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Gagliano?? For real?


Ray Weaver
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I don't understand why he wants th right to retract afetr he has said the minimum bid is $510.

Why can't he just say minimum bid is much more, so he wouldn't NEED to retract?

Anyway, there is so much crookery going on, and the likelihood of it being genuine (if much isn't bided) is extremely slight. And if it was, I'm sure it would bid very highly bidded for without fail. So once it gets much higher than now, it will start being a great risk! Won't it?

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The outline and varnish really look like the real thing.

Comparing the pictures to other Gagliano pictures, there are a couple of things not quite right (to my untrained eye) :

1. The f-holes are placed very high

2. The side view of the scroll looks wrong. The comb of the scroll is not high enough and the eye cutout is way longer than my pictures.

3. The strange locating pins on the back (but I suppose those could have been added later)

Assuming that the real thing will not be sold on ebay with an amateurish write-up and pictures, there must be an interesting story behind this instrument.

What do you guys/gals make of that button? It seems to have been been replaced from the purfling up but I can't see any joins.

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WOW!

It's now holding by $10,000!

Isn't that a proof that it must be genuine? I mean, It must have been examined otherwise no one would have come up with that amount for such a violin. (It doesn't look stupendously special)

But if he was a wise person, why didn't he wait till near the end of the auction? Like this, many more people might try to compete with him and push the price much further, which is not the case if he would have waited with his ideas of what to bid.

If he was unwise enough to do that, then, maybe he was unwise enough not to have thoroughly investigated it at all???

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I think this auction is merely advertising -Planning to withdraw an auction 24 hours before its conclusion is merely another way of setting a reserve price but it can certainly make it more interesting if you want the thrill of trying to buy a violin a a small fraction of its value. But who knows?

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I can tell you my secrets as I don't expect to able to use them anyway, but I wouldn't even consider bidding until about the last hour, because that will only increase the competition whilst giving the others plenty of time to bid over the last bid. Also, at the last hour, I would see IF the amount it's holding at was in any way possible to bid at, thereby giving me some chances.

The truth is (another secret) that I'd love to be able to peruade a rich freind of mine (not a musician at all) to do it together with me, and split the profits after reselling it for much more. AND, in the meantime, I would personally spend a few days playing on that violin, before a final tearful farewell!

I could even afford to travel overseas and rent a hotel room (for me and the violin) for a few days, if I was anyway going to earn more than $3000 for sure.

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Very vague isn't it!

I also tried to make out what it means, as "worst every bit of it" seems to be quite an amatuerish statement.

And it's very vague if it is meant to give the impression that it is worth $200,000.

Also, If it was a spelling mistake for "Worth" (every bit of it) i.e. that sum of money, I don't agree that money is worth so little either! $200,000 could save many people from death due to starvation, is it then still worth every bit of it? Or is a number of lives worth more?

By the way, you could still get a number of fabulous violins AS WELL AS save some lives, with that money. You won't necesarily need to give up violin playing altogether! Therefore, I dislike this kind of disrespect of another persons money, when trying to sell something. The language should be more respectful.

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Aha! So it's more than just one person who is prepared to bid like that! It's now over $12,000.

Still, I wuld have said that the begining of serious bidding should begin only when the last 24 hours are approaching (in order to pursuade or even bluff the seller to risk keeping it on), and the second bidding frenzy should be only at the last minute.

Maybe I understand what the greatest experts understand but don't say?

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I think some of you are over-reacting here. As Mr. Weaver says, it may just be advertising. The seller is from a known shop (at least I know about it...) and I don't think there is any intent to deceive any one. The seller has the right to end the auction at any time, unless the reserve is met. Since there is no reserve, it seems to me that ebay would not allow them to renege on the sale, but, hey, ebay is the wild west as far as I can tell.

I suppose that with an instrument of this quality (assuming that the documents are authentic and that Wurlitzer, Beare, AND Francais are correct in their opinion--it is just opinion...but learned opinion) it may be possible to reach a vast number of interested parties via ebay without any intent to sell there. And what cheap advertising it would be.

I don't know the seller personally, but from from others who have dealt there I've never heard of this seller being dishonest or unethical. I do know of an individual who took a violin in for repair. They recognized it as a fine instrument and suggested that it be sent off for appraisal. They didn't suggest that they had the expertise to appraise it in-house. The customer declined, but it was later casually appraised by a violin dealer in NYC at $15,000. He later reduced the appraisal to $6,000 when he found some damage as he did a setup on it. So my second-hand experience is that this dealer recognized the quality of the violin and made the appropriate suggestionto the customer. And If Francais or Beare will reiterate to a prospective buyer their opinion, then maybe it's real. What's important in the violin trading world is that people ~believe~ that it's a Gagliano, not that it is.

If you want to play the violin, find a supersaver airline ticket to Norfolk. I'm sure they'd be happy to see you. There are crooks on ebay, but I've never met one in 65+ transactions, so I think we should back off on our assumptions that this seller is up to something nefarious. And as for typos (WORST vs WORTH) we all make them, don't ew? The worse part is using all CAPS!

