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martin swan

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Everything posted by martin swan

  1. That sounds very shoddy ... When people come to us we first tell them what the retail value is. If they're not in a hurry we offer to take the item on consignment which will net them about 75% of retail, if they want a quicker sale and we're interested in the item, we offer a trade price which is around 50% of retail. If a dealer is looking for big profits, I feel it's preferable to hunt for sleepers in auction rather than steal from unsuspecting members of the public.
  2. It's strange that people who want a quick sale think that auctions are the only route. Dealers have to buy stock after all, and it makes a lot more sense to sell to a dealer - both parties avoid paying a premium, and you don't have to wait 2 months for an auction and then 6 weeks to get paid afterwards.
  3. I was also not meaning anything personal However, I suspect that a sketchy Wikipedia article is not what Mike means by "reading" either.
  4. Nobody reads these days ... what you do is ask a question on a forum, receive a dozen contradictory but equally dogmatic responses, and then pick the one you like.
  5. I don't think the adjuster of the Nurnberger (which was really the only thing we could see in the original photos) is original ... it seems to have a rounded cap and a very small collar. From the photos I still wouldn't stake money on it being silver. But the Emil Herrmann looks nice.
  6. Leandro Bisiach (or more accurately the Leandro Bisiach workshop) made various different models, so I wouldn't treat the example in the RAM collection as particularly typical ... However, I'm afraid the OP violin is by no stretch of the imagination a Bisiach - to me it looks like a very straightforward nicer Markneukirchen violin from the 1920s/30s as others have suggested. The only bow where I can really see the metal looks like a nickel mounted German student bow to me - just very dirty!
  7. Not to be disputatious, but from Marco Raposo's own website : We only use mature Pernambuco trees, that are over thirty years old. Once a tree is selected, the heartwood is extracted from the core. The wood must have straight veins and be free of knots in order to be used for bows.
  8. Old fenceposts and sleepers are incredibly uneconomic to mill, since they are full of metal. New blades and downtime are the bane of any sawmill, massively increasing the cost of milling. In fact milling reclaimed and fully seasoned timber is a nightmare from all points of view. I fear this is a story the current Brazilian makers put out to assuage the buyer's conscience.
  9. It comes from sustainable plantation programmes. Probably more consistent in quality than most of the old growth wood used by previous generations. http://www.arcosbrasil.com/
  10. Just to agree with the consensus ... Hope springs eternal, but these are modern student cellos. I don't believe this is a trustworthy source. If the owner doesn't know they aren't genuine then they shouldn't be selling instruments. If the owner knows they aren't genuine but hasn't been explicit about it then they shouldn't be selling instruments. Either way, go somewhere else ....!
  11. I don't see anything French about it ... On the subject of cracks, there is one long crack coming off the right edge of the saddle that does travel sufficiently to the right not to be strictly speaking a post crack, but there's another parallel crack to the left of it which is directly in line with the post.
  12. Since we can't hear the original recording I'm not clear how you can tell - isn't this just low bandwidth Youtube dirt ...? The balance seems very good for a live performance - that's the only element I would feel safe to judge here.
  13. There seem to be two conflicting schools of thought ... One states that Strads are only great because they have been brought to their current point of perfection by generations of top level restoration and set-up. The other states that if a Strad is a stinker/lemon it's down to generations of abuse by poor restorers and poor set-up. These two speculations seem to cancel each other out - you choose one or the other depending on what you wish a Strad to be. It seems more logical to me to assume that things are as they always were ie. great Strads always were great, some Strad
  14. What I find strange about this photo is that the instruments on your table are violas, which is a bit surprising since you always speak only about violins. Also, from what I can see they are very clean and professionally made trade instruments, not the sort of thing you would expect from a self-taught acoustician or scientist.
  15. I think the vegans had all been hunted down along with the bison ....
  16. Or Montana ... I had a memorable day at the Rock Creek Testicle Festival.
  17. I always try all these Contemporary Italians at UK auctions, but have never come close to wanting to buy one. I have often wondered how/why they end up there ... this phenomenon predates the pandemic btw. I suspect that some of them are consigned by the makers who need cash flow (because they make more violins than they can sell) or who recognize that they've made a lemon. Fortunately there appears to be a queue of naive buyers stretching round the block who are prepared to shell out for something just because it's Italian. It may sound like a mouse that was run over by a tractor se
  18. Good point! I suppose most times when people talk about "a Peccatte" they mean Dominique ... but there are so few DP viola bows on the market right now it's more likely not.
  19. As Duane intimates, how you devalue the bow depends on why the work was done. If the nipple was a bit worn and the adjuster off-centre, then i would't devalue at all. If it's because of a crack in the handle, then a small devaluation would be in order, but I wouldn't think more than 5-10% since it's not a vulnerable part of the bow. The average retail price for a historic bow assumes a certain amount of wear and maybe even some very minor restoration. If a Dominique Peccatte was genuinely mint then I would expect it to sell for quite a bit over the standard retail price. DP vio
  20. It's an interesting question - I suppose I would refer it to the standard practice of other great workshops whose work remains relatively unadulterated, and who clearly were more than happy to sell lemons to less discriminating clients.
  21. I would say a lemon rather than a stinker ... No indeed I take your point - we can happily fantasize that at the time of creation all these violins were equally perfect, just as we can fantasize that only regraduation, degradation and minute alteration by successive luthiers has made themas good as they are today.
  22. If it were well known amongst those who actually trade in Strads that a good few were stinkers, it would hardly be polite or fair to the owners to flag this up on a public forum. Of course there are plenty, del Gesus too ... this doesn't in any way undermine the fact that these were the greatest makers whose reputation is deserved. People are strangely willing to bypass the evidence of their own ears in favour of a label - we see this in all price ranges, why would classical Cremonese violins be an exception? In the words of one of our principal sellers of Strads ... "everyone
  23. Paolo Fiorini was definitely a Beare & Son trade name along with Francois Barzoni, but I don't think there is any documented connection with the EH Roth firm. Worth bearing in mind that every good trade violin from Markneukirchen at that time looks very like a Roth
  24. Here is a Niggel cello we sold a few year back ... https://www.martinswanviolins.com/sympertus-niggell-cello/ We also had a nice viola which had a similar varnish, a sort of opaque gold/walnut as with Jacob's violin. Excellent maker.
  25. A. it seems a very low price for a gold mounted Grünke .... B. I don't think this is the case
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