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About usqebach

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  1. Well drat! I had it on the "bucket list" to go up to Delaware and visit the shop. I have a James Reynold Carlisle that I'm fond of, and W. J. Smith (Mt. Kisco, NY) violin. Both are from the 1930's. I wanted to see what all he had, and perhaps trade or add to what I have. Does this mean the retail store is closing as well, or is he just disposing of his personal collection?
  2. I'm not qualified to comment on your making abilities, as I couldn't even whittle a dull stick into a sharp stick back in Boy Scouts. However, you've really got this photography thing nailed! What beautiful pictures! How do you set up your lighting?
  3. i noticed that as well. I like to pick one instrument from each Tarisio auction to do research upon, and perhaps place an irrationally low bid in case the market is asleep. This was the one I picked. While I have no experience with the late Mr. Toman, the instrument looked beautifully done, and his reputation was considerable. I didn't expect to have any chance of winning this one, so the additional publicity doesn't concern me. I hope this sells well!
  4. Thanks for the links to the previous threads, and the suggestion to join VSA. I'll spend some more time reviewing these. What I found fascinating was the perspective from several forum members that even a 4 year University degree would barely scratch the surface of developing a competency in instrument appreciation, and here I was hoping for a week of violin "fantasy camp" to get me started. sigh.... looks like my typical American pursuit of instant gratification has come up short yet again! No need to drag this out any further unless someone wants to. Keep up the great posts and pictures. I'll keep lurking and pop up in a few years if I have anything worth adding.
  5. Dear Members, Having played this instrument for 17 years now (6 in school, 20 year break, 11 as a hobbyist) I find myself being more and more drawn in to the world of appreciation for fine instruments. However, not having access to either a large inventory or a base of knowledge, I find myself with a greater desire to learn than an ability to teach myself. Admittedly, with the rise of the internet, sites such as Tarisio/Cozio, and this wonderful forum, it seems as if pictures of every fine instrument I may want to see are readily available. But these are just pictures. It amazes me how differences that seem minute or indiscernable on a 2 dimensional screen are blindingly obvious when seen on an actual instrument in hand. Living in Atlanta, I could possibly visit one of 3-4 reputable dealers in town and start looking. However, I do have respect for a dealer's time and inventory, and don't want to spend time "hanging around," peppering them with questions about instruments which I have neither the means nor the ability to justify their purchase. (and given my very modest skill set and pursuit of folk fiddle as an avocation, I don't want to clear the building the first time I attempt to draw the bow across the strings!). Does anyone know of, or have they considered creating, a class or workshop for violin identification and appreciation? i was imagining something akin to Hans Nebel's Violin Repair Course without actually attempting to work on the instruments. It would most probably have to be held in a city like Chicago, Boston or NY, and have the cooperation of a local museum and/or dealers in the area. I'm thinking the course outline might read something like: "Real vs. fake, how to spot the obvious," "The big 3 - France, Germany, Italy" "Differences in family/school/region in 18th century Italy" "How design differences impact tone" That's just a few off the top of my head. And I'm not beginning to think that one can replace a lifetime of experience with a weeklong class. But it might be just enough to give aspirational afficinados such as myself an opportunity to learn the basics and whet one's appetite towards this craft. Any thoughts? i appreciate in advance your time and attention. Jim Sims
  6. Well, I've seen the show, and I must admit to be quite a bit puzzled. The prospective buyer of the violin was none other than William "Bill" Townsend, the progenitor and "curator" as it were of the Amati Foundation and a maker in his own right. So I would first off know that Bill would know a heck of a lot more about the violin than those he is charging to authenticate it. And, if he weren't comfortable with his own authentication, certainly he would have enough contacts in the trade that he could get several learned opinions. And whichever Strad this was, surely it has a provenance, papers, and a history that adds to the knowledge of the instrument that was completely disregarded for this show. So I'm again curious as to the motivation. Could it have been an opportunity to raise awareness of the Amati foundation regardless of the outcome of the "investigation?" Does Mr. Townsend post on this board? I'd love to hear the first hand account. Jim
  7. Tonight at 9pm on CNBC (U.S), there is a show called "Treasure Detectives," (sorry for the typo in the subject line) where an "art detective" attempts to authenticate some rare and valuable piece of art to determine whether it is a forgery or not. Tonight's episode has him and his team attempting to authenticate "a Stradavarius violin worth $12 MILLION dollars. First off, was anybody associated with this forum contacted about this project? (I'm suspecting not). If not, I do find it somewhat laughable that these three "yahoos" with no prior experience authenticating instruments will go to great lengths (scientific testing, etc) to attempt to authenticate an instrument that several members on this forum (not me!) could probably authenticate or not from across the room. I'm also curious to which Strad would fetch a supposed $12m. That's up there, as far as pricing goes, isn't it? This episode ought to at least be interesting, and I'd like to read some of the comments from the experienced appraisers on the board as to how far fetched the whole premise and process was. Jim Sims
  8. I do want to say that I accept Skiingfiddler's comments about having access to top players, and developing a keen ear based on their feedback being a primary attribute to being a successful maker. And I would admit that playing at a lower ability level doesn't aide in providing onesself that feedback. I guess about the only other comment I would make is that if I were putting that much effort and passion into a craft, then I would derive immense satisfaction from actually being able to enjoy the fruits of my own labor.
