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Jeny Mahon

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Posts posted by Jeny Mahon

  1. 19 hours ago, deans said:

    When a good violin comes up in auctions around here, people come out of the woodwork. However I suspect that it was a distance bidder, at least from what I see. 

    It at least looks like a serviceable instrument

    I know it's almost impossible to tell but I was actually wondering about the bow... looks like old tinsel wrap maybe?  But not $977 wondering!

  2. 19 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

    I went to personally inspect a violin that was on the Goodwill auction site, but the local Goodwill store said that the policy was not to allow inspection of auction items.

    I don't know if that was this local store's policy only or a national policy.

    I think it varies from store to store.  I've looked at fiddles here in Seattle a couple times.  Of course now, nobody is allowed to come in due to COVID, I think there's a banner on the site about it and/or it's in most of the listings.  

  3. 1 hour ago, gottawonder said:

    I was hoping that my attempt to articulate some observations about the instrument would be enough to lay to rest the idea that I was inquiring as a preliminary to buying the thing, but I can understand the skepticism. Hard as it is to believe, I am genuinely interested in understanding what is being fobbed off ostensibly as a C. Bisiach violin. Not a question worth the attention; sorry to get off on the wrong foot here. I'll go back to revising cornerblockology and stick to more worthwhile sources for violins to analyze.

    No worries, I've been learning for 18 years and I am very much still learning.  It takes time and holding many many violins of every quality in your hands, and most importantly, a VERY patient teacher, to even begin to know what you're looking at.  People here willing to help, we look at a lot of eBay, etc. listings posted in this forum all the time.  If you want to learn to identify good violins, I suggest making friends with the luthier at the shop you buy your daughter's fiddle from :) 

  4. 2 hours ago, Flattmountain said:

    I would take her to a few luthier shops to play nice violins without the worry of authenticity. She will love sampling all the violins, and learn a lot about them too. Have a price range in mind, but let her play higher end ones too. Once she finds a sound she likes, if it is not in your price range, you two can find a similar sounding/feeling one at a lower cost no doubt. Avoid eBay for now. 


    All of this ^^^ 

    Buying online anywhere, real Bisiach, or not, it is difficult because there's zero way of telling if the instrument fits her.  You need to have her try violins in person, at a good shop who will measure her and find the ones that are the right size for her and comfortable to play.  The fiddle needs to fit her properly.  If you get something online without trying first it's liable to not be a good fit and would only frustrate a young musician.  People and auction houses selling fiddles on any online platform are generally not luthiers and don't measure instruments correctly, so there's no telling what you're going to get until you get it and then you're stuck with it. Playing something that does not fit you will limit your ability to progress and enjoy playing.  

    I suggest going to a shop and trying out some instruments, if even to get an idea of what you should be looking for.  Don't feel bad to just go and try, most shops are happy to help and don't mind giving good advice, even if you walk out the door with a 'thank you'.  If you buy from shops it will be more expensive, yes... but what you're paying for is a violin that the shop guarantees, with proper fit, a good set-up, and a luthier happy to do any future adjustments to it whenever you need.  Also, most shops will let you take fiddles... not just one but a few... out to test for a couple weeks, to see which one she likes best. And if you buy from them, when she is ready to advance to a professional instrument they will take the one you bought back and give you credit for it against your new purchase. 


  5. 9 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

    Good luck, Carlyn!

    I will occasionally buy a violin by an obscure American maker that is well-made, and then try to find the maker's decedents to see of they are interested in acquiring it. If they're not, then sometimes I will inquire at the local historical society to see if they are interested in it.

    I am glad that you're interested in your great grandfather's work, and best of luck to you!

    I do that too!  Not only with violins but also jewelry and paintings.  I've returned a fiddle that was owned by Charlie Bowman in 1934 back to the family.  It got there 2 weeks after a fire had destroyed what they had left of his things, so they were very grateful.  

  6. On 1/29/2021 at 6:25 PM, deans said:

    Yes, used sniping. He wasnt afraid to pay up for good German trade instruments. Just about every Roth at some point, and there was a good number back then. 

    Almost a badge of honor to be outbid by him.

