Awesome discovery. If the luthier is respected by others than I would go with his recommendation. Usually restorations are expensive. The used look adds a lot of character you may not get with a new one. Can you bring a friend or teacher to hear or play them? I think $500 is about average for a good fiddle for bluegrass, from what I’ve heard. After a few years of playing you may gravitate to a fiddle sound or a classical sound and if it still serves your needs then great. I struggled with “pretty” wood over sound quality when I started looking and had to get over the idea the violin was not furniture. After playing for 6 years, I now value a violin scratches and all with an amazing sound over a more expensive quality sound. Many net violins in the $2500 and up range are made to look old and worn. To notice a significant difference in new instruments you would have to pay much more than $1000. I would get the German or French violin. Be sure to ask what strings are on them and use the same bow when playing them for comparison. And don’t be shy, spend hours if need be to play both until you know which sound (and look) you prefer. Then you’ll be happy with your purchase, scratches and all. Good luck.