The Myths and Mysteries of Violin Pricing
Part Seven of Seven
by James W Robinson
In conclusion, newer is not always better than older violin family instruments. Some old instruments also have an antique value, rare and highly sought after, making them more expensive The quality of sound is very subjective, so their price is a factor of who the maker is, when and where they were made, the condition they are in and their provenance.
In auction house sales, such as in Sotheby, Phillips, Bonhams, Christie's, etc., it used to be that often hundreds of instruments would be laid out on long tables, many without even strings or any set up at all. You would almost never hear any instrument being played. Large crowds of buyers/dealers would mingle, looking and picking up instruments. Bidding decisions were made based upon their expertise alone and the often scant information in the saleroom catalog.
(copyright James W Robinson)