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Everything posted by GeorgeH

  1. Yes, they do look different. I think my bow is older, too.
  2. From a previous thread. Possibly by the same hand?
  3. I totally agree with this regarding checklists, but these are also subject to cognitive biases and mis-use. (Note: I am not saying or implying that is the case in this thread.) There have been thousands of Italian makers from all over Italy making violins over the centuries. Some used built-on-the-back construction (or appears that way), many had sloppy scrolls with deltas, and even used imported parts. Many cannot be associated with a particular Italian school or region. Commercial Italian trade violins were also a thing prior to WWII. Cognitive bias comes in when we use incomplete information or fit known facts to arrive at a pre-determined (usually optimistic) conclusion. In the violin world, the pre-determined conclusion or assumption is usually "not Italian." Obviously, probability alone suggests that any random pre-21st century violin pulled from a case is going to be something other than Italian, so this assumption isn't necessarily wrong. But it can create a "checklist" in our minds that forces the instrument into a category to which it does not belong. Sometimes I wonder how many Italian violins have been mis-attributed to other origins. I once asked a respected appraiser if he assumed "German" when he was opening a case of a customer, and he replied, "I assume nothing. I let the violin tell me what it is." I think that is the right approach. In regards to auctions: Auctions are always gambles. Buyers and sellers are trading on incomplete and often wrong information (honestly or dishonestly). There is little wonder why purchasing something at auction is called "winning." Studies have also shown that "winners" usually pay too much (see "the Winner's Curse"). This includes knowledgable "winners," for example, people who can "recognize an old mid-19th C. Saxon fiddle." But should such people also abstain from selling on eBay? If a naive seller puts a genuine Italian violin on eBay thinking it is German for a buy-it-now of $100, does a potential buyer who can (or thinks that they can) recognize this have any responsibility to tell the seller? Or is it only sellers who can take advantage of naive buyers?
  4. Nice bow. To me, it looks like it is from the H. R. Pfretzschner workshop.
  5. This is a cello bow described as "A good cello bow stamped Jean Dom. Adam and Swiss Made." These may have been sold by Shar Music in the early naughts.
  6. GeorgeH


    Change the string?
  7. Was there any varnish left on the table clothes?
  8. That sounds like the very best reason to do it. I can imagine that it is quite beautiful to see and contemplate.
  9. I am curious about the context of this statement. Was Stradivari talking about sunlight or solar heat? Was he for-certain writing about "bought to perfection" in the varnishing stage of making? Or at an earlier stage? Would (is) it difficult for a maker to achieve uniform curing of varnish using just sunlight? It seems to this non-maker that it would be difficult to get sunlight uniformly into all the nooks and crannies of a violin. On the other hand, sitting a violin in the warm sun could cause the seams to open.
  10. Thank you for that detailed and educational post. The pinched ribs and raised purfling were what made me the most skeptical, but the wonky construction, level ffs in the profile, and low arching were some things that made me wonder. Not saying fraud isn't a legitimate suspicion, however, even certificates and experts can be wrong (or even fraudulent), and lack of a certificate is not proof of fraud. Ideally, in an auction, the presence or absence of a certificate and/or the quality of that certificate should be discounted by the market. Furthermore, naive sellers regularly offer violins for sale that they attribute the whatever is written on the label. Naive? Yes. Fraudulent? No. People get into mystifying bidding wars regularly, even in major auction houses. These are sometimes discussed here in the Auction Scroll, so that itself is not unusual, and is not grounds for fraud (shill bidding!) accusations. And on eBay, fraud can be committed by both sellers and buyers. Buyers can sabotage auctions by bidding with no intention of paying, or can experience buyer's remorse and simply not pay. That happens with some frequency, too. I don't know if this buyer paid for this violin or not, or if they returned it or not. I do think publicly accusing somebody, even an anonymous eBay seller, of deliberate criminal fraud and purposely running a shill auction without offering any proof is wrong, but I suppose that I could be wrong about that, too. Maybe anything goes here. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I have purchased instruments and such from eBay sellers who post on MN, and are honest and helpful, but I suppose various people could baselessly accuse them of fraud for whatever reason or no reason at all. Disclosure: I have no relationship with this violin or this seller. I don't know who this seller is, I have never purchased from, bid on a listing, nor corresponded with him/her.
  11. I did not say it was Italian, and Mr. Saunders did not say where he thought it was from. I do agree with Mr. Saunders that if it was a misrepresented Klingenthal violin, then somebody paid too much for it, but he did not say that is what this was. Thanks for playing. I am sure we'll play again someday. Goodnight, Mr. Various.
  12. What part of "if it actually was" do you not understand, Mr. Various? Pretty clear now that you can't answer either of my questions that I asked you directly. Thanks for playing.
  13. That was a reasonable but not definitive statement from Blankface. And Mr. Saunders did not comment to say what he thought it was at all. But I am asking you specifically why you are so certain it is not Italian. And since you are so certain that shill bidding was on-going, you should be able to back-up that assertion. I don't know what that violin is for certain. It could very well be Italian from an obscure northern Italian maker. I was hoping that you could enlighten me as to why it is not, since you are always so cocksure of your opinions.
  14. Prove it. And while you're at it, can you please explain specifically how you know with such certainty that the violin is not Italian?
  15. Bidding started at $1.00. It was not a private auction. I don't know what it is or where it came from (hence the OP's original question), but who here is to say for certain that it isn't Italian without seeing it? It isn't some run-of-the-mill "Hopf." I have seen Amati's that have the typical squared-body shape of Klingenthal violins (this is not one), so being "Italian" or not is not always immediately obvious. It apparently was available for inspection. One does not know if the ultimate buyer inspected it first. Maybe they did, and maybe they didn't. If there was no shill bidding or other shenanigans, then I don't see how a seller should be responsible for what people bid. If various people want to scream "but not Italian," without examining it, then that's their judgment. Others who have seen it personally might disagree. But there was nothing wrong at all with Bass Clef asking the question "what is this?" No need for various people to be insulting. Personally, I think it is an interesting violin and I appreciate Bass Clef posting it.
  16. When arguing such things, keep in-mind Occam's Razor: The simplest explanation is usually the best explanation.
  17. Oops! My mistake. The bidding is still open - the auction page wasn't refreshing in my browser, and it looked like the bidding had ended. So hopefully they will do well. Sorry @Shelbow.
  18. The results of the latest Bromptons Auction look devastating for the firm. Only about 1/4 of the instruments on-sale sold. Many had no bidders. I have never seen such a poor results from a major auction house. With Tarisio moving from London to Berlin, it would not surprise me to see Bromptons move, too. It does look like Brexit is going to kill the fine violin auction industry in Britain. https://www.bromptons.co/auction/28th-may-7th-june-2021/list/page-1.html Edit: Oops! It looks like bidding is still open - it wasn't refreshing in my browser!
  19. He had a big workshop, produced thousands of instruments, and the quality varies widely. They are fairly common in the north east U.S. I have played a few personally, but I never played one that I was disappointed that I couldn't play again.
  20. @Josh Henry explained them to me in a PM as follows: "Those notches are from cutting out the pearl slide dovetail. When using a chisel, the maker will run the chisel end-to-end, leaving those notches. This way, in case the grain is not totally straight in the frog blank, the maker can reverse cutting direction so not to chip out the ebony. Most makers (myself included) leave those on the frogs."
  21. No meaning. It was a flummoxed attempt at a pun.
  22. Ah, but if you were a poet...
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