How is the price of an older violin determined?

The price of a violin can vary greatly and depends on various factors




such as the maker, the origin, the age of the instrument and its condition.

Maker: Who made the violin?
-Master/ journeyman/ workshop work
– Home worker/ factory work

A violin can be a master instrument made by an experienced master violin maker, an instrument made by a journeyman/employee or an instrument made in a workshop or factory. There are violins that were made by home workers.
The reputation of the maker can also influence the price of a violin. The image of a respected maker can increase the value of the instrument. How many instruments has the luthier made? Awards at competitions can also have an influence on the market value.



Origin of the violin

The violin has a long history dating back to the early 16th century in Italy. Over the years, many great violin makers have made violins, including Antonio Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesu and Jacob Stainer. The most famous violin makers date back to the golden age of violin making in the 18th century.
In principle, Italian violins are more expensive than French and German violins, which has to do with their image and the resulting market value. The history and origin of the violin can also play an important role in determining its value.

Market value
The market value of a violin is determined by various factors, including the maker, the condition of the instrument, its age and its rarity. The laws of supply and demand apply here. The reputation of the maker can also influence the price of a violin. The image of a respected maker can increase the value of the instrument. Expensive old Italian instruments are also traded as objects of speculation and investments.
If the instrument was played by a famous musician, this can also increase the market value of an instrument.


The age of a violin is also an important factor in determining its value. Old violins are often highly sought after because they are considered more valuable than modern violins. Stradivarius violins are particularly expensive because they are rare and only a few hundred exist.
There is a debate among musicians as to whether old violins sound better than modern violins. The type of wood used can also influence the price of the violin, but this is especially true for new manufactured instruments. There, the price is often linked to the quality of the wood. Spruce is the most commonly used wood for the top of the instrument, while maple is used for the back and ribs.


Does the violin have value-reducing damage such as a cracked top or back? Worm damage or old repairs, large pieces of food, etc. can also contribute to a reduction in value.
It is up to the violin maker to assess this.

To summarize, the price of a violin is determined by many factors, including the maker, age and condition. The reputation of the maker can also influence the value of the instrument. Although old violins are often more expensive than modern violins, recent studies have shown that the sound quality of modern violins can be equal to or even better than that of old violins.

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