View Full Version : Period hard cases for Fiddles

Misplaced Rebel
12-11-2009, 10:08 AM
Hi all,
I don't normally hang out around these parts, but I have a somewhat weird question.
I've played fiddle for eight years and counting, and I plan on taking my fiddle (an 1892 Fr. B. Fischer that looks older and could easily pass for CW era) to events with me. However, I don't want to ruin the experience with the bulky fiddle case I normally use. I have a spare hard case with a plastic "faux leather" exterior- plain black. I've ripped off all non-authentic hardware, but this plastic worries me. I'd like to cover it up and make it look more period...anyone done this before? Any other suggestions for period hard cases? Any pictures?
Thanks a lot,
-Chris Thulien :)

12-11-2009, 03:18 PM

Try this link to the Banjo Factory. I see banjo and guitar cases but they may be willing to make you a violin case.


12-11-2009, 03:26 PM
I think your best bet would be to find an old style coffin case. These were made of wood typically painted black, and had an arched top. There are a lot of them out there and probably available from flea markets etc. Often the fiddle inside is junk. There are of course differences between a real 1860 case and ones made decades later but i think they mainly have to do with subtle (or maybe not so subtle to some) hardware developments. Most folks who have fiddles that they originally aquired in these cases have switched to a more modern case. I've got one but it is viola size, I pad it out with a rolled up shirt inside.

Dave Culgan
Camptown Shakers

Georgia Parson
12-11-2009, 04:35 PM

I am making no claims on the style or age of this case or its condition but just happened to see it and thought you might like to take a look.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Old-Antique-4-4-Wooden-COFFIN-Violin-Case-NEAT_W0QQitemZ120502727680QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item1c0e85b400

eric marten
12-12-2009, 07:34 PM
Another suggestion would be your local independent music store or violin shop (NOT the big chains like Sam Ash, etc.). These shops might have old - style wooden cases in a back room that they do not have any use for, for a very reasonable price. These shops are sometimes also a source for real gut tailgut for tailpieces, just sitting around, which no-one wants anymore (except us).

Eric Marten

01-13-2010, 11:54 PM
The best thing you could use for a period case would be a coffin case. You can get one in fair condition on ebay for around $30. I got mine from a teacher who specialized in old instruments.

When you get it, if the case is period there would be no padding in the case. What i do is I wrapped my violin up in a plain table cloth to slightly pad it. Otherwise, it should be good as it is unless it has any flaws or missing pieces.

Misplaced Rebel
01-14-2010, 06:57 PM
Just got back from fiddle lessons, where my teacher gave me the pick of four hardwood coffin cases he acquired when his store purchased a new location. Got one for $15, in great condition.
Thanks for the advice, everyone; it 'played out' nicley!;)

-Chris Thulien