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About seattleslew

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  1. My daughter went through her bow try-out routine. All the Arcos and Water violet bows passed the staying on the string test as she drew back the bows. I know this sounds like a bizarre test, but maybe it something that cellists do that violinists and violaists do not have to consider because their bows are above the strings while a cellist's bow is to the side of the strings. Gravity is not the cello bow's friend. Anyhow, the bows passed that test and one bow in particular passed the bounce test (sotiae sp.?). I have a few other bows coming on approval and I did let the ebay Bazin bow go without a concern, largely based on the advise of the people above. Regardless, I am not in the market for a $1900 bow.
  2. For what it's worth, the bow: just sold for $1875
  3. I was checking out this ebay listing. Wow, a Charles Bazin bow with a Raffin certificate with no reserve and starting bid of $1. Can you beat that? I even got an email back from Raffin saying the cert was fine. Problem is that I think the auction is rigged. That's why the bidder identities are hidden. There are two sellers I have identified that sell Raffin certified bows. One is bmplg and the other is mariam94. Well, it appears that bmplg and mariam have sold each other about five bows--bmplg has sold five to mariam; mariam has sold four to bmplg. Funny thing. Anyhow, I picked up four bows on approval today. All are of Brazilian make (Guasti, Bottoni, Pereiro, and Herculano) and all fully nickel mounted (about $550 per bow) , but my daughter has too much homework to check them out tonight.
  4. When the certificate says, "bois d'abeille" --- is this French for pernambuco or is it bee-wood?
  5. Raspritz, you posed the question well. I also saw the New York Times article. If Tiffany & Co. found that 75% of the 200 "Tiffany" items purchased on ebay were fraudulent, I wonder if anyone would hazard a guess about how many "Pfretschner" and "Nurnberger" bows are fraudulent.
  6. There seems to be no shortage of Raffin-certified bows on ebay. Browsing along, I noticed that seller bmplg was selling several Raffin-certified bows. I have also noticed that mariam94 sells Raffin-certifed bows. Looking at the feedback, I even noticed that mariam94 bought from bmplg (although the item number is hidden). Is there some hanky-panky going on here? Also, what level of authentication does a Raffin certificate give a bow?
  7. Here's the local sentiment I have from two good sources: For student instruments (<10K) I'd go to Sten Olson in Ballard. For professional instruments (>10K) I'd go to Carrabba.
  8. As a follow-up, here is Alf's post: Thanks, Korngold, for your encouraging words. Yes "Labeled" or "Stamped" is a slimy but clever way to sell a violin without being liable for its authenticity. BUT: When the seller also says "Original In All Its Parts"... presumably meaning that none of the Chinese parts (or from wherever the original carcass hailed) have been substituted... doesn't that add another dimension? Furthermore, just out of curiosity I had another bidder send an email to the seller of the 'ALF' violin specifically asking if it was original. At the same time I sent my own email advising in no uncertain terms that the violin was a fake and demanded that it be withdrawn. The emails arrived at separate times but were obviously downloaded together because within 5 minutes of separation the seller, Thorsten Thais aka cellodoc replied: 1) To me, the maker, saying that he had doubts all along and that's why he wasn't selling it as 'real' and blaming the gypsies etc. and 2) To the potential buyer, saying that the violin was a fabulous Alf , purchased directly from me and singing my praises. It nice to be appreciated ... but not raped. So, I will join in with the Tiffany's and Giucci's lining up to sue eBay for their shameful profits from selling stuff they know to be fakes ( I had also warned eBay while the sale was still active) and I will follow up with the German 'Krimminalpolitzei' in Reichshof. But it's a huge hassle and I would rather carve scrolls. In the meantime..... I have come up a more creative way to get out the word protecting other buyers from being scammed.
