Who made this Violin? Valuable?

February 23, 2018, 3:14 PM · I currently have a student with an aged violin that I have taken interest in it's history. I checked out the Label and the following is what's on it:

W. Sandner
Music Instrumenten - Verfertigen
Ecke Der Unger und Zuckerrgasse
PEST 1847 (this date looks hand written)


The violin has had many repairs done, as well as obvious signs of aging. as an example, The underside of the scroll has been worn, almost flat, as if place on a surface many, many times. It has other common repairs as well, such as a couple cracks (small, 2-3 inches) up the face starting in the lower bouts. The ribs on both the upper and lower bouts have had some holes repaired as well. The student stated that her grandma played on it when she was young and is now giving it to her.

In short, from my amateur eye, it looks like an instrument that may actually be pretty old. I know this does not make it automatically valuable. I am just curious if anyone knows anything about this violin maker. Simple internet searches have come up fruitless.

Replies (10)

February 23, 2018, 4:58 PM · useful photos:
1. front
2. back
3. sides (ribs)
4. focus on peg-box and scroll (all angles)
5. focus on f-holes

Labels are often fake.

February 23, 2018, 7:19 PM · Agree little can be said unless you show some good quality photos of the instrument.

In this case the label may well be original; but all it says is that this violin came through the music store of Mr Sandner who had his business at the corner of 2 little streets in Pest which is the eastern part of today's Budapest, Hungary. Date is 1874.
Mr Sandner may have bought the instrument from a wholesaler in a place like MarkNeukirchen.

Edited: February 27, 2018, 5:19 AM · To save others wasting time, there is nothing but pictures of the label there.

When you watch an experienced violin expert, often they do not even look at the label before telling you their opnion.

Violin labels are a good subject for a rant. People in the trade are so used to fake labels that they don't turn a hair, and yet consumers should be able to trust them, and people like Mr Clark, who started this thread, may be forgiven for the mistake of attaching some value to the label. The fiddle business is so rotten that you may even find on Ebay instruments bearing the labels of relatively un-famous and relatively inexpensive living makers who can tell you by return of email that the instrument is a cheaper factory instrument bearing a false label, as one did when I enquired about a fiddle I'd seen on Gumtree small ads. Things were already as bad before the likely date of the instrument which started this thread.

Edited: February 27, 2018, 3:03 PM · The nearly identical label is "quoted" in the Henley "Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers" except the "maker's" initial is V (for Venzeslaus) and the date shown is 1878 (which is 5 years after Buda and Pest joined to become one city divided by a river).

The name Sandner has also been that of a German family of violin makers at Schonbach since 1740. One of my cellos was made and signed by Carl Sandner (around 1960. I purchased this new cello from "Studio City Music" (the predecessor of "Bennings" in North Hollywood - Los Angeles, California) in 1964.

Information Henley's book indicates, but does not state, a familial relationship between the Budapest and Schonbach Sandners.

February 27, 2018, 8:18 AM · If you want your own fake labels, you can find them here. https://www.ebay.com/itm/V123-Old-Vintage-Antique-Violin-Fiddle-Maker-Set-of-22-Labels-NICE/162022826555?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CASSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150817211709%26meid%3D16ddff852c8e4c9ea19af02f637213a2%26pid%3D100506%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26%26itm%3D162022826555&_trksid=p2045573.c100506.m3226

I see that 90 sets have been sold, but there are still 5 left!

February 27, 2018, 9:16 AM · That was a fun browse. A fake label for every occasion!
February 27, 2018, 2:35 PM · Do fake Strad labels sound better?
February 27, 2018, 2:51 PM · Mine doesn't.
Edited: February 27, 2018, 11:16 PM · Assuming the label is genuine, and the violin is in very good shape, then it might be worth $2000 probably not much more, just guessing, though. Maybe that gives you a rough idea. At this low price point, the value or saleability has a lot to do with how good it sounds.
February 28, 2018, 9:04 AM · Thank you all for your input. I'm getting some photos of the instrument soon. I don't see it every day, but I'll get them in as soon as possible.

I had heard of counterfeit labels being used but haven't really read into it yet. I can't believe there are actual 'vintage' labels you can purchase. Unbelievable. My initial interest was the name, but now I see there is much more to it. The sound itself probably doesn't warrant more than $1,000. My wife plays on both a $5k and $3k violin and it doesn't sound as valuable.

Thank you Andrew Victor and Hendrik Hak for your input on what the labels could mean. Since it isn't my violin, I can't take it from the student and go get an appraisal. I'll try to get photos of different parts of it. This was more of just a curiousity, as I enjoy learning about violin makers or the history of the trade back in the 18th and 19th century.

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