Poggi Maybe ?

September 16, 2010 at 08:53 PM ·

I've stumbled across someone selling a family heirloom... or so they say.

I'd like to know if it could be legitimate. In a case like this one has to be skeptical.

I have a set of pictures and was wondering if there's anyone available with the expertise to offer an educated guess on whether or not this "might" indeed be a Poggi? Getting a professional evaluation would be difficult because of the location but could be done if there's a fair chance that it is what it appears to be. Notice the E String and the bridge. This instrument doesn't look like it's been polished up for sale or is currently in the hands of someone who cares.

I can make the pictures available on Picasa through this link.


These pictures are of high resolution and will stand up to being enlarged if you download them.

Thanks for any opinions you can offer.


Replies (28)

September 16, 2010 at 10:02 PM ·

I tried your link but it comes up with a cannot find message 'do not have access or don't exist'. It is an very long link to type so make it a URL in your message so that it can be accessed with one click by someone who may have knowledge of the violin. 

An entry that I did find was of a Ansaldo Poggi Violino - 1967-1968 - that was stolen. It is recognizable by a black spot about 2 cm in the back and has written inside 'fatto alleta di 74'. 

I have no idea if it is the same violin that you are talking about.


September 16, 2010 at 10:12 PM ·

Go to http://www.theluthierslibrary.com and you'll find a 1951 Poggi with many detailed photos.

Or look at other examples such as 


Compare the quality of the wood, the varnish, the workmanship etc

Your answer will be fairly obvious .....

September 16, 2010 at 11:47 PM ·

Dion: I've seen the article about the "Stolen" Poggi. This isn't that particular one. I realize that the link is long. I'll see if I can just put a URL here.



regarding the Luthier's Library site... I think you have to pay $40 to access that. I could be wrong. I'll check it again.



September 17, 2010 at 03:00 AM ·

Hi. First and foremost, I'm no expert - I just play one on tv! ;-) But seriously, my experience with Poggis includes trying one at an auction showing, being at arms length to Rosand's Poggi recently, reviewing a good article about Poggi just now in the Strad from 9/94, reviewing a very typical one in my photo collection from the net, etc.

Poggi, like most makers, certainly made more than one model. But your photos certainly seem very uncharacterisitc. A typical Poggi - especially a late one, which 1951 would be -  would not be red, but have a pale yellow, to brownish or orange yellow varnish. It would typically have a flatter arching, The overall effect, as well as every detail is of immaculate workmanship. This scroll and f-holes don't come up to that. I'm also suspicious of the whiteness of that 60 year old label. My guess - a very well-made Chinese violin, though I've heard of such stuff from the UK as well. I'd love it if someone more knowledgeable would weigh in. How does it sound, anyway, and what do they want for it?

Whatever happened to that gemtleman from Italy trying to sell his Poggi with no photos?

September 17, 2010 at 04:10 AM ·

EDIT: Oops...

September 17, 2010 at 04:45 AM ·

Well, Raphael...

You're more of an expert than I am. My claim to fame is I happen to have a Chinese violin that looks similar to this one only mine is in better shape. I've seen pictures of Poggi's instruments but only of his earlier ones. I have 4 violins but they'd all be classified as advanced student models.

That Italian gentleman with the Poggi was special.  :-)  I enjoyed that thread. Sounded like a used car salesman.

Thanks for your opinion. Oh yeah. The seller is asking $4900. I haven't played it or seen it in person since it would be "airfare" to do so plus it looks like it is in bad need of a setup and I don't want to spend money on a scam. The seller told me it's in "...perfect working condition." I look at that bridge and E string and I have some doubts.  :-)

By the way, if you look at the "Properties" of the pictures you'll see that all but one dates from June of 2009. Curious, no?



September 17, 2010 at 10:58 AM ·

Just google "Ansaldo Poggi"  and you will discover in 20 minutes  that you can't get a good one for less than 100K dollars today.

So why this guy would be selling this one for such a low price?  But I may be wrong.


September 17, 2010 at 03:32 PM ·

From a sale price point of view I agree with you, Luis. But stranger things have happened...

Like I've said, it does NOT look playable in the condition it's in, but the pictures date from 2009. Seeing it in person in that condition wouldn't prove anything. My ability to know what I'm looking at is well below your own and most v-commies. As was said earlier, there are a few fakes out there.

Thanks for your comments.

September 17, 2010 at 04:22 PM ·

There are not some fakes, there are many many of them! And modern Italians are being faked a lot! Some of these fakes are very clever.


September 17, 2010 at 05:19 PM ·

In my opinion the truth is that a fine violin sounds wonderful and is a joy to play. Whether it's made by an old master or a guy sitting on a fence in New Mexico makes no difference to me. It's all about the instrument.

By the way, you make some beautiful instruments yourself.



September 17, 2010 at 10:45 PM ·

Looking at the pics again, I'm afraid that I'm even more confirmed in my original reaction - not a Poggi, and probably not Italian. That said, it does look like a very attractive violin, and I'm not nearly so disturbed from what I can tell of the set-up. It looks to me like it just needs a minor adjustment to the tail-piece - an easy thing for a maker to do. Am I right, Luis? It might need a new bridge and post.

If they're asking $4,900, they'll probably take $4,000 even. But if it's Chinese, w.o. the maker taking credit (which is usually the case), that's still a heck of a high price. If it sounds great, well maybe. But if you buy it and down the line want to sell it or trade up, if it's what I'm afraid it is, you'll just get a small part of your investment back. I wouldn't take a plane trip just to see that violin.

Do let us know what you do and what happens!

