Sullivan Violins is always refreshing and expanding its selection of finely made older instruments. Ken Sullivan and his team of luthiers carefully put these instruments into their peak playing condition. Throughout our years working with antique & vintage violins, we’ve found that many early 20th century German instruments rival their Italian counterparts in sound and craftsmanship. We also have a wonderful selection of older instruments from France, England, and Eastern European shops and distinguished makers. Once an instrument is placed in the hands of the skilled luthiers at Sullivan Violins, the end result is a fine vintage European violin in fantastic playing condition at a price that is significantly less than a comparable example.
Benefits of Antique & Vintage Instruments
There are numerous benefits to playing a vintage instrument. For starters, most antique & vintage violins are completely one-of-a-kind, giving you a musical sound quality that is hard to beat. Additionally, many players appreciate the fact that an older instrument has been “played in.” The instrument has “learned” to resonate and the wood has aged like a fine wine, producing a mature and responsive sound. What’s more, you’re starting off with an instrument that has stood the test of time and is in excellent playing condition. Older instruments by known makers have also stood the test of players over many years, and the best makers become known for the quality of their instruments. The valuation reflects their esteem from musicians across generations.
Antique & vintage instruments, well cared for, will maintain their value over time; similarly, instruments by well-known makers and in excellent condition have increased in value over time. Given the fact that these instruments are limited in availability, they can be highly sought after, making them an excellent investment. An antique or vintage instrument will also display wear patterns acquired from years of enjoyment. This patina is as much a part of the allure of the instrument as is the shape, sound quality, and carving of the instrument.
Identification of the provenance of an instrument is critical to understanding antique and vintage instruments. Many instruments carry labels identifying their maker or shop of origin. However, labels can be misleading. Sullivan Violins relies on our extensive knowledge of instruments, our library of authoritative works on fine instruments, and our network of experts to accurately identify instruments and valuations. Individual makers have distinct carvings, varnishes, stamps, etc. which have been documented and identify an instrument’s maker, school, or instrument workshop led by a known master or entire generation.