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How much will the 1929 XR Roth go for?


john j
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MrLucky, your pandemonious chronicles of matrimonial state-of-the-family,--or a philosophy of such,--seems to discourage me to 'tie the knot'. Hmm... Yep, Sarah is very adorable and my comments were not intended to imply anything; I was simply stating the facts.

Anihoy, the western society is very much different from the American society, where the so-called normal lifestyle consists of overworking, coming home, overeating, watching TV, eating again, going to bed. The whole system is wrong. It is disdanful to sit in traffic jams every morning observing that all other car with at least 4 available spaces have only 1 occupant. To add an insult to the injury, public transportation here is non-existent. We are SITTING most of the time. If that was God's or evolutionary intention, our body would consist of a giant ass and nothing more.

The Roth ends in 2 hours. I am out of the game. Honestly, it is worth of spending money on, but please, don't go above 10K!

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I notice that the seller will only ship UPS Ground, and says SHIPPING INSURANCE NOT OFFERED. That should be scary to anyone who has had much experience with UPS. To ship something valued at several thousand dollars by one of the riskiest methods available--and no insurance???

Oh, maybe gaggleoddessy has had a problem before with damage due to inadequate packing, and UPS will no longer allow them to insure their packages. Even more scary.

dahl

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I know both of the highest bidders. PKnorr is an experienced dealer and very astute. The second high bidder is a wholesaler and collector. He has bought some good violins from me. What this means is that there is enough value left in this violin for a dealer to sell to another dealer and make a profit. Had the underbidder won, it would have likely wound up in a retail shop asking $15,000. He would have made his $1000 profit selling it for $8000+ to the dealer and the retail dealer would make another $5000-$7000. There is no doubt in my mind that the original papers add at least $2000 on the retail end. People like good one owner things that have been well cared for and cherished. The existance of the paperwork is evidence of the "cherished" part.

EBay prices for genuine good things are somewhere between wholesale and retail. The high bidders on this item are proof that it was a good buy. PKnorr does not speculate. He buys what he knows and gets a very good price when he sells. Lac, the underbidder has been collecting and dealing in all sorts of instruments for 30 years. He will spend $7000 to make $1000 because he knows what he is doing.

You should see his stuff that isn't for sale! He may have one of the finest collections of top Boston made violins anywhere. He also has several of the most valuable American electric guitars (Gibsons and Les Pauls). Money is not an issue. He could spend 10 times as much if he chose to. There are people lurking in eBay world who know just what stuff is worth and they have the confidence to bid. Some of the best violins I have sold on eBay go to dealers who retail them for double or triple or even more. My guess is that the Roth violin would have brought as much at Tarisio, Chrisities or Skinner, if not even more. As hard as it is to swallow, this violin was a good deal.

jesse

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I was sorry to lose this one, but am glad that it brought a price commensurate to it's quality.

With this sale, the entire Roth market will change, as Padah said. From here on out we can expect to see retail asking prices of $10 -15,000 for the pre-war mint condition ones.

It makes me grateful that I formed my collection of top Roths long before any of this happened.

Best to all.

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To those violin enthusiasts that bite their nails in jealousy over the Roth and its lucky (or not so) winner, here is a piece of consolation:

XR is only the 10th (X) in quality! There are still plenty of IR, IIR, IIIR, VIR, etc., and I am sure some will have original certificates! So, chin up folks, the best is ahead.

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To tell you the truth, I have seen better Roth than this one. I am sure if you have the money ($6K or more) you can get one even better, except the papers, except the condition. It may make it up with the sound and the age. Who knows? There is always a better violin in the market. Believe it or not.

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It is my understanding that the higher the number before the R (stands for reproduction) the higher the quality. I have the Roth catalog from 1924 and that bears this out. In the description of the XIR the catalog indicates this model was "made to order" for "well known violinists who are not in a postion to purchase an old violin which would meet all their requirements". The XR is described as "the violin that represents the climax of the great art of Ernst Heinrich Roth." It goes on to state that the XR model is "the most remarkable reprioduction of his carrer... and that a better new violin cannot be made at any price.."

This Roth is among the most desireable of the Roths, if in fact is is an XR. The high bidders are both very familiar with Roth models and PKnorr certainly has the same catalogs I do and probably others.

I would imagine that a genuine XR with papers cannot be bought from a shop for less than $10,000. Lower models such as the IR, IIR, IIIR, etc. were less expensive when they were new than the XR. Despite the rather high price, the violin was bought near wholesale.

Is it worth it? I doubt it. I think better violins can be had for less money, but the name adds huge value because it is a known and documented, unlike so many good violins which are anonymous or have fake labels. Players can buy a Roth with the confidence that they know what it is and are investing wisely.

Jesse

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We cannot be 100% sure that this Roth really was such a great deal. I did a certain amount of PM ing with the sellers, and they are not knowledgeable about violins. I asked several questions about the condition, and finally pursuaded them to remove the chinrest to see if there were any cracks. They said there were none, and that part of the cork was sticking to the table. They also told me that one of the bows was stamped G.A. Pfretzschner, and had no damage, other than broken hair(!).

What stopped me from really going after it was the gamble. There are endless things that can be wrong with a violin which do not show up in photos, as we all know.

