Okay. So I’d made a decision that in my life I really only want certian musical instruments that I know I’ll use. Said musical instruments are as follows: My guitar, my two recorders from grandma, a piano I don’t have, and a cello I also don’t have.
But you see, I have a bunch of other musical instruments that I’ve been given that I do not use, do not need to keep for sentimental purposes, and am holding onto them because what I really want is a piano, but they’re my substitute (but not a great substitute, as I don’t play them).
So, I thought to myself – sell the flute, violin, and harp. You don’t use them. You don’t even want to use them. What you want is a piano, which you would use, but instead you have the harp you bought in Seminary and the flute and violin from your grandparents that they swore weren’t worth anything, etc, and you have no memories associated with those instruments so just put them in the hands of someone who will use them.
So, Craigslist, I thought. And I take pictures. And I poke around with flashlights to find out the maker’s mark inside the instruments. And then, mid posting my intuition pipes up and I decide to google the violin.
And my jaw drops.
Just a student’s violin, my grandmother told me. Perhaps in 1925 when it was made. (Granma, who went to that highbrow musical adademy in NYC whose name I always forget, but dropped out to get married. Granma who had perfect pitch and could play any instrument she laid her hands on. Granma who wrote and rearranged filing cabinets full of music. Granma who spent her life as a church organist, and when she retired continued to play in bands and at receptions until only the last few years of her life. Granma, who after said hoity-toity academy, put up her violin and never played it again. It hung on her wall for the next 65 or so years, along with a bevy of dulcimers she’d collected from her travels and handful of recorders that had a pretty finish but couldn’t keep in tune. Granma, who played the recorder as well as Michela Petri…)
And I’ll grant you that it’s finish on Granma’s old violin isn’t as shiney as the ones in the pictures, but it is a Eugen Meikel reproduction of an A. Strad. “Cremona” c. 1725, and they’re listing for $4250.
Now, please understand that the minimum payment for my VISA (which admittedly got me through seminary, wisely or foolishly) is more than my rent.
And so I’m left with a few different options, based on both altruism and the fiscal reality of my life.
A) Attempt to sell it myself on ebay or similar, hoping to get at least $3k.
B) Sell it to antique music dealer and potentially get half of whatever they sell it for. (I base this guess on what piano resellers get, so our head musician tells me.)
C) Find a program that provides musical instrumetns to inner city kids and donate it, writing off for my taxes whatever it is, after having it appraised for $30.
D) Seek further advice from people who are more expert at this sort of thing than I am – like, for instance, the head musician at work, and my friend Holly who has more musical connections than God.
E) Keep it.
Hm. Open to suggestion. I think I might email Holly, however. She might even know someone who’d be willing to take pitty on an underpaid priest with a VISA bill the size of NYC, and purchase it.
And the harp.