martin swan

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About martin swan

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  1. I have done this occasionally as part of the selection process. I suppose it depends on the sensitivity of the player, but so far my experience is kind of the opposite. If you have a great Tourte or Persoit in the mix, a player will choose it blind, as will people listening in the room. It's largely because of these experiences that I argue as I do. Interestingly when Derek Wilson makes a copy frog for something like a Persoit, he puts a few chips in the edges of the frog, just to make it look more real - here's a copy Persoit frog he made for us ...
  2. I see the matter differently. For me the greatest playing bows all have wood to wood mounts (or wood to ivory). The price of a cheval (however expensive) is pretty insignificant compared to the value of a Persoit for example. Also, when dealing with early to mid-19th century bows there's just as likely to be damage to the ebony whether there's an underslide or not. So I think players' preferences should be determined by the quality of the playing experience, not by the ease of maintenance.
  3. This is nonsense. Don't look at the label, work out what the violin is and what it's worth. If you deemed everything with an Amati label that wasn't an Amati to be valueless, you would write off thousands of great violins. Dutch makers were already using fake Amati labels in the 17th century.
  4. Traditional wood to wood mounts (not Hill style) are definitely susceptible to damage, but I think this can be regarded as legitimate wear, rather like cracks in the table of a violin. Chipping to the edges can be patched up, and if it gets too bad then one fits new wood to the sides of the frog. I don't think it should inform making practices - these should rather be informed by the pursuit of the best sonic and playing characteristics.
  5. The metal underslide came into being at some point in the 1820s. If wood to wood mounts are problematic, it's all the more extraordinary that so many bows by Tourte, Persoit, Eury, Maire etc have survived in excellent condition. Hill bows from 100 years ago are still going strong. So I wouldn't discourage anyone from making a bow without an underslide ...
  6. That was a very unusual case. The buyers were highly knowledgeable dealers who had known the violin for a long time, and even though it had been dismissed as Del Gesu by the greatest expert in the US, they still believed in it.
  7. Personally I think the whole idea of getting a "bargain" violin to be misguided. This is an extremely competitive market, and the good stuff is never cheap.
  8. Can't tell much from the photos, but it looks like it could be a nice English pseudo-Italian for example a Wilkinson ... But it could also be more recent and more dodgy.
  9. How can a violin "unlabelled, early 19th century" be a fake?
  10. Pretty much standard practice for makers of this period to Latinize their first names ... Januarius Gagliano Carolus Gagliano Joannes Gagliano etc
  11. Good to know - I haven't seen that ...
  12. This is a Hill tortoiseshell frog with a repair to the tongue ... otherwise in fantastic condition
  13. Always full moon on Maestronet ...
  14. Very wierd label in the "Emile Laurent". I suspect this is a trade line of Mirecourt instruments which had very little to do with Emile Laurent. The work is not his ... "Geroges Coné" - ouch what the hell is that. The label does not belong. Just my opinion for what it's worth.
  15. Go for it! We all like to look at instruments ... It's the only way to give helpful advice, and while PMs are good, it's better to get a consensus.