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Giovanni Valentini

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Everything posted by Giovanni Valentini

  1. Thanks for joining the Forum especially for sharing this!!!
  2. My first encounter with a Strad was as a postgraduate when I went blind tasting instruments (as I still do). I was taking notes at Sothebys and distinctly remember one instrument that I particularly disliked and could not make respond or sound good for the life of me. It turned out to be the star of the show - a Strad. This was not one of the best, but for the 'mere' 2 million I would have hoped for something better! I also heard from an acquaintance, whose ensemble was given a Strad quartet to play on for a while, that this was a mixed blessing. Two of the instruments were fabulous, the other two were not (including the one he ended up with). In addition, they did not work well together. I think he was quite relieved when he borrowed one of my (by comparison very cheap) instruments after that. So apparently even the knowledge of playing a Strad does not always help!
  3. Do you think it may also work in reverse: Buy that ex-Maggini now and in 30 time it will be a real one again :-) There may even be some wisdom to my silliness: Is it preferable to buy a great violin when it is expensive or when the selfsame instrument is cheap? The bright side of being down on the ground is that one can't fall.
  4. And if I was a cynic, I might begin to wonder whether you are the vendor ... Luckily, we aren't! But if you were, what part of what I wrote might induce you to surmise such a thing? The info is taken straight out of the condition report. And, regrettably, my supernatural powers don't stretch to reading people's minds, what they may or may not think/dream/know about the violin. However, I do wonder what made Tarisio sell it as 'ascribed to', especially because this is not in their own financial interest to demote an instrument unless it is unavoidable. - But I suppose that was the initial question that sparked this discussion (and after nearly 50 contributions, I wonder if perhaps that was Tarisio's true intention?) ...
  5. ca. 60k hammer would probably be the right price for a Landolfi of this quality with multiple soundpost and bass bar cracks, soundpost patch and later scroll. If bidders pay any heed to Tarisio's 'ascribed', I would imagine it to be more in the 30s, i.e., the classic speculative price range of being too cheap for the real thing and way too expensive for an anonymous one. Has anyone tried it and if so, is it any good?
  6. Of course it is a lie, certainly regarding the cost, because the budget usually stretches to 20k! Which would be plenty if they would invest time and build up experience and self-confidence. Regrettably, it just feels so cool to flex your new Gagliano (including certificate) to your colleagues.
  7. That's the beauty - you won't need experts and certificates: Musicians will fight over great instruments and ignore the others. Having said this, a high recommendation for a violin coming from Maxim Vengerov would probably impress me ... But day dreaming aside: In my blind tasting of instruments I am often surprised how little correlation there is between price and practical aspects such as sound quality and playability (yes, these are subjective, but not entirely!). And the involvement of top certificates doesn't seem to rectify that mismatch but can make it worse, precisely because they don't certify playing qualities.
  8. If only I had a conclusive answer! But by now I usually trust a $200 dendrochronological analysis more than a x-thousand $ certificate, because the former is reasonably hard scientific data, the latter often someone's expensive educated guess, which may be wiped away a few years later - either by dendrochronology, by the expert's declining reputation, or by a simple 'I don't think so'. It always sends shivers down my spine when I see those instruments that have fallen from grace and makes me wonder how much my own investments are still worth (and for how much longer) where they rely on expert certification. E.g. you may remember a violin not long ago at Tarisio NY that had been a Strad, then a P. Guarneri of V. (all with top certificates) and eventually - after dendro - 'a violin'. How many people must have burnt fortunes over the years with that fiddle (and the cost of the certificates)! And this is by no means a unique case. Practically every major auction now has a couple of such instruments on special offer. But one can also see the positive side and prey on these misfortunes: More recently, I have been able to buy fantastic instruments in the range of $8k-15k which previously had at least a zero added to their price and, as presumed priceless fiddles, had always received the best care money could buy (and which nobody would have exerted on 'a violin'). I would be interested what the price of the ascr. Landolphi was in at BF in 2009 - I dare say not in the $15k-22k range. And that virtually invisible repair of multiple bass bar and sound post cracks surely did not come cheap either. Long story short, I guess my answer would be that certificates which are in constant danger of being worth less than the paper they are written on perhaps ought be given a somewhat lesser role in the pricing of an instrument, whereas its musical qualities should move up on the ladder. Or perhaps not, otherwise there won't be any good instruments left that musicians can afford!
  9. Evidently. That's what I fear, too! Of course not necessarily, but it may explain why people are weary certificates by BF (and others, for that matter).
  10. Sure, but they did, and therefore, in this case, I would tend to believe a dendro-induced 'Tbay proforma' more than BF certificate. Sorry, I thought that was obvious: Because BF are neither omniscient nor infallible, and their certificates can be annihilated by as little as an uncomfortable dendro result (q.e.d). As this is clearly the case with the 'Maggini', why could it not be with the Landolphi?
