martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. In principle I agree, but it can (and I'm sure does) have an impact on other people's business. For instance, if someone wants to buy something, what's to stop them from saying it's fake? Or just casting general doubt ... If someone wants to undermine other dealers but can't actually bid themselves, what's to stop them from saying something is authentic and a great buy when it isn't? So my point would be that you can't expect objective discussion of items offered for low reserves at non-specialist auctions. This is where many dealers make their living.
  2. Philip, you are not taking me at face value It's very clear that you're not interested in buying any of this stuff, since if you were, the last thing you would do would be to draw the entire violin community's attention to it. You are absoloutely within your rights but it must be a source of considerable annoyance to some members here to have got all excited about some sleeping beauty in a country auction, only to have it flagged up on Maestronet. I'm sure that the Tubbs made an extra grand thanks to the publicity it got on this forum. All the more ironic since you genuinely don't have any financial interest in the matter. As far as authenticity/identification etc. is concerned, I think you'll find the discussion flows freely once the sale is over, and if that's your general goal I would suggest posting after an auction has ended.
  3. I see someone with a very annoying habit of flagging up stuff for sale at auction on a busy specialist forum If you were interested in buying yourself it's the last thing you would do, so I wonder what your motivation is.
  4. Also not true in my opinion, though a 1920s EH Roth is hardly a dutzendarbeit ...
  5. Damn I really must stop hitting the Scotch before mid-day
  6. Well that's a matter of opinion. I for one find average Chinese trade instruments to be markedly superior to equivalent Saxon trade instruments. The measurements, model, arching, thicknessing - all these are pretty conventional and based on better information. Sometimes the wood is poor but that's true of both ....
  7. a 15-20dB change in level around 2kHz is going to have an immense difference on the sound (perceived or otherwise) of the instrument. The read and yellow lines don't look remotely similar. I think people expect changes in the loudness of the fundamental to make a big difference, but for my money everything to do with projection and perceived loudness is in the overtones or higher harmonics.
  8. I'm aware of the Lutgendorff entry but I don't regard this as an actual reference to a verified maker. It only confirms the existence of a label.
  9. The violins that can be found on auction sites are not copies of a purported maker called Lombardi but bog standard German trade instruments with a spurious Lombardi label stuck in them. I assume the name was made up by some wholesaler of Markneukirchen violins to add a bit of lustre. I can't find any references for an actual maker with this name (Jalovec mentions only the existence of a violin with a 1789 label which he obviously won't have seen), and as far as I know there was no violin-making in Rimini before the 20th century. I may be wrong but I can think of any Italian maker who Italianized his first name to "Julius" - this seems entirely a feature of German and Czech makers.
  10. I just pull the screw through the end of a candle ... If the screw is very corroded I might use some steel wool on it, then wax.
  11. I can't answer this definitively, but it's interesting to read this section of "The Hill Bow Makers" on Frank Napier. It implies that Napier was responsible for the innovation of slab cutting, but this was quickly seen to be a bad idea. My own sense of French makers is that it wasn't always quarter cut, often slightly off the quarter.
  12. It's close enough but I'm lucky to be offered great Tubbs bows by all sorts of people, and I would rather buy something for more money that I can examine at my leisure and play for a good while. The bow itself looks 100% genuine and quite a nice sharp example. It's a pity it doesn't have its original pearl eyes, and who knows about the weight and the strength of the stick. My main reservation is that this is on The Saleroom, you have linked to it here, every Tom Dick and Harry in the world will be thinking they can snatch up a Tubbs in a country sale, and it will sell for more than it would at a specialist London auction. We have 7 or 8 Tubbs bows at the moment and we are always turning them down - I would rather put money into something that is less well represented in our stock.
  13. Well if you think of it as a full width violin with a very short back and a very narrow waist, pigeon breast arching and very open f-holes, I think it's fair to speculate that it won't sound anything like what the classical world (or the baroque world) regards as normal ... This violin was made by someone who was entirely outside the mainstream, who hadn't done a regular VM apprenticeship, and who was not a trade maker or even a cottage industry piece worker. To me it's 100% auto-didact English or Scottish, early to mid-19th century. Only British amateur makers habitually branded below the button (maybe it was easier to acquire a brand than print up labels) - some French 19thC makers did this but the brands were commercial commodities and the violins are always professional (Chappuy, Salomon etc). The neck is a red herring - all we can say is that it appears not to have been mortised originally. Plenty of amateur woodworkers repaired failed necks with this screw under the fingerboard method, so I really wouldn't use this for dating. I would agree that the scroll is much better quality than the rest of the violin and was bought in or is a later addition. Some of the woodwork on the violin is very neat, but all the details that are specific to violin-making rather than joinery are very bad. Sorry to be rude about your violin Jandepora ...
  14. This is true of any bowmaker, but more than most with Tubbs. A good day's work to buy it you say, but it might be a couple of years' work to sell it. People who are outside the trade often imagine that buying something for half the retail price is somehow a triumph. Buying is easy, selling is hard.
  15. Maybe you should buy it from Jandepora! He would be delighted to have found someone who appreciates its true worth ...
  16. Aside from Jeffrey's very significant point about whether one would actually want any individual Tubbs, this one will probably sell for over £4k on the hammer because of the usual "country auction hubris", and with a 31.5% total premium that gets you to about £5,500. A day's work to go to the sale and back, then a bit of restoration needed assuming there are no concealed issues. So more like twice the actual cost at retail ...
  17. If you put the one on the left into a country auction with an estimate of 1-200 someone would probably buy it as a Testore!
  18. You'd hope so at that estimate ...
  19. Anyway, the guy is outside 45 Wardour Street, so I doubt he's paying homage to the ghost of Tubbs.
  20. James Tubbs had his workshop at 47 Wardour Street.,-0.132178,283.93h,5p,1z
  21. I posted a photo on page 1of a Carlo Giuseppe Testore - this violin is not his quality of work. As Jacob pointed out, the Testores were a big clan of makers, and some of their violins are barely competent. I know a little bit about this violin (as I said, it's a small world) and I am sure it's a Testore family violin, but if it's certified as a Pietro Antonio for instance, then the retail price would be no more than £100k in top condition. Even with the best restoration in the world this one would have to be devalued by 30-40%, assuming it doesn't have a post crack, worm, internal patching or any of the other woes that beset old Italian instruments. In this case the buyer will have to work pretty hard to make a profit. In the case of Testore, a dendro would be pretty helpful in eliminating the earlier and more accomplished members of the family.
  22. I agree with all of this. One of the best sounding instruments we ever sold was a Genovese with a back post crack.