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How to Liquidate Violins from an Estate Inventory?


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A few years ago, the man who made my violin died. A skilled but unknown "hobby" luthier who made beautifully crafted and beautiful playing instruments. He made them right, taking years per each instrument. Over a period of over 50 years he produced dozens of instruments, only a handful of which have found homes. Now his son would like to get these instrument into the hands of people who would appreciate them and I think would do so for a reasonable price, though he values then too highly to let them go too cheaply. I happily paid $4000 for mine about 6 years ago. What would be the best avenue to really get these instruments out there for people to see. He's tried consigment at some local shops (Dallas, TX), but has had no luck, there is just not that much traffic. Any ideas would be welcome.

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Perhaps one of the auction houses. I see that Tarisio is handling a lot of equipment from the shop of Arthur Toman, who made one of my instruments. If these play as well as you suggest, there might be a lot of amateurs or students who would be happy to find a relative bargain.

You didn't say how large the estate was. One other option would be to seed a music school with a bulk donation. An appropriate appraisal could either lighten the burden on the estate tax, or (if already passed to the son) provide years of income tax benefits.

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