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I always enjoy looking at what's for sale and watching the bidding that goes on in the Tarisio auctions and this time around is no exception.

One item in particular (a violin by GIOVANNI BATTISTA MORASSI) seems to be generating a lot of interest - right from the start of the opening of bidding in this auction - usually I notice things get busy only in the last few days/hours or so. What do you think it is about this instrument that is making it so appealing, to the extent that it has already gone well over the estimate with yet another 4 days to go?

Link to item: Giovanni Battista Morassi violin

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Not to be controversial,but i think im spotting some dealer price hiking going on (or dealer cooperation,it does go on regularly at most auctions).

Ive noticed several of these buyers regularly on Tarisio and they buy too many items to be nothing but dealers.They always bid too early on and thats not usual dealer behaviour, if they are really after something for the cheapest price. Check also lot 67 the voirin bow with 23 bids,you,ll recognise the same bidders.

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Putting aside dealer involvement and looking at the Morassi on it's own merits, I would say it has a lot going for it.

It is attractive to look at and made of first class materials. It is in essentially perfect condition and does not need restoration. Add to that the fact that violins by Morassi are reputed to be excellent playing instruments and are used by a host of professionals, and it all adds up to a very nice buy.

Violins by Bellini ans Zygmuntovich sell for very high prices, and it could be argued that Morassi is easily their equal. Larry.

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One thing to consider is the weakness of the dollar these days, I

think that reflects some higher violin U.S. auction prices. If a

european buyer is interested and has euros to spend, they have much

more purchasing power against us Americans than they did just a few

years ago. That would be a 10-12 K instrument a few years ago from

a euro viewpoint, just on currency exchange. I have no idea if that

is a factor in this particular case, but its got to start trickling

down sometime, and I believe that maker is quite popular world

wide. Still not a bad buy vs some of the superstar American makers

that charge 30K.

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From what I understand, Morassi is very much in demand in Japan and the rest of Asia. There don't seem to be very many of them available in the U.S.

Your point on the currency exchange is well taken. Take a look at some of the prices on German bows...

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Yes, there is a craving for contemporary Cremonese violins in Japan.... If you say you have fine instruments made in Florence , Bologna, Pisa or other Italian city they will not be willing to see them, they just want instruments made in Cremona.

We discussed that sometimes ago in the Italian forum on Claudio Rampini's site. Rampini told me that the Japanese taste and market has even influenced the style of living makers in Cremona.

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