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martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. Let’s hope he’s not ingenuous enough to venture onto Maestronet
  2. I think it’s worth pointing out for general well-being that David Hill is a member of the Hill family who has access to the Hill archives. if you have a Hill certificate he will re-issue it. If you have a Hill number on your fingerboard he will write a certificate. Needless to say there are many false positives implicit in this methodology. From the certificates of his that I have seen that don’t involve the Hill archive he would seem to be a certifier of last resort.
  3. Looks like it has disappeared - in order to remain French perhaps
  4. I just love it when Jeffrey gets mad … or should I say “mildly peeved”
  5. I would think there are many other possible reasons
  6. I was referring to the tops rather than the backs ... I've just never seen a bookmatched 2-piece slab cut top on a genuinely old instrument. It seems a very strange thing to do unless you have no understanding of the tradition you're trying to fake.
  7. Yes, you would think ... To make a slab cut top with two bookmatched pieces seems like a major misunderstanding.
  8. That's a cool cello! Michael have you ever seen bookmatched slab cut tops like the OP's instruments?
  9. Exactly wha I was going to say. Googling ain't knowing ...
  10. Thanks for the compliment but Peter pointed it out before me ... And all without the aid of his special skills too!
  11. "Impervious to Ratcliff"
  12. Surely both are (fakes) by the same maker ...? Different f-holes but same model, workmanship, purfling, varnish and apparently arching
  13. Bonus material – your cut-out-and-keep guide to violin auction terminology: 1. By Leandro Bisiach Well none of us were there at the time but there’s broad agreement that this was made by Bisiach or by someone in his workshop, or was ordered by Bisiach from Nonno down the road … or maybe Nonno’s brother. But Bisiach definitely made it or had it made and the label is legit. 2. ASCRIBED TO Leandro Bisiach Not by Bisiach, but it has a certificate from Jacques Francais from 1995 so if you’re unscrupulous you should be able to sell it as a Bisiach. 3. ATTRIBUTED TO Leandro Bisiach The owner refuses to believe this isn’t a Bisiach because they paid a lot of money for it in the 1930s. They would only consign it if we also agreed that it might be a Bisiach and was worth more than it really is, so we’ve put a punchy estimate on it … but it ain’t a Bisiach 4. WORKSHOP OF Leandro Bisiach Sort of like number 1 but we’re not 100% sure. Might have been made by Nonno’s brother – definitely that sort of thing. 5. CIRCLE OF Leandro Bisiach This is probably a Linguine. You know, Linguine was always jealous of Bisiach. I reckon he half-inched some of that nice quilted maple and a label or two and knocked this one up out of sheer spite. It does look incredibly like a Bisiach except it doesn’t have any f-holes. 6. FOLLOWER OF Leandro Bisiach; AND SCHOOL OF Leandro Bisiach It’s a fake. You can kid yourself that it’s a Sgarabotto but we did a dendro and it can’t be. 7. LABELLED OR STAMPED OR INSCRIBED Leandro Bisiach Get real, this is the violin trade ….
  14. To me it's a pretty redundant term on a certificate though i can see its application in an auction. As Deans says, it means something which is made in the style of, and around the same time period as ..... So "School of Pajeot" means it looks like a Pajeot, it's about as old as a Pajeot, but it ain't a Pajeot.
  15. How much money would you like to lose?
  16. I wonder if anyone did a dendro - looks quite like Szoradi's work to me
  17. If the violin in the photos is the alleged Stradivari then I'm not surprised that the quest for a positive opinion continues. It could go on for a while yet
  18. I'm enjoying this conversation - really good to hear other peoples' experience, it's not something I think to ask about with colleagues. It's true that very few clients measure the balance point - at least while I'm looking ... I do have a couple of regular clients who are very demanding in that respect. But a lot of clients are interested in it and aware of it in a general sense, to the point of comparing one bow with another. My experience that if I buy or take on consignment bows that are far off the norm, they just never sell. So I check every single bow before taking it on, and where possible modify lappings to get things within that 2cm "acceptable range". It's funny, over here we tend to sell heavier bows to orchestral players, but then for me heavy would be around 61-62 grams. I can see that something heavier would be a struggle on a long day, particularly if you're being asked to hold the bow off the string from time to time but we do our level best to avoid having bows that are over 63 grams, because so few people seem to like them. Unless it's a Sartory of course, where people seem to be happy to pay by the gram.
  19. I wish everyone was as open-minded, though I suppose the issues are different depending on whether you have a collection of bows or you're just looking for one catch-all workhorse. We are more focused on violin bows than cello bows, and while there are significant variations in length, anything over 75cm has difficulty fitting in a case, so I can understand people not wanting to go there. Certainly violinists seem more tolerant of short bows than long ones. I suppose balance point is something you can measure, and like weight and length it offers some reassurance in an otherwise uncertain world. But people vary hugely in their approach - some just play and don't want to know and don't care, others will measure the balance point according to their own special system before even deigning to try a bow. Re cranking up, i have been pretty surprised by the amount of tension I see people using on early 19th century bows ... it does seem counter-productive, unless the bow is so floppy that it's borderline unusable. On the other hand, I notice that when people try very valuable bows of ours they are liable to put too little tension on the stick - I suppose I am the same, always more nervous of breaking someone else's bow than my own. I often have to encourage people to give it another half turn before the bow will actually start to work.
  20. Historically there have been many great Strads in Russia, and of course many great violinists. The fact that someone is Russian wouldn't for me preclude the possibility that they might have something to say about Strads ...
  21. In case you need any help with translation, Pierre says that the stick is from "the school of" Claude Thomassin but the mounts are later. So it could be the stick of a Thomassin workshop bow stamped for Jombar, or just someone working in that circle/style. Once you're missing the frog and button it can be difficult to pin down the maker.
  22. Texas was an independent nation more recently than Scotland ...
  23. I've seen people doing this but the problem is that none of these quantitative measures are very useful unless you can see the full context. For example weight and balance point are irrelevant unless you incorporate an understanding of the lapping ... With regard to stiffness, how any given bow plays depends hugely on the amount of tension you put on it. A lot of players who use fine early 19th century bows that are quite supple crank them up pretty tight. Of course you can sketch out the broad lines with some measurements, but it's just not very useful data.
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