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jamesbuchanan

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Everything posted by jamesbuchanan

  1. ARGH - totally lost mobile data half way through writing this and events have overtaken a bit, but... Thanks Dwight and Martin, @not telling, the price is more to do with the fact that this is a single owner collection which can stretch from the sublime to the *cough* less so. The family are keen to sell everything and allowed us to be fairly reasonable with our estimates. There are some tasty morsels amongst the bunch if you can trudge through. We do try to keep estimates interesting, so please don't read much into them, other than their main purpose - a reflection of where the reserve may be set. M'always here if you need me (although not if 3 mobile continue to mess around with their data settings).
  2. Dear Delabo, Sorry to jump on the thread - I work at Amati and might be able to help. Yes please, come to the valuation, although if you would rather have a home visit we can visit instead. You raise a number of questions that might be better done on the phone rather than on the forum. If you would like to direct message me with a number I am happy to call and we can chat through some of your questions. (one quick warning - I am calling from home as travelling tomorrow - but the feral children are with their grandparents so it should be fairly peaceful). Best wishes, James Buchanan
  3. Martin Swan, you are a scholar and a gent. I am not sure I can add to much of this apart from to say to Mike V, that wherever relevant we do try to give as much information as possible about a collection. Sometimes this can be quite hard as we do (amongst other things) sell the collections of people who are retiring from the business, and want to do so discretely. I am collecting some instruments and bows from somebody who is retiring tomorrow. Most of the conversation I suspect we will be asking how much (if at all) we can use his name. Either way it helps him out so it is going into our May AA sale. But you do have a valid point. I wish we could tell you more. If it helps (it won't), the vast majority of what we sell comes from private clients who have decided to consign. In this specific case, it is an inherited collection of instruments of 'variable' quality. Most specialists are happy to give as much information as they can about individual lots and their provenance. You don't have to believe them, but it never hurts to ask. Kev Chanot. It's expensive finding instruments. The true attic finds cost an eye-watering amount of money in advertising, travel and, ultimately time. I am not surprised that they have all closed - although devastated to hear the Christie's are closing the entire South Kensington operation which has some of my happiest memories. In short Mike V. I am sorry that this auction isn't what you were hoping for. I hope that our next AA sale (which has some tasty instruments in) might cheer you up, and if not that our Specialist sale in June is looking v. interesting indeed. We have a sale virtually every month, we can't get it right every time. And yes, I do miss the days when it was two sales a year. Sorry for late diving in on this thread. I have a daughter who is convinced that her growing pains are early signs of death and I have left the house keys at the office.
  4. Yep - they are not an obvious part of the business model, but I think they are here to stay.
  5. Dear Mr. Allen, I am faced with the choice of doing real work or sitting at Maestronet pretending, so have chosen to give you a bit of background on this type of auction. Our no-reserve auctions (which is a bit of a misnomer as, for tech reasons, we have set the reserves at £10 on all) were initially developed as a way of clearing the shelves of a whole load of instruments that had been lying around for too long. People seemed to like them and we realised we had tapped into an interesting market. Not one that would ever make us rich, but one that allows us to keep as many people as possible happy. Or to put it another way, I started to hate recommending Ebay to owners of trade instruments. The upside for Amati is that we are permanently busy, which means our buyers and new markets are opening up in places we would never have expected. The downsides are fairly obvious too - not least that I need a flipping holiday and our photographer hates me. There are - invariably - some nice little nuggets in these sales. The challenge is that you have to find them. Not the most obvious sleeper by any means, but Lot Four is playing merry hell with my brain at the moment, as so much of it looks Neapolitan. We are having another AA sale (short for Amati Affordable - our designers hate it, but it seems to have stuck) next month. Wherever possible if we think that something would have an estimate of less than £1,000 at auction we try to place it in a no-reserve sale. There will always be opportunities with these sales, although I can only apologise for asking you to wade through the less appealing instruments in the process. All best, JKB
  6. Bother - Can you PM me directly at some point? We might end up being near each other when I am on my travels and I would love to meet up. It's been utterly manic for the last two days. Juggling clients, valuations and the mother of all hangovers.
  7. It's late. I have to be up in five hours (five!) to set up the auction view. If you are on MN please tap me on the shoulder tomorrow or Monday and say 'hello'. In the meantime for those of us brave enough - I hope you all have a good sale-week!
  8. Peroni does not count as alcohol. Nor - in fact - does anything drunk during sale-week. This is science, and a FACT.
  9. Quite possibly my favourite film ever - back in the day when films were funny.
  10. Evening. Am so sorry the catalogue went up so late last night. Took far longer to work our way through the instruments than we had thought. Our poor photographer has had happier weeks. Victordriver. Yes it's a tricky one! Fiddlecollector - me neither! Either way - I hope you enjoy having a rummage. I have my favourites but then at least one of them doesn't have a bid on it at the moment, so what the dickens do I know? Shout at me or PM me if you want to tell me I have dropped a brick somewhere - or if only to offer to help set up on Sunday morning (yes please). Am now cracking into the last beer in the house before I try (for the third time this year) to hop on the wagon.
  11. Splendid. I am in the same boat on the boss front. Even my children refer to Sarah as 'Daddy's boss'. Somehow it doesn't seem fair.
