I read a lot about fakes on the internet. So it makes me wonder, is my W.A. Pfretzschner violin a fake??

A bit of history: I’ve owned this violin for 25 years since purchasing it through a private sale. I have no clue as to the provenance prior to my owning it.

This violin has a lovely sound, very clear in the high register and great warmth and body.

Disclaimer: I’m not looking for an appraisal and it is not for sale.

Body, front

Body, back

Note the varnish has worn off the lower body over a little more than one square inch.

Body, side


F-holes detail

There is also some wear on the varnish under the feet of the bridge and a couple of scratches.


Label and makers mark

Hard to see but the left says “Antonius Stradivarius” and the right says “Faciebat Anno 1708” with the 17 in printed font and the 08 added by hand. Below is the W.A. Pfretzschner stamp in the wood.


Based on my research, W.A. Pfretzschner was primarily a bow maker working from the late 18th to early 19th century and there are very few of his violins on the market. I’ve seen one or two come up for auction. So am I right to question the authenticity?