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Jeffrey Holmes

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Everything posted by Jeffrey Holmes

  1. The silver model used below the bridge does just that. I think the idea of the pegbox model has something to do with kinking. I've just used one, so the jury is still out, but I noticed little change with the exception of taming the wolf.
  2. I don't believe the ones I referenced work that way... they damp the string in the pegbox. If it works, it's cheaper than a good bridge!
  3. I think once some players identify a wolf note it can become a bit of an obsession. I used one of these on a fiddle which did not behave as well as the player wished with other things I tried (what I tried modified, but didn't tame the wolf completely)... It worked pretty well. I didn't get mine from this company.... probably have to search for a supplier who can service you where you live/work. Expensive little things, but if they make a player happy.... The same luthier makes a silver one that attaches behind the bridge, but this one works in the pegbox: Theunis Titanium
  4. Judging from the video, that's about as much curvature as I ended up with (same type of plane). Yup... doesn't take much abrasive if the blade is shard and planing is carefully done carefully. I don't mind planing boards, but it does leave a bit of a mess.
  5. I suggested it because the OP said he didn't have a grinder and expressed budget concerns...
  6. https://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/using-a-hand-cranked-grinder/
  7. Hey... I like nice planes... but I agree with Michael & Fiddle Doug. The most crucial factors are blade quality, sharpness, and the the tuning of the plane body. My favorite plane is and old "Craftsman" (Stanley) chrome-dome with a very good blade. Comfortable in the hand, not as heavy as a Lie-Neisen and trued as dead flat as I can get it. I often use a bench plane for the flat (glue surface) side of the board, but the Craftsman also does a nice job for that on violin/viola boards. For the concave longitudinal fingerboard surfaces I use a Stanley block plane with a Hock blade (I find them easy to sharpen) with a sole I modified to be VERY slightly (did I mention very slightly) longitudinally convex. Getting a very even and correct scoop is a breeze. Barely need to think. I also have smaller planes for board surfaces when the need arrises, but it's rare as hens teeth that it does.
  8. After 17 years, I have no idea which Gagliano photo it was! Format of the board has changed since 2005. Unfortunately a good number of images were lost.
  9. I believe 1923 is the year Ch J. B. Collin-Mezin passed away... The firm was continued by his son, I believe. To be honest, I rarely consider if violins from that period onward are "authentic" or not due to their more commercial nature, though they certainly may have emanated from the shop (or have been made for the shop). I believe production was moved from Paris to Mirecourt sometime in the '20s, but don't know the exact year this occurred. What I can say from a brief look at your photos is that the the oval signature label is what I'm used to seeing in these later ones, though the scroll looks a bit odd (may be the camera angle). I would also expect mention of the Grand Prix-Exposition Universelle on a label after 1900, but as I don't really pay too much attention to these later fiddles I can't say if that is something to be alarmed about or not. Sorry I can't be of more help.
  10. :-) ...and yes. a 1908 would still bear a pencil signature...
  11. Violins labeled Collin-Mezin in the mid-late 1800s are very different than those from the 1923 . Approaching and after the turn of the century, fiddles bearing that label began to be, and continued to turn, much more commercial in nature... the hand written signature turned into an ink print signature on an oval paper label (you can see the edge of the label in the OPs photo). Then began the strange models (Le Victorieux) which have all the grace of a coffee table with strings.
  12. My mistake... I get Jeffery or Homes a lot myself. :-) Typos corrected.
  13. Think the blank quote first appeared on Mayberry's post.. i have no idea to which post it is linked to
  14. I'm sure it takes me longer, but like Dave S., I've never really timed it. Most all the bars I install are part of restorations, many installed "in the cast" or altered to fit over cleats.
  15. Funny. Same town too. Has nothing to do with ethics of re-graduation... everything to do with communication style... think I'll need to monitor your posts for a bit.
  16. The tone of your responses kind of reminds me of a member who used to post here in the past... Lyndon, is that you?
  17. 1) Yup. Quality of the old standby blanks is pretty hit or miss. Sorting and selecting is a must. I teamed up with a colleague about 6 years ago, bought really nice seasoned wood from two trees and had custom violin and cello blanks made from them. Very pleased with them. Almost like the old days. Think I may do a second round and design viola bridge blanks too. A little more expensive in the end, but less waste and happy clients (and happy me). 2) With Belgian style bridges, I began to be to be cautious a while ago not to take too much from the inside of the ankle (I take mostly from there, just a little less than I was initially taught to) to limit the bowed nature of the leg (this is dependent on where I want the ankle in the end, of course). I've not experienced any tonal or response issues doing this, like the looks, and the Belgian bridges seem to be a bit more stable.
  18. "The ‘da Vinci of Violins,’ Handmade in 1736, Could Fetch More Than $10 Million at Auction" Sounds like the auction house media is attempting to take advantage of Tarisio's advertising of the Strad.
