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Francesco

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  1. There are certainly Bailly violins which should be valued at 9K. There are others which should be 20K. A price history average tells very little, especially when the history spans a good deal of time, is not up to date (last Bailly sale listed was a '97 auction sale), and does not mention condition or example. The problem for those who use this venue as a guide is that most are not privy to the mitigating factors... not to mention that many have not seen enough examples of any particular maker to know if what they are looking at is 1) real, 2) an average, poor, or excellent example, and 3) where the value should be placed factored by the most recent trends and prices have on the retail market. I repeat my suggestion, see a qualified appraiser for an opinion. Jeffrey
  2. Hi Zing, as Al mentioned, Bailly was a prolic and varied maker. In addition to Mirecourt and Paris, he also worked in London. With any maker, and especially one who worked in several settings and produced instruments of varied appeal, the value of the instrument must be based on the example in question. I suggest you seek a qualified appraiser for assistance. Best of luck, Jeffrey : : Paul Bailly was a very prolific maker, moving around quite a bit, mainly produced in Mirecourt, France, and maybe Paris, I think. His violins, for the most part, look pretty good. Some "soul" built into them. There are others which look factory or production line made. I wonder if he had some helpers? He died early in the 1900's, 1900-1915.
  3. : : Hi Roman, I am not rrying to mislead, but the answer was given in a literal sense. The question was: >>does anyone who reads this actually own a violin or viola or cello for that matter made by Amati, Stradivarius, or Guarneri?<< Since I do know of a few such fiddles owned by those who read the board, I answered "Yes". It may or may not be advisble for the owners to answer themselves... This way they go "nameless" should they wish and the poster gets an answer. :-) We do regularly have fine fiddles of this type at the shop. For now I'll have to be content to care for them and study them rather than own them... besides, I think other players make them sound much better than I do! Jeffrey
  4. At the shop, we've seen evidence on several occasions which illustrates that violins and mice are not a great "mix". One example: A Vincenzo Panormo we obtained in Europe about 6 or 7 years ago was pretty much "untouched", with it's original neck and bassbar. Unfortunately it also came complete with a "mouse door" (a mouse had moved in, enlarging the center of the treble side ff hole by chewing). The mouse was gone by the time we found the violin, however. Must have moved on to a recently vacant Gagliano or Strad. :-) It was an interesting repair and the fiddle was well worth the effort. The violin is now owned by a very satisfied player who has an interesting story to tell about his fiddle. Keep your cases latched!! Jeffrey : I recently obtained an old violin with a most unusual story. The individual I purchased it from said that it belonged to her great uncle, who had played it as a child. She continued to explain that her great uncle had to discontinue his violin studies after his baby pet mouse crawled into the body of the violin through one of the f-holes. Since the mouse would not come out, he fed it through the f-holes and gave it water with an eye dropper. He even put cedar shavings in the body so that the wood would not get soiled. She said that the mouse lived well over a year in that violin. I, of course, did not believe the story, but did find it entertaining to hear. When I arrived home that evening, I popped the violins top off, so that I could repair a crack in its belly. To my great surprise, I found inside the violin the skeletal remains of a small rodent curled up next to the neck block. I'm not too sappy of a guy, but I have to admit that seeing that sight actually brought a tear to my eye!
  5. I agree with Stefan concerning this school of making, especially since there are some relationships between makers and "suppliers" which are not well documented. Pistucci does have a "signature" head (scroll) which is pretty easy to spot, but I have seen at least two different varnish approaches with his woodwork apparently beneath them. This might indicate that someone helped him varnish some of his instruments (he reportedly had a relationship with Bellarosa). Assumming the violin in question is authentic; Valuation of a particular violin by Pistucci should take into account the quality and condition of the piece as it compares to others. The modern opinion Stefan mentioned is just good sense as well. An expert still active in business should be available to defend their opinion should it be questioned. Best of luck, Jeffrey : Pistucci is something of a catch-all attribution for Neapolitan work of the early 20th century that is not Sannino, Postiglione, Contino or another readily identifiable maker. In general I find expertise on 20th century Neapolitan instruments dicey at best and Pistucci is one name which always arouses my suspicions of wishful thinking on the part of some previous owner of the instrument in question. Still I would have to see the violin of which you speak to form an intelligent opinion about it. One way or the other do get a current, qualified opinion. : S. Hersh : : : DearBoard, I am considering purchasing a modern Italian violin made by G. Pistucci of Naples (1923) from a friend : : who bought it for $7000 in 1983 from a local violinist/trader (not a shop) which has Dario Dattili (sic?) papers from 1982. The violin has a few top cracks and apparently a soundpost crack on the top repaired prior to 1982 which invloved a patch. She wants to get $9000.00 out of it? Is this too much or too little? Unfortunately the fellow who sold her the violin is representing it for sale and we are both a little dubious about his expertise. The rest of the fiddle is in great shape, nice one-piece back and huge sound with easy response. Can anyone help?
