Pricing of Strings Instruments- Appearance
Visually, a violin should be attractive and blend in with other instruments. Without even playing a selection of violins, most of us will likely have a preference based on appearance. This is why I put a picture of Stejpan Hauser here. Many people find him appealing. Just like people we all have our likes and dislikes in instruments as well
Often people zero in on instruments that are highly flamed, which has little to do with the tone but does give a prestigious look. A violin has a greater appeal too if it has a one-piece back. When you go to a restaurant; having your meal arranged and presented with flair is more appealing than in a buffet-style mound. In much the same way you want your meal presented, you would like to choose a violin that you will be proud to carry and use-even though looks do not determine the sound quality of the violin.
Many modern makers take great pains to make a violin look like an old Italian masterpiece. They know that most customers do not like taking a brand new, bright, and shiny instrument to their music group. They prefer something that looks elegant and well-aged.
Looking “old” though is one thing. However, the presence of numerous scratches and gouges is only going to devalue an instrument. I have seen many names scratched into instruments, as well as dates of perceived importance. Many times an inexperienced repairman has tried to remove these and has instead further damaged the instrument.