Ernest Edler Violin

July 20, 2016 at 11:08 PM · I am treating myself to an old violin for my birthday. After a lot of searching and trying instruments, I have found one that is made in 1920 by Ernest Edler. The violin itself is all banged up and full of scratches and old repairs, but the sound is what I desire. It sounds wonderful. The asking price is $4000 with not much room for negotiations. Anyone heard of this maker and is this instrument worth my hard earned 4K?

Replies (30)

July 20, 2016 at 11:29 PM · Sounds overpriced. No mention of him in my reference book.

July 21, 2016 at 12:17 AM · Hi Ted, Johnson Strings has a 1930 Ernest Edler listed for 9k. It is a very nice looking instrument except the varnish is crackled and am not a fan of that look. If you like this 1920 instrument but doubt it is worth 4k then go with cash in hand that you are willing to purchase it for because it can't hurt to make a lower offer.

July 21, 2016 at 12:43 AM · He was American, trained by his father, active in Boston in the early-mid-20th c.

Can't comment on the price without seeing the instrument or being able to evaluate the repairs.

p.s. He is listed in Wenberg.

July 21, 2016 at 01:12 AM · My mistake, I was looking in the German book. There were several other Edlers, maybe some of his ancestors.

July 21, 2016 at 03:51 PM · Thank you all for your comments. If his 1930 instrument is going for 9K then the 4K price sounds reasonable. Any advice on my reasoning?

July 21, 2016 at 05:00 PM · Four thousand sounds like a reasonable price compared to the instrument that Johnson Strings has for sale except theirs looked to be in pristine condition other than some varnish crackling. Does this instrument that you are looking at have a neck issue or cracks that need repairing etc. Do you like how it sounds? If it really sounds wonderful to you then buy it. And Happy Birthday Ted!

July 21, 2016 at 05:07 PM · You didn't say where you're buying this violin from. How certain are you that it is what it's represented to be?

July 21, 2016 at 05:21 PM · Considering half the "American" makers where importing violins in the white from Markneukirchen and then calling them their own, $9000 may be spectacularly high......

In fact looking at the pricing on Johnson strings website, many of the violins, if not most, seem to be spectacularly overpriced, I mean Markneukirchen childrens size violins for $3000, outrageous.

July 21, 2016 at 09:01 PM · Lyndon,

I've gotten prices like that for small Neuner &Hornsteiners as well as good small Markneukirchen instruments. Fine little fiddles for really talented little players are difficult to come by!

No comment on Johnson's prices...

July 21, 2016 at 09:10 PM · I would much rather prefer to buy a violin from Taylor's Fine Violins than Johnson Strings and save myself a wheelbarrow full of bills. ;-)

July 21, 2016 at 09:26 PM · Yeah, I also price really good sounding Markneukirchen 3/4 violins higher, Like at $600, not $3000

July 21, 2016 at 09:56 PM · For $600 you should also be able to get a brand new quality Chinese workshop violin. they tend to sound better than the mass produced, assembly line markneukirchen factory instruments

July 21, 2016 at 10:00 PM · Sorry, no comparison to what I have for $600, but you would say that as you always do, Dexter. Now if you're selling the same Markie for $3000 then yes you should be able to find a better Chinese "slave labour" produced violin for less, but not at my prices. And I'm selling the standard Markneukirchen production violins for $300-400. That'll buy you an unplayable, needing $300 in set up Chinese piece of junk.

July 22, 2016 at 03:51 AM · And now it begins...

July 22, 2016 at 06:21 PM · Thanks all and especially Jeff. The person selling the violin is a retired professional violinist. She had the violin for 65 years and says she is the second owner. The violin indeed sounds great under my ear. However, it has a lot of nicks and scratches and 2 repaired cracks from years of use in the orchestra. To make it look good, I think I need to get a luthier to retouch the varnish and make it pretty again.

