Who would buy an antique 1/4 size violin for more than $2,000?
I have heard many say that the sound does not vary that much from the cheaper ones below $500 and the expensive ones above $2,000 due to the limitation of the small size body. Then what’s the upsides of owning a more expensive one, like those from France, Italy, Germany with 100 years history? Any dealer on this website who could share some insight am based on their experience?
If it is well-made, it can be a lovely collectable, just be sure to keep it away from children.
Or maybe it sounds really great and you have tons of money and you want junior to have the best instrument he or she can have for his or her lessons.
For the vast mjority of children a fractional size violin under like $800 is sufficient. They will grow out of it anyway and have to pass the instrument to a younger sibling or someone else. The really expensive fractionals can sometimes sound really nice because they are better made. They are worth it for very serious students who play at a very high level at a young age or a child prodigy type.
The wealthy parents of a prodigy.
Rent!!! Children have a tendency of getting larger and growing up.
I dunno if any of you have tried any pint-sized fractionals of late, but there's a pretty wide range of variance even in identical models of the same brand -- just as there is with larger fractionals and full-size. And there's of course variance between different price bands.
The wealthy parents
I sell them at that price point and above quite frequently, not to mention fine small bows!
I am not sure why people continue to push the myth that price is an indicator of tone quality, but that is not true for fractionals, either.
Price doesn't have a linear correlation with quality, but given a particular budget, there's a strong statistical correspondence between the general quality of violins at different price points.
Me on another forum, paraphrased: -
Here’s a half size violin labeled STEFANO SCARAMPELLA that sold for 23K at auction (Estimate 30-$50).
I wonder what the buyer thought it was. The auction says "labeled" and not "by", as it would have said if the appraiser actually believed it was a Scarampella. To have hit that price would probably have required multiple bidders with an opinion of a much different attribution.
Thanks for all the different opinions, which are very insightful indeed.
Stradivari made a pint-sized violin, which was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston until recently. (Must see where it went-- it was owned by the Kolisch family, I think.)
Why would you buy a kid a $2K violin? If my kid was good enough to play a $2K violin, I'd definitely think about it. Right now he plays on a $150 fractional sized violin that I did some work on so it plays correct. If he gets good enough when it's time to step up, I said I'd buy a better quality fractional. Maybe $500. I guess if someone out there had 4 times as much cash in the bank as I do, $2000 wouldn't be that much of a stretch to justify. Of course the real question is how I justify paying that much for a violin for myself! ha ha!
People spend that kind of money on hobbies all the time. Think about what people spending on gym memberships, sewing machines, golf clubs, a nice set of power tools, etc. Or even just taking a vacation.
My daughter played Jay Haide from 1/2 size and traded up as needed. I would certainly do it again. Even though you only have to buy one, a good piano costs way more than that, count yourself as fortunate :-).
Yes, I tend to agree it is worth it if the sound is good for the prize. If I had a child I would most certainly consider it for him/her, knowing how much easier it is to learn on a better instrument rather than the cheapest you can get by. And I am not by any means wealthy. Of course I am biased as a violinist first and foremost, but I do not see a vacation or expensive hobby as important as gifting my child with a decent fractional violin he/she would enjoy learning and growing with.
Lydia's last comment on other hobbies and holidays/vacations is what finally swung me. I had no idea what an amateur should spend on a violin until a friend pointed out that the money I had was what many people spend on a vacation each year, and I haven't been on vacation for 20 years.
People talk about using money to buy experiences rather than using money to buy Stuff. But we can't ignore the fact that Stuff usually creates experiences, if of a more mundane everyday kind. For instance, if you are choosing between a big-screen TV vs a vacation, the vacation is probably going to generate more singular memories, but the big-screen TV is likely to make your life better every day for several years, especially if you watch a lot of TV. Same thing for a violin if you practice regularly.
My daughters first violin was off Amazon, second from Shar, but 1/2 and 3/4 were older German fiddles. Judged them in blind test with teacher against