Joseph Rocca 1837

August 3, 2019, 7:21 PM · While browsing the endless sea of EBay violins I happened upon this.
Label: Joseph Antonius Rocca fecit Taurini anno Domini 1837
Neck grafting: I can hardly tell the pictures are not that good.
Corners: seem typical of a Rocca?
Varnish: what are those stains? Good gracious

Edit: Apparently it was sold for $1,200 but the state of the varnish is what keeps me baffled. Could this be a Rocca? The seller claims it comes from an estate.

Replies (12)

August 3, 2019, 7:54 PM · I think it is unlikely that anyone would sell a genuine Giuseppe Rocca for that amount. Some "Joe" Rocca violins have brought over $200,000 AT AUCTION for 20 years. The most recent auction price was over $400,000.

I was offered one for $2,000 by a violin shop in Columbus, Ohio in 1972 - even then that price was low enough to warn me off. When I asked the dealer for some certainty, he was whishy-washy about it. It had a dark varnish like the one this discussion is about.

August 3, 2019, 7:59 PM · Andrew
Thank you for the insight!
August 4, 2019, 2:49 AM · These are interesting cases. Obviously the fiddle is not a Rocca, it's just a phony label. What makes these things interesting is that these sellers don't even bother to monetize the label by asking, say, 5000 or 7500 dollars or euros for the instrument. That would still make it a steal for a genuine Rocca and maybe entice a buyer who thinks it's his lucky day. Instead they ask what a lot of dealers would ask for such an instrument without any label (or just the generic Strad copy label). The Rocca label is just a way to get more attention.
August 4, 2019, 6:00 AM · Except that the violin wasn't worth $100 and it sold for $1200, that's called monetizing a fake label.
Edited: August 4, 2019, 8:14 AM · It was also clearly listed as an "Italian Violin" (it isn't), and the buyer can force a return because the item is not authentic or as described.
August 4, 2019, 10:58 AM · Hard to prove that it isn't - not only gorgeous fiddles were made in Italy...
August 4, 2019, 11:06 AM · I agree, it would be hard to dispute it isn’t and no doubt to deal with an angry seller.
August 4, 2019, 11:14 AM · Actually it would be an easy case to win with ebay, they might ask for a letter from a dealership, but usually ebay is pretty understanding about fraud.
August 4, 2019, 11:18 AM · You mean, one wouldn't have to prove that it isn't, but the seller would have to prove that it is what he claims it to be?
August 4, 2019, 11:23 AM · Lyndon
That makes sense. I’m lucky to not have bid on this. Yet, there’s always that very small chance this violin may sound somewhat decent if that nut was to be sanded down for starters - good gracious.
Edited: August 4, 2019, 11:42 AM · All you would need is an established shop to say it was German. Which I assume it is. Ebay usually sides with the buyer in disputes like this.
August 4, 2019, 11:29 AM · Lyndon
A German copy to say the least. I wouldn’t be surprised if the seller himself made the fake “antiquing” on this. Makes you wonder if it’s original state was even meant to be how it was listed

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