But the instruments I am interested are made by young talented violin makers? What makes auctioned instruments less likely to sound good other than the risk of having the sound not match my wants exactly?
From what I have read about these makers, they all have studied in a violin making school and have commissioned prices of $10,000+. From my understanding, contemporary makers who are not established tend to resale poorly hence the low estimates and realized prices in auctions. Are these instruments inherently worse than going to the maker directly? I know that it was discussed that many times that bad instruments are auctioned, but these makers have several instruments in their sale history and I cannot imagine that they have a turnout rate of that many poor instruments, but I do acknowledge my lack of knowledge on these sort of things. I agree that a return policy is a great asset.
Thank you for everyone for contributing. For me, the conversation so far has turned into an interesting discussion regarding contemporary violins in these types of auctions. It has become apparent to me that many believe that the risk of not hearing a violin is much too risky to go and blindly buy an instrument. Knowing that these makers are going to a modern violin making school and learning similar techniques and creating instruments accordingly, shouldn't the differences in sound be more in terms of taste rather than qualities that are inherent with good violins (ie responsiveness, evenness of tone, etc.)? I have several colleagues who literally had theirs violin teachers buy modern instruments from one of their friends and that was their new instrument moving forward. I just want to say that I appreciate all of the responses so far and I am learning from every one of you.