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Glenda B.
Glenda B., Antique Musical Instrument Appraiser
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Satisfied Customers: 356
Experience:  30+ years of experience as an antique musical instrument appraiser. Member of Association of Online Appraisers.
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I have a German origin violin, made in the 1930s, with an

Customer Question

I have a German origin violin, made in the 1930's, with an interior lable stating:
Ernst Heinrich Roth 1926 (2138). The back is made from one peice of slab cut maple with a light horizontal striping pattern. The ribs and scroll are quarter cut maple and show more flame. It has not been played in over 50 years. It may need a new bridge and some other very small upgrades, but it is in otherwise excellent condition. Can you give me an approximate value for selling it? Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Expert:  Will replied 4 years ago.
Most of the Roth models in fine condition will retail from $450 to $ replacement value is a different this what you need?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The replacement/insurance value that I was told is well over $2,000. Are you certain that you are talking about a 1926 E.H.Roth violin?

Expert:  Will replied 4 years ago.
That would be the correct range for replacement insurance value, as I stated...but the actual retail you can expect to get is not that much...I assure you that if you tried to sell it to the dealer for that amount, all you would get back would be some stammering and dodging or an offer to take it on consignment....
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Wow! I am shocked. So what would a fair price be to sell it privately?
Expert:  Will replied 4 years ago.
You can be assured the market for these will fall in the range of $450 to $850 in most cases...I would first try an eBay listing with a reserve of about $750 and hope for the best....sorry, but that is the way of life today in a weak economy...and appraisers should always tell you if they are giving you an insurance relacement value evaluation or a retail price evaluation, again, TOTALLY different subjects....
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
O.K. Thanks for your frank reply.
Expert:  Will replied 4 years ago.
I try to be very open and honest and realistic...I do you no service by doing "pie in the sky" sensational estimates (like on the Roadshow and similar tripe) because when the time comes that you NEED to sell something, you need to know what you can REALLY expect to get, not the "best day ever" price...I do not mean to sound blunt or rude and I think that is sometimes how it sounds, because EVERYBODY wants to believe what they have is priceless and rare, but it simply is not true. And, in a weak economic situation, even quality pieces have a hard time achieving what they's sort of like buying a new diamond ring from a jewelry pay $3,500 for it, walk out the door, walk back in to sell it and get offered $1,150--which is what the stone and melt value of the setting is worth. Just the way it is, but better to know it all up front than be disappointed at the end...and if you get more, then it is a pleasant surprise! Best, Will

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