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I am glad to hear from someone who knows of the seller and I agree with your sentiments. The likely reason the seller is not selling it through a major auction house is simply that he would like to realize more than the 30-40% of retail that an auction might bring and save himself the auction fees which would be considerable on an instrument of such a price. By a remarkable coincidence (and I really mean coincidence) since my original post I have spoken to the seller about an unrelated transaction (he was buying a bow my wife was selling on eBay for a friend) and he seems both knowledgable and straight-forward. Incidentally I have bought on eBay in the past with fairly good results but have not been active for several years - my wife just started selling but exclusively non-violin related items until the aforementioned bow (two bows). If the right instrument showed up on eBay I would certainly consider traveling a reasonable distance to try it out so next time I'm in Norfolk maybe I will try to look up the seller.

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Mr. Your piano stud

Do you mean by Gagliano has such a unique tone:

The tonal quality of his instruments is described as very mellow on the G and D strings and delightfully silvery on the two top strings or are there also other characteristics.

(Description by Encyclopedia Smithsonian: A. Gagliano)

HenriG

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I'm no expert either, but when I first saw these pictures, I immediately thought of my old college violin. The dealer checked it out it to me as "Castellani", and I sadly returned it cause I was too poor. Later it was shown to me again as a no-name Tyrolean at half the price. I hem-hawed until they threw in a free case. It was a dandy fiddle, but no Italian.

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If one has access to lots of good photos of Ferdinand Gagliano, or better, if one has seen a few, then discussing what this violin might be could be a in interesting excercise, otherwise it is pointless. To speculate about the sellers honesty or the genuine-ness of the documentation is baseless.

I only have the Jalovec book which is any help. Amongst others, what I see when comparing this violin to the photographs there:

1. No locating pins

2. The last turn of the scroll is much shorter in Jalovec, with the sting pointing upwards rather than forwards

There are however a few vague similarites. Granted that photos don't always give a good perspective, the arching doesn't look typical Tyrolean to me. The open-throatedness of the head looks more Tyrolean than the Gagliano photos in Jalovec. The purfling and channel don't look Tyrolean to me either, but then, I have not seen that many - perhaps only 20 or so (real instruments, not photos) by different makers.

One cannot tell how true the perspective of the photos are to the way the f-holes really look. Assuming that these are true, I see some Stainer there, BUT in a guise which I've seen on other mid-18th-century Italians (Carcassi, for instance) rather than Tyroleans.

To reiterate my main point - to discuss the violin itself may get one somewhere, to speculate about the circumstances of the sale, not. This I think is what makes so many e-bay discussions quite worthless. In this case, for instance, the seller has been lambasted for his advertising style and literacy, but has received a commendation from someone who has met him. All this tells us precisely nothing about the violin.

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US$26,100 and still going. I've never in my past seen an eBay auction go that startlingly well. It seems as though this exponential function will still go on, and somehow, it's as if people are carrying their bidding on the violin from real-life (as in, they live where the dealer does, know the dealer, have seen, played and verified the violin, etc.) onto eBay. Otherwise, I can find no possible reason how anyone can be so willing to dish out 26 Grand for a violin coming from the notorious eBay. Just me and my 2 cents worth...

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The Smithsonian statement is correct but not specific enough. I have only played 3 Nicolo Gaglianos (NOT Ferdinando). I do know the current highest bidder, so this may be the first F. Gagliano i'll get to play. Anyway, G ans D are mellow. I had to use a stiffer bow to play the Gags or the bow would jusy "sink in", like my rear "sinking" into the seat when I get in my dad's 15 yr old Buick. The 3 N. Gaglianos I've played were smooth but lacks power. A dark violin with power would be a Maggini. Guads are warmer and powerful but not as dark and less focus as the Gags.

The upper 2-strings are silky because of the darker quality of the violin. It's not the same kind of darkness as if you play a Strad with a supple bow. I don't like this kind of silkiness because the tone is less focussed and less powerful. So these are the trends i observed from playing 3 N. Gagalianos.

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If the seller counted on not only getting dead cheap advertising exposure on eBay but further exposure through discussion on a board like this -- tending to the conclusion that the instrument in question might be genuine and the seller reputable -- it could be a very effective way of driving a quick sale with high net proceeds to the seller (Ray Weaver's point). Those wondering at bidders' willingness to put some serious coin on the table might consider not just the spotty reputation of eBay but also the potential influence of this discussion thread, giving the eBay sale a credibility it would otherwise lack by itself. The sort of person who buys a genuine Gagliano is the sort of person who hangs out on Maestronet. Some of the posters here either know of the seller or of a bidder. The question then becomes, is it a good thing for opinions expressed on this board to become a factor in the purchase decisions and selling prices of specific instruments at auction elsewhere?

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