  9. I saw in the beginning of the clip, that he was holding the violin like a cello, and drawing the bow across the strings accordingly. He said something like "too bad I can't really play it." First let me say I have all the respect in the world for Mr. Darnton and his contributions to the forum. I also know by reputation that his instruments are certainly at the top level of modern makers. While I realize that the skills necessary to carve wood and those necessary to play music are not really connected, wouldn't one think that a violinmaker ought to at least be able to play the instrument to the level of a decent novice? Or, as a continuation of that thought, if one was going to devote 30+ years of one's life to the making of the violin, that somewhere along the way he would take some lessons from a local teacher? I think at least it would aide the communication process between maker and player. I actually have a CD of Sam Z. playing old time tunes with a band - great stuff, and I think he's playing at a higher level that what I'm referring to. I guess the proof is in the instrument, so perhaps the ability to play is completely irrelevant to the process of making, and I'm way off base for even bringing this up. Or perhaps in fact Mr. Darnton plays the 'cello, but primarily makes the violin. That would also open up the discussion of whether makers who play violin can be qualified to make 'cellos, etc. - of course they can. Opinions?
  10. Just want to put my .02 in and keep this one on the top. Jamie is a friend, occaisional teacher, and tremendous player. He approaches Celtic music with the grace of a trained violinist. I would encourage anyone in the area to attend. Jim Sims
  11. If your moniker "Jahjah" is a euphemism for "Georgia", you might be in luck. I have a friend who is a luthier at one of the violin shops in Atlanta, and is also a Carlisle afficianado. He has one of the "fingerprint" models. I have played it, and it is superb. If you want to follow up on this lead, I'm sure he'd be happy to look at it for you. Just let me know and I'll get you his name and #. Cheers! Usqebach
  12. I am also attempting to learn more through these identification projects. The f-holes have unusual rounding on the extended thingys (technical term) adjacent to the eyes. What does this usually indicate in terms of style, region, maker, or model? I have seen this a few times before, but can't place it. Thanks, as always! Jim
  13. I went to the Gruhn website and was looking over those violins. At the bottom of the list (go to "inventory" and "violins") he has two of those Joseph Bohmanns (wild, wierd looking things) listed for $850. I am virtually certain he got those on ebay where a seller bought out the old factory inventory that had been laying around for decades. I know they could be had for $299 (at worst, most didn't sell for that), with no strings or setup, and I got a better deal than that (much better!), but returned it to the seller (great seller, full rebate, no hassles at all!) as I already bought from him a better model from Bohmann that I like and still play. I will at some point post a thread in support of my local violin shop, who has talked me out of spending more money with them than I have spent with them, and has given me a bunch of stuff/work free or at cost. But in this case, to go from an ebay price of a couple hundred bucks to sell at $850 - wow, that is a markup. Of course, when American Express does an add about your store (remember that?), I guess you can command it. Sorry about the "thread jack" for those who were not interested. Usqebach
  14. Now that this thread has come around to a question I had, it will save me posting my own thread. When a seller (particularly those with 0 or very few feedbacks) posts a violin with a starting bid of $200,000, or $500,000, what are they really trying to do? Obviously, it is not to sell that instrument on ebay at that price. Are they simply trying to get an e-mail response and sell the instrument (for some fraction of that price) off-ebay? Attract a local buyer to come look at it? As sensitive as people are to scams, I can't imagine a scam being that blatant, but who knows? I think this is a GREAT forum, and it gives some of us Ebay amateurs a chance to learn a bit more about the ins and outs of that "flea market" perhaps without having to learn EACH lesson the hard way! Usqebach