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Obtained this violin today which is marked inside . Can't make out all the text but believe it says Venus Stradivarius also marked faciebat Anno 1724 with a trade mark that looks like a circle with a cross on top of circle. I found a similiar one on eBay asking price $499. I know little else about it and any help would be greatly appreciated. I know I'm not lucky enough to have a authentic one but your expertise would be much appreciated. I can't post actual a pictures because my iPad doesn't show a toolbar . So I am posting links. I will post a number of pictures which you can see in replies . Thanks in advance for your help. Thanks, John

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John, I highly doubt you have an original Strat. However I would suggest seeing a dealer in musical instruments. You might also want to find a serious auctioneer. ( Like a Christie's ) One needs to see quality of wood how it was assembled etc. No one can give a serious appraisal without holding it and checking it out 

Thank you Fred I never thought it was authentic

I know many a forgery is out in he world as well . 

Antonio Stradivari (1644 - 1737)

Purported to have been a pupil of Nicolaus Amati, Antonio Stradivari is considered by many to be the greatest violin-maker that ever lived. Stradivari served his apprenticeship with Amati, and stayed until 1670. During this period, he is not thought to have signed his work. Independently wealthy as a young man, Stradivari was free to pursue his quest and passion for perfection. His work can be divided into three periods:

Circa 1668 - 1686

The instruments made during the first period are known as "Amatesé Stradivari", which resemble Amati's "Grand" model, but with modified corners, and flatter arching. The wood used during this period, although acoustically sound, tends to be less figured than his later instruments. It has also been said that Stradivari spent this time procuring what he thought to be the best wood.

Circa 1686 - 1694

The second period is characterized by graceful, larger instruments with even flatter arching, elegant f-holes, and Stradivari f-holebeautiful golden or light red varnish. Towards the end of this period, Stradivari made instruments known as "Long Pattern", so-monikered for the narrowness between the f-holes, which gave the violins a lanky appearance.

Circa 1695 - 1725

Deep and brilliant in tone, the best Stradivarius violins were made during the third period, when Stradivari was in his 50's. The grace, beauty and faultless perfection of instruments made during this period reflect the greatest violin maker's powers at his peak, reaching its zenith around 1714. Supple and elastic, the glorious translucent varnish applied by Stradivari continues to baffle experts. Over the centuries, masterful copies perfect to the smallest detail, still fail to capture the soul that Strads from this era radiate. Only after 1725, does the work of this great master begin to show the effects of age.

Stradivari was a very prolific and industrious maker, completing, on the average, twenty-five violins or ten celli a year. In his sixty or seventy years of activity, he must have completed well over a thousand instruments. A surprising number have survived to this day. However, as the single most imitated maker, there is little doubt that some of the surviving "genuine" Strads may ultimately be revealed as masterful copies.

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