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martin swan

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  1. It depends who did the appraisal Wulme Hudson is a respected maker - he produced a good number of instruments under his trade name "Caressi", but also made some very fine copies of Italian makers. In a sense he took on the mantle of the Vollers.
  2. I don't understand your logic. How do you know that the high bidder's maximum bid wasn't (for the sake of argument) $100,000? They would inevitably win the item for the next highest bid plus $1. Of course, in the case of this bow there can be no concept of "winning" since it's a total pig in a poke. We can only hope that the "winner" and the underbidder are in fact the seller ...
  3. To be clear, if you look at an auction result of £40,000, the auction house is often taking a commission of 35% on that. Hammer £32k plus 20% buyer's premium and 20% VAT on the premium gives a final recorded price of almost £40k. £32k minus seller's premium of 15%= £27,200k. So that's what the seller receives. Unless a seller has a very hot item or is desperate for ready cash, it seems more sensible to sell on consignment at £75k at a commission of 20% and receive £60k.
  4. Jules Fétique did make bows for Caressa & Francais but I can't imagine that firm ever selling a bow with such wonky head chamfers. the button is obviously too small for the stick and the stick has been "tapered down" to make it look better, the frog doesn't appear to fit and the stick has been messed about with under the frog ... ergo the mounts don't belong IMHO
  5. Haha, that's a question and a half. We charge 20%, irrespective of value. I get the sense that some consignors think this is quite expensive but we don't just hang the item on a nail and forget about it. We only take really clean and usable items and we tend to charge quite high prices ... we also tend to sell things if they fit that description. One of the problems about commission sales is that if the seller doesn't advertise their prices, you don't really know what their commission rate is. I can understand that some owners would rather sell at auction because it appears to offer greater transparency.
  6. Auctions can be a good option for sexy named violins where there's a buzz and there's short supply (Poggi, Fiorini, that kind of thing). If you're lucky you can get 2 players or collectors who will pay above retail, particularly if the instrument is mint and has a great sound. But a Cuypers in top condition might make £40k with the wind behind it - which is £32k on the hammer and about £28k to the seller in the best case. This for a violin which might retail at £75k ...
  7. You will get significantly less for it at auction than you would on consignment. Perhaps the dealer who has it simply isn't in the right place or market to sell this violin? Where are you based? And what is the date of the violin? Is it Johannes Theodorus Cuypers?
  8. If it was fully set up and the various little issues in the varnish tidied up this would sell for around £2-3000 at retail. However, some "improver" has regraduated the table and for me that would devalue it a bit.
  9. I for one am not saying this is the "real deal". Jacob and I think it looks quite like Gagliano family, but it does have anomalies, so the OP is wise not to open the bubbly quite yet .... Sending photos to Dmitry is a good idea, but I would probably start with a dendro.
  10. I agree with Jacob It would be nice to see more of the original pegholes but my immediate response was Gagliano. btw it’s very common for Gagliano family violins to have wrong labels, not entirely sure why …
  11. martin swan


    Sorry it’s nothing like an Albani.
  12. Do you extend the same blanket scepticism to auction houses?
  13. What examples are you looking at online and how sure are you that they’re authentic? Rastelli is a pretty rare maker and I would have more faith in authoritative publications than anything you would find online. New or not, that’s really not a good indication - plenty of mid 19th century violins look like they were made yesterday. But ultimately you shouldn’t be buying a violin from someone you don’t trust …
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