Saturday, October 11, 2008
I always tell people that the least important feature of a violin or fiddle is the label that is inside. So many times, these labels are not original or have been altered in some way. This was done years ago not so much to make a fiddle look more valuable, but in some cases to make it look less valuable. For instance, when the Jewish people were persecuted by Germany, they would hide their fiddles and often change the labels to make them look less valuable. After WWII, the Germans weren't thought of very highly, so some people changed the German labels to make the instruments look like they came from somewhere else. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for labels to be changed or forged on auction sites to make the instruments appear to be more valuable than they actually are. In fact, I have even seen just the labels for sale! I ran across this label inside a fiddle I was working on and thought it would be a great example to show here. Notice how the Made in Germany label has been stamped over.