  11. Perhaps because of the ca. 1700 'Maggini' with BF certificate and buy-back guarantee in the same sale?
  12. Another one: https://tarisio.com/auctions/auction/lot/?csid=2199617536&cpid=3687645184&filter_key=#cond You might muse at the price guarantee (and the word 'anytime') in the accompanying letter from Bein & Fushi!
  13. Thanks for that. And sorry - I forgot to paste in the link !
  14. Hello all! Would anyone be so kind and have a look at this Georg I Klotz at Vichy Encheres for me? It obviously had woodworm issues, but I am finding it hard to judge the extent of it from the photos. E.g. are the marks in the bridge area from woodworm or some other damage? Many thanks in advance!
  15. I always thought there ought to be more in continenetal Europe (Tarisio caught on to that!). Anyone fancies a venture (-> PM)?
  16. I am not sure what the Tecchler went for, but I also think ca 70k. The Ferdinando is now in the aftersale, but the vendor does not seem budge on price. Did you look at lot 59 at Brompton's (good and interesting) by any chance? I thought it was lovely, but it did not sell. It is now on for 5k - quite tempting. It has an enormously high arching, but the good kind I wonder whether its might be Florentine or Roman?
  17. And if the owner of the unsold Ferdinando Gagliano is out there: Do get in touch and save us all some commission!
  18. Many thanks for the information! Depending on how bad the woodworm will turn out to be, I think that was an attractive price for the Nicola Gagliano (65k I think).
  19. Yes, some one took took a good bite out of it. I have often wondered why woodworm affects the price so heavily. Does it have such a profound effect on the Instrument? Curious that thx did Not bother getting up-to-date certs for those three violins, or is a dendro just as good now (it certainly is a lot cheaper!)?
  20. Thanks! The condition of both Gaglianos is - according to Photos and diagrammes- not brilliant, but still good / fixable. Are the low estimstes, esp. for the Nicolo, due to the small size?
  21. Has anyone tried the two Gaglianos and the Tecchler at Amati?
  22. No, I did not try them. But I should probably add that lot 82 was surprisingly pleasing. It is a simple Mittenwald trade instrument, but displays some skill (e.g. the scroll) and uses decent material. It is in a very good condition. Normally, I don't even bother trying those, but for some reason I did in this case and found that it has a good strong sound, plays easily in all registers and was generally a lot more pleasing than many of the more expensive lots - perhaps partly because it had decent strings on. What more can you ask for for 2-4k?
  23. Yes, I tried some of the violins. A slight problem was that many of the instruments were presented with a poor setup - anything from no strings, via soundpost down to 20 years old Dominants not tightened up for a decade because the pegs won't move. That's why there were a lot of instruments that I cannot comment on or only with a lot of phantasy. That said, the high-end instruments were lovely: a good late Vuillaume (259) and a G. Gagliano (257) were probably my favourites. The Amati Bros (96) is a beautiful and sophisticated instrument, but I slightly wondered whether it would have the desired power and projection - hard to tell in the room, of course. The Maggini (92) plays very well - if one is looking for that unique sound. In the mid-range, I really liked the Bagatella (226 - not the ascr. Bagatella 245!). At the lower end there were a few promising candidates: The Desideri (51) is not much to look at, but punches above its price range in terms of sound - presumably the very flat table and long f's give it that pleasing, dark, viola-like tone that reminded me of the Maggini, but I would not promise that it has much carrying power. The 'good and interesting violin' (59) is aptly called so - very clear and powerful sound, but with an extremely high arching, which means that it is not the easiest instrument to play (I once had a early Carcassi Bros which felt and sounded very similar). The R. Bergonzi (70) was good, once I approached it with a more 'robust' playing style. The violin after Testore (actually nicer looking than many Testores I have seen!) is good and solid. The attr. P. Landolfi gave me the impression that there may be a good instrument in there somewhere if one would spend a couple of hours on a better setup - again, no promises! Unfortunately the circle of Rombouts (52) was withdrawn, which was beautiful to look at and a joy to play. It may come back one day. I hope this helps!
  24. What's new? Ingles & Hayday: Catalogue including condition reports, copies of ccertificates & sound snippets for just about everything out one month before the auction; Tarisio: usually a week or two later; Brompton's: a week before the sale with info added in drips and drabs. One might think that this would be bad for Brompton's business (both from the vendors' and the buyers' side), but somehow they still manage to attract good instruments and seem to shift most of them (at least in the aftersale). I guess that buyers don't care where and how they find a good instrument and as long as they buy, vendors might just as well consign. Plus if people come to London anyway for the other auction houses, it probably does not matter if Brompton's slots in at the end (plus it gives them a chance to hoover up instruments that missed the deadlines of the other auction houses). Having said this, I would prefer having the catalogues at least two weeks in advance to be able to make travel arrangements and do my reserach.
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