How can you tell if a violin is vintage? – Learn Violin Beginner Lesson 7 Problem Set

How can you tell if a violin is vintage? – Learn Violin Beginner Lesson 7 Problem Set

It’s a difficult answer—more difficult than deciding whether the guitar is a Gibson or a Les Paul. First, it’s important to understand that violin instruments are often made from the same period as in the case of guitars. Even if a violin does have a certain date stamped on it, a number engraved on neck or body, or a specific serial number on the back, it means nothing as far as how well the violin was built. In fact, most of the times one can find good information on violin making is not the actual manufacture dates but the general date range that makes up the manufacturer of the instrument. This information has been found by various individuals. For example:

The first published listing of violin manufacturers in 1895 stated:

L. Pätzold, Würzburg, Wiesbaden 1891-1919

The earliest known listing of violins, made in 1893, was in the catalogue of the Berlin Chamber Orchestra as follows:
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Kapp, Wiesbaden, 1889-1890

In this information sheet the manufacturer of the violin is not given and a “Kapp” is identified “L. Pätzold” at the bottom of the page (this violin was used by the Berlin Chamber Orchestra!). However, a subsequent listing of makers on a violin catalog at Kapp’s in 1896 provides the following additional information:

D. V. Kapp, Würzburg, Wiesbaden, 1891-1919

In this information sheet, the manufacturer of the violin is also identified but does not list the instrument as made by L. Pätzold which is the exact name of the maker:

D. C. Kapp, Würzburg, Wiesbaden, 1891-1919

At first glance this seems to cast doubt on the date of manufacture. However, a more critical examination of the information sheet shows that the violin is actually made in the city of Wiesbaden and the instruments was made by D. Kapp & Co. This would suggest that the violin in question was made in Würzburg, but there is a further clue. At the bottom of the information sheet, the following is noted:

The violin shown is a German instrument of the late 18th century. It was made for use by the Berlin Band of the Berlin Band Society.

In the same information sheet, D. Lutz Kapp is identified as the maker of the

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