We now have a low cost, well-appointed, expertly-varnished fiddle for about $350, and that includes a bow and case.
These fiddles, a favorite of Civil War Re-enactors do not have super well-flamed ribs and back. They are varnished in an old manner popular in the 19th Century. They are sealed with dilute shellac, stained with very fast-drying spirit stain, sealed with several coats of shellac and then varnished with linseed oil. The method of varnishing yields an old, even rustic, look.
The fiddles are set up with high-quality fittings and strings.
They play and sound wonderful (full-bodied with bass overtones)...in many cases, better than a lot of the vintage fiddles played by master fiddlers! (like my own 120 year old German-made Reinhold Schmidt, for instance). Here is a list of some of the features (NOTE: ALL of these features are expertly-implemented by D. Rickert Musical Instruments in the North Georgia Mountains...Hiawassee, GA, USA!):
- Traditional hand-rubbed shellac and oil varnish (the same type of varnish used on many of the better Martin guitars)
- Flawlessly fit real ebony or boxwood tuning pegs (your choice)
- High-quality German, Swiss or French bridge
- D'Addario Prelude Strings (or other string of your preference...could involve extra cost)
- Pusch-type ebony or boxwood tailpiece with 4 built-in fine-tuners
- Decent brazilwood bow
- Nice arrow-shaped featherweight case
Any of the above can be upgraded.
We are often asked to provide this fiddle in "de-farbed" form. This means set up in a manner exactly as it would have been during the 1860s (real gut strings, real gut tail gut, etc.) Cost depends largely on the brand of gut string used. See setup options for cost of de-farbing.
See the video for a completly de-farbed, gut strung version of this instrument.