This is a tough one, and I really could use some opinions.
I must make a decision very quickly on a violin. I cannot play it, but I have been sent a short recording of it. (No, it's not on Ebay) The recording pretty much knocked me out, but I am worried about re-sale value. I know that may sound silly, but my ear is still developing and I may think differently of this sound in a year.
This violin is one of many that John Silakowski purchased and re-graded. John is very famous for his 5-string fiddles (for country & bluegrass) and has a 5 year waiting list for his own works. This violin is being sold by his close friend, who has sold many of these in the past. I have done a Google search, and people seem to rave about even the re-graded ones. This violin was NOT for sale, but I turned down two other offerings from this same seller. He finally offered this one, which he did not intend to sell, but at $3,000.
The seller (who I also checked on & who has an excellent reputation himself) says that John told him about this particular beast when he first found it, and that it is the finest of the 60 or so John ever worked on. John will give me a signed certificate that says so.
BUT HERE'S THE RUB:
This violin is a non-labelled German fiddle made in 1894 (I am told this date is etched underneath the fingerboard. Since john typically looked for heavy violins in the Guarneri style, this is likely "just' a German trade fiddle. (but a fluke, I guess.)
If I love it, I may never sell it, but still .... I have seen "ordinary" Silakowski re-graded violins go for $1200 - $1500 on Ebay.
1: Sound aside, do you think it's a wise investment? (I'm not rich enough to just buy it on a lark)
2: It currently has no label. I will have the Silakowski certificate. I can have a "regraded by John Silakowski" label installed before it is shipped. Would you have this done or not?
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