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Everything posted by GeorgeH

  1. I wasn't being critical of the policy; it makes sense for the strategy that they are using for their buyers and sellers. I think that they might want to state on their website in an easy-to-find-page that they do not archive their sales on-line to maintain the privacy of the buyers and sellers, particularly because that is an important and deliberate of their business strategy. And, yes, I see what you mean about Bromptons. Too bad, I think.
  2. Wait until carbon fiber violins are perfected and mass produced, and then imagine the debates we'll all have here!
  3. Perhaps it would be useful to make this policy clear someplace on your website that is easy for potential buyers and sellers to find.
  4. OK, thanks for the explanation. Not that I personally like the policy ,it does makes strategic sense for what you're trying to do.
  5. Wow, that seems to be a pretty good way to minimize repeat visits to the Amati website, and to make it a far less interesting and useful website than other auction sites.
  6. Does Amati publish their auction results? I could not find them on the website.
  7. I think Jeffrey is right recommending not posting it here. And, Dillywilly, (nice name alliteration, BTW), it costs dealers money to maintain an inventory of fine violins, and expensive violins are not a commodity like a car. A violin dealer might wait years to match a particular violin to a customer. Auctions do not guarantee an immediate sale, particularly if you set a high reserve price. Having said that, you might be able to negotiate a sliding percentage based on price, while remembering that you do want the dealer have an incentive to sell it for as high a price as they can. And you should get offers of terms from several different reputable dealers.
  8. No, put it on Ebay "Rare Old Vintage Cello For Parts or Restoration"
  9. So, why aren't the strings still attached to the tailpiece?
  10. You might check with private sellers on Craigslist. At least you can see and play the violin that you are interested in, and many times these sellers will come down in price significantly. I'd recommend looking looking up some standard measurements and taking a ruler with you so you can check them. Also, look down the fingerboard for warping. https://london.craigslist.co.uk/search/sss?query=violin&sort=rel My rule of thumb is to assume $300 additional to the price of any violin I purchase privately for a new bridge, sound post, and fingerboard plaining. Now, on eBay: I have had very good luck with Song Violins purchased directly from China. I always assume they will need a $200-300 proper set-up (new bridge, strings, sound post adjustment, and fingerboard plaining), but they generally sound very nice for student or even intermediate student instruments. http://stores.ebay.com/Charming-SONG-Violin-store/4-4-Violin-/_i.html?_fsub=957326014&_sid=695128804&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322 I do not have any affiliation with this store, but I have been very happy with 3 violins that I ordered for students from them, and I know of 3 others who have received nice instruments from them. They are shipped directly from China. Again, plan on the $200-300 for proper set-up, but you can get a really nice violin for your purposes for under $500 from them. They have over 8,500 customer feedbacks and 99.5% are positive. These violins are a lot less expensive and just as nice as the equivalent instruments that you would pay 1,500-2,500 retail for from a dealer (in my opinion). Their high-grade carbon fiber bows are also quite good, and you won't need to pay extra shipping if you buy one with the violin. I don't recommend their lower-grade bows. They accept offers on their violins, too, so don't be afraid to try that. Again, and to emphasize, I am only speaking from my experience and I have no affiliation with them.
  11. See: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-12-02/news/0412020147_1_kenneth-warren-son-violin-estate
  12. My guess is that most pieces are more likely from elephants. Just my guess.
  13. A definition of pseudoscience is important here: a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific (From: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pseudoscience) Carry on.
  14. What he said was,"I appreciate having a violin that is constantly pushing me to try to achieve greater and greater levels of tonal purity, accuracy and intonation. I always try to take the attitude that if I'm playing on a great violin that's worth millions of dollars, it's probably better than I am. I want to do my best to try to keep up with the greatness of the instrument itself."
  15. This was back in the late 1970's. I was in my early 20's and I wanted a new violin. I ran an ad in the "Wanted to Buy" section of the classifieds in the local paper searching for violins. I bought this one from somebody who answered the ad, and had stored the violin in their attic. It may have been left by a deceased parent from years ago; I don't remember. The violin was about 65 years old at the time, included a nice silver mounted "August Nurnberger" bow, and was in the case it in which it was originally purchased. It had a crack in the top and the lower bout was bulging. I paid a fair price at the time, and then had it repaired and restored. I did not know what a nice violin it was until I took it to the luthier to be repaired. I also still own a nice old Markneukirchen violin and several bows that I also purchased back then from the same ad. The rest I traded or sold.
  16. Actually the point of this thread was to discuss the "The Value of a Violin as Art versus as a Tool." The changes in value when forgeries, counterfeits, mis-attributions and re-attributions are discovered is one way to separate out the "fine art" value of the violin versus the "musical tool" value of the violin as set by the market place. And I have learned a lot from this discussion, which is why I posted it. I hope this helps clarify things.