September 17, 2010 at 11:11 PM ·

In the front view of the scroll, the peg shafts were left rough, pointing out to bad workmanship and poor quality boxwood. It seems to me these pegs were fitted last week, but I may be wrong. A real Poggi would have better fittings just because the guy who got it (and paid accordingly) would not let it be fitted with bad fittings made by a bad luthier (Poggis were rather expensive). There is a difference in colour betwen the pegs. tailpiece and chinrest, the chinrest is different in colour.

The upper nut is poor in design and workmanship, from what I can see. The wear in the neck near the upper nut is not compatible with the wear in the rest of the instrument. There is no natural wear in the edges on the top (on the C bouts and corners) that is typical with instruments that were played.

The shading (antiquing) in the back is not natural and Poggi never did that, as far as I know. The colour and varnish texture are not Poggi like too. The wear in the back and top was made with a pointed object, from what I can see, and is artificial. 

The f holes are different, the right one is narrowner (that would be ok with other makers, but not Poggi). The lower part of the f holes is narrowner than the upper part, that would be ok with other makers (mainly of the Venetian school) but not Poggi. 

The corners, mainly the upper corners are not orthodox, the same for the purflings.

The photos were taken by a person who knows violins. The angles and views are correct (direct shots, not angled), front view, back view, profile views and the traditional 4 views of the scroll. A person that is not aquainted with violins (and would sell a Poggi for such a low price) would take angled photos, photos of the instrument inside its case, etc., that points out to a seller that knows what he has in his hands.

I imagine the guy who made this violin never had a ristretto coffee in his whole life, but I may be wrong!!!


September 18, 2010 at 12:21 AM ·

Hehehe... Luis !


I was thinking of offering $200. I agree that the wear looks artificial in some places and that the pegs are very low quality. I can't imagine a "Family Heirloom" being treated so disrespectfully.


I do appreciate your's and Raphael's inputs on this. It would be interesting to buy it just to have a "Fake Poggi" in my stable but I could probably add a "Poggi" label to one of the violins I already have for a lot less since I already have Photoshop.





September 18, 2010 at 04:45 AM ·

Thanks Luis. I'd forgotten to say that the pegs and "wear" also bothered me. I have a genuine 2004 Allesandro Scandroglio that with the exception of the f-holes, looks quite a lot more like a Poggi.

September 18, 2010 at 08:27 AM ·

Jerry - nope, I'm no expert either but I followed Rolands trail and ended up paying the $40 to get onto the luthiers site (which is totally amazing by the way - I've already had my money's worth).

I looked at all 5 Poggis there.  Well, let me put it this way, if were a bird watcher this would be like telling a crow from a stork!  I think the analysis above is fantastic and learned a lot comparing those features myself.  However, the overriding impression is the finish - the 5 Poggi's, ranging from 51 to 68 are almost identical, a rather featureless yellow-orange.  Not even vaguely like your 'find'. 

Thanks for the fun!



September 18, 2010 at 08:55 AM ·

I just looked some more and interestingly, one of the violins is form 1951, supposedly the same year as yours.  The lable is similar (he may have copied it from this site) but he used a different font and the '51' is written in a totally different handwriting style (and that I know a bit about). 


September 18, 2010 at 01:46 PM ·


It just goes to show the importance of a trained, knowledgeable eye such as yours. Reading your post and checking off each point you made - it all looked so obvious - but before the only thing I'd really noticed was the scroll and a general feeling of "not quite rightness".

September 18, 2010 at 02:48 PM ·

Thanks! Yes, half of our training is training our eyes!


September 19, 2010 at 12:45 AM ·

@ Elise I've learned a lot from this discussion as well. I'll take your advice and join the Luthier Library site since I'm intensely curious about the "ART and SCIENCE" of violin making. I spend a lot of time on various sites learning the physics of the acoustics and other aspects of violin making as well as experiment with the four I have trying to achieve their lowly peak setups.

Thanks everyone for your comments. I thoroughly enjoy this site and the many comments made by it's members. Music is the language of the soul and those who speak it or aspire to, and those who write the dictionaries and stories are the best.



March 30, 2011 at 04:17 PM ·


Hi Folks,

I want to buy this Violin, the label states that is a POGGI, i see by the comments that you folks has more information on this makes or probably know details on the violin more than i do, could you guys please comment about ?

Pictures are in this link:




March 30, 2011 at 05:07 PM ·

Daniel, your link is not working.


March 31, 2011 at 12:52 AM ·

Ok, sorry about that,


The link is:


Try that one it shoud work...

Let me know please what you think about the violin..



March 31, 2011 at 12:58 AM ·

Hummmm... ... I think it is not a Poggi. It lacks the clean, precise work we in a Poggi.


March 31, 2011 at 01:39 AM ·

Sorry, but i didn't get the explanation...could you be i little more detailed please ?



March 31, 2011 at 04:25 AM ·

I agree with Luis.  It doesn't look like Ansaldo Poggi.

See examples below.  The first two can be zoomed in.

Cozio violin

Sotheby's viola

Christie's violin

Skinner viola


March 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM ·

That's just my personal opinion, I may be wrong. If it is a Poggi and you are buying it, ask the seller a good certificate.


March 31, 2011 at 12:48 PM ·

Yes, get a certificate from an authority such as Eric Blot.   A real Poggi retails in the neighborhood of $100,000 and should be worth the expense.  You can't authenticate a violin from photos. 

April 4, 2011 at 07:14 AM ·

Any one knows about Aldo Cappelli ?


Im buying one and i need to know more about..





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