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Everything posted by bongeo

  1. Hi, Skiingfiddler. I am 65 years old, and I have a hand that is, no exaggeration, the size of an 8-year-old child's hand. I am playing a 3/4 violin because that is the largest size I can possibly manage. I used to play a 4/4, a very nice Juzek Master Art, left to me by my father, but I really couldn't get my little finger down to the right position on it most of the time, and I was constantly just a hair flat, which drove me crazy. I have found a very short 3/4-- it is only 21 1/2" long--with very chubby bouts. The 3/4 I used to play was 22 1/2" long, and had a lovely sound, but this shorter violin is much easier for me to play. It is obvious to me that the shortest violin I can find is the best choice, and I was very lucky to find one with such a wonderful sound that fits my tiny hand. I am 4'9" tall, and my extremities are much smaller than those of other adults I have met who are around my height. I had completely gotten over my rage at the universe for my being so tiny until I began playing the violin, and then I got angry all over again. It has taken me several years to get past this cosmic injustice a second time. I should have chosen my parents a lot more carefully. Or I should have fallen in love with the clarinet.
  2. Which gauge G string do I need? I discovered that they come in different gauges, and I don't know which one is compatible with the Obligatos that are on my violin now. Thanks.
  3. I didn't know any of this. Thanks. I guess I'll try someone else before I get the Evah string.
  4. Thanks. I'll ask my luthier to check the soundpost.
  5. Hello, all of you experienced luthiers and players. I need some advice. I just bought a gorgeous 3/4 violin for myself. The D, A, and E strings are all terrific, and produce the same volume, but I am not totally happy with the G string, which sounds just a little weak to me. I have Pirastro Obligatos on the violin now, and I would like a different G, but I don't know what to buy. Any suggestions? Thank you. Bonnie
  6. When a seller has blocked your bid, you get a message immediately after you have tried to place the bid. There is no explanation -- just the message that your bid was blocked. I have been blocked by two sellers (they told me so) for whom I left negative feedback which they richly deserved. I tried to place a bid on one of their items just to see what would happen, and I got a message that my bid had been blocked. If you didn't receive such a message, there was probably a delay in eBay's processing of your bid. Ebay has had a lot of technical problems in the last few weeks. I am very active on eBay and I can tell you that they have been extremely slow lately. I buy a lot of stuff for my house, and slot cars and CD's for my brother, and I have not been able to get my bids in on time while I was "sniping" because eBay was too slow.
  7. I got a violin from a Chinese seller, and it arrieved packed only in its own soft case and the thinnest possible cardboard box, a really cheap ,flimsy one, with no packing material at all inside the box. Both the case and the violin were fine.
  8. Thanks to both of you for the info. I recently bought a wonderful 3/4 from Corilon and it is French, from circa 1860. This might be one of the best 3/4's in the world. You would not believe the quality of the sound and the volume that come from this 21 1/2" violin. No label or stamp inside, but it is the work of some master luthier.
  9. I got curious today and I googled 3/4 violins to see if any famous makers made them. There was NO info at all about very old and expensive 3/4 violins. Did Stradivari and Guarneri and Amati et al not make any violins in this size? What do the best 3/4 violins fetch at auction? Does anyone know?
  10. In April, 2009, I bought a Klotz copy made in Mittenwald on Ebay. The seller was diceman1956, and the price I paid for it was a mere $355 plus shipping. The total came to around $382. This violin is a gem. It is probably around 80-100 years old, with a mature, resonant sound and excellent projectiona and volume. The sound is on the dark side, with a deep, velvety bass and a beautiful, singing sweet treble. If I were only tall enough to play it! Some day, this violin will be sold to a very lucky customer for not much more than I paid for it. It has been my most outstanding buy on eBay, and it is an absolutely wonderful instrument. My teacher is extremely impressed with it. I do not believe it is possible to find a better buy in a violin in any venue. It is certainly possible, in my experience, to get very lucky on eBay and find an inexpensive but gorgeous sounding violin. This one is anonymous, so it isn't worth much on the market, but the sound is the important thing, not the price, in my opinion.
  11. There is no copy of Henley available here in Ocean Springs, MS or any of the surrounding libraries. It may not be an obscure reference work, but it is not here in Mississippi. As I said earlier, I will find these references when I can visit my family in the Boston area, where there are wonderful libraries. I got considerably less than $1405 for the violin. Nobody here will pay in the vicinity of $1000 for a violin. The ticket inside looked exactly like the first one you included in your post, except with a different date. Thank you for your assistance.
