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My Great Grandfather's Fiddle (Jacobus Stainer) Late 1800's, early 1900's

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Posted 5 years ago


(36 items)

I don't know much about this, chinablue may be able to comment further, given it was her grandfather's. I know that my great-grandfather played this on horseback on his way to college. That was around 1905-1909. The tag inside says "Jacobus Stainer, made in Germany" I have installed a new bridge for it, bus still have the old one. I have the original bow, with the original horse hair (the one in the pic displayed with the violin), but I also bought a new one (that's the small one in the case). Once, my grandparent's home was broken into, the case was removed from the closet and opened, but the thieves didn't take it.. Thank goodness!

I put this as an Unsolved Mystery because it needs a category, and I'm not sure which it belongs. Also, if anyone has info about the company, please share :)

Oh, and for the record, no, sadly, I cannot play it... However, one of my old high school teachers could, and did. It plays beautifully when someone who knows how has access to it :)

Unsolved Mystery

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  1. nsvmom nsvmom, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the love, Mikko! :)
  2. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    What a beautiful and exciting violin – and a marvelous and charming account! I am smiling as I conjure up an image of him playing on horseback while en route to college. (UVA?, perhaps?) I am so very happy that you have this!

    Jacobus /Jacob Stainer was a celebrated violin maker of the 17th century. According to Wikipedia, he was the earliest and best known of the Austrian luthiers, and his designs influenced construction in many countries, among them Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and Italy. He was born in Austria, but I also find him identified as a German. Leopold Mozart preferred Stainer’s instruments over those of his contemporaries’. (See link roger-hargrave link below.)

    Your violin is marvelous, but I cannot affirm that it is by the same person. The font in the label is not authentic to the period in which the original Jacob Stainer worked. I wonder if this could have been made by a descendant of his? I think it might well be a copy of one of his celebrated violins. His work was much copied in the 19th century, and there was a great demand for violins in 19th century America, per the first link below. Is there anything else on this paper label?
  3. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Greatgrandfather! Sorry! : )
  4. chinablue chinablue, 5 years ago
    Sorry, but I don't have much more information than what you already have here, sweetie. I think this would have been given to him rather than purchased, most likely handed down to him. He would not have bought something as 'frivolous' as this, though he enjoyed it immensely. He was born in 1882 and it probably belonged to his father or perhaps his grandfather. He also had an old banjo that dad's only sibling, his evil sister Mary, chose to sell at a garage sale, along with many other things.. but I digress. *taking a deep calming breath*
    And for miKKo, he would play it to entertain himself on his 50+ mile trek to VPI (now better known as Virginia Tech) where he was a cadet and student. His horse knew the way and he would play as they plodded along.
  5. nsvmom nsvmom, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the love everybody! And thanks for the links and info, Mikko! Nothing else is written on the inside tag.. I did, however, notice that it has STAINER printed in black below the neck on the back. I'm certain that it's copy, but it's at least an OLD copy. :)
  6. nsvmom nsvmom, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the love, everyone! :)
  7. jimborasco jimborasco, 5 years ago
    MiKKo, you ARE the best!! I learned to play "Faded Love" on this violin.
  8. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Thank you kindly, Jimbo!!! What a wonderful memory! : )

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