  6. Looks like a '37 Collin-Mezin shop fiddle.... Collin-Mezin Sr. was deceased by the time this violin was produced. If you are interested in the fiddle, check out the shop's history in one of the dictonaries (Vannes is good, but it's in French) or past posts on this board. That way you'll know more or less what you're getting into. Good luck, Jeffrey : what do you all think of this instrument?? just wanted to get some opinions.. 17 bids already.. and 8 days to go : ~Sari
  7. Dear Philip, Do the the length of his arms, the custom chinrest Mr. Steinhart uses on the violin he normally plays is actually mounted on a custom made extension fitted to the lower bout of his instrument (not directly to the instrument itself). If you plan on having a custom rest made to attach directly to your instrument, make sure that it is carefully designed so that the extra height does not cause undo stress to the top through the "torque" which will result from the leverage achieved (due to the extra height). The pads which rest on the violin top are critical (and might need to be slightly oversized to spread out the pressure) and the hardware will also be very important. Best of luck! Jeffrey
  8. The answer to your question has a great deal to do with 2 things: 1) exactly where the bow separated at the tip , and 2) how well and what method was used to repair it. Best to show it to a luthier who specializes in bows for a first hand opinion. Best of luck, Jeffrey : I have an old Sivori violin bow that has been broken and repaired at the tip twice. I like how it plays, but am afraid to use it for performances due to the repairs. How stable is a violin bow that has been broken and professionally repaired? Am I living with an unreasonable fear that the tip could snap during a performance? I am currently looking for a replacement bow, but haven't found one I like better. (I only broke the bow once--as a child, my niece broke it the second time)
  9. As with many other things, some parts of the answer to your question may have to do with the value of the bow. Using bubble wrap and a stick longer than the bow, then packing th whole lot into a fed-x style triangular box is fine for less expensive sticks. Make sure the bow will not shift to one end of the stick orthe other. A tip will break easily with a sharp "bump". A safer method is to use a PVC pipe with end caps. This costs a bit more (the pipe and the caps), but is reusable. Make sure the end of the tube is padded with foam or another shock resistant material and that the bow is not packed in too tightly (but will not shift). Insurance; If the bow is not too expensive, UPS or Fed-X have insurance available (I believe it runs about 60 cents per hundred dollars or so). If the bow is relatively valuable, check and see if the insurance company who covers your equipment covers transit by a carrier. Some insurance companies cover only certain carriers, so check this out too. Tracking; It's pretty easy to track a package in transit with UPS or Fed-X these days. They have access right on line. This is more difficult to accomplish with the USPO. Good luck, Jeffrey
  10. Hi Mark, As I did not see the condition of the violin you traded in , it's difficult to comment concerning the viability of the repair charges you were subject to. In my experience, instruments which come back in trade to our company in Michigan vary from practically perfect to needing a good deal of repair and maintenance. The shop's policy cuts both ways. If an instrument needs the work, the shop's reputation requires that it be done before it is resold. While I'm not naive, if the shop is indeed reputable, it might just be that the violin you traded did need the work quoted. Most everything that is used on a regular basis requires maintenance (a few hundred dollars a year isn't much for a car to eat up). In many cases, it's a pay now or pay later situation. There are many purchase options now available for the musician. Which is "right" for anyone will have a great deal to do with circumstance, knowledge, and resources. What sems a constant in this business is that those who are careful to purchase appropriately seem to remain satisfied in the long term. Best of luck, Jeffrey : True, many shops have a trade-in policy if the violin is in perfect condition, however many shops will find $300-$500 repair necessary on the violin they sold you before they will do the trade. I have experienced this in a very reputable shop here in Minneapolis! : __________________________________________________ : : Shops usually have a trade-in policy so that you can apply 80 to 100 percent of purchase price to another instrument of equal or greater value that you purchase from them. This helps protect you in the event that you have remorse about a purchase--you can undo the deal by trading in.
