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martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. The "Carl of Wilton" label which was posted on page 1 shows a signature, not a brand. Since EH. Roth was nearly 40 at this time, I don't see why he couldn't have been happily producing and signing violins before 1922. The fact that someone applies to have their signature designated as a trademark doesn't exclude the possibility that they were already using that signature. In fact it would be more rational to say that any signature which becomes a trademark was probably already in use.
  2. For me response has a great deal to do with dynamic range and the immediate availability of different tonal colours. What you are talking about is what I would call the attack portion of the waveform, which is of course also an important element of "response".
  3. Such instruments are often sold by shops too ... I mean, you have to be able to see the wood for the trees. Many players lose their way when faced with the massive and varied inventory of the average violin shop.
  4. Hempel, you state that good violins loved by musicians don't end up in violin shops. This is a new one to me. I have genuinely never heard this, and given my own experience and that of many colleagues, all of whom handle instruments from retired professionals and other musicians who have clearly loved these instruments, it seems absurd. As a proposition, it seems to serve the interests of orchestra spivs (the kind of people how play in a busy orchestra and always happen to have a spare violin or bow that they might just be persuaded to sell) and teacher/dealers. Ironically these two types of under-the-radar dealers are generally selling things that are consigned or loaned from violin shops.
  5. You are welcome to ignore. But if you choose not to ignore you could do me the courtesy of reading what these results represent and why I published them - it's all there. Incidentally Tarisio and Ingles & Hayday present all their instruments in excellent playable condition.
  6. This is a great topic for discussion. I hear many dogmatic opinions, but in my view there is only one thing that's important when buying a first violin for an 11-year old, even if they are an exceptional talent. When they open the case, they should see a face they like, and which makes them want to play. Even a slightly irrational choice may be a good choice if it encourages the student to play. Parents should not stretch themselves financially at this stage of a young player's development, as this places an unreasonable burden on everyone. Teachers have their own agendas. If they are asked to make a choice on behalf of a student, all their own prejudices come into play.
  7. Yeah, I'll tell you .... These were all instruments at auction ... I didn't think it would be very gentlemanly to go around rating the tonal qualities of violins offered by rival dealers
  8. This is an absurd generalization which smacks of some hidden agenda.
  9. There's a bit of confusion here I think ... "Who are the best bow authenticators in the US?" is not the same question as "Who is the best person in the US to certify a German bow?". Outside of the US, German bows of quality are generally sold with German certificates (Gruenke, HK Schmidt or more recently Wohlleber). But Salchow certificates are increasingly respected for Knopf, Bausch, Nuernberger etc. Bruce Babbitt has clearly done a lot of research into the Markneukirchen trade but I've never seen a certificate from him and I never heard him spoken of as an authenticator of German bows.
  10. I don't think Paul would give an opinion about German bows but Isaac is very interested in them and has a great collection of German makers.
  11. "Can't guarantee the authenticity of the label" is a fine bit of doublespeak. If Ealing Strings valued it at £2500 then would seem eminently possible to guarantee the inauthenticity of the label.
  12. I absolutely can't see this as a 1920s Roth, and think there would be little point in contacting the Roth firm.
  13. We come to bury Caesar not to praise him ...
  14. The bow appears to have lost its original adjuster and has a nickel replacement ...
  15. It looks that way to me but an iPhone screen isn’t ideal …!
  16. Is the top two piece or one? If one, then it’s easy to incorporate this signature into a cutdown …
  17. Have you consulted Julian Hersh directly? i’m sure he would be happy to look at your fiddle.
  18. One of the most significant problems facing anyone who is thinking of buying a violin is the legitimate fear of being ripped off. Very few people outside the trade have the slightest idea of why one violin might be more expensive than another, or indeed of how anyone actually knows who made any given unlabelled instrument. So, as Jeffrey says, instruments and bows that are unequivocally labelled and branded, and where there are thousands of auction prices in the public domain, seem a much safer bet than something a bit niche where you have to rely entirely on the dealer. It may be unfortunate, it may lead buyers to ignore many great makers, but the customer is always right.
  19. Various good 1920s Roths have sold recently at UK auctions for over £5k. Tarisio consistently manages higher prices … but oversize Amati models are hard to sell
  20. Michael, for what it's worth I would not remove the label. The fiddle appears to me to be a lower grade of Mirecourt violin. Whether it has a Deblaye label or not, whether the label is authentic or not, this doesn't affect the value. A lower level Mirecourt violin with a Deblaye label is a lower level Mirecourt violin. Unless you try to sell the violin for more than it's worth. And that would be bad practice whether it has a fake label or a genuine one ... So really the label changes nothing. And since we can't say for sure that the label doesn't belong, I think it would be arrogant to remove it. Just my twopence ha'porth, or 2 cents as you say over there
  21. I'm sure you do Socratic irony far better than me. I was referring merely to the Socratic method ie. identifying a proposition and subjecting it to scrutiny
  22. Jeffrey, I defer to your memory of Deblaye labels - I don't remember these things well and rely on my own archive, and haven't sold anything with a Deblaye label for over 10 years. My point was rather in opposition to Strad O Various' slightly knee-jerk bout of schadenfreude (sort of reminds me of Lyndon!). You posted a label from Cozio, Strad O Various says hey presto Rich's violin has a fake label, and Rich removes said label. I think my Socratic tendency gets lost on Maestronet - all I was saying was that it's perfectly possible that the Deblaye workshop used more than one label, and that there is no de facto evidence that Rich's violin isn't the product of the Deblaye workshop. If I think of the various Marc Laberte labels or even Paul Bailly, these change quite significantly over time ... It seems to me that with all things relating to violins it's important to take one's time, not to rush, and above all not to remove labels in a hurry. This violin looks like a lower grade Mirecourt violin. We know that Deblaye sold such things, whether they were actually made in his shop or not. The neck is a bit of an enigma. Although it could be nothing other than cheap Mirecourt there's an odd line where it meets the ribs suggesting it's not original or has been reset, and the fingerboard is funky. So there's plenty to be suspicious about, and the label is also suspicious. I am a long way from saying "this is a Deblaye Workshop violin" - even if the label were shown to be genuine I have concerns ... But to remove it ... I wouldn't.
  23. Equally, many Mirecourt workshops used various different labels …
  24. To me this looks like a decent low-end Mirecourt fiddle. I would be wary of comparing labels since Deblaye was a big workshop/seller of bought-in instruments. By the mid-1920s he had well over 20 employees and was probably still scrabbling around to supply orders. I assume that Deblaye supplied instruments in many different models and grades. This was an incredible boom period for Mirecourt production - JTL made 13,500 violins in the first 6 months of 1924. La lutherie d'Albert DEBLAYE est personnelle est souvent splendide, mais la production de son atelier couvre toutes les qualités, et donc aussi des catégories d'étude ordinaires. The fact that Jeffrey's and Michael's labels don't match isn't de facto a reason for dismissing the violin - the signatures and handwriting are very unlikely to be all the same. Equally, the Mirecourt numbering systems are often a bit of a red herring - more there to impress the customer than anything else. Apparut numbers for example are all over the place. Having said all this, there are quite well organized gangs of lowlifes in the south of France who routinely upgrade cheap Mirecourt or even German violins with better grade labels and brands - there seems to be money in this otherwise they wouldn't put so much effort into it. So maybe that's what we have here. Definitely worth checking the inner work and looking for other specifically Mirecourt features. I'm very dubious as to whether the fingerboard belongs - and it seems the "japanning" was done after fitting since there's blacking on the neck too. So I don't think that's a clear sign of anything either ...
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