Giuseppe Pedrazzini

Edited: July 12, 2018, 5:40 PM · Recently there was a post about the purchase af a Carlo Bisiach violin. Obviously it was removed for some reason.
There I mentioned a nice violin I saw and played a few weeks ago. The label says Giuseppe Pedrazzini 1950. It comes with an appraisal by a serious and reputable expert / dealer, who had to estimate this violin for insurance purposes and did this for around €13k. Because Pedrazzinis tend to be more valuable, and because in the appraisal was mentioned "a violin with label Giuseppe Pedrazzini", but not "a violin by Giuseppe Pedrazzini", I thought it would be a fake label. But now after a bit of investigation I learned that the late Pedrazzinis go for a lesser amount of money, not because they would be of minor quality, but because most of the work was done by Pedrazzini's nephew, Natale Novelli.

What do you think about this? The violin is really nice, with a strong and warm formable sound. If the appraisal was correct (what I do not doubt) it is sold for a very good price. This dealer actually is also a lot in old and older Italian violins. Would you expect it to be a real Pedrazzini/Natale for an appraisal of €13k? And any experiences with one of these instruments anybody? Or am I missing something?

Replies (17)

July 12, 2018, 6:27 PM · If the instrument could be attributed to Natale Novelli the expert would certainly make a certificate with that attribution, and the instrument would be appraised for a higher value. But I may be wrong.
July 12, 2018, 7:48 PM · Bear in mind that appraisal for insurance purposes tends to be higher than the expected sale price.
July 13, 2018, 2:43 AM · It means your expert/dealer isn't sure who made this violin and is protecting his back. The insurance appraisal is no guarantee of value.
July 13, 2018, 6:06 AM · Thanks for sharing your thoughts - I expected something like this. Some things are just too good to be true. On the other hand, a good violin for a bit more than half the price it was estimated for insurance should at least be able to hold it's value. One just shouldn't expect it to be the catch of the decade...
July 13, 2018, 6:46 AM · 99.9% it has nothing to do with Pedrazzini. Even a pure Novelli would be appraised much higher for insurance purposes.
July 13, 2018, 6:48 AM · The value of this type of instrument might even go down because of the increasing number.
July 13, 2018, 9:37 AM · Insurance appraisals for violins/bows tend to be generously valued. Think of them more like, "what the appraiser thinks the owner could potentially need to spend to replace this instrument" and not "what this instrument is worth / could be sold for".

You can't make the assumption that an uncertainly attributed instrument will really hold its value (with the possible exception of instruments in the sub-$5k range, where on a practical basis buyers are mostly going to compare sound/playing quality for the money, against workshop-made violins).

July 14, 2018, 6:14 PM · Lydia, you mean if it's >5k and the origin is unclear, one shouldn't touch it?
July 15, 2018, 2:43 AM · I don't think anyone here would presume to advise you about an instrument they've never seen, heard or played except in the most general terms. The uncertainty of the attribution inevitably means uncertainty as to the value. After researching it as much as you can only you can decide whether it's worth the risk.
July 15, 2018, 5:37 AM · Nuuska, if you really like this violin take it out on trial and bring it to another violin dealer and ask what he would be willing to buy this instrument for. This will be a reality check for you and then you have more practical information to make a valid reasonable offer on this instrument. When spending this amount of money on a violin I would also bring it to another luthier and pay him to examine it for problems that might need to be addressed and further money out of your pocket.
Edited: July 15, 2018, 3:47 PM · Jeff, this us very good advice. Unfortunately the seller (private person) is located almost 4 hours from my place, and I just happen to be there from time to time. A trial period would have to be a very much extended one, which might not be acceptable for the seller. So I had to decide right away if the violin is worth the money.
I tried it only for 15 minutes yet. Next time I go there I'll stay a few days and hope to get it on trial for 3 or 4 days. Unfortunately I'll have a lot of work then, but after I read your opinions (which support pretty much my own thoughts) I'll rather not take it if there would be the slightest doubt.
July 15, 2018, 4:05 PM · It is good to purchase the toys we want in life that can give us great happyness but I think it is crucial to buy these toys at the right price. I think that most of the higher-end violins that I see for sale in the big shops or online are way overpriced and this is not so obvious until for some reason you decide to try and resell the instrument at a later date. I hope this instrument works out for you Nuuska if you do decide to purchase it
July 15, 2018, 4:21 PM · It's not for me (I've found mine already) but for my son, and as far as I know his taste (we did a lot of violin hunting together in the last weeks) it's a lot what he likes. Very responsive and with good projection, but not so cutting-through-soloistic (the way I prefer it) but rather warm and mellow. And it is decent looking. For 4k I'd not think that much about it, but at 6,5k (in €) that's something different. On the other hand, instruments of similar tonal characteristics I couldn't find yet for <8k - but these with a clear pedigree, as I have to admit.
My son will be with me anyway when I'll travel there next time. Let's also hear how he likes it.
July 15, 2018, 5:34 PM · You will almost never get a luthier who is willing to evaluate an instrument being sold by someone else, at least not within the same market.

I think that valuation is an uncertain thing. I think anyone buying an instrument as a tool should ask themselves, "If I were not able to sell this violin in the future, would I still feel like the purchase price was worth it?"

July 15, 2018, 8:01 PM · Retail of a Natale Novelli would now easily be 35k euro going by the price I was quoted years ago when I had one on trial.

An insurance appraisal is not a certificate of authenticity no matter who wrote it; as mentioned it tends to be on the generous side as it needs to cover replacement cost. I have seen insurance certificates that were substantially higher than the retail price.

When an expert describes a violin as "labeled X" it is purely a descriptive term and doesn't say anything about whomever may have made it. It is wishful thinking to believe that even though the label may not be correct it might yet have some relation to the maker, or at least it should be Italian or whatever else one would like to believe. If you really want to know the provenance you would need to have an expert certificate of authenticity.

July 15, 2018, 8:12 PM · The term "labeled as" generally means the label is a fake and has nothing to do with the instrument, you see it a lot on ebay fakes too.

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