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Everything posted by pahdah_hound

  1. Go ask Alex, the Red Queen, the hookah smoking caterpillar, the White Knight, or the dormouse. The White Rabbit has the answer. Something here strongly suggests the sensory distortions experienced with hallucinogens. I think the initials on the "cert" are AB, perhaps?
  2. An interesting experience for anyone interested in violins is to examine and play many different violins in all different price ranges at a major auction preview. However, I think it would be very difficult, frustrating and possibly very disappointing and expensive for an individual to successfully buy the violin they really want at a major auction. Often violins with modest estimates sell for many times the estimate. Another concern is that if you identify 2 or 3 potential candidates for purchase, you have to decide whether to try to win the first up for sale or wait to bid on another ending later. A dealer, buying many lots, can spread the risk and cost average the best buys with the others. If one out of ten purchases is a mistake, that's pretty good. If one out of one is a mistake, then its a disaster. Returning for a refund an instrument purchased at auction is unlikely, although I have never tried it myself. I think it is a safer bet for a novice to try to arrange the opportunity to audition many instruments in the comfort of their own home without pressure, but with the advise of a teacher and others more knowledgeable. Jesse
  3. Actually, yes. From a German TV film where I played a ship's captain. I can't do anything for real, so I make believe... Jesse
  4. I listed a lot of 6 rattlesnake rattles a few years ago, and they sold for $5. I also got a few messages from people concerned that I might be hurting rattlesnakes to get their rattles. I am pretty sure that dealing in rattlesnake rattles provides few of the same rewards as dealing in violins. Jesse
  5. Does that mean that the excellent, well-trained, intelligent and conscientious professional luthier with 50 years of experience, who I use to repair and set up nearly all of the violins I sell on ebay, "should plain die and stop wasting resources?" He might take personal offense to that suggestion, as would many mature (read old) people who choose to continue to work for a wide variety of reasons. If someone chooses a new career late in life, does that make them indecent? Competition raises quality and lowers price. Competition motivates young people to work hard to achieve a level of superior competency at whatever they do, in order to compete successfully. If the masters with the knowledge and skills gained by years of training and experience were to simply withdraw from the marketplace to create space for new blood, the quality would go down and the price would go up. In a vacuum of competition, the mediocre thrive.
  6. Thank you very much Gizmo... Tara816621, I started selling violins on eBay 12 years ago. I was in a similar situation that you find yourself in. My daughter's level was developing beyond her rental violin and I took her to a shop on the advice of her teacher. After three hours trying violins with a very nice young man with a vaguely European affected accent, they "selected" a wonderful violin for $15000. I had the privilege and pleasure of informing my 14 year old daughter, the apple of my eye and the light of my life, that we were not buying a $15000 violin. I then bought 4 violins on eBay, brought them to the local luthier for evaluation and set up, and found that I had two pieces of junk, an ok 1920s Markneukirchen violin, and a two year old German trade violin that sold in shops, MSRP of $2500. I paid a total of $500 for the four fiddles which came with three bows. My daughter and her teacher liked the new one, she picked one of the bows, and I resold the rest on ebay. The "rest" sold for $1000+, except for a bow that my luthier told me was pretty good. I took that to the dealer with the nice salesman and the $15000 violin who bought it for $2000-it was French he said but I don't remember the name. I took my winnings and bought more violins on ebay, trying to find something better than the German violin she liked. I bought a hundred before i found something she liked better, but in the process alienated her by asking her to try every filthy, dirty fiddle I brought home. I learned a little, but more importantly learned how much there is still to learn. Expertise in violins is a lifelong pursuit-which I have barely begun to scratch the surface. You could become a violin dealer, or you could just go to a shop and buy a violin, knowing that a reputable shop will always give you your money's worth, and that paying a little extra provides some peace of mind. Or you can try a violin from eBay, knowing that any long term dealer will provide a refund if you choose to return it. If you want to buy a good violin cheap, but that will likely need set up and repairs before it can be played, try "violinbuff" or "frenchviolins" on eBay. they have both been selling fiddles on eBay for longer than I have, and are real wholesalers. They are honest and reliable and anyone who knows them speaks highly of them. They both sell to dealers primarily but offer eBay stuff as well. Good luck in your search. Jesse
  7. I found this recent question and answer at the bottom of the listing. Is he threatening the buyer or himself? Q: The violin will you be able to sell the violin and the shipping for 200 A: NO For gods sake the shipping is extra Please don anyone else ask me this or I,ll just take it offline and smash it to Bits Lowballers everywhere.... Something like the bank robber screaming "Don't move or I'll shoot myself!"
