Instrument ID: labelled Romanus Rinaldi 1897, but probably fake? Help a girl out!
So, I got this violin in a bid on eBay (as it says in the post on maestronet, it was $150, and I was the winner out of 5 people).
I think it looks well-made, and I don't see any blemishes or cracks except for an interestingly colored fingerboard.
The label is Marengo Romanus Rinaldi, 1897, but it seems too good to be true, and my suspicions are confirmed with some commenters (some more blunt than others, which isn't necessarily appreciated, as I'm just a girl looking for some info...)
So, what can you guys tell me that's constructive?
In my time here, I've come to really appreciate advice from Andrew Victor, David Burgess, and even Cotton and Lyndon (as sassy as you two are, I'm not sure it's a good idea to call on you guys together... :P I jest, but do keep it civil if you would, please!) so if any of you see this, do offer your opinions, as well as anyone else who has some experience in this area!
This instrument will be the one I use in public school, so I don't have to risk damage from students or tape on my beloved heirloom violin. So, even if it's not worth $10k (which I doubt it is...) I think it should be fine for teaching. It should arrive by June 13.
it looks like its worth at least a few hundred fixed up, the maestronet posters are being a bit hard on it because of the fake label.
So, you bought a fake violin.
Thanks, Lyndon, any chance you know what it needs, or where/when it could be from? I have some new pegs/tailpiece/end button for it, and it will probably need a new bridge cut. But I don't see any cracks in the photos.
looks like a medium grade trade violin, that's been revarnished, may be up to 100 years old, not a new violin. the type of thing that's priced from $500-1500 depending on the tone, at this low price point violins can be priced on tone.
Original, copy or fake or not, it is a good name and can be found on Tarisio's website where you can check out the price history :
I didn't really mean "fake violin." I meant incorrectly or falsely labeled. Just remember -- it's YOUR violin. So if you like it, and you think it sounds good and plays well, then whether the label is falsified or not is completely immaterial ... unless/until you try to sell it.
It quite likely is an antique violin, it just doesn't look so because its revarnished.
Thank you guys, you are all much kinder than the maestronet folks. I find that they are a bit pretentious, even if they mean well.
some forms of ebony alternate black with lighter grain, often more whitish.
It's alright, Duane, but there are nicer ways to say things, you know? I'm not sure which comment you were, but the first commenter's response was a little harsh. I don't know if my response was posted yet, but I sort of regret responding with a bit of sass.
The patina and dirt on the neck is consistent with a 100 yr old violin, or at least 50 yr old. Usually you don't see that faked well on newer violins.
I can't see the features well enough to tell, but just on probablity, it is probably a Markneukirchen/Schoenbach production violin, of the type that may well have had a Strad label at birth.
oh man these maestronet posters surely don't hold back. i posted there today asking what they think about this german trade violin i'm interested in and i only got an answer but no explanation. btw how do i start my own thread here.
Go to the Discussion home page, at the very bottom; "Start a Discussion"
thank you lyndon, i found it and try making a thread but i got a sorry error stating "We're sorry, but you may submit just one new thread every 24 hours. If you'd like to change a thread, please use the "[EDIT]" link instead of the back button to access the editing form. Thank you!"
Kristen , if you go to a reputable violin shop and bring an older instrument, you will notice that they will spend some time looking at the violin from all angles but look at the label last , sometimes not at all. Labels aren't always meaningless but frequently are - as in your case, particularly in the instruments offered on e-bay.
The MN regulars have worked out a polished "good cop, bad cop" routine, although sometimes the good cops go on coffee break. Being on the receiving end of their "blunt instrument" advice can't be a pleasant experience but you'll learn a lot from it. And of course experts aren't always right. I've heard conflicting views on three of my violins from experts who seemed to think themselves omniscient.
kai, the violin you posted on maestronet, is a cheap Czech?? violin not worth more than $600, and if it sounds poorly maybe less, I'd shop around some more and don't trust ebay sellers!!
Thanks all! I was planning on bringing it to my luthier when it arrives (it can't come soon enough, I hate waiting for mail!!) and he is usually pretty good. He has made a couple mistakes in the past, like when he said my R. Weichold bow was made in Dresden in the 1940s (Dresden was bombed, and Weichold was already dead!), but he's honest and I trust him.
Oh, and Andrew, I think I see where you noticed a possible F hole crack on the left side, bottom of the F hole. It looks to me like varnish, but Lyndon, can you possibly verify from a photo?
hi laydon no my post is this one
It's okay Kai! I think you have to wait 24 hours after making your account. Welcome to violinist.com if you've just joined! :)
kai, that's the post I was referring to, the Milano violin
the seller said its a german, are milano known for cezch made?
the two towns were right on the border, Markneukirchen on the German side, Schoenbach on the Czech side. generally the Czech were often the cheaper grade, it a cheap violin.
