martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. Bazin was my first thought but I couldn't see that as a pin when I blew up the photo! I hope you're right ...
  2. Looks like a nice silver mounted bow, probably a Markneukirchen "Vuillaume style" bow ...
  3. Hawkes & Son bought in violins from some very prestigious makers. Pedrazzini probably the best known ... Some of the Hawkes & Son branded bows are made by good French makers - it would be interesting to see photos. Is it silver-mounted?
  4. A contemporary trade violin which ironically is probably a lot better in its essential construction than the thing it’s trying to imitate. A triumph of postmodernism ...
  5. I’m sorry but your violin is neither a counterfeit nor a replica. The label has nothing to do with the violin ... it’s just a random fake label.
  6. Bows of any age are exempt from US import duty. Antique violins are exempt in most states, import of instruments less than 100 years old incurs an import duty of around 20%. If the item was previously exported from the US to the UK then in theory there should be no duty to pay on the way back in but the paperwork is a nightmare. The whole business of getting things into the US without incurring the zeal of US customs or US fish & game is a specialised business. Best work with someone who knows what is required.
  7. Damn, I keep forgetting. The world has had enough of logic!
  8. It's worth bearing in mind that the reason why scroll carving ends at 6 o'clock is that it's faster. Same with not carving out the delta, same with asymmetrical buttons. In order to delude bargain-hunters on Ebay who suffer from cataracts and chronic ignorance, it has never been necessary to imitate any particular features. A silly label has always been sufficient for someone to describe their violin as a "copy" of something.
  9. Well you're going to have to draw my attention to something which is trying to look like "Old German". Presumably you've got your new prescription already ...?
  10. Sorry no - not the model, not the edgework, not the f-holes, not the scroll, not the varnish. Just looks like a regular new trade violin to me ... I would imagine the label is a complete afterthought. I can't see a single detail that's trying to look like Kloz or any Mittenwald maker (or MK)
  11. It's not a Klotz copy - it has no features of any Klotz violin, it's just a new violin with a random label.
  12. One of the main problems with a lift is that you would have to make it worse to get any kind of glue into it. And however well you repair it, the value of the bow is heavily compromised. Eric Swanson's repair is secure and stable, but the value is reduced pretty much to that of the mounts ... My experience of lifts has not been good. It's very common for this to be disguised by unscrupulous sellers, and if the bow has no hair you don't know it's there. First time you rehair the bow and tension it up, there's a little "click" and the lift opens ... one of many good reasons never to buy a bow without hair!
  13. There is a crack about an inch behind the head, following the grain of the wood ie. travelling forwards diagonally from the top of the stick towards the middle of the head. If you look along the top line of the bow against the background you will see it ... https://swansonbows.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/fixing-a-bow-lift/
  14. I can't see a bow with a lift behind the head going into a regular Tarisio sale - it's the kiss of death ...
  15. T2 sell everything as "a violin bow" etc irrespective of who made it so I'm not sure what your question is ...? It's an unbranded Louis Morizot - rather heavy and with a worrisome lift behind the head by the look of it. I assume that's why it's in T2 ...
  16. You mean apart from the arching, the varnish, the f-holes, the corners, and the model ....?
  17. I don't think this bears any relation to Guerra, whose violins have rather flat broad edges with big long corners, and scrolls which are inked and which have a very finely worked spine. The scroll of your violin looks quite attractive, and I wouldn't dismiss it as "the usual", but I have no idea what it is.
  18. Bow mites are generally quite visible and their mortal coils are shuffled off relatively easily! If you can't find the little feller in the case, I would just take a vacuum/hoover to it ....
  19. This particular label and the corresponding brand on the back of the button are to be found on violins made by all of the Mirecourt mega-workshops from around 1880 onwards. Once you've seen a hundred or two you realise that the only common factor (apart from the label and the brand) is that they are generally yellow, though sometimes orange ....
  20. As i recall Chaló was a Spaniard who apprenticed with Pressenda whereas Joseph Calot was a pupil of Nicolas Lupot who spent some time working for/with Pressenda in the late 1820s. The violin on Ebay appears to be a new violin with some dirty antiqueing of the sort that can be bought for €500 in Budapest ...