  17. Well, I guess now is the time to start making counterfeit Burgess violins so the dendro will be right in 300 years.
  18. Carl, Thanks for the link to that interview with Ehnes. His discussion about how he arrived at the Stradivarius violin that he now plays was fascinating, and how the price of the instrument motivates him to be a better player. Clearly, the “tool” value of that Strad is very high to him, particularly compared to the 1717 Stradivarius he played earlier in his career. I believe that his opinion that some Strads and del Gesus being easier to play than others is true for violins in general, and that set-up (including string and bow choice) can make a big difference in ease of playing. I also think that his statement “you start sounding bad on a Strad really quickly” may be true for him, but is a also broad generalization, particularly when he acknowledges that not all Strads and DGs were created equal. Plus, all violinists play differently. Like Ehnes, I have been lucky to own a fine violin and bow that absolutely suites me and gives me the voice that I want. I still enjoy playing my other violins and bows, and I also enjoy trying others, but I have not found another one that I enjoy playing more. Although it is a beautiful and somewhat valuable instrument, the “tool” value of that violin to me is much greater to me than the dollar market value. I have been playing it for about 40 years now, and I feel remarkably fortunate to have found and rescued it after it had been in somebody’s attic for at least a decade. Which brings me back to the original topic of this thread: “The Value of a Violin as Art versus as a Tool.” After thinking about what Ehnes said and the context of my own experience, the value of an individual violin as a tool is really determined by the musician playing it, and it may be more or less than the market value, which prices fine violins much more in terms of fine art investments than as tools for making music. Similarly, even though a fake Jackson Pollock painting may be worth next to nothing, someone may still hang it on their wall and find immeasurable pleasure in its beauty.
  19. Thanks for the reminder. As the advocate of that mythical creature, you're doing quite well. By the way, how is Paganini doing? As I wrote, financial reasons are only one of many reasons that a top player would choose a Strad. I would suggest that the opposite of what you propose is true: it is less likely that they would compromise their career playing on a better modern violin when they could have the prestige, financial appreciation, and attract a larger audiences by playing a substandard Stradivarius violin. In regards to ease or difficulty of playing, this is a characteristic of individual violins, good, bad, or indifferent. All Strads are not inherently more or less difficult to play. And lost entirely in this conversation (as it usually is) is the role of the bow, but that has its own mythology associated with it, too. And I wouldn't drop Szeryng's DG. Ever.
  20. In the discussion of what make a violin "better," as Will L points out, tone is just part of the equation. And from looking at auction prices and talking to dealers, tone is a much smaller part of the pricing consideration than one might expect. As evidence of this, one can see that many violins in unplayable condition are sold at auction for very high prices. Furthermore, I would speculate that fine modern and contemporary violins built for modern playing are "better" because they are going to last longer and retain their original tone better than 17th and 18th century violins have because they won't require the plate-thinning re-graduations and other modifications that most old Cremonese instruments have (apparently) required.
  21. Carl, sorry to say, but all your arguments are identical to the arguments espoused by believers in extra-sensory perception (ESP) and psychic powers: there is evidence but we can't show you, anyway, you couldn't comprehend it if we did show you, and just because you can't do it doesn't mean others can't. Oh, and you should have an open mind. My response is the same to you as it is to them: Prove it objectively, and I will believe it. My mind is very open to that. But you also say "That Strads are "better" can be proven ONLY by pointing at the incredible consistency in choice amongst Top Players." No, that does not prove that Strads are "better" violins than other fine violins. There are myriad of reasons a top player might choose a Strad over another less-prestigious brand of violin as have been discussed in this thread, including important financial reasons. Ounce-for-ounce, Strads and other name-brand Cremonese violins have been among the highest appreciating financial investments one could make in the last 50 years. And fine art in general has been a very good investment. There is a reason that a museum will display an authentic $100 million Jackson Pollock painting and not a worthless fake one, even if the quality and beauty of the artworks are indistinguishable. The difference in value is who created it, not in the creation itself. It is the same with Stradivarius violins. And let's NOT suppose we skip dragons and discuss Fermat's last theorem. The fire-breathing dragon in my garage is much more interesting and exciting to talk about than Fermat's last theorem. And since I am a competent and reliable dragon keeper, you should believe me.
  22. Hi Carl, Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I appreciate the your perspective in this discussion. I can't respond very much today as I am traveling for much of it, but while my car is warming up outside, I want to say that this particular reply is the classic type of response from believers in all sorts of unproven supernatural, metaphysical, pseudoscientific, and psychic phenomena. If one is going to point to secret data that might exist to try to prove their point, then the conversation ends with their point unproven. Imagine that you and I were discussing fire-breathing dragons. You did not believe they exist, but I do. As proof I tell you that I have one living in my garage most of the time but that I am not interested in showing you or proving it publicly and that does not mean that I could not, if I wanted. This argument offers no evidence of fire-breathing dragons, but simply attempts to put the burden on you to prove that I don't have a fire-breathing dragon living in my garage, which, of course, you can't.
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