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"Becker" Violin on eBay


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Here's an eBay listing of interest:


I'm not an appraiser by trade, but I'm curious to see what Jeffrey Holmes and others think about this violin. That's a bit of a risk to be bidding 28K on a violin with no papers. I'm curious as to who this furniture dealer is seeing he/she is just 15 minutes or so down the pike from my shop...

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You know, I hate to say this since someone did pay that hefty an amount for this violin, but I reckon nobody would actually place anywhere near that much for the fiddle if it had just been placed on auction along with a description like "Good violin from 1920s". I wonder how many of those people who bid such high amounts for it actually contacted the seller to try the violin out.

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Yes, borescope is the correct name. They carry a no-heat light source for illumination, & image is transmitted via optical fiber (same outfit the Dr. uses). It can be aimed & turned externally, & you can even attach a camera to the eyepiece. Better than a light & mirror because it's right-reading . Worse than a light & mirror because it costs $1200-$1500 .

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A couple of notes.

1. Assuming it is genuine, and it appears to be, it is odd that it has never been played.

2. That is the retail price for a Becker. It's very high for an auction price. Maybe the buyer wanted to pay a premium price for an old, mint one. You can easily buy one in known good condition from a known dealer in the Midwest, and you can play it before buying. It will also have been played.

3. They project well. David Tseng may or may not have a violin that may overpower any particular Becker in unspecified condition, but there is a good reason why the marketplace values them highly.

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Recently a friend of mine was looking at four Becker's at one time: 2 dated 1919, both Guarneri models, 1 1921 Strad model, and one joint Becker (Carl Sr. and Jur.) from around 1940. The asking prices were 65, 60, and 40 K. for the older three - I don't remember the 1940. I also saw one at Shar and it seems the 1920's Beckers are more in the 40K and up range. That 29 K for a 1920's vintage instrument, especially in mint condition, seems more wholesalish to me than retail. If anyone has a 1920's Becker for sale in the 20-30 K feel free to contact me. .

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So 1920's is the golden period. Next time if I come across one, I'll pay more attention to

it. In an orchestra setting, I personally like Becker more than Peresson, but for solo, I

don't know which one is preferred. I know several young players started their career using

Peresson as solo instrument, I have yet to see one using Becker as a solo violin (excluding

cello). Nowadays due to budget constraint, many groups keep fewer players but want everyone

plays louder. Therefore, power is an important feature in a violin.

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