  12. Thank you all for the good advice. I'll give this one a pass. I figured people who were more knowledgeable than I were not bidding on it for a good reason, and now I know why.
  13. I'm looking at a 1/2 size that is for sale on eBay by Violinbuff. The number is 230383327135. He says it is from circa 1880. You can see that the blackened areas on the front and back look deliberate. They appear to be patterned, not random. Is this violin a piece of junk?
  14. Does anyone know why an old (1880) violin would have large blackened areas on it, both front and back? It can't be rosin build up if it is on the back, too. I have been trying to find an answer on Google, with no luck. Maybe one of you experts can answer this question. Thanks,
  15. I was wrong about where the violin came from. I had bought several violins in eBay (and they were all decent student quality violins) and I had gotten confused about where this one came from. I bought it from a local seller, who knew a friend who knew I was in the market for any local violins of good quality. My notes about this violin were wrong, and I mindlessly typed the mistake when I first posted my request on this forum for any information about the maker. I didn't bother to correct the error because it didn't seem important at the time. The seller knew nothing about Franchi. The violins I get on eBay came from two sellers with whom I have done some business since. I have had good luck with both of these sellers--no lemons from either of them. If you don't think you are buying some rare treasure for $200 on eBay, and you are objective about what you are looking at, you can find some nice older instruments at reasonable prices.
  16. I live in an area where library resources are scarce. So I wasn't able to find any of these books. I have tried online to find them, but I haven't been able to find any of your sources. Thank you for supplying them. I have copied your response and I will be able to get more information when I visit my family in the Boston area. At least I now have a birth and death date for this luthier.
  17. Dracula, the student's father is a lawyer. They took the violin to an appraiser, who told them it was worth at least $2500, which is a whole lot more than they paid for it. Sometimes, people will sell something that they don't have a clue about. This violin did not come from eBay. I don't buy my watches on eBay, either. And I'm not stupid. Nor am I rude to other people who post on this forum. Grow up, Drac. Being nasty to unseen people over the Internet is the lowest form of cowardice. Besides, I'm only 4'9" tall and I'm a girl. Pick on someone your own size, who can confront you in person.
  18. My violin is unlabeled except for a stamp that says it was made in Mittenwald for Lewis & Son. No date, no maker, just a number, #115 and a size, 3/4. This violin sounds superb, and I got it for $37 on eBay last year. I have never heard any other 3/4 that came close to the incredible sound that this little violin produces. I have no idea who made it, because the records of the Conn Company, which bought Lewis & Son, don't go back to turn of the century, when this violin was made. Some anonymous genius made it. I couldn't believe my luck when I got it. I don't care about its market value, which is probably pretty low, under $1000. What I care about is the sound, which is so enchanting that I can't put my violin down. I practice like a fiend because I want to hear that sound in my ear all day. If you didn't know that this was a 3/4, you would swear you were listening to an excellent 4/4 Strad copy. So I understand perfectly why the label can be irrelevant. It's the sound that counts, in my opinion.
  19. So far, I have not been able to find out much of anything about Celso Franchi. The violin was perfectly beautfiul and had a rich, full, mellow sound with excellent projection--a soloist's instrument. If I were big enough to play it (I'm not), I would have kept it. I play a 3/4 because I am so tiny. I didn't rip off the student's parents, I assure you. This was a truly outstanding violin. The student is thrilled with it. I'm sure it will take her through college and into a professional career, if she intends to play professionally. To find a better sound, you would have to go into the $10,00-$20,000 range, which is nowhere near what I charge for my violins. I charge in the hundreds, not the thousands, because I live along the Gulf Coast, where almost everyone was financially impacted by Hurricane Katrina, and most people are still having problems restoring their homes and belongings. So I haven't overcharged a student or her parents. This violin was worth a lot more than I got for it, which is par for the course for me. I simply can't charge a lot, or I would never sell an instrument. My clientele is suffering financially.
  20. I finally found a photo online of Celso Franchi and a lot of other workers at an Italian construction company in the 1930's. He had a day job, and made violins in his spare time at this point in his life. I can't find out anything else about him, except that he made some very good guitars. Still hoping that someone has heard of him and can give me some more info on him. I sold the violin he made and got a good price for it. It went to a promising high school student with serious musical ambition. She loves it. I wish I could tell her more about it.
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