  8. I was at the auction and apparently, I couldn't recognize a great violin when I held it in my hands. I think I might have looked at it much more seriously if I had seen it in a flea market or a garage sale. That others far more expert than I, also missed it, intrigues me. This was certainly a one-in-a-million long shot, but does that make the next Skinner sale in two weeks more or less interesting...? Jesse
  9. No malice, just second hand information, that I haven't verified personally, but came from two sources whose information has been accurate in the past. The expert whom I have been told has certified the violin is, beyond question, the recognized authority on violins of this kind. It is interesting to me that at least the two previous owners apparently had no idea that the violin was a del Gesu. And, supposedly, the violin was purchased by the consignor ten years ago for $5000. The fact that many dealers, who are more expert than the auction's specialist, saw and handled the violin without concluding that it was a del Gesu, suggests to me that the auction house has ample evidence to suggest that the level of expertise required to properly attribute the offering is beyond the reasonable expectation of an auction's specialist. When recent provenance were also unaware of its attribution, I do not think that the auction house can be held accountable for the lack of correct attribution. Had the consignor represented to the auction house that the violin was an authentic del Gesu, and the auction expert disagreed, without exercising due diligence, then I think the consignor would have a case against the auction house. Similarly, if the violin was sold to a dealer at the auction for 100 times the estimate, then the auction specialist could be at fault for not recognizing what others apparently could. However, in such a scenario, it is not likely that the consignor would have suffered harm or could prove damages. Isn't this one of the reasons people attend auctions? To get a great find for much less than it is worth. Jesse
  10. It has been mentioned to me by people who usually know, that lot 44 of Skinner's April 2014 sale has been recently certified by a famous London expert as an authentic Joseph Guarnieri del Gesu. I heard the buyer is rather pleased with his purchase. There are dozens of experts who held the violin in their hands who are now scratching their heads. (speaking of heads, I understand that this one is not original). Lot 44 Sale # 2717B Jesse
  11. It looks like there are four different user names (at least) that this seller uses. While not identical, the listings are all similar, including the carpet backgrounds in the photos. lalamigra amteco giccgicc pilence0 The multiple user names is a dead giveaway for me that a seller does not want to be identified with his merchandise. Jesse
  12. Claire Givens is well-respected, well, maybe only in America and England where we don't know the difference. Andrew Dipper joined Claire Givens Violins as Vice President. Andrew Dipper, a highly respected maker and early instrument restorer brought Dipper Restorations from Taynton, Oxfordshire, England. In 1988, she hosted the Violin Society of America International Violinmaking Competition. In 2005 she organized a conference for the National Music Museum named The Secrets, Lives and Violins of the Great Cremona Makers. She has written "In Focus" articles in The Strad magazine featuring a fine viola made by Minneapolis maker Mathias Dahl (June 2001), and a violin made by Giocoma Zanoli, Verona c. 1749 (October, 2000). In October 2010, Givens co-wrote with Andrew Dipper a Strad article on the King Henry IV Amati Bros. Ms. Givens is a member of the Violin Society of America (VSA), the American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS), and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). She served on the board of the Minnesota String Task Force and MN ASTA from 1987 to 1999. She has been a musical instrument appraiser for the Antiques Roadshow since 1999 and has appeared on numerous shows. Currently, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for The National Music Museum, the Board of Advisors for the Yale University Musical Instrument Collection and the VSA Board of Directors. Maybe in another neighborhood she would be heckled. Around here, she is pretty well respected, but what do we know?
  13. I second Conor's thanks Kevin. That was a very enlightening explanation. I have always used the presence of those marks to identify American grown maple, although I have also seen American maple where the marks are very faint and hard to see for sure like the second example in the photos above. I find it much more difficult to identify other woods but I have had a lot of experience with American violins. Jesse
  14. Its not a matter of stupid, just whether on not you know. The small, dark streaks or sap marks that run perpendicular to the flame, parallel to the grain, in a random pattern is the most distinctive clue to identifying North American Maple. They are most noticeable in the first and third photos.
