Who made my violin?

September 24, 2011 at 06:08 AM ·

Hi Folks -- I'm trying to determine the maker/luthier of my violin.  Here is what I know:

- Purchased from a shop in Orange County CA in '85 or '86 for ~$4000

- Internal label reads "Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonenfis; Faciebat Anno 1721" (obviously a copy)

- I think I am the first owner

- I seem to recall the shop salesman telling me the violin was made in France

- The label also has a stamp with the initials "T.A.S." (I'm assuming the initials of the luthier) -- See image of the stamp at the following link:


Anyone recognize it?  Thanks...

Replies (10)

September 24, 2011 at 01:51 PM ·

 I assume communicating with the shop is not an option?  If you knew the name of the shop or its owner, someone here from that area might be able to put you onto the current generation of related dealers?

September 24, 2011 at 03:09 PM ·

Marjory -- Unfortunately, I don't remember the name or exact location of the shop.  I was in high school at the time, and my dad purchased the violin for me.

Additional context: I've recently been thinking of buying a good modern violin, and would like to understand the quality of my current one first, so I have a better idea what maker and price range to shoot for...

September 24, 2011 at 10:56 PM ·

a good luthier can tell you or at least make a guess... and that is for free as long as you don't want a certificate!

If you uplouad fotos from the whole violin. f-holes, whole body proportions, quality of the varnish etc. someone could maybe tell you more about it.

September 24, 2011 at 11:25 PM ·

What you're reading as the initials  "A. T. S" in a circle is simply part of the Stradivari reproduction label.

Best way to learn what you have is to visit a luthier.

September 25, 2011 at 01:17 PM ·

I have seen violins with that sort of label sell for a lot more... but with the real maker's label or stamp right above it.

September 25, 2011 at 02:22 PM ·

I am afriadtherisabsolutelynothing we canhelpyouwith

September 25, 2011 at 09:35 PM ·

Thanks for your responses.  I actually did find the documentation just now.  It was purchased from Michael and Rena Weisshaar Violinmakers in Costa Mesa in September of 1986 for $3500.  Michael appraised the violin himself and in his opinion, thought it was made in Mirecourt, France, circa 1890.  So it's much older than I thought and I'm not the original owner after all...

September 26, 2011 at 12:44 AM ·

Well, the shop still exists!


You could take it in and ask them for an opinion on its value - after 15 years they may not remember it.  I know its a bit sneaky but its one way to find the lowball value...


September 26, 2011 at 02:24 AM ·

Elise -- Thanks for the suggestion.  I did look them up and saw that they are still in business.  It has actually been 25 years since the purchase.  Where has the time gone?? :)

September 28, 2011 at 08:21 PM ·

 Hey, Michael and Rena are definitely still and business, and their son Dan is there now as well. :)

Hope to run into you next time you head down to OC!

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