  11. Dear Paul, There are several sites on the web and many publications available which directly or indirectly pertain to the purchase of an instrument. Our company recently published a pamphlet on this subject, and I?m quite sure we?re not alone. Basically, once self education is completed, the parameters for selecting an instrument are dictated by many factors: taste, budget, planned use of the instrument (chamber, orchestral, baroque, concerto, etc.). Purchasing an instrument which one can grow with is important, but it is also important to realize that as one learns, one develops different tastes. Because of this, buying too far above ones present needs may always be the best thing to do. Where to buy an instrument has as much to do with your personal plans and priorities as what to buy. If a bit of speculation doesn?t bother you, auctions are an interesting alternative; but the limited trial time (in the auction room, or in the case of electronic auctions, no trial time) might be a negative factor for a many players. Potential savings are possible, but many who don't have experience with instruments have difficulty determining ultimate condition (possible needed repairs, etc.) or how strong the secondary market for a specific instrument is (where and how you would sell it if you had to). If you hire good advice for an auction purchase, this is an added expense. Buying from an established and reputable dealer of violin family instruments will usually allow more trial time, trade in privaledges, service (adjustment, etc.), expertise and, in some cases, limited return privileges. Although the price may seem slightly higher initially, it really may not be so, considering the service and alternatives..... If this may not be the last fiddle you own, the dealers policies are worth considering. Buying from a private party is also an option, but I would suggest enlisting a good luthier and appraiser to your aid. It?s good to know first hand what you?re getting into. No matter what avenue you decide to take, I hope you enjoy the process. Best of luck! Jeffrey : I am looking for any information on purchasing a violin. : I have been playing for about 8 months on an instrument I : rent from my teacher and at some point would like to purchase : and instrument of my own. : I would like to get something of resonable quality : that I will not 'hold me back' as my playing inproves. : My teacher has recommended a used instrument but I havn't a : clue as to makers/brands I should be looking at. If I decide : to go new what brands are recommended. : Also,I have noticed a lot of violins for sale on ebays at much : more reasonable prices than I can get locally. : Any information would be greatly appreciated. : (This is the second time I've tried to post this : sorry if its duplicated) : Thanks : Paul
  12. Dear Tom, While winding silver on the bow does not require special expertise, but some experience might be nice! If the bow you are using has "silver flaking off the wire", the wire is plated with silver (not silver wire). It is better in the long run to replace this stuff with solid silver wire, which will last longer if installed correctly. This can be obtained fom several violin suppy houses (ours as well, I believe). I suggest you have a luthier do the job, but: "IMHO", if you plan on doing this yourself, you better get some extra wire. ;-) Good luck, Jeffrey : I have an rather old bow that is showing the effects : of age, specifically on the wire wrapping. The wire is : uncoiling and coming apart. The wrapping needs to be : replaced because the silver is flaking off of the wire : in numerous places. : Question: is this something I can replace on my own (it : doesen't seem to require much expertise, IMHO)? Can I : purchase the silver wire, and where?
  13. It sounds as though you have a viola fingerboard with a "C" cant (flat area) on it, like many cello fingerboards, right? This is usually accompanied by a cello style scroll (where the pegbox ends at a slight diagonal and the neck fits into kind of a (narrower) "tail" at the botton of the pegbox)......This planing of this type of viola board is all too often "blown" in less experienced shops, so the cant, which should be a sharp line running the length of the board between the C and G strings gets located elsewhere and looks like a "bump" rather than a cant. Anyway, There is really no way to tell what is possible or not without seeing the instrument, but if the board is thick enough (which many are on this type of viola) the cant can be planed out. The neck can probably be reshaped and adjusted as well, but the heal of the neck (where it meets the body) will dictate how far the thinning process can go...as well as the good judgement of the luthier involved in doing the job (you don't want to end up with a floppy neck!). The neck graft that Ben suggested is an expensive job (if done correctly) and I doubt it advisable (value of the instrumnent/cost of the job). Best of luck, Jeffrey : : The type of instrument you have normally has a thick enough fingerboard to have the hump planed out. You don't have to replace it. : : Talk to your favorite luthier. : : Al : It's not just the bump- the side-to-side width of the finger board, or maybe it's the total girth of the fingerboard and the neck of the instrument, is huge. I can only just barely reach the C string at all- playing anywhere but 1st position is impossible. That was why I wondered about the fingerboard...I'm renting a student viola and the neck and fingerboard together are only about 3/4 of the circumference of mine, and it's a bigger viola.
  14. I believe the current price for a violin is $15,000. Cello: $30,000. I also studied with Mr. Lee, who has been at the wheel of the Chicago School of Violin Making (the Warren School before 1983) for many years and have handleed a number of his instruments since. All the players who have purchased them from us have reported that they are quite satisfied. Just a note, Mr. Lee studied at the state school in Germany and continued his journeyman-ship with a master-maker in Mittenwald until receiving his Master's certificate. Best to all, Jeffrey : Mr. Lee is a fine Chicago maker who has trained a number of the better makers in the U.S.as the head of the Chicago Violin Making School. Tscho Ho Lee instruments are often antiqued and the style of antiquing is distinctive. Lee has a solid following among musicians. I believe that his instruments sell in the $10,000.00-$15,000.00 range but you ought to contact the maker to find out his current pricing. : S. Hersh : : is instruments: Who is he? and how are his instruments? how much do they cost? and whats their quarlity? Please tell me> : : thanks
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