Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

July Tarisio auction


Recommended Posts

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Glen, thank you for your post, as here is my 2 cents worth.

Without a doubt, at least to me, this is the worst batch of violins

I have ever seen at auction anywhere, including farm auctions that

sometimes have 100s of fiddles.Yes, there are a few that are

interesting, but for such a large percentage of them to be of such

low quality, along with the commission, one might be better to take

another look a ebay! In fact, some of them look to me as if they

may have come from ebay as rejects. But watch the magic of

Tarisio, as come the last day or so, most will sell!  Had

the same ones been listed on ebay, there wound not of been many

bids. Even the estimates are high for cheap trade instruments not

to mentions the condition. People say they are afraid of ebay

because of all the risks involved, but this auction and the prices

they are listed for is really out of line in the glut of

cheap violins seen everywhere. Yes I am aware that this

auction is for low priced instruments and violins for restoration,

but at these prices, the majority of them are not low priced enough

to make restoration worthwhile as you will only end up with a

repaired low grade student violin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Chris Reuning is an occasional contributor to MN so he might comment but here is my take.

The fancier auction houses are very selective in the violins they accept for for auction and many people who have a violin for sale are refused.

At least Tarisio is accepting more modest instruments so providing a service to some sellers who might not otherwise be able to sell at auction. Understandably, they aren't giving the sale a prime slot in the annual calendar. They are providing a few gems to tempt the buyers along.

Has anyone spotted any?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there anything there for a cheap fixer upper even? I have had a look and don't see anything much but I am not that good with pictures and I'd have to have it shipped too. I am not looking to spend hundreds (maybe only a couple) but am a bit fed up with ebay as there are too many overpriced junkers at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I beg to differ. I believe handmade trade/European workshop violins are a value leader in the fiddle world. If you examine, handle, play them you realize that usually they are made by skilled artisans who love what they do and often create works of physical and musical beauty.

Some are good enough to be outside instruments for professionals, most are excellent for students (terrific for high school students). If I was looking on a limited budget, I would concentrate on this class of instrument. If you have 50,000 dollars to spend, why are you paying attention here?

Tarisio, of course, is not in the business of providing a service to sellers. Their business is to be a service to buyers -- who will let them know by buying or not. I predict these instruments will move, at the low end of the estimates, by resellers who recognize "movable product," at the high end by retail buyers who fall in love with individual instruments (and get a bargain in the process).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do trade/European turn of the 20th century violins compare in value with trade/Chinese turn of the 21st century violins? Oftentimes I think with the Chinese violins you get more standardized product, and what you'd expect, whereas the trade European really vary in terms of measurements and what is inside (lack of corner blocks, uneven inside top, gouge marks, built in bassbar).

Maybe the trade/French turn of the 20th century violins are more value than the trade/German ones, because they had higher standards? I wouldn't touch the German or Czech or even French Medeo Fino types, with the painted purfling, shoddy construction, even painted flames. So for a player, the better value is to get a trade/Chinese turn of the 21st century violin from Eastman or equivalent. At least you know that with the Internet they would not be sticking you with a crooked, uneven, painted POJ, because someone would post a picture and upset their reputation. Meanwhile back in Europe, pre-20th century, they could do just about anything and ship those violins to the U.S. where somebody buys it, has no recourse to return it and sticks it in an attic, only to turn up now on Ebay or Tarisio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just got in a nice quality Chinese violin made by Yuan Qin. It's a very pretty violin and very well made and yes quite standardized. It has a good full sound but it does not sound nearly as well as a a good quality commercial Markinkirchen violin like a Dolling or a Heberlein. I have found that even some German Strad copies with no maker's label have good quality tones. I just finished setting up a Strad copy, Made in Germany circa 1920's, rather ordinary looking but the sound is ringing and full and superior to that Chinese violin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Ralphus, what should I be looking at then? I am into doing up this kind of fiddle as that is all I can afford basically, then sell to some appreciative person who doesn't want anything too fancy but wants something with a bit of age and some mellow tones. I like the quirky oldie worldie types, round edged, worn varnish blackened with age - you know the type. No namers and such. Even though they are a nightmare to fix most of the time, they are what my punters seem to like too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I differ on the assessment of the Medio Fino violins, at least some of them. The externals were left cruder than some, but these fiddles were made in the same Mirecourt shops that were then making much higher quality products. That expertise shows up in the sound of the Medio Finos. Likewise with the J.A. Baader and inexpensive Neuner & Hornsteiner shop violins. The craftsmanship is decent and so is the sound.

I have little experience with the later Chinese products, but I'll wager their principal advantage is that they are new and in need of no repair. Sad to say, putting a 120-year-old German fiddle into playing condition can set you back just enough to make it worthwhile to purchase a nice new Chinese violin.

Matters are quite different when it comes to 200-year old Markneukirchen violins. Some of these are definitely worth the restoration cost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mark, thank you for your very fine post as I agree about the

medio-fino violins. Most people think of them as low grade but for

the price, they are one of the best sounding violins, something you

would not believe by looking at them. I would also like to take

this opp. to change some of my remarks about the July Tarisio

auction. Now that I have had time to look them over more carefully,

I will say that I was wrong, as I bunched them all together. I was

able to look and compare them along with the present and completed

listing of full size violins on ebay. This auction is a solid one

for what it is and should not be compared at all to ebay. For the

most part, ebay has the worst of the worst in every possible way,

period. Exceptions would be P.Hound, and several older sellers who

do offer quality. However I do stand on my previous comments about

the pricing at Tarisio, as these do seem to be solid violins, but

even if time is not a consideration, one still will end up with a

repaired trade violin, the tone of which always seems to fail once

one reaches the higher positions, and the overall quality of tone

in extremely limited. I also question the min. of $100 for each

violin that sells, so even the seller whose violins fetched $300

will only receive less than $200 because of the insurance and the

sellers expense if they had to ship any violins to Tarisio. John J

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This auction offers plenty of mediocre instruments. However, there are some fine picks including Metelky (lot 400) as well as couple of Hubicka's. Violins coming out of Czech lands are often undervalued possibly due to a mistaken association with German luthiers. Great number of Czech violins has a terrific sound that would suit a professional.

I wander if any jigsaw puzzle lovers will buy that Peresson!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone explain #413, Nemessanyi school?

I didn't think Nemessanyi had a 'school'. I understood that he worked alone making just enough money to pay his drinking bills.

They say c1860 in which case he was just 23 years old and working in Prague but the varnish looks too opaque to be by him.

$4-6K is cheap for a Nemessanyi. Either it's by him or it isn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hadn't looked at Tarisio in some time. There are definitely an overwhelming number of mediocre looking instruments here, which is, I guess, what it's supposed to be. I agree, a lot of the prices look high compared to eBay - certainly you could regret your purchase without venturing too far over the opening bid, let alone reserve on some, I think. But, at least you'll get something for your money - not always a guarantee on eBay.

Don't forget buyer's premium and shipping when deciding to plunge.

And the photos, gosh, no time wasted there. Glare, off angle, not what I'm used to, but I guess given the prices, they were saving electricity or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although a bit of a challenge, it looks like it could be restored. The big question is if all the pieces are there, that makes it a lot easier, and you cannot tell from the pictures. I would have to see it in person, and also if there were a way to find out why it is in its current condition. If the instrument were restored the value is greatly diminished because of the condition. This maker's violins are fetching up to 30K however, and if properly done, may be a worthwhile project for a repairman with a couple hundred extra hours to spare.

I would like to have it, if for nothing more than the before, and after pictures I'd be able to brag about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...