I don't think the maestronet team was so hard on you folks. Both complainers here were given accurate appraisals of their instruments by experts for free. You need to put this in context--you seem to underestimate the vast knowledge and expertise of people who have spent their lives at the violin trade. You think--oh, here is an Italian violin under $1K on eBay--what a DEAL!! And then you're upset when you find out that your instrument is a cheap mass-produced fiddle that was deliberately mislabeled. But if you spent more than a few hours looking at fiddles (and Kristen, you had spent a few hours reading posts at MN, so you really should have been alerted to the likelihood that an eBay purchase is risky), you would know that labels are usually bogus and in any case not a deciding factor in determining what a violin is. When you spend your whole life studying something and someone who has just casually dipped their toe in and been fooled--and is annoyed when their ignorance is exposed, but they have taken an end-run around your profession... I mean, I can understand when some of the experts get exasperated.
You're rather wrong about Maestronet, in both threads most of the comments were from rank amateurs, who's opinion is not worth anything, the real experts, people like Jacob Saunders and Peter Ratcliff didn't comment, blank face may have said something, he's knowledgeable, most of the guys on maestronet know very little about appraising violins, but have no problem putting in their opinion. And to the uninitiated, you might think you're getting an informed opinion when you're not.
thanks lyndon for your prompt reply, i have located 2 violin shop that i wasnt aware of before and they have some old german violin in their inventory that im planning on trying out.
Lyndon, I would qualify as a rank amateur I suppose (as far as appraising violins is concerned, though apparently I'm better than some folks...), but even I could tell those were Vogtland mass-produced violins, using Saunders' helpful list. You really don't have to be much of an expert to do that. If you buy violins on eBay without expert advice and are "uninitiated," you are crazy, IMO. Sure, MOST of the comments were from people like me, but at least three dealers I know commented (including Saunders, who--let's face it--if we were getting it wrong, he would jump down our collective throats in a jiffy. The fact that he didn't correct the opinions tells you what you need to know). I know you struggled with the MN crowd, but if you can apply a little critical reading skill and do your homework (which virtually none of the people posting these fiddles do)--and you read the site for an hour you can figure out who knows stuff--you can construct an informed opinion. For free.
To Kristen, I am certainly not an expert, so please take what I'm going to say with a large grain of salt. Judging by the photos, I do not think this is an old instrument. I hope I'm wrong, but to my eye it appears to be a new instrument that is perhaps antiqued to some extent. As Philip KT said on MN, if it turns out to be a nice fiddle that plays well and sounds good, you've done OK.
no, you're not an expert. The varnish is new, yes, the instrument is old.
hi paul, yes i understand, as with everything in life, prepare to do the research if you want to get what you want. that shop is one of the high top shop where my friend got his custom for 4-5k so i'm not too surprised with the price tag they offer.
The question is whether they used a good grade of varnish like, say, Minwax Helmsman.
At that price range, there are only two things one should be concerned with:
Carmen, you're right. However, I already have a good set of pegs and a new tailpiece that I had previously, so that's all set. Based on what I see, it might just need a new bridge, and soundpost adjustment, which my luthier does for me inexpensively; he and I have a really good relationship. As for strings, I'll probably get some Tonicas to start, if the strings on it now are no good. We shall see when it comes. :)
These pegs haven't been cut, they're brand new, thankfully. I had ordered them awhile ago in case I was able to get an instrument, so that's all set.
I wouldn't have known that was a joke, I'm glad you said something, Hendrik! I don't know anything about the different varnishes.
Kristen, over at the other place a little reading will take you a long way, including but not limited to instrument identification, varnish in all its glory, and many of the intricacies an difficulties of restoration and repair. I realize it is much easier to ask questions and hope someone will tell you everything you need to know, than it is to work for the information. However, as a grad student you should know the value of your own research and you will gain more respect in your life if you take a bit of time to educate yourself. I hope you are not offended, you seem to have taken offence rather easily over at Maestronet, although reading through that thread, everything you need to know is there, but you seemed not to notice once your feelins were hurt, and asking it all again here is not going to change anything. You say you have a good and trusted luthier. Take the instrument to her or him and let them give you their honest opinion regarding condition and what needs to be done.
The fiddle under discussion is obviously a cheap Dutzenarbeit ca 1900 instrument. Some of those can sound reasonable, and would be good for Kirsten's purpose (use in the classroom).