With Which Twentieth-Century Style Is This Music Most Closely Associated The Truth About That Stradivarius Violin You Just Found At A Yard Sale

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The Truth About That Stradivarius Violin You Just Found At A Yard Sale

Antonio Stradivari (1644(?) – December 18, 1737) was an Italian maker of stringed instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, violas and harps. He is generally considered the most important artist in this field.

It is thought that Stradivari was responsible for the production of around 1,100 different instruments. About 650 of them are believed to have survived and of those 500+ are violins.

It’s the dream of every yard sale chaser and thrift store shopper to find that long-lost Stradivarius violin and reap the millions of dollars that will result from such a find. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting buyers make the mistake of looking for one of the thousands and thousands of reproductions produced, and thinking they’ve found the real deal, pay far too much for cancellation.

Most of these reproductions were built in Czechoslovakia or Germany from the beginning of the 19th century until about 1920 and their number reaches tens of thousands. The vast majority of them have the label “Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno” with a handwritten or printed date below it. These labels are affixed to the inside of the violin and are clearly visible through the “f hole”.

These are “Stradivarius” style violins or reproductions. When they were made they were not really intended to deceive the buyer. It was more of a marketing strategy to point out that the violin was modeled after original compositions by Antonio Stradivari.

Because of this fact, the date on the “f-hole” labels is usually correct for the year the device was made. A label dated 1865 should be a clue that this is a reproduction since Stradivari died in 1737.

When the original buyer purchased this violin he knew he was getting an instrument that was a cheap copy of a priceless Stradivarius and not the real thing. Over the years, the facts surrounding these debaucheries were forgotten, and thus a rash of “found” Strads began to appear in antique shops, pawn shops and garage sales.

Many of them have labels printed in English to comply with US import regulations at the time. If your Strad has an English label, it was not made by an 18th century Italian string maker.

On most of his violins Stradivari used a printed label with the last 2 numbers of the year which was handwritten in ink or pencil.

If you look at a labeled Stradivarius violin, you can be 99.99% sure it’s one of these fake instruments. Of the approximately 500 violins known to have been made by Antonio Stradivari, only a full hand is not counted. These are considered lost or stolen and never returned.

Beginning in March 1891, after the passage of the McKinley Tariff Act, all goods imported into the United States were required to be marked in English with the country of origin. In 1914, the Tariff Act was amended to make the words “produce” in addition to the country of origin mandatory. This was not strictly enforced until around 1921, So it’s still possible to find some pre-1921 pieces without adding “Made In.” If your violin has a country of origin label, it’s most likely made after 1891, and certainly a Stradivarius “style” violin or fake.

Since the American market was the largest at the time, most instrument makers were very quick to comply with the Tariff Act, producing thousands of these Stradivarius copies with the “Made In” label during the latter years of the 19th and early 20th centuries. .

The quality of these reproductions varies greatly, from pretty good to really bad. Current market values ​​for late 19th to early 20th century Strads vary widely. Their value depends on the build quality, condition and sound. This is something that should be determined by a string instrument expert.

However, I often see these German or Czechoslovakian copies sell for less than $75 at auction. However, if you have one of these knock-offs, all may not be lost. Did a little research on the bow as I have seen $2,500.00 bows with $75.00 bows.

Today, an original Stradivarius can sell for a huge amount of money. One of his most famous works is a violin he completed in 1721 and known as the “Lady Blunt”. It was named after Lord Byron’s granddaughter, Lady Anne Blunt, who owned it for 30 years. The “Lady Blunt” sold on July 21, 2011 for $15,932,115.00 at Tricio’s auction. It was sold by the Nippon Music Foundation for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief.

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