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Posts posted by uguntde

  1. On 18/11/2017 at 7:03 PM, jacobsaunders said:

    Dr. Franz Thomastik, an „Anthroposoph“, Born 1883 in Vienna, made all sorts of inventions, and wierd acustic publications. The Infeld Family took over his firm in the 50’s. The only inventions that had a longer life, are the steel strings, and the tailpiece with integeral fine tuners. The firm, in the 5th. District of Vienna, to this day, has no end of such junk in the basement, and asked me (with an unsurprising negative response) to repair it, some 25 years ago.


    I am not Aware of Jakob Buchner, there is a large dinasty of „Bucher“ violin makers, although it should be noted that there were no end of makers in Vienna at this time, and one is surprised oftten enough. I wrote an Essay about these here:

    I think they were called Weidler violins. Later Arthur Bay made such instruments in his workshop near Konstanz.

  2. On 03/11/2017 at 2:45 PM, martin swan said:

    The truth is that it's a very difficult retail climate at the moment, and most violin dealers I know are in a constant state of rage against the auction houses, particularly the one that does the best job of appealing to cash-strapped young professional musicians :).

    I try to see all sides of the picture, but I have bad days, particularly if I lose a client and I feel that they haven't understood the relative merits of each way of buying. Even our ever-patient Jeffrey expresses some mild irritation from time to time. 

    Yes, competition is healthy, but it's healthiest for the one who holds the best cards.

    Overall, this is the nature of business. If a retailer doesn't offer an advantage over an auction house, they will lose customers ... whether this is right or wrong, who can say? I don't see it as an ethical question.

    I personally think that dealers need to be spot on with instrument selection, sound and authenticity, get certificates, put instruments right, do repairs and adjustments to achieve sizeable markups.

    Auction houses now often give an authenticiy guarantee but I doubt that it will be easy to question their assessment. You need a higher authority to question them, and these are often already somehow affiliated with them. There is a risk when you buy at an auction because there are many good copies around, especially for instruments in a middle price range (10-100k).

  3. On 28/10/2017 at 7:39 PM, martin swan said:

    Well I wouldn't want to be accused of jumping to conclusions, but this appears from the few poor shots we have to be neither. It looks to me like a modern violin made to be passed off as an old violin. I would even venture a guess as to which city it was made in ...

    With regard to my comments on the other thread, I don't suppose I've been properly stretched - Roger's famous Dorotheum del Gesu would probably get past me as an original. But there was nothing on that thread which looks remotely like a 300 year old violin - modern makers really don't seem that keen to distort the arching, put potholes in the table, induce bassbar cracks or ruin their edges and corners.

    I think the real problem area is stuff which is now getting to be 100 years old, like Voller and Michael Doetsch. They can look pretty good ...

    I dont see how it can be new. The bushing of the pegs is not particualrly nice. The pegs have not been fitted well, the A peg stands out further on both sides, whereas the D peg is essentially too short. Someone did this cheaply. It seems t be half edged in places (fine line on the right side)  - who would do this for a copy? You can see that it has been opened, varnish of glue residues. Also, it does not make sense to copy without attributing the copy at least loosely to a know maker. The NM could also just be the initials of a relatively unknow, probably German, maker.  

  4. On 25/10/2017 at 1:06 AM, suecello said:

    What is the relationship between the price paid at an auction such as Tarisio or Brompton and a reasonable price to pay at a retail shop.  In particular, I am considering two Samuel & Charles Thompson cellos the asking prices for which at two different shops being $70k to $75k while auction prices have been in the high $20k.


    Since nobody explicitly anwered the question above, the rule of thumb for the markup in this price range is about a factor of two to three. For expensive instruments the factor can be lower, the amount will of course be higher. The dealer may have to get the instrument checked, repaired, certified, may sit on it for some time, needs to pay staff and rents, and has to pay taxes in the end.

    A markup factor of more than 3 as for your Samuel & Charles cello seems a lot, if there were no repairs involved. If you sell it at auction later you will not get the same amount back.

    There are more and more players, even students, trying to buy at auctions, but this is of course a very different buying experience. You have to decide quickly and on site, you need to decide whether you believe the authenticity assessment by the auction house, whereas a dealer will let you take the instrument home to try it.

    Even with the guarantees given by auction houses now, one needs to be careful. There are many instruments that are copies. And the buyer will have to proof that an instrument was not genuine to be able to return it (if the auction house guarantees authenticity).

    There is a price for everything.

  5. If this was a violin I would say a few hundred euros. But then you find those instruments for a lot more:

    ... which I would never pay for this.


    If it is in good shape and makes a good sound, a German cello of this time, I would say should sell for EUR 2000-3000.

    But then you will find shops that would charge more (>$5000):

    Auction prices are about half of the prices charged by dealers.

    As with all sales, the item is worth as much as a nuyer is willing to pay for it, and you need to find the buyer.

  6. 2 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

    Acetone's health hazard rating is 2: Hazardous. From the MSDS:

    Potential Chronic Health Effects:
    CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: A4 (Not classifiable for human or animal.) by ACGIH. MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available. DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Classified Reproductive system/toxin/female, Reproductive system/toxin/male [SUSPECTED]. The substance is toxic to central nervous system (CNS). The substance may be toxic to kidneys, the reproductive system, liver, skin. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.


    I am a chemist, I know how to handle acetone. And the text above means more or less it is not very toxic. After all your body produces acetone. This is what causes the bad breath when you go on a keto-diet.

  7. 21 hours ago, victordriver said:

    Pardon my ignorance but is this violin built on an inside mould? I expected it to be outside being French with those little c bout blocks but maybe that was just the massed produced stuff.

    This Collin-Mezin is not one of the mass-produced ones. I would assume he used an inside mold.

