Wood Butcher

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  1. As this has slowly unravelled, I'm seeing it as clear case of buyers remorse, and nothing more. You have been a member here for over 10 years and in your 563 posts, it is clear that you spend a great deal of time looking at auction items. You have bought a number of instruments at auctions, which you subsequently posted here to find out more. It is clear to me that you are not as naieve as you are implying over the purchse of this viola. Now you reveal you were involved in the antiques trade, and auctions relating to that, and also have bought pianos at auctions. In your previous posts about instruments you had recently bought, you were happy to have the advice of dealers then, with regard to what they actually were, value, condition, repair work etc, but in this thread suddenly you are not so keen on dealers when they do not say what you want to hear, and began to assert some sort of conspiracy between auctioneers and dealers. You have had a lot of useful advice in this thread, and many have kindly shared their own tales of auction misfortune, realising they made mistakes, as we all do from time to time. By your own admission, you have gone to the viewing, looked at and played the viola. Quite how you could not have noticed the issues with the belly is unfathomable. If you didn't look properly, that is no one's fault but your own. I can't honestly imagine anyone going to buy anything, and not carefully look it over, be it a house, car, kids bike, puppy, viola... Now you realise in hindsight it was a bad decision you have made, and are trying to find a way out, and make it all go away.
  2. You have misunderstood what I was getting at. Reserve price is set by the owner of the instrument. This is what they feel it is worth, and may or may not reflect the market price. Frequently the owner is more likely to over value their own instrument. In order to have some correlation with the reserve price, the auctioneers will have set the estimate at a similar level. Again, this may not reflect the market price. If for example the reserve was £800, and the estimate was £150, there is no way bidding would get up to £800, and the instrument would remain unsold. You have seen the estimate, and decided yourself this is the market price too, but it isn’t. It is simply the price of the reserve.
  3. Not really, I think it only had that estimate because of the reserve price set by the owner. If it had no reserve, the estimate would have been considerably lower.
  4. The reserve price is set by the owner, not the auctioneer. That being the case, reserve prices can be totally unrealistic, and not reflect a true value. In several of your posts you have the attitude that dealers are prone to ripping off customers, are untrustworthy and do not care. I find this quite a poor stance, although it seems to be a standard view on another popular violin forum too. I agree that your email should have been replied to and not ignored, if that is the case.
  5. Indeed. Number of bids 2, which tells it’s own story. The estimated prices should never be taken as a guide to a true value either.
  6. Not maple, but I’m not sure what it is. Has a grain structure more like walnut or mahogany, but could even be oak.
  7. It has been repaired, just very badly. I'm sorry it hasn't turned out to be a good buy for you.
  8. No. There is an underslide btw.
  9. If you read the terms and caveats, you will realise that you have little recourse, as they claim not be luthiers or experts. Given the number of years experience some staff members have there, you can make of that what you will. I have seen instruments which I knew personally, that had significant condition issues, which were not even mentioned on auction condition reports. I was quite shocked, as even in the dark they would have been hard to miss. In the end however, lots are sold as seen, and it is up to the buyer to be sure of what they are buying before bidding. An auction house is not like a dealer, the items are not theirs. I wish you luck in trying to resolve your dispute, but I fear you will get the same answer as previously.
  10. I think already you know what the answer is.
  11. Were they the words of the seller?
  12. How much longer would drying take in the Scottish climate? Would the average maker live long enough to be able to use it afterwards?
  13. To start, post some clear pictures of the instrument here, or contact a good shop and arrange a consultation with a specialist there. Which photos to take