1883 Paul Bailly Violin
Appraised Value: $20,000 - $35,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:41)
Vice President & Department Head, Musical Instruments
GUEST: Well, it belonged to my late husband. It was given to him on his 16th birthday. He played small violins till then. This was his going up the big one. He was a beautiful musician. He died about 25 years ago, and it was left to me. I knew it was old. He thought it was quite old. He insured it for quite a bit. After my husband died, I took it to a violin teacher. And he kind of appraised it a little bit. But he told me it was a Paul Bailley. He found the date inside that said 1883.
APPRAISER: Well, you're absolutely spot on. The maker is Paul Bailly. And of the 19th-century school of French, and specifically Parisian makers, he's one of the better. Paul Bailly trained in Mirecourt. Leaves Mirecourt, goes to Paris and works with Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume-- without a doubt the most respected maker and shop of the mid-19th century. And here he learns how to make violins in the true Parisian style. Classic workmanship, beautiful varnish on it. And how these Parisian makers shine is the work is very crisp, very clean and wonderfully proportioned. I think Paul Bailly had a bit of the wanderlust in him. He worked in Brussels, he worked in London and even rumored to have come to New York, although I've never seen examples of his work coming from the United States. The label shows how he marketed his instruments. It refers to three medals that he won in different exhibitions-- one in Brussels, one in Sydney and another one in London. Tell me, you said you had it appraised at some point?
GUEST: Well, he told me that if a person was looking for a certain violin and knew what this violin was, it was worth probably between $8,000 and $9,000.
APPRAISER: And this was about...?
GUEST: 1982, 83, somewhere in there.
APPRAISER: Okay. You know, I think he was probably close then. Though we've seen a pretty healthy increase in the market. The auction record for a Paul Bailly of this quality is $20,000.
GUEST: Oh, really? Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: So we've seen a good increase.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: I would say... you had asked about insurance valuations. I have heard of fabulous examples like this selling in the retail market for upwards of $35,000.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh. Wow, I knew... I was thinking maybe $10,000, maybe somewhere in there, but I had no idea.
APPRAISER: No, it's a spectacular violin.
GUEST: That's amazing.
APPRAISER: Thank you very much.
GUEST: Thank you for bringing it.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.