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Jonathan Rubin

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  1. I thought some might find this interesting - This is written by Robert Cauer APPRAISALS AND CERTIFICATES: DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE? Even some inexperienced dealers don't know it. In the violin world, the terms "Appraisal" and "Certificate" are used often interchangeably but there is a big difference. A Certificate is a document used to declare the Authenticity of an instrument. A Certificate often (but not always) has accompanying pictures and is as credible as the person who wrote it. There is no price stated on a certificate and it will accompany the violin whenever it changes ownership. Certificates are considerably more expensive than an appraisal. They usually cost 5% plus of the instrument's value if they are written by a known and respected connoisseur. An Appraisal is a document used mainly for insurance purposes to state the replacement value of the instrument. As opposed to a certificate it has to be renewed every few years to state the current value. A dealer without much knowledge about the originality of instruments can still make an insurance appraisal for an expensive violin, even a Stradivari, if he has access to the original certificates by known and trusted connoisseurs. This appraisal is usually a bit under $200.00 for very expensive instruments. Unless the dealer writes an actual certificate, his appraisal it is not an individual confirmation of the authenticity of the violin. It is merely an opinion about the value of the instrument while relying on the existent certificates. The owner with a fine instrument, which is well certified does not need yet another certificate to get an evaluation for his insurance. Sometimes the statement in an appraisal contains the sentence: "Made in our opinion by..." if the instrument has already strong certificates, which state that it is genuine. This is sometimes done to elevate the status of the dealer who writes the appraisal. This sentence rarely appears on appraisals if there are no strong certificates for instruments with "expensive" labels. Of course there are some experienced dealers, who know and recognize the maker of the instrument. However they would never make the mistake of calling an appraisal "certificate" as we have seen several times lately. Insurance appraisals usually state the value higher to include the sales tax. Therefore they should not be taken for coin value by a buyer who buys an instrument from a private party. In some instances appraisals are made to state the wholesale value at which a dealer might buy it, or for a price the instrument may fetch in an auction.
  2. I have been a Maestronet member for many years, and I am Robert Cauer's assistant. Robert read this thread with some amusement. I can tell you that this was a short diversion for Robert and his work on this was limited to the examination that you saw on the program. Robert had nothing to do with the tonal comparison, nor did he participate in anything using the scientific or medical equipment or x-rays. This was somewhat similar to the examination Robert would do normally, except for the cameras and crew present. Much of what you saw Robert do, we do not normally do for ourselves, but rather to convince the person bringing the instrument that it could not possibly be a Stradivari. For example, sometimes a person is convinced they have a genuine Strad, and we shine the strong light through the top demonstrating that the instrument could not possibly be that old and also be that translucent, because the older the violin, the less the light will shine through. Jonathan Rubin
  3. A side-mounted chinrest often helps, as does squeezing with the chin during the wolf-note.
  4. Robert hurries the nap. He has been compared to a hummingbird.
  5. Robert is the only person I know that can "Hurry up and take a nap."
  6. It is Robert Cauer, my employer. www.cauer.com
  7. Of possible interest to some here. The violin playing at the end is me.
  8. I definitely recommend consulting with someone who knows the laws where you are and can look at the specifics involved. I, like all of you, could be totally wrong on this, but this is my understanding: An insurance award or settlement is not income, and is therefore not taxable. When one is awarded a settlement on an insurance claim, there is no obligation how one spends the money awarded. For example, if your 10 million dollar violin is lost or destroyed and the insurance pays out, you do not have to go out and buy another 10 million dollar fiddle. You can buy a kazoo and take a vacation if you want. I wouldn't think about maintenance as much as some devaluation of the instrument unless there is some issue with the restoration itself. When we take in an instrument for repair as part of an insurance claim, we do not do any repair until the claim is approved, in case the insurance company wants to see the instrument and the damage. Once they pay, they could care less how the money is spent and the person is fully within their legal rights to take the money and not repair or replace the instrument.
  9. I am trying to imagine such a patch from the outside - I would love to see pictures of an outside post patch - front or back.
  10. Troubleshooting buzzes: http://cauer.com/violin-care-mainmenu-35/2...shooting-buzzes
  11. What I try to impress upon people when I turn down their repair work is that we have a very large inventory and large customer base. In order to maintain our inventory of PERFECTLY set-up instruments (at least by our humble standards), as well as be able to turn around in a timely manner the repairs of instruments purchased from us, we simply do not have the capacity to repair instruments purchased elsewhere. It is sometimes a curse doing good repair and restoration, because honestly, if I took in all the repairs presented, our staff would be so busy repairing instruments, our sales dept (mostly me) would have nothing to sell. The fact that someone bought an instrument somewhere and wants us to work on it and doesn't know where else to turn, and where to get an appraisal, etc. is frankly not a problem we have the capacity to undertake. We have our hands full - literaly - with our own customers' instruments and then desperately trying to get our inventory ready for the boss's scrutiny and then our sales dept. (mainly me) to sell. I also find it insulting that someone who never gave me the chance to sell or rent them an instrument now expects me to happily maintain and support their "bargain" to the exclusion of our loyal customers.
  12. Hi GV! I remember you from the olden days! Anyways, I'm still around. Glad to hear you are too. Jonathan
  13. When you don't know which rosin you are using, impressions are interesting. http://cauer.com/violincare/Vi...e.htm#_Selecting_Rosin
  14. We frequently encounter wolfs on small violins on open E. On most of our small violins, we use a Pirastro Gold Label E Thin. They only come in full size but the thin Gold Label E goes on most of our small violins. This works for us, I wonder if it works for you too. Jonathan
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