Musical Instruments



Q. I have an old instrument which I think might be valuable. 

A. As a matter of ethical policy, museums and galleries are not permitted to give valuations. You should approach a specialist dealer or auction house. 

Q. Is my violin a Stradivarius? 

A. It almost certainly is not. Many nineteenth century factory-made instruments bore Stradivarius labels, which was an acceptable practise at the time. These violins turn up in attics and closets worldwide, often providing their owners with a brief period of hopeful anticipation. For further information, you should contact the British Violin Makers Association. 

Q. I want to learn more about my old musical instrument. 

A. The Bate Collection staff are always pleased to help members of the public find out about the history of their musical instruments. In the first instance, you should write or telephone to make an appointment. See our contacts page

Q. How do I care for my antique or vintage musical instrument? 

A. This depends on what you are planning to do with your instrument. A schedule of work for restoration or repair would be different from a care plan for long-term storage. If you are intending to play your instrument you may need to find a specialist musical instrument repairer. If you are concerned with conserving your instrument you can achieve a lot by observing a few sensible precautions. For general guidance in light care and preservation click here.