Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
One Man's Trash is Another Man's…$35,000 Violin
Friday, January 11, 2013 - 10:00 AM
A man who found a violin among some trash by the side of the road in San Antonio, TX, has learned that the instrument is a 1922 Giuseppe Pedrazzini violin.
Peter Shaw of Houston dealers Amati Violin Shop appraised the violin for an episode of the PBS show "Antiques Roadshow." The program was recorded in Corpus Christi, TX last August and aired on Monday night, as reported on the website of The Strad magazine.
The finder took the instrument to a dealer in San Antonio to authenticate the instrument and assess its value. “My wife has a violin that belonged to her grandfather and we thought that we could use it for parts to repair it,” he said. The dealer initially offered him $1,000 for the instrument.
As Shaw explained, the instrument was covered in dirt but once cleaned and restored it could be worth as much as $50,000. Giuseppe Pedrazzini was born near Cremona, Italy, and was known as one of the leading makers in the so-called Milan school of violin making. “It’s just a fine example of his work,” Shaw noted.
"Holy smokes, that was a pretty good day," said the finder. The instrument is now for sale.