  19. Hi George; I'm sure you are aware of this, but for others, this article reflects the US courts view considering instruments used by professionals... they are viewed as tools. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1994-08-30-9408300014-story.html Concerning the Amati report, your link didn't show the data set, but I have no argument with their results... I will point out the following, however: "Real returns to the overall portfolio of individual sales since 1980 have been about 3.3%”. This is based on a dataset of 337 repeat sales of the same violins from the mid-19th century, and over 2500 observations on sales of individual violins at auction since 1980." Please note: "mid 19th century violins"... and... "sales of individual violins at auction" Limited data set and 2500 of that set were auction sales. Mixed markets are tricky. When I appraise I am required to pick one to justify and define the value. No mention of 18th century instruments nor 20th. Probably wise to narrow the sampling, and not arguing with their results within that data set. I welcome the research (and will probably seek out the specifics if available), but you can't ignore the "holes" present in the Amati statement. Also: "An average investment may bring you a return of 3.3%, but – as in most investments – if you choose wisely and take the time to research the market, your chosen maker and the condition of the violin, you can achieve returns much closer to 7% and above." Almost every return number sited on this thread is within this range... and 18th century Italians tend to track in the middle of the range... in fact the (specific) farms I tracked in NY had similar appreciation rates when I produced my report for "the firm". None of these reports, including the one I did, address resale costs... but I suppose none of the comparisons to "better" investments, mentioned or unmentioned, do either. Glad that bridge is holding up after all these years.
  20. Wow... busy day yesterday. Missed a bunch. George; the first bit of my first response earlier in this thread started with a response to a quote from Sean's response: Sean: "As I tell my clients...I can buy violins as an investment because it's my job, I can buy them and sell them.You might find it harder." Me: "Yup! As it's our business, we also have the advantage of understanding when something that is under market value, the ability to enhance value through restoration, relationships with other colleagues who may offer inventory at a reduced price, et., etc. etc. We also have the advantage of being able to market and resell without relying on a another who charges a sales commission. This all allows us to maintain a business, feed our families and invest in their future, and have a little fun." I think that is a realistic and honest summary. I also agree with Jacob... and use the "rule" above when purchasing instruments, couches, dinner and art among other things. However, tossing violin family instruments into the heap of "collectables" without consideration isn't realistic... and I feel the article therefore is crap concerning them. Beanie Babies have not held value, pottery has a rather unreliable history, Furniture is questionable, Hummels have a decreasing audience, etc. Violins do have a tool component, are constructed to last centuries, and can boast a comparatively stable market history. A published quote on the the subject; "Even instruments not in the top tier offer a steady increase in value, appreciating approximately 5.5% annually as cited by Donald M. Cohen in The Red Book". The same article describes rare violin family market as "Often seen as a passion project, or part of a philanthropic venture, rare and fine stringed instruments offer an exciting option to diversify one’s investment portfolio while providing an opportunity for an exceptional long-term investment." Passion is an important component... and while "exceptional" may be a bit optimistic, underlining the words "long term" is important, and cost of resale isn't mentioned, I otherwise have no argument with the rest of the statement or unadjusted growth of that sector. BTW: good dealers help ensure this stability, just as a good broker makes sure you can afford to spoil your grandchildren when you retire. My sensitivity to the copious data thrown out on this thread concerning return on investment for various investments, and the rare crude comparison to pure collectables, may be due to the fact that I produced a report on the subject of the violin market for "the firm" way back in the '90s. The report specified market (retail/auction/wholesale), period, maker, condition and comparison with other (traditionally considered good investment) markets like Real Estate... and also considered cost of living adjustments. For example, the S&Ps 10.5% return, adjusted for inflation, runs about 7%. The price of a good Nicolo Gagliano has remained remarkably consistent with the price of a small farm in upstate NY for many, many, many decades. I see little such comparison or definition on this thread or in any of the linked articles... nor do I see it in any of the pro-violin market propaganda pieces I've read elsewhere. Although costs of maintenance and insurance (which may be tax deductible), as well as cost of resale have been mentioned, when speaking of Fulton, who amassed "the best of the best", one should understand he was in a position to dictate the consignment fee (and did) when reselling. I would never recommend a violin as the core of a retirement plan, though I do have many clients who have used the instruments they played professionally to augment their funds... and others who passed away without selling them (couldn't bear to part with them). Retirement funds also require liquidity (I would not say instruments are terribly liquid, especially at anything approaching full retail) to continue producing for the retiree... The idea is to protect principal. Selling the fingerboard this year and the scroll next year simply won't work. :-) I believe one reason "Violin Hedge Funds" have not been widely successful when attempted is that although they do appreciate, it's not fast enough to satisfy investor greed. It may also be due to the fact that, although some are not current used as tools, they are tools (and one of significant customer categories for the nose-bleed variety over the last 10 years have been some notable orchestras supported by philanthropists). That's what I got... Best to all.
  21. George... Working so I'll fill this in later, but when considering a "tool" for a career in entertainment, some of the factors you listed determining "fair market value" do have bearing... and owning or using a famous old instrument may certainly be an investment and advantage in a players "business". Again: The question of return on investment, as I've mentioned, is less of a factor for a pure collector than a speculator. My personal judgement is still that pertaining to violins and related objects, ignoring speculators, the article is crap. The scope is too narrow.
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