  12. If you don't grab me for a beer at the view I will never forgive you.
  13. Hi Victordriver, Gah - there will be much better MN people on here to describe what I mean, but we tend to look out for the blocks / linings combination on the inside and the treatment of the corners of the ribs on the outside. If you use an outside mould it's harder to make the rib joint look decent from the outside (as it's covered by the mould). When you are working from an inside mould the joint is often moved so that it is less central and usually covers the edge of the C bout rib. The problem (for me) is that there is no obvious rule. G. B. Guad made large holes in the blocks to pop the linings into, but the joint of the ribs on the outside is pretty central - which is unusual. Neapolitan makers often didn't scarf the linings into blocks etc. (And if anyone wants to shoot me down on any of this - feel free - I can barely hold my eyes open at the moment. Been a long week - sorry)
  14. Very unlikely. The dates wouldn't work if nothing else. Scrolls on their way
  15. Dear All, So the emailer (and Maestronet) certainly shook the trees and we are learning more about the collection. We have had corroboration that some pretty impressive makers worked out at Walter's house near Verona - that's the good news - the bad news is that we just can't prove the violins were made in Italy, and I don't want to risk saying they are Italian. Willow blocks etc. but the linings aren't scarfed in. Violins are scraped - only sanding seems to be on the fluting of ffs, scroll etc. Anyway. On the basis of crowd-sourcing, photographs of instrument taken at random attached. Estimate remains the same on £10 - 20, but I wanted to keep you in the loop.
  16. Ahhhhh. I quite like a lot of the dealers - there is one currently who is definitely in our 'bad books' though. Happy days.
  17. Sorry - crossed posts with Fiddlecollector, I will try to get some images and upload them here. There is a fair degree of variation in form etc., but you will get the general idea. As far as the varnish is concerned, although most of the violins are in the white, there are a few that have their ground put on. Unfortunately the one person who would be able to give us some pretty key information - Walter Stewart - is now unable to do so. He died shortly after a lot of instruments had been stolen from his studio and these were the ones remaining. I have been fortunate enough to meet members of the family and the collection has been sufficiently well known for me not to be concerned about the back-story to the violins. It is a rare situation, but fascinating too. The estimates reflect the gaps in provenance - and the fact that our auction system is not set up for 'no reserve' so we needed a minimum price. Victordriver. Horrifically they only serve Peroni at the Langham which is pretty poor form. On the other hand I have never enjoyed Tim Taylor's ever since I discovered it was Madonna's favourite beer. There is a bloody good pub nearby though (Sam Smith's) where beer still seems to be at late 90's prices. I get your point about the drum factory now. Yep. It's going to be hell on wheels. We will be spread over two rooms. I shall make sure I am in the 'other' one.
  18. Morning Victordriver Although the sale is held online, we are having viewing at the Langham on Sunday / Monday before. The violins aren't set up, so we should be blessedly free of too much noise. Off subject I have just discovered that the Langham is meant to have the best bar in the world. Which almost justifies their eye-watering prices: http://www.worlds50bestbars.com/fifty-best-bars-list/artesian-langham-hotel.php Also last time I was there I snaffled an autograph from Joyce diDonato. If you are popping in (or anyone on MN) please grab me and say 'hello', I am usually looking for any excuse not to be working. Best
  19. Evening all, Thanks for mentioning us Fiddlecollector. The catalogue for the March sale isn’t up yet. Should be live on Monday. There is just so much ‘stuff’ to photograph. A bit of clarity. There are two collections in the auction. One big (Walter Stewart’s), and one small (Luigi Villa - which is 12 instruments). I drove a massive van down to Northern Italy a few weekends ago and threw both collections in the back. Made it to Calais with ten miles of diesel left in the tank and two minutes to spare. Horrifying. We hope the sale does well. We have never come across a collection like this before and it is a bit of step into the unknown. If some of the names that have been mentioned in connection with these violins could be proved we would be looking at hefty prices, but there just isn’t the paper-trail for us to support the attributions so are playing it safe at £10 - 20.
  20. In terror of being ticked off - but we actually have one in our current cheap and dirty auction - currently at £10. http://www.amati.com/auction/item.php?id=4032 (As an aside, does anyone have any 'clean' suggestions of what we can call these no-reserve sales? We are stuck between 'general' and 'Amati Affordable', the jury is out - any improvements?)
  21. Brilliant idea. Not sure how easy to do. Will forward over to the techies. I agree it is quite nice to know whether the 'eye' is in tune with the market. It's always fascinating for me to see whether the things I think will fly end up doing so. There might be a nice little function we can drop in, although it will take a bit of thinking through.
  22. Interesting to see that Brompton's are following. *cough* One thing I am getting out of these posts is that you seem to be bombarded with too many (?) emails during the bidding process. I will chat to some people about how to minimise notifications. If you have any suggestions please let me know (DM me if you feel more comfortable). Also a bit surprised to see that not all the instruments spin 360. They should. Any idea on which OS and browser this is the case on? Best wishes (and thank you for being so open)
  23. We should. We are in the process of a re-design, and I shall shove it on the Board of Genius in my office. I have been in this business for too long and take too many things for granted.
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