  15. Some examples of North American Red Maple, Acer Rubrum It is very distinctive and easy to identify.
  16. Just beautiful-the best thing I've read all day. Thank you sooo much! Jesse
  17. Jacob, another way of saying that without being nearly as insulting to the original poster, who is just looking for some advice, would be, "There are many thieves on eBay who take advantage of buyers' lack of expertise and naiveté regarding the violin business. If it looks too good to be true, it often is." There is no need to insult a newbie to this board. We should welcome new members and their questions here. My response to this original poster is below: Welcome! Many sellers use shill bidders and their eBay listings are like fishing excursions. They put up items that would be worth a lot if real, and then bid them up themselves until some unlucky genuine bidder jumps in, and then they have caught themselves a fish. The best way to protect yourself as a buyer on eBay is to buy only from long time sellers who offer a money back guarantee and have excellent (not just positive) feedback over the years. The crooks don't usually last very long before they change their user name or stop operating. If you win something you feel is of value, bring it to an expert for their opinion, and pay for it if necessary. If they offer to buy it from you, regardless of price, you have a winner. Good luck! Jesse
  18. Do I detect a note of skepticism regarding my research? I have a friend working on his MS on the very subject of trapped overtones. He estimates the unnecessary damage caused to violins to be in the millions of dollars. As a restoration specialist, it is clearly in your interest that this information not get out. Jesse
  19. I think corner blocks are very important to the tone-especially in the lower corners. The harmonics that produce chiming and cascading overtones can get trapped in the lower corners making the violin's overtones less prominent. That is why, on many cheap Saxon instruments there is a sort of "cosmetic" cover over the lower corners that look like blocks. Virtually all the violins with these half blocks have no blocks in the upper corners. This produces overtones that tend toward chiming as opposed to light and airy, bell-like overtones. Also the cascading quality of the overtones is severely compromised by the lack of upper blocks as the higher overtones get trapped in the upper corners. Rather than cascading, the overtones just pile up and rumble, sometimes causing a buzz or wolf tone in the 4th position on the g string. The trapped overtones can also cause the seams to open up near the neck on both top and bottom plates. That is why so many old Saxon violins have open seams in these very areas. I have found that violins with four real corner blocks (and full linings) are much less likely to have open seams. That is because there is nowhere for the overtones to get trapped and rattle around creating the kind of insidious vibrations that cannot escape except through the seams near the neck block (that being the closest point of release). Some of the worst sounding violins don't even have the lower half blocks. That lack of lower blocks is likely to cause the violin to come apart all over the place. Again, trapped overtones without any place to cascade to is the root of the tonal deficiency. Add some blocks to the upper and lower corners, and not only will the violin sound much better, louder, more powerful, more open, but it will cause the overtones to flow out of the f holes creating that combination of bells and chimes that is so desirable. Also, the violin will not have to be glued nearly as often. I have tested this theory with a very sophisticated and expensive instrument known as a Dynamic Underlying Modulation Bantometer (DUMB), which can measure the precise frequency and period of each cascading overtone. After only a few tests, the metrics bore out the theory that overtones get trapped in unblocked corners and pile up causing poor tone and damage to the instrument seams. Thank you, Jesse
  20. Mariam94 is a well known violin dealer named Alex. He is a big buyer at all the major auctions. He uses eBay primarily as a form of advertisement. As far as I know he has been selling stringed instruments on eBay longer than I have, since the early 2000s. I doubt he sells a lot of $200,000 violins on eBay... His stuff is sometimes very good and some instruments come with his own certificate. Right now, on eBay, he has 125 violins listed, 26 cellos, 150 bows and 2 other things.With all that stuff for sale, millions of dollars worth, he has sold only 1 bow for $1200 in the past month. Jesse
  21. I am not sure I could recognize a double bass from a mile away, let alone a neck graft on a violin. Maybe a foot away would be more accurate. The graft is certainly real. Jesse
  22. This is a handmade 200 year-old violin with a fresh set up, in playing condition. The measurements are to perfect classical specifications, the size is excellent and the violin sounds very good. I know of no good metro shops that sell 200 year-old violins, in ready-to-play condition, for anything close to $2800. In perfect condition, a good metro shop would certainly ask $10,000+ for a violin like this and much more. It is only on eBay that $2800 is a relatively high price for a violin. For the rest of the violin world, $2800 buys you a new Chinese violin like a Jay Haide or an average German student violin at a good shop. Of course at a lesser shop, prices might be lower but the available violins might be of a lower grade also. Jesse
  23. For purposes of clarification: The auction ended on Tuesday of this week. The winning bidder (from Chile) notified me that the price exceeded his PayPal limit. He needed to put the purchase on his credit card linked to Paypal and had no other means to pay. He apologized and I reported to eBay that he had changed his mind and canceled the transaction. There were five different bidders who bid over $1000 on this violin, from 4 different countries-Italy, Belgium, Chile and the US. The winning bidder was from Chile, and the under bidder is from Belgium. I do not know any of the top five bidders and do not recall having done business before with any of them. None of them are regular bidders on my violins. Jesse
  24. I am glad that the auction house acted in a responsible manner and that you were made whole in the situation. It seems they took responsibility for their mistaken description and are willing to stand behind their representations. By acting as they have, I am sure that despite their error in description, they have gained your trust and respect as ethical businessmen and you will share your positive experience with others. That is the way to make the most out of an error and turn an unfortunate situation into a positive one. I have certainly seen situations where auction houses did not stand behind their representations and lost not only important individual buyers but the confidence of those buyer's friends and colleagues. Jesse
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