Buy italian violin

February 24, 2016 at 06:57 PM · Should I pay 4500€ for an italian maggini violin for my son.He just play for 5 years.

Replies (41)

February 24, 2016 at 07:24 PM · Nima,

within that price range, it is most likely a copy.

Beware, there are many of them made in Germany during the mass production, some of them with no standard measurements.

It could also be made in China recently.

Modern makers rarely make instruments inspired by Maggini.

If you provide few photos, some people would be able to tell you more about the instrument.


February 25, 2016 at 06:02 AM · Some pics

My son has a bulgarian concert violin now.but he wants to have a master violin.

February 25, 2016 at 06:10 AM · And that's price is 4500€.I think it's a little expensive.what do u think?

His violin is just 1700€.and he insist on buy that italian one.

His bulgarian violin:(it's strad)

February 25, 2016 at 07:26 AM · Unfortunately one can't tell much about a violin only by the way it looks. However, the four fine tuners on the supposed Italian one worry me a bit; that's not something you see often on a 'master' violin. Also, while I can't tell for sure without actually seeing the instrument in person, that 'Italian' one seems to have a rather fresh-looking antique finish.

Ultimately I think it comes down to which violin sounds better and which one is better to play. Has your son's teacher (if he has one) given their opinion on this 'Italian' violin?

February 25, 2016 at 07:56 AM · Dear Fox

Actually in iran(I live in Iran)violinist should use fine tuner and metal I'm not worry about that Cuz violin stores change synthetic string(metal strings are better than synthetic strings in Iranian music)

My son's teacher thinks that this violin has a brilliant sound.

But I this this italian has louder sound than my son's bulgarian.

And this italian one has something like a that book "violin maker" has written " it has made at 2011"

February 25, 2016 at 10:29 AM · Today my son's teacher find another italian violin.Do u know "Antonio Agostini"?this violin has made by him.Another maggini.

The sound of that violin:

February 25, 2016 at 11:07 AM · These are not italian violins, or atleast not high quality ones.

February 25, 2016 at 11:46 AM · Hidde,

Can u tell me how much should I pay for this violin?

How can I recognize italian violin?(I mean high quality ones)

February 25, 2016 at 11:55 AM · I could be wrong, like I said it's impossible to tell everything about a violin only through photos, but I'm with Hidde on this, these don't look like the Italian violins I'm used to seeing. The price doesn't seem right either. It's also worrisome that a simple Google search doesn't turn any results about an 'Antonio Agostini' violin maker.

In this case I would not buy it because of the label or because of where it's said to have been made, but for the sound and play of the instrument itself instead.

Professional level violins often start around that price range, so as long as your son and his teacher (and you) think this violin fits that category and that it will be a significant upgrade to what he has now...

...however, if they are asking that price because they are saying these violins are special because they are Italian-made, I would require more proof than just the label in it. Labels get faked all the time! Maybe you can talk them down on the price a bit. ;)

February 25, 2016 at 12:20 PM · Thank you Fox.

How should I recognize italian violins?

You said labels are fake,but it has something like a book that luthier has written about its size and … .

Yes,you're right.??When I google "Antonio Agostini" there is no result.

Violin owner said that Antonio Agostini is from "Brescia"

What do you think about its sound?

How much should I pay for it?4000€ is ok?or 3500€?

If you were me,you will buy it or no?

February 25, 2016 at 12:24 PM · "How can I recognize italian violin?"

I don't think you can. Instrument identification is a specialty, a skill which even many high-level violinists don't have.

When you mention a "book", is this a piece of paper glued to the inside of the violin, or something else?

I don't think you should pay much attention to terms like "master violin" or "concert violin".

On the sound: I don't think it sounds bad, but it's hard to say beyond that, because there is so much echo in the recording, and sound can be changed so much when recording.

Is there a chance you could visit a reputable dealer, and actually try the violins in person?

February 25, 2016 at 01:41 PM · The label on the "Agostini" looks to me like it's a modern maker's label, saying made by Antonio Agostini in 2015.

