Discovering a true antique violin from the 1800s or 1900s can be very interesting.
We need to consider that almost all the old musical instruments have now been undercovered, due to the strong interest of a multitude of people that want to take possession of them. So we need to be realistic when we find something, that maybe can have value. A real antique violin of 1800, for example, it can come real damaged, rarely in good condition, expecially the top spruce and varnish.
Be aware of flea markets, or not very transparent luthiers, who try to delude you of having a rediscovered a “pearl in the desert”, dated two hundred years. More plausible it is instead a violin that an old owner wants to undo it and then sells it, perhaps through an intermediary.
In the downer photo, the instrument in restoration, has just been rediscovered in an attic. This is a bit the clichet of classical lutherie: “Nonna told me that there is a Stradivari above!”.
It is not “Stradivari“, but a copy of an old German violin with a label bearing “Stradivarius Cremonensis, etc.”, is a copy, but it retains its interest. The woods of this instrument will certainly be very seasoned, even if a bit “bruised”. Finding it partly destroyed is the least that can be expected, we consider that almost a hundred years have passed, they are not few.
Atelier Cesarini buy old violins and other antique instruments (also bows) during the year and we restore them. We call those “Cesarini Collection“.