October 2011

How I got a 90 year old violin for $15

October 28, 2011 19:37

I had went to the Nashville Flea Market on my constant search for some miracle to pair me with an antique playable violin. I already have a violin from Atlantic Violins in Orlando, Fl that is just fine but it's only $120 because my dad didn't want to spend too much money on instruments. Anyways, I go into a building and the, after seeing numerous battered and beaten, dismembered, small sized violins (and even a $50 cello with big holes in it that shouldn't even be there), I see a painted violin. A PAINTED violin. I have to admit that it did make me smile with the cute antique primitives painting of some plants. Fingerboard and the part where the tail piece cord goes over missing, I still was tempted to investigate. Other than being converted into a decoration piece, it seemed very nice. What really intrigued me was the word Paganini stamped where the Maker's label should be. I know Paganini never made any violins, I had to get it. I talked him down to a whole $15 :O We figured it would be cool to try and restore it.

90 year old violin

I was headed to Nashville Violins afterwards to get Carl Flesch's scale system. My dad mentioned the violin for me because I was afraid of insulting their intelligence by bringing in a crappy violin. The man did laugh at the strange way the old strings were tied to the endpin with wire. Other than that, he said it was worth trying to restore. He even estimated it to be 90 years old. That excited me greatly. Now, between violin practices, I'm trying to restore it. My dad doesn't want to go through the trouble of creating a real violin varnish and slap some shellac on it, but i'm trying to convince him it'll be worth our while to actually make the varnish. I was thinking the second link for the recipe. What do you think?

Click here for pictures of the pre and post stripping of the violin

 Click here for the varnish recipe.

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