Could this tailpiece crack be a deal breaker? I really want to buy this violin...
After trying out 43 violins and working under a very strict budget I finally found the violin of my dreams. It is a German Herman Siedal and approx. 115 years old and I fell in love from the first note. It has a beautiful mellow tone, wonderful projection and suits me perfectly.
But when looking it over tonight after getting it home I found what looks to be a crack in the top running parallel under the tailpiece. I say looks because there is some missing original varnish and shallow nicks in areas on the top around the sound post, bridge and tailpiece and it might be just be more of the same. But if not then I’m assuming that it’s a crack. I don’t know anything about old instruments and I want to know if this kind of crack is a common repair or one to be concerned about. I’m going to take it back into the violin shop tomorrow and ask the luthier about it but I wanted to hear outside opinions on whether the crack should seriously influence my decision to buy the violin. The crack appears to be about 3 inches long and seems to originate on the top aligned directly up from the button but I see no sign of a crack on the edge or running down the side at the point of the button. It appears to be very smooth with no sign of rough edges. My concern is that my violin anatomy is a mite lacking and I don’t know if this crack would be considered too close to the bass bar, sound post or something else critically important.
I really want this instrument but I also don’t want a ticking time bomb or something that I’m going to end up putting more money into it than I paid for it. Any advice is much appreciated!
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