Violin and Pfretzschner Bow
Appraised Value: $2,000 - $2,300 (1998)
$2,600 - $3,300 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:43)
APPRAISER: You've brought a violin with you. Can you tell me anything about it?
GUEST: Yeah, I started playing it when I was a young boy and at 13 years old, I needed a new violin. And at that time was all through the Depression. There was no such thing as a good violin. And my father who happened to be in a real estate little business had a client that was looking for a house who was from Poland and had a daughter who played this violin and she lost control of her fingers in a gate accident. So he'd come to this country and needed a home so my father and he got together and he traded a house for this violin. And along with that, my whole life changed. And, uh... A lot of people were made happy. He got his house, I got my violin and I went on to do great things with it and it's now been in my life for 65 years and it's done a lot to make my life what it is today.
APPRAISER: Wonderful. Can you tell us about what you know about the origin of the instrument?
GUEST: I think by looking at it what we have is a Jacobus Stainer and I think it's 1655. The rest of the writing I don't quite understand. It's all in Latin. This particular instrument plays a sweet, soft, mellow tone against, like, a Stradivarius that has a sharp, strong tone. And going for my lessons my teacher would always want to play on this and he'd give me his Guarnerius.
APPRAISER: That's wonderful. Well, let me tell you a little bit about Stainer. Jacobus Stainer was a very well-known 17th-century violin maker. He was so well known, actually that he was well copied by English, German and even other Italian makers. He was the founder of, actually, the Tyrolean or German school of violin making. What we have here is an instrument that is actually one of those copies. It's a little bit later than the label indicates. The instrument was made in the late 18th century. And the indications from the outline of the instrument and the purfling inlay, which is this area right at the edge that small three pieces of wood that is inlayed around the outside of the violin and these oval-shaped sound holes-- the eyes of the sound holes, actually, or the "f" hole indicate that the instrument was made in a town called Markneukirchen. The scroll of the instrument is actually a later edition and the instrument's been well restored. Your story is marvelous. I feel that it's wonderful that your father was able to give you a gift of music. I feel that the actual value of this instrument is more in sentimental terms than that of market terms and I feel that the value of the instrument-- we might see about $500 on today's market partially because of the condition of the instrument. It's been restored. Along with the instrument, you brought in this bow which is made by a family, Pfretzschner family, in Germany. This one was made by G.A. Pfretzschner, probably about 1920. Not long before you started owning the instrument did this bow come along. I think we may have overlooked a little gem here. This family is still making bows today. They're quite well thought of. And what we have here is a very nice and usable violin bow at a value of $1,500 to $1,800 so actually a little bit more than the instrument itself.
GUEST: Well, the dollar value is one thing but the value to my life is something else.
APPRAISER: I agree. Marvelous story. Thank you very much for coming to the Roadshow.
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