July 22, 2016 at 06:49 PM · Perhaps you could work out some form of deal with the owner such as a better price to allow for needed repairs and cosmetic work. If she was a professional Violinist I wonder why she never maintained the instrument to keep it in tip top shape. One huge factor to keep in mind is what you would be able to sell this instrument for down the road if there is a lot of cracks and dings in it, and that this damage will make it harder to sell. I myself would not want to put this kind of money into an instrument with cracks. But if sounded heavenly...

July 22, 2016 at 09:08 PM · Believe me, I tried to bring down the price with no success.

From looking at her small messy apartment, I can tell that she is not very organized and hence it explains the condition of the violin. Also she would not lend it to me so I can show it to a luthier to get an idea how much it would cost to restore it. I think I am going to bite the bullet and buy it as the sound is what I like. I have tried so many other violins and the ones that come close to this one are two or three times the price.

July 22, 2016 at 10:08 PM · Oh wait. I would NEVER buy an instrument without a home trial. That should be an absolute deal-breaker.

You should also be entitled to a condition report if you want one -- even if she doesn't loan it to you, she can take it to a shop herself and have them write a formal condition report for you.

Under these circumstances, run. If it needs repairs, the sound post-repair might not be what it was.

July 22, 2016 at 10:38 PM · Where are the two cracks, and how well are they repaired??

July 22, 2016 at 11:46 PM · Not letting you get a condition report is suspicious to me. Listen to Lydia! Run!

July 25, 2016 at 04:06 PM · There is a 1" crack on top of the violin close to the neck and another crack of 2" on outer edge of the left F hole. No sound post or base bar cracks. both cracks were repaired and seem to be stable. The lady is in her mid 80's and short tempered, I doubt she will go to a luthier for a condition report. Thank you for the advise though.

July 25, 2016 at 04:43 PM · That doesn't sound too bad as far as cracks go, if they are repaired. As to scratches and blemishes, that's what antiques are supposed to look like IMHO, I wouldn't worry much about that, however how do you have any idea if it is a genuine Edler buying from an individual rather than a reputable dealer, it better sound pretty damn good because your basically appraising it on tone alone, with its actual antique value being a big unknown IMHO.

July 25, 2016 at 08:55 PM · Do you know how to assess if a repair is stable and what the quality of the repair work was? Or are you taking her word for it?

Also, those are the cracks you know of. There might be others that you aren't aware of.

I hope it works out for you. If you do buy it, take it to get a condition report immediately upon purchase.

July 26, 2016 at 04:22 AM · Once you've bought it, you've bought it, I don't see what is so critical about getting a condition report?? A condition report is not going to make it more or less valuable!!

Unless of course there is any option to return it.....

July 26, 2016 at 04:23 AM · Obviously not, but a new owner should immediately learn exactly what they've bought.

July 26, 2016 at 04:27 AM · Why?? For insurance purposes?? Curiosity?? Seems optional to me....

July 26, 2016 at 03:47 PM · I should probably have said "careful inspection by a qualified luthier", since there's no point paying for a formal condition report when you already own the thing. But the thorough inspection is vital to ensure that all issues are identified and you can decide what to remediate or not.

July 26, 2016 at 04:53 PM · I FINALLY BOUGHT IT. Took it to the local luthier. He said the finger board has sagged and needs to be reset. The bridge and sound post need to be made new. Old black rosin needs to be cleaned from the top. The repaired cracks were not done perfectly but are stable. The work will cost me $1500. He says it is worth it as the violin is probably worth around $8,000. I left it with him, now I just have to work hard to come up with the $$$ :)

July 26, 2016 at 05:59 PM · Well congratulations Ted on the purchase of your new violin. It is not so easy to make a choice when it comes to spending a lot of money sometimes. It is good that you are having your luthier see to its repairs. So you will end up spending more money to put it order but it is worth it to have an instrument that sounds wonderful to you.

I would like to see some pictures of your new prize sometime and tell us how it sounds after these repairs are done.

July 26, 2016 at 08:50 PM · Thanks Jeff, my luthier said it will probably take a month for him to complete the repairs. Will post pictures when the violin is ready.

If I figure out how :) CHEERS~!

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