martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. Yes, one of several IDs - a serial re-labeller and brander. Or more likely a safe outlet for someone else's dirty work, since that's how the French underground trade tends to operate. The original violin looks like it could be something from the Apparut workshop/stable but it's been truly buggered about. Nothing to do with Corsini or any Italian maker. Sadly this violin would be worth more without all the stupid add-ons.
  2. It's a lot easier to set a neck accurately if the fingerboard is in place.
  3. OK - this label was used by a number of Mirecourt factories/dealerships, but the date on the label doesn't relate to the date of manufacture. Normally there's a brand on the button - can't see it here but maybe it's worn.
  4. Do you have a physical address for the owner? I would try snailmail if you haven't already ...
  5. I can't speak for JTL specifically but in Mirecourt violins it's uncommon, though it does imply a lower grade of instrument and suggests the date more likely to be post WW1
  6. Looks like a decent Mirecourt/JTL violin from the early 1900s, and in good condition apart from some dunts to the varnish. What does the label actually say?
  7. I don't recommend you wander into any bow restorer's workshop!
  8. No downsides in my view as long as the hook doesn't have any sharp edges ...
  9. The first thing to say is that the violin has nothing to do with Gand & Bernardel, or with any member of the Gand family. I went through the same thought process as Jacob - the back length and the very distinctive sharp edge cry out early 19th C Mirecourt, yet the scroll isn't right and usually these Nicolas/Duchene type violins have a plainer varnish and quite distinctive upright f-holes with a spot of fluting. However, it's not difficult to modify a scroll, flatten out the eyes and add a bit of blacking. Given that someone has bothered to get inside this violin and add a Gand &
  10. It looks a lot better than most ...
  11. The main thing we can say is that no-one really knows, and there is a pitiful lack of understanding and of clear information. I don't believe the UK government actually understands its own position, and a lot of provisions are being brought in without any democratic participation. I don't think the ability to sell on the margin scheme is affected by paying an import VAT, but I could be wrong. We charge 20% VAT on our commission - we do that for UK and EU consignors already (apart from EU VAT-registered dealers). I don't see that there would suddenly be a 20% VAT on the entire sale p
  12. I don't suppose anyone takes our tone review too seriously - like any data-based extrapolation it depends on the size of the sample, and I have played one Craske since (in a dealershop, not at auction) that I thought was pretty nice. I also liked a Craske viola I saw recently at auction. Yes we've discussed Craske before, but if you look at our database another way you might find yourself asking why we see so many Craskes at auction - they seem very over-represented. Personally I feel the popularity of Craskes is to do with the fact that he's an affordable English maker, his violins
  13. I know who Jim Davidson is - I just couldn't understand how moving from Scotland to England would cause us to miss him or indeed help in avoiding him ...
  14. Weston Super Mare is in a different tier so we can't go there ... more likely Skegness
  15. EDIT : surely a small business that isn't VAT registered was paying UK VAT on all goods bought in the UK and (for example) German VAT on all goods bought in Germany? So even if the place where you pay the VAT changes, there won't suddenly be some incentive to register for VAT that wasn't there before ... It does seem incredible that we are all trying to work this out for ourselves 4 yeas after the referendum. The BBC meanwhile continues to obsess about what Brexit will mean for Britons wanting to go on holiday to Benidorm.
  16. Although I am massively against Brexit and all of its consequences, the Dutch bike company's rant would be relevant if we hadn't struck a last minute free trade deal with the EU. Also the mechanism they are attempting to describe and which I think they have misunderstood is about OMPs or online marketplaces. The measures which are being put in place are an attempt to make sure that online resellers of manufactured goods do in fact pay tax somewhere rather than nowhere - which is surely a good thing.
  17. Not really - it's a very subjective account based on very brief playing of all the instruments I encountered over a 2 year period (back in 2011-12), and it's very much geared towards saleability. The rating system, between 0 and 3, is very broad, so these are not subtle distinctions. 0 = unplayably horrid, 1 = nasty sound, 2 = a workable violin but not appealing, 3 = a nice violin that one might be confident of selling to a client. I would further say that in my experience, no amount of set-up or loving attention ever made enough of a change to turn a 2 into a 3. Unless you're prepar
  18. I got excited seeing the title .... But as Michael says, just a very ordinary German student bow with a strange splodge of mould on the head. For future reference, if you find a self-rehairing bow that's been converted, the round dowel filling the hole always sits on the bottom line of the head.
  19. The politicians have always been to Eton, and being gay is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for being a shirt-lifter. It's true that we moved south two years ago - you know, the only thing I really miss about Scotland is Scotland.
  20. You mean our dear sweet Nicola? OK ... let's review this time next year. I bet you £100 that Scotland will have voted in favour of independence. It's not just Brexit, which was overwhelmingly rejected by the Scottish electorate - it's also seeing the damage being done in Westminster by a bunch of Eton shirt-lifters and their myopic henchmen.
  21. Bingo .... Kennedy's first address as an independent maker was Princes St (also Shoreditch) from some point in 1804. So Jacob's cello was probably made before he became independent - is it a Forster?
  22. As far as I can tell, Brexit will have as its direct consequence the break-up of Great Britain, since Scotland wants none of it and Northern Ireland wants much more of it. So very soon we will be talking in glowing terms about the possible re-unification of Great Britain.