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Everything posted by jamesbuchanan

  1. Dear GeorgeH, If the main purpose of looking at the site is to find out what prices instruments have sold for, then yes, we are probably not the auction website for you. We would love to be able to publicise some of the prices we have realised, but a great number of our buyers would prefer to bid knowing that the instrument they might end up getting has the smallest possible public history. To remain discrete was a decision we made about four years ago, one that brings an inevitable cost in traffic, but one we don't regret. Best wishes, James
  2. Hmmmm. That's a horrible question about last minute bidding as - genuinely - I don't know the answer. I will check with the techies. My suspicion is that there are a few variables i.e. computer speed, internet speed, server response etc. which would make bidding in the last 30 seconds a brave call. One of the ironies of the system is that we (as in the office) don't experience it from the user side, and I think there would be a lot of benefit for us to get a test auction up one day and just sit down with some guinea pigs and talk through the user-experience. I will chat it through with our techies, but we are making some big changes over the next three months to a whole host of issues (i.e. how do we market our cheap sales without completely devaluing our brand) and UX is going to be a very big part of it. Returning to the 'when to bid' question. You have to be able to trust the auction house you are leaving a bid with. If you think that there is a possibility that the auction house will bid you up to your maximum then you will want to leave it until the last minute or two. Amati take the Caesar's wife approach and not only prevent me from seeing the bids coming in, but also boot me out of the office during the auction day itself, just so clients feel a bit more re-assured. The next auction is in February but is online only (one of our no reserve sales), but hope to see you in March! There are a million things that we can improve at Amati and feedback is priceless, so thank you. Best wishes - James
  3. Evening sftokyo2016, Looks like you spotted a few bargains - I hope you had some fun if you were bidding. Can't really comment as the auction is still going, but good work and thanks for mentioning us and if you ever do make it to one of our viewings grab me and say 'hello'. Best wishes, James (P.S. The Betts was / is completely delicious)
  4. I am pretty sure I have seen this brand before on a E.H. Roth. I remember a brand that looked more like 'Eurgh' than 'Ernst' and finding it odd at the time. The memory, wine - or jet lag - may be playing tricks on me, but I think it is probably right. I have seen about four Roths in the last three days (I need to get out more). All had a compressed brand in two layers, but they all dated after about 1920. You might be looking at an earlier one. Do you have any photographs of the back of the violin? We have one online at the moment as a comparator, although I suspect later than yours (1929) http://www.amati.com/auction/item.php?id=3120 I saw a factory made instrument with a 'made under the supervision of Ernst Heinrich Roth' violin at a valuation day today. Looked grim. Client wanted upwards of £3,000. The only thing of value was the bit of the label that mentioned Roth's name.
  5. Was desperately hoping somebody else would mention the Amati Exhibition, but as nature abhors a vacuum. We have a whopping exhibition in the ballroom at the Langham hotel in London during October sale week. It has grown every year so I amn't quite sure how many exhibitors we have - probably somewhere around 30 - I know we are running out of 'tables', but Sarah and Charlott are the brains behind it and know more than I do. Exhibitors are usually a good balance between dealers, auction houses and violin makers. This year we have Trio Isimsiz playing - last year Robby Lakatos and Tamsin Little. Absolutely buckets of free booze and food at different points throughout the Sunday and Monday and generally speaking good fun. (Except for me - last year I slipped a disc moving the piano and spent most of it curled into a ball, whimpering). There's a bit more here: http://www.amati.com/the-amati-exhibition/
  6. Am definitely going to have a snoop tomorrow (am banned from the office during the auction as I tend to be a stressed-out nuisance). Thank you for bidding on the violin though!
  7. Pop in either way. There is usually a round of tea or coffee going. We usually start setting the sale up at 6am - so I will be the scruffy looking bloke with a burning need for caffeine. Edit: Could I also apologise for the ENORMOUS banner we have at the top of the page. Not sure how that happened, but sincere apologies to all the MN-ers.
  8. Martin - I owe you many drinks. Are you down this weekend?
  9. Morning. Erm. Amati... We have about ten sales a year. Views are in London and the auctions are online. We sell instruments from £50 - £500,000 +. If you are based in London come to the viewing - it would be good to meet a MN person, and there is a fairly decent bar in the building. Nearly everything we get in to auction is 'fresh' to the market, which means that although each sale can be a bit of a curate's egg, we are currently averaging over 85% sold this year. It also means I spend most of my time travelling, so I am rarely in the office. Which doesn't matter much as I am not allowed a desk. This May sale has some nice nuggets in. We are also having a June sale, and I can't help thinking that the office are going to tee me up with a July sale as well. Hope this helps. Best wishes, James
  10. Yes - the pins in the corners are usually a sign that somebody British took an instrument off to the colonies. I can't remember seeing it done by other countries, but I suppose we are looking at a period when the British travelled rather a lot. It doesn't prove the story of the label, but it supports it. I live in Wales, and there is something rather romantic about the cello finding itself back here. The regimental museum is just up the road and were useful in fleshing out Sergeant Gamble's details.