  9. I am sure there are far more perceptive board members, but I will take a stab at it. Several months ago, cellodoc posted a violin for sale on ebay, claiming that it was produced by Greg Alf. Mr. Alf is apparently a highly regarded luthier with a shop somewhere is the USA. Coincidentally, Mr. Alf was directed to the listing by prospective ebay buyers who wanted to verify that he indeed made the violin. Mr. Alf is apparently also a poster on this very same maestronet. Upon reviewing the listing on ebay, Mr. Alf apparently contacted cellodoc to let him know that it was not his violin. Indeed, Mr. Alf posted on this very same maestronet board a narrative of his correspondence with cellodoc a/k/a Mr. Theis, wherein Mr. Alf reported that Mr. Theis told Mr. Alf that he was unsure of the authenticity while at the same time telling prospective purchasers that it was indeed an authentic Alf. This is my recollection of the episode as I recall from reading the cellodoc listing and Mr. Alf's posting on Maestronet. You may draw your own conclusion from this anecdote. As a novice to violins, as you may be, one may be tempted to purchase based on a high percentage feedback and the gorgeous photographs. However, it appears that there is a pandemic of knowingly mislabeled violins circulating. Who puts the labels on is anyone's guess. It appears to me that all of cellodoc's good seem to look similar. It also seems quite convenient that a German dealer's market for selling his goods is to American customers who have virtually no recourse if they are defrauded. The pages of boilerplate disclaimers on Theis's website is really beside the point.
  10. Thank you everyone. Your feedback has really made me think through this. I will go to a nearby dealer and have my daughter go through the bow inventory in our price range. I have heard that a dealer who is only a few blocks away (although I cannot find his storefront) is Stone Violins (anyone heard of him?). Anyhow, I think he gets bows from Arcos Brasil. I don't think the cello teacher has an agenda because the bow on loan is obviously taped over a break and I cannot think of how he would get a commission if we bought a bow from his luthier, unless we told him where we got the bow, and we may not disclose it. Anyhow, ebay is out of the question. J. Martin was a nice seller. The only open question for me is this bow staying on the string test... Has anyone heard of this?
  11. It won't be arriving at my door. My eye wandered to this sale: Now this seller has about the best pitch I have ever heard. He/she sells him/herself first as an expert violinist with a reknowned quartet, saying that the buyer should trust him/her because he/she would not sully his/her good name just to make a few bucks selling a bow. You almost forget that the seller never gives his/her name.... Check out this seller's past listings. The verbiage is the best. I don't know whether one could say the same for the bows.
  12. I have been suspicious of the bow-staying-on-hair test myself. I have asked my daughter to replicate it, which only brings a tirade from my wife. But that's another matter. Anyhow, I don't think the teacher wants me to buy the temporary bow. Rather, he has looked at the stock of bows at his luthier, Carrabas, in Seattle, and suggested that we look there. I have never been to that establishment, but I have the distinct impression that it is a higher end place where we will feel out of place or intimidated. Who would ever think that choosing a bow would be such a major undertaking?
  13. This is the test, as best I understand it, which the Martin bows failed. Drawing back the bow, that is, moving the bowing elbow away from your body, but maintaining a proper bowing position with your arm, the bow does not stay on the string the entire length. Apparently, this test was done with all the Martin bows, with failure; but was done successfully with the teacher's $$$ bow and my daughter's temporary bow on loan from the teacher. I don't know whether it is an issue of camber or of a weighting of the bow. The Martin bows were about 80-82 grams with normal 9.5-10 inch balance points. All I can think of is that the bow tip was too light, but what do I know?
  14. In an odd way, buying from ebay forces a finality to the search. We already ordered a few bows from J. Martin, but my daughter and her teacher took exception to the bow not staying on the strings when the bow was drawed back. I spoke to the guy at Martin and he said he never heard of the thing. The teacher told me that the people who sell bows often don't play and would not know about the issue. We also went to local store to check out the Codas. Well, my daughter prefers the wood bows; they just feel better to her. So you see, this can go on for a long time.
  15. Jeff, I could go to $500. You're right. It would be stupid to buy a bow without the ability to play it first. What was I thinking? Well, maybe that a mediocre Pfretrschner bow would be better than a good Dorfler bow I got through retail channels.