what does faciebat anno 1713 mean?

October 4, 2006 at 06:41 PM · My husband found a strad copy in the trash the other day and now i'm wondering how old it might be.

the label says antonius stradivarius cremonensis faciebat anno 1713 made in czechoslovakia. It's printed and on the side of the label there's a lion standing on a drum and unerneath it says legalone or legatone. Does Faciebat anno 1713 mean that it's made after a model from that year or does it mean that the violin itself is made in 1713? If not does anyone know how old these violins usually are? you can see that it's an old instrument, it doesn't look like the factory made instruments they have nowadays. By the way is it factory or hand made? Thanks for your help!

Replies (21)

October 4, 2006 at 07:41 PM · Well, I know one thing: it is at least 13 years old, and not over 88 years old.

And if it says "Made In" then it probably is not over 50 years old.

October 4, 2006 at 08:12 PM · One asy way to tell that it isn't very old, is the country of origin. History books can probably give you a good time frame of when the country of Czechoslovakia was formed (My belief is early 1900's). Also the date usually means that it is a replica designed on the 1713 Strad model. you can find many modern factory made instruments (from both the far east as well as Europe) that have a model date (Guarneri 1740, etc.) because the instrument is (supposedly) based on that particular classic violin.

October 4, 2006 at 08:41 PM · Czechoslovakia was formed right after World War I out of the remains of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So the violin cannot be older than 1919.

October 4, 2006 at 09:16 PM · And it split right in half to form Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, so there's your other temporal bookend.

October 4, 2006 at 09:25 PM · "Facibat anno" means "made in the year". It is a very inexpesive replica - assuming it's in good condition. If not, I'm sorry to tell you that it may have almost no value, and not worth the expense of fixing up. Without at least some good photos there isn't much more I could say - except to recall an amusing incident.

Once a lady came to a dealer with a similar instrument. She was convinced that she had a real Strad. He gave her the inevitable news, adding "I tried to dissuade you from making the long trip, and even you, a non-expert, should have been tipped off by the "made in Czechoslovakia"

"So what?" rejoined the lady, undeterred. "Couldn't Stradivari have travelled?"

(Of course, that's where the age of Czech. and the English on the lable should have kicked-in!)

October 4, 2006 at 10:12 PM · 'found in the trash'

hmmm...maybe there's a reason for that. in general, one doesn't find great violins in the trash.

October 4, 2006 at 10:24 PM · Czech Strad copies, when cleaned up and properly adjusted, can be decent instruments. Were this my violin, I'd probably take it to a luthier so that it could have a bridge and strings put on it. It won't be a "great" violin, but it'll probably produce a passable tone and that's what counts. Besides, it's not as if a lot of money was spent on it.

I'd rather play a solid thick old Czech Strad copy than many a modern violin with thinned out plates.

October 5, 2006 at 03:02 AM · I think I used to have a Czech violin...it said it was German but it was from the early 20th c. when lots of German violins were actually made in Bohemia. I liked it very much--a little unrefined, but a very nice rich tone.

October 5, 2006 at 03:54 AM · Even the Mecklenburgers I met in Rostock told me that the Czechs (Bohemians) made the best and only true Pilsner.

October 5, 2006 at 03:55 AM · Czechs play the best football (soccer) on the continent too...but we're discussing violins? ;)

October 5, 2006 at 04:27 AM · *coughs violently*

*mutters something about Italy*

October 5, 2006 at 11:20 AM · faciebat anno 1713...standing alone it says made in the year 1713 but given the made in czechoslovakia line it most probably or surely means that the violin is a copy of a 1713 strad...hope that helps..reminds me..the Gibson stradivari is from 1713..isn't it?

hope this helps..


October 5, 2006 at 11:29 AM · I'm having it fixed up right now and it won't cost me anything because the luthier always wants to do things for free as a gift to me, maybe because he

has known me since i was a baby.

Kevin i like your style, you always have great oppinions!

And about that age thing, it had a mark on it from a folk music festival in 1977 so it's atleast 30 something.

... i don't care about the value of a violin, the thing that matters is that it's playable... but ofcourse i want to have a great violin in the future, but for now i'm happy that i own two violins that didn't cost me anything and an electric for 500 euro.

October 5, 2006 at 12:04 PM · D Wright - one of my former teachers once found a bow sticking out of a garbage can in Toulouse. He asked if he could take it. The answer was yes. Turned out it was a nice Morizot! Things can happen.


October 5, 2006 at 12:45 PM · Oh thanks sarah salmi. I'm glad that you're going to restore that instrument. Items (or people) that are consigned to the trash bin aren't necessarily devoid of function.

I have a new term for violins that one discovers for cheap in trash cans or unwanted bins that sound good once given a proper restoration. Since I usually don't care if even Elmer Fudd (the fictional cartoon character of Looney Tunes)made such instruments if they sound good and are acquired for low prices, I call them "Fuddarius" instruments. Sarah's instrument is a "Elmerius Fuddarius, Faciebat Anno Who Cares If It Works". This applies to bows as well.

October 5, 2006 at 12:50 PM · Sarah - if a luthier is fixing it for free then you have everything to gain, and nothing to lose! Also ask him when he thinks this fiddle was made, as he's the one with his hands and eyes on it. I was thinking of a scenario where a very inexpensive instrument might have say a soundpost crack, etc.

Someone once gave me two cheap student bows without any hair. I thought to have them rehaired for eventual inclusion in some violin sale. But my trusted (but not free!) friend, bow maker John Hsu, dissuaded me. They're still useful as they are - for poking wayward students! (Just kidding!)

October 5, 2006 at 02:00 PM · Hey Tavani, Euro 2008 isn't that far off...you Italians just got lucky in the Cup. Game on. :)

On the other hand, if Hungary actually manages to scrape together a qualification, my loyalties could end up violently divided....but this is irrelevent, sorry for the off-topic guys. :)

October 5, 2006 at 02:18 PM · Ha Ha, i might just name the violin Elmer :)

October 5, 2006 at 03:52 PM · On not finding good instruments in the trash: Some time ago the Strad used by the LA Phil's principal cellist turned up beside a garbage dumpster. And I think a violin stolen from a car in California was found in an alley near a dumpster. Dumpsters may be the first place to look for your next instrument, or maybe it's just a California thing.

October 5, 2006 at 07:25 PM · I think that may just reflect a possible idea that Californian's may not appreciate value (sorry, just the Arizonan in me speaking).

October 5, 2006 at 09:31 PM · i stand corrected.

*sorts through ilya's dumpster*

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