If I'm right about what the label says, you can probably believe the label. No-one in their right mind fakes a label to claim a violin was made last year.

The wood and varnish also look quite similar to my violin, which was made in Belgium in 2012.

However really you will not find anyone here who is able to answer your questions.

February 25, 2016 at 02:38 PM · David,

That book has 6-7 pages and there's some pictures of violin and its size.(e.g. ??mm)and my son try that and he said"its sound is loud and brilliant"

February 25, 2016 at 02:41 PM · Jenny,

Actually my son's teacher is my best friend and he's not a bad person.I know him for 27 years

February 25, 2016 at 04:12 PM · If you want to buy a violin, ignore terms like:




1. Decide how much you can spend.

2. Try to find a shop that has many in this price range, with some below and some above.

3. Pick what sounds and plays the best In your price range.

February 25, 2016 at 04:37 PM · Tnx Scott.

February 25, 2016 at 06:29 PM · "Italian" usually means "Overpriced". For $4500 you can buy one hell of a good Chinese violin.

February 25, 2016 at 07:06 PM · The first violin was not made after Maggini - no double purfling.

Both violins are aged artificially and seem to be relatively new. I doubt that they are made in Italy; just a personal hunch.

The "book" could be certificate of origin. If you have maker's name, try to contact him / her by e-mail. New or old, the label may be fake, especially if the maker is good.

February 25, 2016 at 07:08 PM · " David,

That book has 6-7 pages and there's some pictures of violin and its size.(e.g. ??mm)and my son try that and he said"its sound is loud and brilliant" "


Thanks for answering. I realize that English probably isn't your first language (though you do a really good job of it), so I'm just trying to better understand, in an attempt to be more helpful.

While I have been fortunate enough to have visited many places, I have never been to Iran, and know next-to-nothing about how the violin-dealing community works there.

That said, there are some precautions I would advise in all countries and cultures: Like ignoring instrument-selling descriptions such as "soloist violin", "concert violin", and even "super-duper-soloist-violin-that-will- make-you-famous".

Nima Naeimil, you come across as a caring mother who wants the best for her child, and I salute you for trying to reach out for more information.

February 25, 2016 at 08:17 PM ·

February 25, 2016 at 08:25 PM · Rocky,

Yes,it's something like certification but there's no website .

Just mention to "brescia" I think it's a city.There's no email address or something like that.

how much should I pay for it?(has it a good sound "

February 25, 2016 at 08:28 PM · Thank you David.

Yes,you're right.Our language is "Persian" and English isn't my first language.

Actually I'm a father.

February 25, 2016 at 09:18 PM · Thank you too. I highly appreciate all parents who are doing the best they know how to do for their children. Our children are the worlds future.

February 25, 2016 at 11:28 PM · Nima,

Are there violin shops in your city?

It sounds like you are trying to figure out what to buy from websites. This seems like an almost impossible task.

February 26, 2016 at 04:03 AM · Scott,

Yes,and my son tries violins.

I recorded violins' sound.You can find them I think 4th reply

February 26, 2016 at 05:42 AM · Recorded sound isn't really all that helpful in assessing instrument quality.

If you are going to violin-shop, don't buy on a whim like this unless the money simply doesn't matter to you.

Otherwise, set a budget, get a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve with an upgrade, and go to multiple shops (if possible) and try lots of violins (definitely necessary). Bring the best ones to your teacher, too. You might not find anything worth upgrading to, in which case you should consider to hunt since you do not seem to be under any particular time pressure.

February 26, 2016 at 06:29 AM · Lydia,

Actually in Iran people buy iranian handmade violin.Or bulgarian violins.

Petko Petkov's violins (bulgarian luthier) are very popular in Iran.

We can't find italian violins easily.

So If I wanna buy this violin(italian one)how much should I pay for that.Its luthier is antonio agostini from brascia and made it in 2015(it's a new violin).I think 4500€ is a little expensive for a new violin?What do you think about price?

