Alistair Grieve holds up a violin he bought online recently. The weathered orangey-brown case and scuff marks belong to a nicely worn old instrument. The label inside says François Barzoni, a trade name from a reputable London factory.
The violin should sell for about $4,500. But it’s a fake, so Grieve doesn’t think he could re-sell it for more than $1,200 — not far off his so-called bargain deal. (That doesn’t include the cost of new strings and other tweaks.)
I always wondered about those stories of someone finding a “Insert name of famous instrument maker here” for cheap at a pawn shop or yard sale. I guess it’s always a roll of the dice. Caveat Emptor!