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Bird's eye violin by Zhang with caved tailpiece $.


Syne7
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WSH519 sells Zhang violins with bird's eye maple on a frequent, periodic basis. If he says this one was made by Zhang himself, I believe it because WSH519 is an honest man. He'd probably provide a certificate also. I think this violin would be a good investment. It will almost certainly go higher with more bids popping in at the last minute. If you could get it for under $1000, you'd be doing very well, in my opinion. Maybe even at a higher price it would be a good investment. I'd try to stay under $1500, but the real value could be more and could rise in the future. Zhang is developing a world-class reputation.

If you could settle for a cheaper bird's eye fiddle (that might sound as good or better for all we know) here's one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...me=STRK:MEWA:IT

- Just for clarification, by "real value" I mean within the current fair market values of Chinese violins. They're all undervalued right now. That could change in the future.

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I agree with nicolo. This violin is a bargain (and genuine).

That wood is simply spectacular!

Andrew usually starts the bidding for this quality ZSM much higher but occasionally he makes a mistake and starts lower. This looks like one of those listing errors.

If I hadn't maxed out on my violin budget recently, I would bid myself.

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Well, maybe not. I don't know enough about this seller to make any valid comment on it.

Here's a seller I do know from first-hand experience. Fast, friendly, and reliable. Has some nice intermediate range Chinese fiddles. They all require new set-ups, but are still a very good buy. Money-back guarantee, too. Here's a violin for sale right now with less fancy bird's eye maple:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...me=STRK:MEWA:IT

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The Zhang one was really nice. I bid on it but was fortunate enough to be outbid (what was I thinking.. going to bid for a violin when I have my big trip coming up). I talked to Andrew about it and although it was made entirely by ZSM it doesn't come with a certificate because it's not a masterpiece item. It is the best quality you can get without going into the catergory. At $1,100 that was a pretty good price. I think Andrew said it was a promotional item so there was no return which is the reasoning for the price.

The one that niccolo posted about looks like it was made by Antonio Zhang and sold by ztl00 (it's something about the color of the bird's eye maple and the design that makes me think that). Also ztl00 seems to be, getting more than the odd neg that says that his fiddles are more intermediate than pro. There's a feeling inside me that tells me that someone bought the violin from ztl00 and wasn't happy with it and re-sold it. (I'm certain I've seen that bird's eye maple before).

I know that someone bought one of ztl00's violins and changed the strings and bridge and said it was fine after that. (that person is somewhere around here) but I think they also said that they wanted to upgrade to a pro level one. *shruggs* Best go to check that or see if you can find someone who has bought one.

ztl00 has a bird's eye for sale now but the craftmanship isn't the best. I believe that's also made by Antonio Zhang from China.

Acyla

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I don't think the two are related. From what I hear ZSM lives in Hong Kong and Antonio Zhang is in China. Although Antonio is relatively unheard of. I did a google search for him and I kept on getting Stradavari imitators popping up.

I'm not an expert, but doesn't the ZSM Birdseye look like the fingerboard is too close to the top? Is it the neck overstand that is too low, or the arching is too high, or the neck needs to be pulled back? Or does it look okay? Just curious.

I'm no professional (just a curious person who doesn't hesitate to ask 20 million questions) but your reasoning may be why it's not classified as a masterpiece violin. A lot of ZSM's violins that are totally made by him are said to be masterpiece violins and come with certificates.

Acyla

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It's funny, this "birdseye" wood looks more like what I've always called "burl" wood. I had some birdseye maple flooring in the parlor of the first house I bought (built in 1890), and it looked completely different to this stuff. The flooring had all little tiny rings, but was otherwise straight-grained, and looked to me as though it came from a tree that had had millions of little sucker branches growing out of it.

How strange.

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Quite right. I think there is some confusion here.

Bird's eye maple comes from a burl that indeed had many suckers growing out of it and so the visible features are little circles - like eyes.

What I am seeing coming from China is a figuring in the wood such as I have never seen in European maple.

It may be what is usually called 'quilted maple' but I think that is something different again because it has more of a honeycomb appearance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I saw that one. To my non professional eye that seems to have some faults (at the scroll, it being the way the light refracts and makes it seem like there is faults. Normally this wouldn't bother me but combined with the way the varnish is put on, the stroke manner seems very slap dash on the front).

This is the second time it has been listed. The difference between this one and the other bird's eye violins that this person sells is that this one's back is more pretty (that and the fact that it is double the price of the other bird's eyes). I honestly think that some of the $250 bird's eye violins are a bit better quality (despite having the same label) but if it makes you happy...

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