same with Vuillaume, and with some of the other modern Italian makers. In Vuillaume's case, there are several hundred instruments by him that represent the best of 19th century making in any country.

The problem is that there are over 3000 Vuillaumes, many of which are rather run-of-the-mill. The same holds true for other makers -- not all of their instruments sound at that same high level. But the maker's historical importance and craftsmanship are well established, and that is what determines the price.

The same situation exists today. I know from personal experience that some of Sam Zygmuntovich's violins are much better than others. It's inevitable that there will be variation in a maker's output. But should this mean that Sam's instruments will be labeled "garbage" in the future because he had some bad days? Another example is Sergio Peresson. He had good years and bad years, especially late in his life. But he made instruments (especially in the 1960's and 70's) that rank with the best the 20th century has to offer, and they're very affordable. Should his instruments be considered overpriced as well?

From D Kurganov
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 04:01 PM
violin is a tool, get one that does the job
From D Kurganov
Posted on April 4, 2005 at 04:03 PM
id go with a modern italian if you want to stick to italian - anything past 1870 or so is generally affordable and is first class. ya have to realize that in 200 years todays makers will be the strads
From Gennady Filimonov
Posted on April 5, 2005 at 03:46 PM
Thank you Michael Avagliano for such an excellent explanation.
Chris, if you are interested to know more about the Chanot family, try the 1st volume of Sylvette Milliot's book "Les Luthiers Parisiens aux XIX et XX siecles,
Tom 1 La famille Chanot-Chardon (English trans. Parisian Violin Makers of the 19th & 20th centuries Vol.1 The Chanot-Chardon Family).
This is the definitive book on the subject of Chanot.
Ms. Milliot's current volume 3 is focused on J.B. Vuillaume, it is the definitive iconography on the master maker of Paris J.B. Vuillaume. Incidentally, she features my Ex-Garcin J.B. Vuillaume which has its complete provenance (from the time it was made), something almost impossible to find in an old instrument.
From David Gillham
Posted on September 24, 2007 at 04:49 AM
I'd put a great Georges Chanot Guarneri model up against any Vuillaume, or for that matter, most stuff out there up to twice the price.
I think the current retail price for a good Chanot is around 75-85k, less for the Strad models....
From Thomas Kirk
Posted on March 13, 2013 at 05:04 PM
I had a chanot several years back and had it appraised at $15000. A friend of mine played it in the Saskatoon symphony and loved it. It eventually got stolen....darn.
From Gene Wie
Posted on March 13, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Make sure it's actually what they say it is, and get a couple opinions from experienced violin makers who have seen lots of the instruments.

I've seen a couple colleagues burned on investing in antiques that eventually turned out to not be what even their certificates claimed them to be.

From Seraphim Protos
Posted on March 13, 2013 at 08:18 PM
You could go bargain style:

Georges Chanot

It won't play like a $25,000 violin, but it costs only 1% of that price

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