    WOW... that's a blast from the past!  Good old pknorr!  Man, I wouldn't even try to outbid him.  I just focused on whatever he wasn't interested in  :lol:

    Well if his feedback numbers are anything to go by, we can expect precisely 1,575 more fiddles where that one came from! 

  7. 8 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

    On the other side, there are honest eBay sellers who have no idea how to accurately and completely represent an instrument in an eBay listing. Personally, I will sometimes message them to help them understand what they are selling, and how to photograph and describe it better. (And I state that I am not and will not be bidding on the item.)



    I thought I was the only one who did that :)  In most cases it's because I feel bad that some poor soul thinks their "Grandfather's Italian Violin by Rocca" will sell on eBay for $8,999... so I cave and message them about it.  If it's anything halfway decent I tell them to go straight to the nearest shop for advice. I will also tell them they can send photos to Tarisio for an evaluation.

    Here's the most recent one.  It's actually a nice fiddle, and I was so sad to tell her it probably has a soundpost crack on the back.  I haven't heard from her since. 

  8. 16 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

    This answers your question.  “The painting was found but its custodian hadn’t realized it was stolen.”

    The interesting part is the part they always leave out.  That is, how did they know whose cupboard to search?

    Probably listed it on eBay.it!

    Ah, here it is.  He must have posted it on FB :lol:

    "According to the Associated Press (AP), Naples police arrested the apartment owner after he shared a “less than credible” story of “casually” purchasing the painting at a flea market."

  9. I went to a Roadshow here in 2012, and brought all of my Native American jewelry.  The setup is exactly how PhillipKT described.  I saw a guy in line in front of me with a huge and very old bear claw squash blossom necklace. It was clearly made for an important individual, not a tourist item, and I complimented him on it.  Later when I went to the antique jewelry line to see about my ring, I passed by where they filmed the TV segments.  That same guy was there about to get filmed with the necklace.  I'd have to look at the archives but I think he made it on the show.   I, however, did not :lol:


    5 hours ago, Johann ?? said:

    Ok. Included the bow.. lol.  and the old case..  just for a laugh. 








    Could you post a close-up, full sized photo of the middle of the back which includes all four corners, maybe in daylight if possible?  I've attached an edited version of your photo as an example.  


  11. 3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

    The more a violin has been excessively polished, the redder it appears. Surface texture breaks up the light more into what is perceived as whites and yellows.

    Been dinkin' with this stuff for about 50 years.

    Thank you!  I always wondered about that too.

  12. 1 hour ago, FiddleDoug said:

    "By the way, please share information about the bow, frequently the bow ages better than the violin "

    You're kidding, right? Most of the time, the bow has nothing to do with who made the violin, or when.

    I think FiddleDoug just wants to see photos of the bow.  Ever since I received a rose gold mounted Hill bow in the case of a fiddle I got off of eBay for $375, I always want to see the bow! The listing didn't even mention bows at all, and there were three in the case; the Hill, a nice silver mounted German and a nickel mounted German.  The fiddle was a cute old Markie as I recall, very pretty varnish that had been antiqued quite well.  We sold it for $2500 to somebody wanting to use it as a model for antiquing, and the Hill went for $6,500.  I have photos of that bow somewhere, I should dig them up and post sometime.  

    That was many years and many fiddles ago... complete beginner's luck which has not been repeated since, but I keep trying :lol: 


  13. 30 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

    Oh, yeah... they told me.  Forced password change, and I haven't seen anything sketchy come up so far via email.  You can pay whitepages $6.99  a month and get anybody's address, property information and current phone numbers, including cell.  So what little they may have gotten wasn't anything already public, aside from my email address.  The notice said they didn't get cc numbers, not that it matters anyway... the one I have on there is expired; I put in in years ago to bid on antique Native American jewelry. Then didn't :lol:

  14. Can anybody tell what this says, before the date?

    Also,  I found this from a book dated October 1918.

    If there really was an eccentric and entertaining Signor Vitelli (although this might just be an educational story) who was a famous player maybe the label is referring to him, or maybe he had a stint as a dealer at one point?  It looks more like a dealer's stamp to me, not a maker's label.

    P.S. The first fiddle I bought was one of those $0.68 instruments from the teens :lol: Mr. David Stone informed me of this woeful fact 20 years ago!


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