  11. Mine. Hers, as it happens is currently experiencing electrical 'issues'. On the up-side, have had a look at the car this morning and I may, may get away with a new radiator. Looks like the hedge and the bottle of whisky came out worst. One of the disadvantages of having so many auctions is that there isn't any downtime. I would like to stay in bed and pretend I had whiplash, what I have to do is load 45 cellos onto a van and drive it in to Mayfair. I shall grieve for my crash virginity after the weekend. Anyone around on Sunday, grab me for a drink. I don't feel like I am on parade this time.
  12. Melvin, you are a scholar and a gentleman. Funny old evening this one. I landed from Sweden, was on the BBC talking about the Perry cello, ploughed car into a nearby hedge at speed. Walked home and guzzled much of a whisky bottle to shake out the jitters. Going to be interesting to find out what Sarah has to say to me in the morning.
  13. Here we go for the maple dimensions. Length: 40cm - 41cm Width: 12cm - 13cm Thickness at widest point: 4cm - 5cm Thickness at narrowest point: 1cm - 2cm Martin was mostly right and a tiny bit wrong about the wood. Virtually all of it is from the JTL factory, but there are a few pieces of maple that just found their way into the warehouse. The owner bought the wood from the workshops in the late 1960s / early 70s, just after they had closed down. He said that they had huge storage areas and he and a couple of friends went through everything cherry-picking the best. Not all of it is super, some has some (gassed) worm, but it's interesting for me to have this small connection to the workshops. All knocked down now sadly.
  14. Here we go. I asked Oswald to measure three different lots so we can get a 'span'. Between 38 and 40 cm for the length Between 10.5 and 13 cm for the width Between 4.5-6 cm for the thickness at the widest edge. Between 18 - 20mm at the thinnest edge.
  15. Hello - I am stuck on a bus to the airport, but will get Os to give you the dimensions. Each block has enough (just) for two halves of a top. It doesn't leave much of a margin, but if I get some dimensions on here (and on the site) it might give you more to go on. Am sorry about the slap-dash way the wood went on the site. I have been doing this for nearly 18 years and I have never (as far as I can remember) sold batches of wood. Should have more info in a few minutes. Best wishes, James
  16. Should also mention that if anyone is thinking of coming to Sweden this week. Don't. It's minus 17 in the shade and I can't feel my toes. It is sunny though.
  17. Thanks Martin - sorry I won't be seeing you this weekend. MIght owe you a beer for this one. We have just whacked up photographs of the wood. Sorry it took so long - this has been a hell of a sale to pull together. I think our photographer is going to go on strike. JKB
  18. I am suddenly having to become an instant expert on violin wood. This week I picked up 300 or so pieces from the old J T-L workshops in Mirecourt. It's been raised from the ground and well ventilated in Northern Europe. A few worm holes in some, but was gassed in the late 60's - early 70's, and no fresh traces. No idea how to value the stuff though. Any ideas of how much you are being quoted in TX would be ace as a price-point as the client has given me discretion.
  19. I was looking through the results. Although there were quite a few unsolds (the stats would be interesting), it looks like they got a lot of the big stuff away. I thought they did well, but that's first impressions. Hope they cracked open a bottle or two at the end of it. Lot of work went into that sale by the looks of it.
  20. I was there - I suppose I would have to be. Busier than March. Very good fun. I drank a bit more than I should. Roby Lakatos and Tamsyn Whaley-Cohen ripped it on Sunday evening. Quite a few exhibitors sold instruments / bows (I think that they have all re-confirmed for next year which is testimony in its way). Ray Chan, Tamsin Little, Adrian Brendal turned up. The auction running alongside, although a bit scratchy sold c.82%. I slipped a disc lifting boxes and spent most of my time walking like Kaiser Soze. Nearly £20,000 of booze drunk over two days, not exclusively by me. Overall, a good event. But then I didn't do any of the organising.
  21. Yep. The numbers are right - Sarah wouldn't let me lie about them, even if I wanted to. Obviously a bit of healthy cynicism is good in this business, so can't fault the question. As for keeping auction records, it is a conscious decision to take them down. Not everybody likes the amount they spend with us placed online. In other news, this member of Amati is currently in Calgary and thoroughly jet-lagged.
  22. That's rubbish. Who wouldn't want to be in London in May? Here you go anyway, something to slobber over whilst drinking rakia on the balcony. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6261206/ImageRequest/vuillaume/3331-3-rev2-front.jpg https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6261206/ImageRequest/vuillaume/3331-3-rev2-back.jpg
  23. I have been thinking about going 'full pompous' and using 'violoncello'. Shall I try it in our June sale? A return to the old standards. I might even buy a pipe. See you at the view?
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