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Al Stancel

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  1. I would say the Expo. 19XX bows, if not damaged or worn out, are the most expensive. I have one Expo 1939, that I would not sell for any price!! As time rolls on, the time period fades into little importance as to value. The thing that sets value most is condition....freedom from wear, freedom from defects, repairs, and so on. I'm sure others will disagree with me, but time period makes no difference. Regards, Viki, Al
  2. Humidity is very low in Arizona and very high, sometimes, where you live. Yes, the climate can make a big difference. Horsehair was used for many years in humidity indicators! Your case is somewhat extream. The only thing for you to do is get the bow rehaired by someone familiar with the procedure. Regards, Al
  3. Hello Michael: A long time ago I got a very bad batch of hair....tried to send it back, and vendor refused...don't buy from him!! Another vendor told me the hair was from hair on the dock stored in brine solutions until enough was accumulated to process profitably. Thanks for you enlightenment, Al
  4. Hello Teresa: If any shop is going to give discounts, just before and after tax time is the best. Sales really drop when folks have to pay taxes. For the largest number of choices, two or three months before school starts is a good time. Most shops build up their inventory prior to the fall season. Good luck, Al
  5. Hello Mark: After 10 years or so, old rosin seems to not grip as well as fresh rosin....don't know exactly why. Goldflex is good rosin for cold climates, if you live in a warm climate...Florida, Southern California, then plain Hill's light is the thing to use. Another thing....possibly too much rosin on the hair. Tighten the bow some, then put the hair ribbon between thumb and forefinger, with a paper towel in between fingers and hair. Rub, with pressure, up...change towel to new surface, rub down. Do this about five times, then run a clean comb from frog to tip. Try the bow, if needed, put just a few swipes of the cake...then try. Too much rosin glazes over and won't grip the strings. Also, when swiping the cake...do it slowly. Fast rosining can also glaze the hair. Good luck, Al
  6. Hello Michael: Thank you for confirming that most bow hair comes from the slaughterd, or otherwise deceased, horses. Every part of the horse is used. Some countries harvest the meat for the table. The skin and hoofs are made into glue, the hide hair is stuffing for seats, and the bones are ground up for fertilizer....all is used...even the tail hair!! Questions: How long can the horsehide, with tail, be stored in brine before the tail hair can not be used for bows? Or, is it done differently now a days...like freezing? Does freezing ruin the hair? Should bulk hair be sealed in plastic and refridgerated to preserve its "fresh" characteristics? How do you select hair which is fresh, with lots of stretch, so that each bundle is good? (As it is now, so far!!) Cheers, Al
  7. Hello Austin: I use the inside mold....and have no trouble with corner miters....in fact, the corner overlap can be made to look perfect with the inside mold....and you are never sure of exactly what you have with an outside mold. Outside molds make the outline look like it was made in a factory....one right after the other....the same. The inside mold lets the maker have some freedom (sloppiness?) in doing the plate corners...no two alike....just pick the one you like best for next violin! (grin) Most of the old classical makers used the inside mold...putting what we call "soul" into the final product. Even earlier makers used no mold at all....and those who buy finished rib garlands today, do not have to use any mold at all. We can't say most, but a large number of French makers use the external mold...same can be said about Italians using the inside job....some use one or the other....even some use both? The final result is all that counts~~~~~~~~ Cheers, Al
  8. Hello: Fairfield, 1999 edition, says $10,000 to $15,000. I think that is about twice too much for fair value in most parts of the country. I sold one recently for $4,500. Auction results show about $2000....I didn't check Maestronet search engine!? Actual value depends, first, on the instrument being certified as authentic by a recognized appraiser. Secondly, value is based on the violin being free of cracks, no repaired cracks, no peg box cracks and no varnish blemishes. Value goes down hill fast as defects rise! Lastly, value depends on sound...a bad sounding one is not worth much. Some folks think beauty/craftsmanship excellence goes into the equation. What is the asking price of the one you are considering? Bye, Al
  9. Good Morning: The little curl on the ear of the scroll looks like a slightly less twist than normal...and, being hand made, there is no way to make the scroll symetrical, only machines do that! It is a fact that the German factories made a run of violins. Suppose they made a thousand of one model. Then, they had orders from Sears and Montgomery Ward. One retiler wnted all Maggini models, one wanted Gaspar Da Solo models....then, the factory put in the labels of both makers, 500 Maggini, 500 Gaspar and shipped....every body was happy....except those of us who wonder what happened 100 years ago?? Bye, Al
  10. Well, I know of two violin makers who did this. One had a big room and highpower sound system playing to his new violins for weeks on end. His neighbors finally got a restraint order and quieted him down. The other, Nicholas Mushkin, Las Vegas, demonstrated the effect. He would play a new violin, letting all in the shop judge the tone. Then, he placed the violin, top plate down, over a huge speaker and played classical music, very loud, for ten minutes. Then, he would play the violn again. There was a noticable difference, the sound being more open and ringing. Part of the effect may be the beating our ears took during the ten minutes, even though we wore ear plugs. I have had a good player play one of my new violins for twenty or thirty minutes. The violin improved as we listened. So, just playing may do the same thing? I hope you get other responses to your question! Bye, Al
  11. Hello Iggie: You are absolutely right....I think we said the same thing. The reason value is not put on a certificate of authenticity is that it constantly changes....at the present time, change is UP. Regards, Al
  12. Hello David: Just a short comment on using foam in the case. People have shipped to me using foam to cushion the violin in the case. About 1 in 10 shipments are damaged. I think the reason is that foam doesn't prevent the inertial hammer effect. The violin, when carton is dropped, is well cushioned on the downward movement. Then, the compressed foam gives a huge re-bound to the other foam. When the violin stops its re-bound the damage occurs. I use non-compressable packing in the case...like folded or rolled paper towels. Cheers, Al
  13. 1813 is the date used most in Schweitzer copies. Check out the search engine at the top of the board. There are 51 discussions....some are quite informative. Regards, Al
  14. Greetings, Jenny: Finding a recognized appraiser is well worth the time. Sometimes getting to one requires an appointment and an airline ticket there and back! The certificate does not inflate the value of a violin....the value is there. Customs folks go by the certified "name" of the violin, in their little black book. With a certification of ownership....your friendly attorney can draft one...you pay no customs going or coming back home. An insurance appraisal may or may not inflate the value of a violin. However, when you have a certificate of authenticity (which mentions no value) you can look up the value yourself, more or less, on the net. Keep in mind that a certificate of authenticity will cost anywhere from 7% on up. Ask for a verbal appraisal first....costs less money. Have a good trip, Al
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