Over the long life of an instrument, it is not uncommon for it to suffer some damage or wear
It is important to understand the extent and significance of any damage & to have confidence in the quality of any repairs
Soundpost cracks form, usually, because the vulnerable bridge of an instrument gets a knock down onto the table. This puts pressure on the feet of the bridge, resulting in table cracks, and, under the treble foot, the shock can extend through the soundpost underneath to the back of the instrument.
A soundpost crack in the back is commonly considered to be the very worst thing that can happen to an instrument of the violin family.
As far as the playing qualities are concerned, however, a well-repaired instrument can perform just as well as one that hasnít had the damage in the first place. Itís just that the investment value has been substantially reduced. Instruments command art prices, rightly so, and these prices are therefore subject to much the same rules as the rest of the antique market. Thus, a fine porcelain vase or cup is only worth a fraction of its value if it is not perfect, that is, if it has a repaired crack - but it will still hold flowers or tea as well as an undamaged one.
The price should reflect the condition. Cracks of this nature are more common than may be supposed, and a clever repairer can make his work almost invisible. Always ask about any cracks an instrument may have.
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Neck repairs result from collision damage to the head. An instrument dropped awkwardly (and there is no neat way to drop an instrument) may fall on its head.
This can simply knock the neck out of its block, but very often moves the block with it, causing cracks in the back and front at the top of the body.
Again, itís not uncommon - consider that these things were made to be played, often in cramped orchestra pits . . . accidents happen. There are several ways in which the neck can be been repaired, and the buyer needs to be aware of what, if anything, has happened to a possible purchase. Necks should be guaranteed against trouble or movement: repairs are expensive
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Andrew Hooker Violins