February 26, 2016 at 10:26 AM · New violins vary widely in price. I paid around £5,000 for a new Belgian violin a couple of years ago. Some new violins are worth $20-30,000. Some are worth $50 if that.

It all depends on the quality of the violin and the maker.

I think none of us here can tell you how good a particular violin is.

If your son's teacher is your best friend, you will probably get good advice from him. Better advice than you will get from us. :-)

February 26, 2016 at 10:38 AM · Thanks Chris

February 26, 2016 at 01:33 PM · I'd be surprised if you can find a legitimate, single maker, hand-made Italian violin for only 4500 E. I'd expect to pay more like 15,000 or more if the maker has a good education, and a good track record.

February 26, 2016 at 01:52 PM · My advice still fully applies even if you buy from a local maker or other available selection. Set a budget, and be comfortable with the value of what you're getting within that budget.

I think part of your dilemma here is not provenance per se. I think you haven't had enough experience with instruments in this price range to know what to expect.

There are other questions too, like whether or not this is a worthwhile upgrade, or whether your son's current instrument will suit him fine until he's more advanced and can intelligently choose a better instrument (potentially one in a higher price range).

February 26, 2016 at 04:30 PM · Thanks David for your reply

February 26, 2016 at 04:30 PM · Thanka Lydia

February 26, 2016 at 09:23 PM · The other folks already filled in a bunch of the questions, but yes it takes some expertise and even experts can get fooled when recognizing different types/makers/provenance of violins, but like David said the key thing there is that Italian ones are particularly pricey. If this is a genuine handmade Italian violin that sounds/plays well, you're getting a heck of a deal for what they're asking! ;)

4500€ is no pocket change, but it is not unusual nor outrageous for a brand new violin of good quality! Still, I would try to haggle the price down because I just love to haggle! See what your son's teacher thinks about it, how much they think the violin is really worth.

February 27, 2016 at 11:42 AM · Fox,

My son's teacher thinks that 2800-3000€ is ok.

Thanks for your reply

February 27, 2016 at 02:05 PM · This may or may not be useful in your search for a contemporary Italian violin, but there is something called the Cremona Consortium. It is a group of contemporary Cremonese violinmakers that seems to serve a marketing function as well as an "authentication" function. Not sure of criteria of membership, but since many of the better known makers are members, it seems like it could be a resource. Now this only represents makers from one town, albeit an important one and probably not all of the established ones at that. Some of the makers are not native born Italians, but attended the violin making school there and stayed in that area. Here is their website.

February 27, 2016 at 02:45 PM · I attended the Cremona Consortium exhibit the last 3 times it was displayed at Ifshin Violins, El Cerrito, in the San Francisco Bay Area. So I have had the opportunity to play on a number of those "Italian" violins, violas, and cellos. Most are well above the price points being spoken of here and in my opinion, except for a very few, by a very small number of makers at the highest price end (~$15,000 to $20,000 for violins. $30,000 for cellos) I did not find anything exceptional about the instruments. In fact none of them even approached things I have experienced in some really good new Chinese instruments.

I believe the secrets of good violin making are now universally known, but the wood also holds some secrets such that no one makes a perfect violin every time. Even among Antonio Stradivari's violins there is wide variation (I've only had the opportunity to play on 2 of those).

It is more of a risk to buy according to a maker's nationality, than his name, and more risk to buy by name than by the specifics of any single instrument.


February 27, 2016 at 04:03 PM · Thanks Andrew

February 27, 2016 at 04:03 PM · Thanks Peter for your reply

February 28, 2016 at 07:46 AM · I've had the same experience as Andrew.

I've tried the instruments that come through that traveling Cremona exhibit, and despite their high prices, they are no better (or worse) than the good makers from China and the United States whose instruments are readily available world-wide, many times for less money.

Globalization has made nationality somewhat's really about who you study with. This is quite true for players as well! :)

February 28, 2016 at 12:24 PM · Thanks Gene

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