  21. Hi George, the Nürnbberger was good but I didn't ask my friend to check the weight - the other bows as I recall, one was an OK new bow by a Mexican maker, the other some kind of trade German stick with a Knopf-ish silver button that didn't belong.
  22. PhilipKT sorry to be so coy, but I didn't wish to answer in detail until the sale was over, for obvious reasons ...! I broadly agree with Michael above. I looked at these bows online about a week ago - I suppose like many dealers I have automatic searches for such things. Like Michael, I would never buy a bow at auction without looking at it closely under magnification for breaks and lifts. Ideally one would play it, but if it doesn't have hair I would still want to check the strength of the stick. As a general principle, for any bow that doesn't have hair I would risk half as much as if I had been able to play it. Bows that end up at auction without hair - generally there's a reason, either disguised lifts/breaks behind the head or just very poor playability. Luckily I have an expert colleague and good friend who lives 5 miles from Monrovia CA, so I asked him to visit based on the photos. What I saw in the photos was this ... The top bow is all Voirin, and appears a nice example but with some worrisome wear to the handle - you can see that the brand is slightly eroded ... the brand is correct, all features are correct, the wood is very typical, the head is classic, quite flat cheeks, elegant and skeletal. The button has a bit of a messed up collar, the screw mortise will need bushing, other bits of maintenance required, but basically a decent-looking Voirin. The third bow looks good for the stick and the frog, but the button appears to be a replacement - the metal doesn't match, the pin visible in the back ring is poorly done, the cap is very flat rather than slightly rounded, and the fact that the front ring has rotated suggests it might not be pinned. There are at least two significant cracks to the handle behind the frog ... The second bow looks like a copy - the brand is wrong, the head is "fat", the throat of the frog rising up from the ferrule is quite different in shape from the other two (though this is slightly confused by the worn thumb projection), the soldering to the ferrule looks crude, the angle of the back of the frog is too acute ... BUT ... it has good Voirin features. I just wouldn't be certain enough to want to lay money down for it and I would guess it's a later "hommage". So then comes the issue of weight - many Voirins are just too light or flexible to be easily sold. And if a bow is under 58 grams or a bit floppy, it's really not something I would buy, however cheap ... unless it's a Tourte. My friend went to look at the bows (and the other items in the sale) twice. The upshot was that he came to exactly the same conclusions about authenticity and condition and he thought both 1 and 3 were soft and a bit light. So we decided to bid no more than $3500, since in a worst case scenario if we ended up with one saleable but floppy Voirin, we could always put it into a Tarisio sale and hopefully double up . If there are any specific details you'd like to discuss, now's a good time! I hope that's a helpful snapshot into how a rather embattled dealer might approach the matter - you get to be very wary of auctions, and even something like this from a known collection is likely to be worse than you hope. An auction is an extremely clever and sophisticated system for generating the greatest possible amount of recklessness from a buyer, and it's always good to remember that.
  23. yes that's true, but with a bit of experience and some knowledge of who our members actually are you can see that many responders have an agenda or an axe to grind ... myself included Some sell on Ebay, some have been badly burned on Ebay, some buy on Ebay and then resell, some are in competition with Ebay, some have to put up with endless Ebay bargain hunters turning up at their shops asking for free evaluations - all of which introduces a bit of bias. Witnessing or participating in these debates is very entertaining but it's not the most efficient way to develop an eye ...
  24. You're right of course, I can't have it both ways ... There is nothing that I or anyone else can do to stop discussion of items coming up for sale at auction. However, for as long as i can remember, I have been saying that if the purpose of posting is to learn about features of particular makers etc. then this is the worst context in which to do it. Firstly we are often being drawn into discussion of what things aren't, rather than what things are. Secondly we are caught up in the (quite powerful) tide of disinformation which accompanies any authentic item which might be bought cheaply. If you know the relevant players on Maestronet you will know that everyone posts in their own commercial interests. Several people have done this in this thread, myself included - I am a dealer after all. So if the intention is to learn, it's better to study authentic examples from archives. Or better still to handle them in the flesh.