A client of mine showed me a violin that has been in her family for many generations. Both her grandfather and great-grandfather played it. The label on the inside says
Giovanni Paolo Maggini
brescia 1613 (the 13 is written in)
There is a second label, next to this that says Germany.
After searching the internet I see that there were many Maggini copies made in Germany around 1880-1900. So even I can guess this is probably one of these copies. Also, his labels normally did not carry his full name. Another clue this is a copy. But just because it's a copy, does it mean it has no value? Where any of the copies something of value? What would you look for to determine value? It's in excellent condition excepting one spot where the back plate is pulling away from the side. I've never worked on a violin but this doesn't seem like it would be a deal breaker of a repair.
Something else interesting that begs the question - do luthiers typically stick with the same stile scroll and f hole? I found a picture of a Maggini and the scroll on my clients violin is much tighter and has many more turns. Also, the little mark on either side of the f hole are offset on this violin but with the one in the picture the "marks" are across from each other.
The owner will actually be relieved to hear it's a copy and not 400 years old. She has three kids and would be torn what to do in her will if she actually had something of high value. Actually, I would love to have that problem!
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