martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. The waist is astoundingly narrow - a few mm make all the difference to the proportions. This looks very wacky to me. The screw in the neck may be a later reinforcement of a failed nail joint, or just the work of someone who doesn't know how to do a mortise. We see this persisting in Scottish amateur work well into the middle of the 19th century.
  2. One never knows the truth or not of "property of a lady" ... In this case I'm quite happy to believe it's a Testore of some kind, but as an auction offering it has a particular smell about it, and I would expect it will be worth no more than what the buyer paid for it, and that would be going downhill with the wind behind it. For some types of buyers there is a virtue in the simple fact of getting a Testore at auction for under £50k, and the actual retail value is pretty irrelevant.
  3. Antiqueing is far more popular in the US than in the UK ... The problem with polls is that people can answer and yet be wrong - this is why democracy is in chaos.
  4. There were two brothers, Lajos Konja and Istvan Konja. Istvan moved to Italy and changed his name to Stefano Conia. His son, born in Italy, is also named Stefano Conia. However, this is no different to what hundreds of thousands of American immigrants did (your dear president's family included). Probably David Burgess changed his name from Davide Borghese
  5. I think it's safe to say that any violin that fetched a few hundred at auction in 1997 will now cost a few thousand in a shop. There are many reasons for this other than inflation (which on average in the violin trade might be compound at 5% per annum). Probably the main reason is that in 1997 auctions were an exclusively trade affair - dealers were never bidding against trigger-happy musicians prepared to go to a retail price or more for the violin of their dreams. Indeed like the antiques trade, dealers used to operate in rings, not bidding against each other, and then having a sec
  6. I'm as sceptical as Jacob about this violin, and it seems most likely to be a case of "sleeper hubris" with some canny dealer cashing in (as the seller not the buyer). The photos are nigh on impossible, but my first thought would be that the front doesn't belong to the rest of it.
  7. If you knew the exact condition, model and size of the one sold at auction, and were sure it was genuine, then you could work it out.
  8. And you believed me? Seriously, I don't go to local auctions but I probably should. I am hampered by the fact that a few well known figures in the UK trade regularly put things like this into country auctions, particularly if there are major condition issues. Dressing them up with a nice old Hill case and a couple of illogically downmarket bows just adds to the excitement .... I would honestly rather pay five times as much for a clean example with a good attribution from someone I trust. With this particular violin, it has a couple of traits CG Testore, but on the basis of thes
  9. I have to say i wouldn't have paid that much for it. If it's CG, it's a weak example in very poor condition - the f-holes look like they were cut after a heavy night on the vino collapso ..
  10. I’m sure Peter can tell us more if we ask nicely, but to me it looks like an elongated early 19th century Mirecourt model - something like Didier Nicolas but not quite so ornate.
  11. I did say it was far from being a dealbreaker for me ...
  12. Ok that’s just a back, but is it a leon mougenot or a leon mougenot gauche?
  13. Thanks - never seen it spelt, only used it in conversation
  14. If anyone wants to know more about the various grades of violin either made or sold by Leon Mougenot, Viaduct Violins has a good article. dieudonne and later collin mezin are sll workshop/trade violins sorry for the lack of accents - on an iPhone
  15. Gauche means “left” ... but as Rudall points out, you are missing an accent! with the accent it means left-handed ... hardly a major crime for a VM.
  16. Supercilious is my middle name ... (actually it's John but SO dull isn't it)
  17. For all we know, these big modern workshops use exactly the same bodies for violins and 3/4 violas, just put different strings and bridges on them. How can you really know that the instrument in your hand is a violin and not a small viola?
  18. To the first point, I agree with Blank face. I can see no reason why the OP bow shouldn't be Pfretzschner shop but I don't quite buy the crest .... To the second point, the bow in the photos above looks seriously damaged. I hope no-one is trying to sell it.
  19. This is the great philosophical problem of our time isn't it ... People who know what they are talking about tell someone less qualified that they are wrong, and the response is "I think we've all had enough of experts". You have hoist yourself pretty thoroughly by your own petard with your ill-founded suspicions of foul play, your blanket condemnation of all dealers, and your sexist metaphors, all laughably inappropriate to a forum like Maestronet. When we point out these issues, this somehow confirms your belief that all dealers are supercilious crooks. We have tried to e
  20. I would say it's unfortunately prevalent, though by no means universal ... I don't blame the OP for having a low opinion of violin dealers, but that's not sufficient cause for suspecting that a violin is in fact a viola. That just seems like shooting yourself in the foot!
  21. Of course not. The whole notion is absurd. Though I am pretty sure the £2000 also included a dealer mark-up for the OP I think his loathing of violin dealers has led him to look for skullduggery where there is none. In this sort of price range, a large violin is a thousand times more likely to be repurposed as a part-size viola than a small viola is likely to be repurposed as a violin.
  22. I stand corrected. I did a quick comparison on an IPhone with a couple we have sold and saw that the crest was different ... Good to learn more.