It was a nice opportunity, but , as others have said, not the last chance, not by a long shot. The price increases in Roths will certainly bring others into the market, as owners decide to cash in. I have no real idea of how many of the pre-war Roths are out there, or how many were made even. Perhaps somebody can tell us. But I feel pretty certain that there are still a number of them in attics, and they will be popping up on Ebay and at other auctions.

The price run-up is nice for those who own them, but regrettable for those of us who are violin lovers, and would like to add to their collections. As I mentioned, I am fortunate enough to own a few fine Roths in original condition, but I did not buy them to resell. As Dr. Lucky said, it would be so nice to be able to find just one more great one. But that's all changing now.

I'm trying to think of what violins represent high quality and historical interest now that Roths are going so high. Roths used to be the best kept collecting secret around, and it was only 10 years ago that top ones could be had for $2,500.- or a bit more. It's a new ballgame allright.

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Hi Jesse,

You are right about that. The Roth I have tried has been opened and re-worked, not original at all.

It was an eariler year Roth. The grains were very sharp and very densed. The sound was loud and clear.

light weighted. More or less it is like a Becker, (people knows what is a Becker, right?) except it is older. I have no idea how the sound was if it was

original. It was $6000 (2 yrs ago?) I did not buy it because the dealer wanted cash, not accepting any trade-in for his own shop instrument. I had to come up with $6k that time. All inside trademark and label were there but No documents went with it. That is the story of the only Roth I know.

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Some comments on the Roth in question; there are original papers

which could have been switched, a pic of the label which

could be faked, and no mention or pic of the stamp in the back wood

which is much harder to fake, on top of that it did not look the

same shape as the two Roth's I have worked on, so I was suspicious,

I assume because of the preponderance of comments here that this is

a genuine Roth but you certainly could find a Roth with a much more

Asthetically pleasing varnish. The FIrst Roth I got the label had

been stolen and underneath was in pencil Fiorini and a serial #,

Tom Metzler in LA appraised it as a EH Roth at 3500 lowered from

$4700 because of some damage to the varnish, there were no cracks

and the top had never been removed so how did the Fiorini get

inside, presumably Because Paulo Fiorini was one of the names EH

Roth was marketing his violins under.

 Compared

to this Roth mine had the same cheap looking varnish, definetly

very thin which I take to indicate spirit varnish, and the colour

almost neon orange red looked the same as that on ebay.. The second

Roth Ive worked on came from the guitar shop for $400, I had an

accident stripping the rosin buildup and slightly damaged the

varnish and sold it for$1200. Maybe I would have got more on ebay,

it was1937 stamped and labeled but had an overall varnish with no

shading, Ive been told these are less valuable. The truelly great

Roths are shaded to look just like real wear and have a much more

natural colour than this one in my opinion, sincerely Lyndon J

Taylor

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I can't tell a real Roth from a fake Roth, if there is such a thing yet. Roths are not my thing.

I do know that Ed Ball, alias PKnorr, who won this violin on eBay, knows the Roths and the Roth market as well as anyone in the US. He is an expert on Roths. Roths and other Markneukirchen violins from that period are his thing. He has dozens if not hundreds. I wouldn't be surprised if he could not tell a Gagliano from a Scarampella, but a Roth is something he knows. He also does not speculate on Roths. He buys them and sells them for more than he pays-every time. Dealers go to him to buy Roths. I would not be surprised if a good percentage of the Roths in shops in the US have been owned by him at one time. This Roth buyer is no naive eBayer having fun and gambling on a few photos and a wish. He is a professional violin dealer who specializes in this type of thing and rarely loses.

Others may know a bit about Roths also, but if I were bidding on an eBay Roth and PKnorr didn't show up with a last minute snipe with the real money I would assume there was something wrong with it-or that he was on vacation on a deserted island with no internet access.

Ed is the "ax" or 800 lb gorilla in this arena. If he bought it, it is the reall thing.

Jesse

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  • 16 years later...
On 2/3/2006 at 8:34 PM, Ron1 said:

Perhaps tying in with the discussion regarding the body's contribution to sounds produced, is the instrument known as the theremin. The gentleman pictured in my avatar was a wandering musician/minstrel named Orben Sime, who played the theremin along with several other old & strange instruments. The theremin was made to produce sound, somehow, by the player's body, but the player did not touch the instrument. I'm not certain just how the instrument worked, possible others on the forum have heard of it and know. If I've been successful in attaching a pic, the theremin is on the left, in the center is a psalmodican, and on the right, a pitchfork cello.

 

On 2/3/2006 at 8:34 PM, Ron1 said:

Perhaps tying in with the discussion regarding the body's contribution to sounds produced, is the instrument known as the theremin. The gentleman pictured in my avatar was a wandering musician/minstrel named Orben Sime, who played the theremin along with several other old & strange instruments. The theremin was made to produce sound, somehow, by the player's body, but the player did not touch the instrument. I'm not certain just how the instrument worked, possible others on the forum have heard of it and know. If I've been successful in attaching a pic, the theremin is on the left, in the center is a psalmodican, and on the right, a pitchfork cello.

Ron do you still have a picture of Orben Sime?

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