1928 Eugene Meinel Violin

Value (2013) | $5,000 Retail
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GUEST:
This was my grandfather's violin. He told me he's had it since he was three, so about 1927.

APPRAISER:
And what were your plans for the violin?

GUEST:
Make it wall art. I was going to glue tiles to it and make it into a mosaic piece of art, and instead I brought it here.

APPRAISER:
I'm so glad that you brought it here. I'm sure your work making it into a mosaic piece of wall art would have been lovely, but this is a really significant violin.

GUEST:
Oh, it is!

APPRAISER:
Inside the violin, there is a label, and that label says, "Eugen Meinel, Markneukirchen, 1928, copy of an Antonius Stradivarius." Eugen Meinel was a very famous workshop from the city of Markneukirchen, where many, many great violins were made between the 1920s and '30s, and they were called artist violins. It was a time of really bad economy all over the world, and the makers of that city of Markneukirchen determined that the best way to make money was to make violins for the people who had money.

GUEST:
Oh!

APPRAISER:
And so they made these fancy violins with beautiful oil varnish and beautiful wood, and they were significant instruments at that time. The label says "1928," that's exactly when it was made, and so I suspect that's when your grandfather acquired it.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
It's not in playing condition now. It needs some basic work. The thing that I'm most concerned about is the fact that on the back of the violin, there's something missing. If you look at any other violin, you will see that this line continues and swoops out and then comes in, and somebody carved that off.

GUEST:
Oh!

APPRAISER:
And I suspect it was carved off because when you hold the violin, it got in the way of his finger.

GUEST:
Oh! Huh!

APPRAISER:
This violin as it is right now in a retail environment would be worth $5,000.

GUEST:
Like that?

APPRAISER:
Right, as is. Now, if you fixed it up into playing condition, it would be worth probably closer to $6,000. If you actually restored that, we call it the chin on the back of the peg box, if you restored that chin, then it's a $7,500 violin.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
So I think this is much better than... Gluing tiles to it and making it into wall art? (laughing):

GUEST:
Right. Oh, wow!

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Givens Violins
Minneapolis, MN
Appraised value (2013)
$5,000 Retail
Event
Boise, ID (June 29, 2013)
Period
20th Century
Form
Violin
Material
Wood

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