    Collin Mezin 1888 scroll right.JPG

    Collin Mezin 1888 back.JPG

    Collin Mezin 1888 peg box front.JPG

  8. 47 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

    I'm not a chemist so I may get pounced on, but the question got me thinking.  Any combustion would leave the same amount of oxygen just as a different molecule.  Turning O2 into CO2 + the oxygen in the fuel.  So I googled the combustion of acetone (C3H6O) and ethanol  (C2H5OH).  

    The balanced equation for acetone combustion is 4 O2(g) + 1 C3H6O(g) ---> 3 H2O(g) + 3 CO2(g).  

    The balanced equation for ethanol combustion is C2H5OH +3O2 = 2CO2 + 3H2O.  

    The end product of each will leave the same amount of water, and ethanol will have one less molecule of CO2 if my google-fu is correct.  Also if O2 runs out before complete combustion you will be adding acetone or ethanol to your varnish.  No idea how either will affect the shelf life of oil varnish.


    Oil varnish does not behave like ethanol or acetone. It is not air, but it is light sensitive. Light will generate radicals at the conjugated double bonds of linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and the abietic acid from rosin.  Air will have little influence. In a chemistry lab one would wrap a container of such vanish in aluminum foil to avoid light exposure.

  9. On 10/06/2017 at 4:11 PM, Jim Bress said:

    Danish oil is a drying oil/varnish blend with an evaporative solvent, and possibly a drier.  You can get WATCO brand at Home Depot or Lowes.  It doesn't build a surface layer.


    Danish oil is tung oil. Boiled Danish oil will polymerise like linseed oil. Tung oil can be use to make varnishes like linseed oil.

  10. On 10/06/2017 at 9:00 AM, Violadamore said:

    Hoc Amatus Non Fecit.   This is a "trade instrument" made in Germany in the 20th. Century, and either a "copy" or a "fake" depending how you look at it.. Nicky Amati was in Cremona, well south of the Alps, and never used "Made in Germany" labels.  

    Jacob, the "Made in Germany" label is a dead giveaway that the violin was either made in Schönbach between 1938 and most likely 1941 (German products weren't too welcome in the USA by 1942 :lol:) or in Germany proper (Most likely Markneukirchen, Saxony, of course,but possibly somewhere that Saxon or Sudeten refugees were settled in western Germany} prior to the use of post-WW II occupation zone specific origin markings.  In parts of the Soviet Zone/DDR the use of "Made in Germany" persisted continuously, (on Zeiss-Jena cameras and lenses, for example) until reunification made it valid again.  All ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia were forcibly expelled at the end of WW II.  It wasn't made in postwar Czechoslovakia, because any Czech would have kicked your butt if you tried to stick a "Made in Germany" label in a violin they made in Luby after they took it away from the Germans and renamed it.  Ask the other Jacob if you don't believe me. :)


    Many cities were renamed when as Europe was 'rebuilt and reshaped' after the Yalta conference. Germans are very hesitant to use the old names of these cities and Czech people would also not be happy with this. You read Schönbach a lot here from English violin makers and dealers one of who settled in Austria :). But Germans would never call it Schönbach nowadays, this is like calling Lubliana Laibach. As a German, I always avoid to talk about Schönbach.

    The use of the 'Made in Germany' label in the Soviet Zone / DDR was in my personal view as valid as to use this label in the BRD. There was always only one Germany, this was the official line taught in schools, and luckily the two parts came back together.


  11. 4 hours ago, martin swan said:

    That someone would condone this seller's behaviour is quite surprising to me. I don't think this will win you many friends here on Maestronet ...

    As for sour grapes, the idea that this hapless con artist ekes out a living by buying crap violins, putting crap Italian labels in them, selling them for £100 profit a time, then having to deal with all the dismayed buyers who thought they were Italian because he has "Venezia" in his Ebay ID, taking them back, relabelling them, sending them out again, spending his days up to his neck in cheap bubblewrap and old cases that cats have pissed in - yes I am insanely jealous!

    You think this is OK? :

    I don't understand why he doesn't sell it for what it is: a mocked-up Chinese violin. If it sounds good it might sell as such in a similar price range. 


  12. On 18/05/2017 at 1:58 PM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

    I make flat top violins so I must be the character named nobody.

    This gives me a great sales promotion idea.  I'll change my labels from Marty Kasprzyk to "Nobody".

    Then when somebody says nobody makes a violin as good as Stradivari or DG it will be an endorsement of my violins.

    It is good to discover something new every now and than. I also call myself Outis sometimes. What do these instruments with flat tops sound like?

  13. On 17/05/2017 at 7:19 AM, reguz said:

    Hi All

    My early question was:

    Why do we need arching shape?

    What does it on the instruments quality?

    Did I got any anser on these questions Consider!!!

    I am not a violin maker and cannot answer your question from experience. You probably won't find a good answer as nobody has made a violin with a flat front.

    However, if you play an old violin which is more highly arched that those of Stradivari, made by or in the style of Stainer or Amati, you will find that it has a disticntly different tone. Most modern violinists prefer Stadivari who changed the arching to make it flatter and got a more powerful tone. But some of these older instruments make an intriguingly beautiful sound.

    I guess the answer why some arching is needed is to give the plates additional stiffness, they would otherwise sink in under the pressure of the strings. One could probably make them thinker but this would dampen the sound as the elasiticy of the plate would be reduced.



  14. 3 hours ago, Will L said:

    There was a Smith in whatever town Indiana University was back in the 1960s.  I believe the first name was the same.  I assume he would be deceased by now. But people did take very good instruments to him. 

    Thomas Smith was a violin shop in Birmingham UK. They turned around a lot of violins but got closed in the late 1980s. But this won't help you much with the identification of the maker.