Steiner Violin With Hand Written Label....Questions!

Edited: February 14, 2018, 11:05 AM · Hi Everyone!

I’m hoping someone (I’m kind of looking in your direction Lyndon!) can perhaps provide me with some knowledge on what I may or may not be dealing with.

Sorry I cannot post any pictures, but there is an old violin that has been sitting at a local store I go to often for a while. Other than the finish being old/worn it looks to be in great shape and has new dominant strings. Anyhow curiosity got the better of me today while I was there and I had to pick it up and look at it.....it has a one piece back (I know that makes no difference but I’m a sucker for them) with Steiner stamped on the back (which I know does not mean anything other than a probable factory trade fiddle) but what WAS intriguing was inside there was a label in hand writing, possibly German, and dated 1807.

While I did not play it and only plucked a few strings I have a pretty strong impression this might be a very nice sounding, resonate instrument.....part of me is considering going to to ask if I can take this out on trial.

But what exactly would I be dealing with, would this also by a factory fiddle? Could it very well be possible it is from 1807? And if so what around would you pay?

I will be asking the store these and more questions as well should I go back for it but I’m wondering what others in this board would say. This particular store tends to be very knowledgeable in most other instruments, except stringed ones so I feel like it would be a bit of a leap of faith based on my own judgment with any info about it.

Thank you in advance!

Replies (15)

February 14, 2018, 11:07 AM · The instruments stamped stainer or steiner are Late 1800s early 1900s Marknekirchen/Schoenbach production violins, not worth much, they didn't have the steiner stamp on the back in 1807.
February 14, 2018, 11:09 AM · Thank you for your quick reply!

So would this label be fake then? It definitely was hand written and dated 1807........that’s why I was intrigued because it is stamped on the back.

Edited: February 14, 2018, 11:44 AM · Most hand written labels are fake or repair labels, almost all original labels are stamped, although genuine Stainer labels were of the rare hand written type.But they would be 1600s.
February 14, 2018, 11:47 AM · I wouldn't pay more than $200 given its going to need probably another $200 to have a luthier put it in tip top playing condition, thats given it has no cracks, if it has cracks, forget it.
February 14, 2018, 12:56 PM · Thank you again so much!!!! I still think this may be a great sounding fiddle but I’m going to walk away and not take it home.

They are asking $1500 and when I saw the Steiner stamp (so right off the hop it’s not worth $1500 based on that!) and then the hand written label, it doesn’t add up.

February 14, 2018, 1:18 PM · way overpriced!!
February 14, 2018, 3:18 PM · That’s what I thought as well but that label made me want to ask here what it could possibly be. The next time I’m there, if it still hasn’t sold I’ll ask how they acquired this fiddle and how did they determine its price. I’d be curious to see what they say.
Edited: February 14, 2018, 5:11 PM · basically it show they have no idea what a fair price might be and just made one up IMHO you see a lot of this on ebay, violins priced way above their real value
February 15, 2018, 4:50 AM · The back may be older than the rest of the violin (A British quartet in the 1970s called itself the Gagliano Quartet because the second violinist played a violin that was crafted around a Gagliano VIOLA back. They must have disbanded well before the present Gagliano String Quartet was formed, also the Quartet is not mentioned in their 'cellist's obituary).
Edited: February 15, 2018, 6:57 AM · Thanks for your input as well John! While this stores sale staff isn’t well versed in string instruments (although they do try to be helpful) there is a proper luither that works out of there a few days a week. I’m still intrigued enough by that label to at least ask more about it.....perhaps he had something to do with pricing and knows the background info on this fiddle. No harm in asking.

IF I should decide to try it and do like it I could also use the knowledge Lyndon passed on to barter the price, you never know!

I have been half looking for an older violin to have in addition to my primary violin because I like the idea of playing on one that has lived a few life times already but I would hate to possibly purchase something that is much too over priced for what it is as well.

February 15, 2018, 10:30 AM · If the back was older why would they stamp Steiner on the back to make it look like a cheap production violin????
February 15, 2018, 4:32 PM · Again I agree with you......but what would explain the label in another language dated 1807? It even looked similar to pulp paper, not even close to what most labels look like in anything I’ve seen. Would something that false actually be put into a violin? Perhaps I’m naive! I checked that date twice to make sure I read it correctly and it wasn’t actually 1907 because then that would make logical sense.
February 15, 2018, 4:36 PM · Labels do get transferred. Faking the label is extremely common.
Edited: February 15, 2018, 5:15 PM · Thank you again everyone for your input! I don’t know how people who purchase violins for investment in addition to playing deal with this kind baloney!
March 9, 2018, 10:15 PM · Labels mean nothing, if it's branded like that.
I suggest, just to continue your learning about fiddles, go try it out.
The asking price is too high for that grade of fiddle currently, but maybe the tone will blow you away! Or maybe not. If it does sound great, and is beautiful to you, lowball them. Might work.
But if it doesn't sound absolutely great to you, move on. Plenty of great old violins out there for low money these days.

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