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Everything posted by jamesbuchanan

  1. For example #199 of why you should always double-check an auctioneer's workings. It turns out the number is actually Viola 138. Which - thanks to Mr. Saunders - is a huge relief as the dedication to Chambers now aligns. Also, I don't even need to mention the 'varnish' inside on the condition report, as it is actually linseed oil and original to the viola which brings us to example #200 of why you should double-check etc. To be fair there are people with good handwriting, and then there are doctors and violin makers. PS - to those of you coming to London for the view. I promise not to greet you with a hand shake / kiss / hug - but do come up and say 'hello', I suspect most of our business will be online for the foreseeable so it will be good to see the ones that make it through the fumes of virus and certain death.
  2. @Fossil Ledges Sorry for late reply (last day or so has been putting the catalogue to bed - always fun - but live now). I can see the attraction of what you are describing. My main concern is 'policing' good practice and the potential damage it would do to our brand. I accept that the AA sales aren't particularly ideal either, so it is as much an exercise in branding as the tech. Sorry brain-fried. PM me directly if bored and we can bounce ideas around. Best wishes, James
  3. Mr. Ledges, am always happy to encourage the hoarders. In fact, the next couple of months might be nothing but as I think my valuation days might be on pause for the foreseable. Please PM me - would love to help. As for organising the sales, can you help me out a bit on this?
  4. Ok chaps - thanks for this. Game on. We'll change the cataloguing in our Affordable Sales. @GeorgeH thank you for the suggestion. @jacobsaunders label photographs is more of an engineering problem than a management one, but I think we should be able to get it to work. Thanks all - enjoy the evening.
  5. Ok - fair enough. May I think about it? I agree it doesn't take much to do but I am haunted by buyers buying 'A violin labelled Klotz' as a genuine Klotz.
  6. I think predominantly you are talking about instruments in our AA, no reserve sales? In which case I do see what you mean, but as an auction house I would really rather not. We mention the labels where they exist, but not in the title. I used to do it - in the old days we had a lot of fun with 'an interesting violin labelled etc.', but at best it's a distraction, at worst it's an invitation for somebody to be misled. I have been doing this for 20 years and still feel like a junior member of a club of exceptionally knowledgeable people, as a result I would rather give the facts and let me people draw their own conclusions based on them. As for our specialist sales, we fill our boots with glorious descriptions - but again - never using anathema words like 'interesting'. If a violin is - people will be interested.
  7. Thanks Jacob - and thank you for the email. You weren't wrong about the writing - will email you properly later. Label pictures. I will talk to Ralph today to see whether he can do it. We have looked at it off and on, but never got round to implementing. Will tap him on the shoulder now.
  8. @twcellist All good points and absolutely no offence taken. We are aware that it hurts the company not to publicise the big sales we make, however our view was that it helps the clients. It was a genuine discussion that we had at the outset. Our conclusion was that the vast majority of our clients simply didn't want us to show how much they had spent publicly. We felt that in a situation where somebody is prepared to trust us to the tune of six figures etc. it was a bit of a slap in the face to then shout about it after. I am aware that we are unusual in approaching it this way, and I am not criticising our competitors. The upside is that it keeps both buyers and vendors happy, and perhaps we have more people bidding, knowing that the transaction isn't stuck in Google's archive for eternity. Greatest reach is another tricky one. I haven't crunched the numbers, but I believe we bring more instruments to market than any of our competitors. We also have a sold rate in our auctions in c.80% range, which means that virtually every sale we bring to market is 'fresh', which means new vendors, new buyers - and lots of work. Our reach is pretty huge, but, you are right... we don't shout about it (apart from this paragraph - please excuse the irony). I remember a few years ago putting a banner up on our home page saying that we had sold £X million in instruments that year. Within days, an alternative auction house *cough* decided to do the same thing - but with a higher number. That was the point I decided that playing the ego competition wasn't for me. If you know us, we hope you will use us. Thousands do - but if you don't, I get it. Catalogue lead time. Noted. Yes. There is a balance and we probably have it slightly wrong at the moment. We try to give a huge amount of information online (73 photographs of each instrument, exceptionally detailed - if sometimes flawed - condition reports etc.) and it just takes time. We are absolutely looking at ways of making it faster - right down to altering the UX of our software to make the process more intuitive at administrator level. Hopefully this works - and not too waffly etc. Best wishes, James
  9. Thanks Jacob. Am sending you a private message if that's ok?
  10. Different viola (different auction house), but thanks Jacob - that's what I thought. It's number 136 (made in 1992). Special commission - but can't remember for whom. I was up in Nottingham fairly recently. Posh was the first word that came to mind - obvs.
