Fair prices for violins with character.
  • Sold! Antique German Violin, Provenance: William Chadwick

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    SOLD Around the turn of the 20th Century there were thousands and thousands of violins, mostly from Germany, referred to as "trade violins", that were shipped to the United States. I talk about this in my website commentary. Their quality could range from excellent to something you might want to throw on the Yule Log. One of the better trade companies was an outfit known as "William Chadwick of London". Well, that's what they called themselves, but in fact the company was in Germany and the violins were made there. Many of them were even sold through Sears way back when!

    The above pictured violin is just such a fiddle. It is on consignment from a client who brought it to me for restoration and sale. So far so good. However, before it came into his hands, the previous owner had stripped the varnish. I kid you not. There was absolutely no reason to do that! In the process, he also wore down most of the embossing of the Chadwick stamp on the back of the scroll head. There oughta be a law! Essentially, he reduced the resale value of the instrument practically in half. That is why the price here is very reasonable. 

    The good news is that the instrument has been nicely revarnished with a German oil varnish of high quality. The color is a light golden brown. One of the most remarkable things about this violin is the wood. I just love the old wood. Back in the day, even many of the trade violins were made with great wood. Wood was cheap. The top is a gorgeous, narrow and straight grained spruce, and the ribs, back and neck are of a stunning tiger-striped maple. The back is one piece!

    The pegs and end pin are rosewood, the fingerboard appears to be ebony; if it is not, it is very high quality rosewood. The strings are D'Addario Zyex, a new formula from d'Addario that produces a clear, vibrant sound, warm and resonant. I use them on my own violins.

    NO re-voicing has been done to the violin. This violin has provenance and therefore should be left as is. I regret that someone removed the original varnish from the violin, but that was beyond my control. All construction is original. A new bridge and high quality sound post were installed. The tailpiece is a carbon graphite piece with tuners built in. These new "space-age composite" graphite tailpieces are terrific. They are light, bring out tone, and are very well constructed. 

    TONE: The sound of this violin is very respectable, with good woody vibrations, clear highs, and an overall balance across the strings. The tone is neither too warm nor too edgy and can take its place in any musical environment. Volume is excellent and the playability is fine.

    Sound Sample: Please be forbearing and keep in mind that I am no Paganini! This was recorded with a humble iPhone; if you do not have a sophisticated sound system on your computer, try to use headphones so that you can hear as much as possible what is being played. https://youtu.be/1f0-3dEcNvw

    **As a rule, we do not include chinrests when a violin is purchased. We've found that customers are very picky about that, as they well should be. There is nothing worse than an uncomfortable chinrest. Many players prefer their own chinrests, and there are hundreds of different models out there. If you are a brand new player or someone who would be happy to receive a "Guarneri style" chinrest, we will include one at your request.

    PLEASE NOTE! There is no free shipping to Alaska or Hawaii or to countries other than the United States.

    TERMS OF SALE: Filius Fiddles, LLC guarantees all violins sold are functional and playable right out of the box. Any repairs done on the instrument are guaranteed upon arrival, less any abuse or negligence on the part of the owner. Starting from the date of delivery, you have two weeks during which to try out your new fiddle, let it settle in, make any string changes if so desired, and play it in different venues so that you can get a good idea of its ability. Should you care to return or exchange it during that two-week period, no problem! The buyer pays for return shipping. As long as there is no change in the integrity of the instrument, no sign of negligence or new damage, a full refund will be sent.

    Also, after that two-week period, should you wish to exchange the violin for one of equal or greater value, that is doable. Simply contact me and we can make that happen.

    PLEASE understand that sometimes in shipping a violin, the sound post may fall. This is because it is irresponsible to ship a violin under full string tension. Occasionally, with low string tension, the post may dislodge.  It happens. If so, your local luthier should be able to re-install it in about 10 minutes! Just make sure, upon arrival, that your violin's post is standing under the right foot (treble side) of the bridge. If not, do NOT tighten the strings.