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Stradivarius "Lady Tennant" at Christies!


Korngold
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  • 2 weeks later...

I went up yesterday. Since I'm a 'cellist, I did not find the lady as seductive as some others around here. There was however a very nice Gofriller 'cello, as well as some lesser celli and a nice selection of bows. After trying out a good selection of the bows, I made my way over to the Tariso viewing and tried out the Amati, Forster, Chanot, and Vuillaume 'celli, along with bows by Finkel, Barnes, Morizot, and Sartory.

Well worth the train ticket.

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I was concerned by the amount of undisclosed damage to many of the violins auctioned off at Christies. Both Skinner and Tarisio provide much better and more complete descriptions. I found serious undisclosed condition issues on many, many of the violins. Despite its very genteel atmosphere, Christies is more of a snake pit than any used car auction I have attended.

Jesse

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I am not defending Christies, far from it. However, neither Christies nor Sothebys has ever included statements of condition in their catalogues. They will give a general condition report if you contact them, but even these can be ambiguous. I have always found it necessary to ask very specific questions, but if I forget to cover every single possible type of damage, there may be a surprise. Three years ago I called one of the major houses about a quite nice looking Colin Mezin bow, and asked numerous questions about the condition. I purchased it for a rather lowball amount, and sure enough when it arrived, it had a repaired crack at the handle, hardly visible, but definitely there.

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I only bid from the floor at live auctions and I inspect carefully at the previews both as a learning experience and to put values on the items I might bid on. I appreciate the assistance provided by Tarisio and Skinner. While I never expect them to catch everything, they make a real attempt. I certainly understand Christies and Sothebys having a policy and I had my eyes open going in.

At a used car auction, only dealers can attend, and sellers(who are all identified) must provide full disclosure or risk the sale being reversed in arbitration afterward(provided on site by the auction house). Most auctions have a 3 or 4 light system displaying conditions, defects or cautions.

The reason I point this out is that at Christies, consumers can and do attend, bid and buy items with no disclosure provided, while used car auctions, considered to be one of the sleaziest of auction venues, open only to dealers, are buyers guaranteed accuracy, full disclosure and hidden damage claims honored after the sale. In comparison, Christies takes no reponsibility what ever.

The whole thing simply amazes me.

Jesse

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Padah- I agree that Christies and Sotheby's are like minefields. I have learned my lesson in this dept. It would certainly benefit them to at least put some disclosure in their listings. BTW, did you examine the Gand Bernardel violin with the decal on the back? It brought $33,600. Well above retail. Was there something really special about it? All best, Larry.

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I talked to the buyer of the "School of Guaneri" who insists it is absolutley Andrea. The Lady was stunning, and in superb condition. The label looks identical to all the fakes. A friend I was with, played it, and he thought it was as good as anything he had heard. The couple sitting in front of me were the underbidders at $1.75. The woman was a player, from the hickey on her neck. The winning hammer price was $1.8 plus a quarter of a million in buyer's premium.

I wanted to be the first bidder(very badly) on the Lady but I was afraid if I raised my hand, security would appear in a flash to escort me to the door. I think the auction knew all the players on this one.

Jesse

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Don't be so harsh.

After all "Lady Tennant" is 300+ years old. It is fragile.

None has question that it is beautiful to look at. Do you think it can sound out of the league too?

(as most its life time stored in a case)

Value (money) is a man-made thing. High opinons usually fellowed the monetary celibraty.

(Without the label and without the certrificate from Hill,I would be surprised if someone still thinks it is a Strad)

I know in fact a violin valued $3k overnight it is valued $11k after the maker won a prize of making comptition. (same bad violin in a closet)

Just my thought. /yuen/

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A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS JUST IN BUYER'S PREMIUM!

Wow, that really puts this wealthy world in perspective, doesn't it?

Christie's won't disclose to me who the buyer was or what their intentions are for the violin. Pity the lady with the hickey didn't get it because then we could have been assured it would be played.

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