  11. Oh dear Lord, don't pull me in on this one. I do think we might have dealt with it differently perhaps. On another note, the sun is shining and hopefully frying all the Chinese Bat Flu critters around, I have finished going through our bows, and hopefully I will see some of you reprobates at the view. @jacobsaunders, I have one of your father's violas in the sale, but did he ever varnish internally or has somebody decided to get creative? As the bridge is also varnished, I suspect it is the latter... and that should definitely go in the condition report. Off to pick up my girls from school. Look after yourselves chaps, and if at the view, grab me for a drink. I may need one by then. Best wishes, James
  12. The problem is that we do sell some pretty remarkable instruments (see below for a stunning Ceruti coming up in our March sale), but we never highlight the instruments we have sold after the auctions. We have found that most of our buyers prefer not to leave a stonking great digital footprint and that putting up banners announcing how well we did really isn't in the interest of our buyers. It's a juggle, perhaps one we need to look at in the future, but given we have an auction pretty much every month, selling some fairly splendid instruments amidst the (admittedly) less splendid ones, we seem to be getting it right somewhere. I hope.
  13. Morning all, I thought I would drop in to say that yes - Tarisio, Brompton's, Ingles Hayday and Amati are all moving their sales earlier in October to try and avoid some of the inevitable fall-out from the Halloween deadline. I hope that it helps you all to have fractionally more stability while viewing, and I can only apologise for the soap-opera of politics over the last three years. Grim. Hope you all had a good Summer, and everybody over here sends their best wishes, JKB
  14. Hurrah. Thank you - sorry for not replying to this earlier. I need to keep an eye on notifications - but thank you for buying from us. Good wood seems to come along fairly frequently through our auctions (I think we have a few bits in this one along with some pernambuco), but I genuinely can't tell the difference between the good, bad and the ugly, so always grateful if somebody buys them. Thanks again!
  15. Language is such fun. All becomes clear - an issue of syntax on LiveChat and mis-understanding on our part. Sorry for utterly misquoting the price! @J Corry So. Shipping a piece of wood (i.e. a cello back) to Canada is c. £150 - 200. Cheap as chips. On the up-side we now know that returning three cellos to Canada (i.e. three cellos back to Canada) would cost £1,000. Which is still cheap, but not exactly relevant. Total misreading on our side. Apologies. Should be roughly £150 - 200 shipping per cello back. Does that help? Sorry for the confusion, we had had an auction a couple of weeks before and the shipping dept. were in cello shipping mode. Best wishes, James (p.s. @SingingTree Tonewood thank you for reassuring me on the spamming front.)
  16. Good grief. Will double check with the office. That sounds far too high. Will ask them to look for providers other than DHL!
  17. Yes - sorry I should have made that clear. It's hard to balance out the general urge to self-promote against the fact it is rather tasteless and apt to get me a tap on the knuckles (and quite right too). Still, it seemed relevant, and the wood is tasty. Best wishes
  18. Erm. Well... this is slightly awkward but: https://www.amati.com/en/auction/1049-december It comes from the workshop of a very good maker who is retiring. He paid c.E800 for each back alone. Of course in the spirit of BBC neutrality other providers are also available etc.
  19. Will have to pass on that one Martin. Although you are welcome to pop up tomorrow and have a good old leer. It gives me faith when things like this continue to turn up. Makes me feel like I am not entirely wasting my time, what with all my international jet-setting to Cornwall and stuff.
  20. Sorry to wake this thread up again, but does anybody know how much the restorable Amati went for in the end? Was ferreting through a box of old violins for our next AA sale and found something similar.
  21. With apologies if this is a bit too blatant, but: http://www.amati.com/auction/item.php?id=7482 They may go into the auctions at a low estimate, but they never stay cheap for long sadly.
  22. Beautiful photographs - and a lovely violin - Junior Member. Happy for them to stay up! Thank you for bidding chaps. An exciting sale.
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