Violins can be worth anything from £1 for a battered old Skylark to £10m, and beyond, for Stradivaris and Guarneris. Nobody knows how much was the most expensive violin ever sold as buyers usually insist on anonymity, but sales in the millions are not unusual.
The first question to ask is whether you know who made it. The attribution is vital, as different makers achieve different prices, depending on the quality of their work.
The next important factor is condition. Forget whether the violin has its strings or not, the important thing to take into account is cracks. Most cracks can be repaired, but they cost money to do and although you might be able to hide them, they will always ‘be there’.
As many labels are false and many attributions dangerous, it is usually wise to have the instrument looked at by an expert. Sometimes it is possible to do this from a photograph; sometimes they will need to see it in person.
Our specialists at Amati travel around the world looking at instruments and, if you look at our valuation day schedule, you will probably find we are near you soon. Our market appraisals are free and without obligation. If you can’t wait, fill in our simple online valuation form for a quick and free appraisal.
The most efficient way of finding out what your instrument is worth is to send us a few photographs through the Amati online valuation service. We should get your valuation to you within three weeks. If you want it within three days, we do have an express valuation service, which costs £20.