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bestviolins ebay "Italian" violin


mayofiddler6

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>How do they get away with it?

Because people are greedy and stupid and want to believe that they're getting a bargain. Or, they have too much money and feel a need to spend it on something without doing appropriate background research.

I've seen the same thing happen in the vintage mechanical wristwatch world. The number of fake wristwatches out there is stunning. However, taking a $5 generic watch and scratching "Breitling" into the movement with an engraver does not turn it into a $1500 "rarity," no matter what a seller says. And yet, morons are buying these watches--and I don't think all the buyers are shills.

This is killing the wristwatch market. Its effects on the violin market are much less pronounced at the moment, because people who care still tend to buy their instruments channels other than eBay and flea markets.

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I'm sure they reckon that if the South Tirol can be called Italian, so can this fiddle :)

Speaking of Finolli violins, I have a very old unlabeled violin that was sold with an insurance paper

that states the violin to be a Finolli but the paper is partly ripped and there is no way of know whether or not the paper and the violin belong together. I am looking for an image of a known example but with no success.

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mayofiddler6, I can't argue with your main point, but still, I do wonder how a violin can be, "demonstrably German." Will it only play German composers? Smells like schnitzel?

Perhaps, "obviously German"?

Sorry; Feelin' fussy on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Rat

Or maybe it's German because of its precise intonation, its pure harmonies... After all, they make produce high quality instruments there.

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mayofiddler6, I can't argue with your main point, but still, I do wonder how a violin can be, "demonstrably German." Will it only play German composers? Smells like schnitzel?

Perhaps, "obviously German"?

Sorry; Feelin' fussy on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Rat

Demonstrably German in terms of scroll, arching, varnish and f-holes. I was talking physical characteristics rather than musical. I forget there are players here as well as makers :-)

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Speaking of Finolli violins, I have a very old unlabeled violin that was sold with an insurance paper

that states the violin to be a Finolli but the paper is partly ripped and there is no way of know whether or not the paper and the violin belong together. I am looking for an image of a known example but with no success.

I put up some images of my fiddle, if anyone can help if would if be grateful.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-5/1259352/jaf01.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-5/1259352/jaf02.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-5/1259352/jaf03.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-5/1259352/jaf04.jpg

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-5/1259352/jaf05.jpg

Isn't it more the English fiddles that have heads that look from the side sort of thick and crowded, or bunched-up (I can't think of a better way to describe what I mean). Or am I just confused?

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bean_fidhleir do you have a pic of the scroll from the front? The violin looks vaguely Milanese but I think the scroll is wrong. If it's Italian then I'd put it more in the Neapolitan camp. Not happy with the varnish either, it's a bit grubby brown for an Italian violin but it's hard to see as the light is yellow. The varnish might just squeeze into the English colour but the ffs aren't right for that.

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bean_fidhleir do you have a pic of the scroll from the front? The violin looks vaguely Milanese but I think the scroll is wrong. If it's Italian then I'd put it more in the Neapolitan camp. Not happy with the varnish either, it's a bit grubby brown for an Italian violin but it's hard to see as the light is yellow. The varnish might just squeeze into the English colour but the ffs aren't right for that.

I've no photos at all - it's Priya's fiddle. I put that image into photoshop and massaged it a wee bit and the color looks better. But even with the excess yellow pulled out (judging by the neck), the varnish looks very red, as though it's orange underneath rather than yellow. Or maybe the maker used burnt sienna rather than burnt umber.

Agreed that the fs are wrong for the English idea of Stainer's model, but who was it that did that "bunchy" sort of scroll if not the English (I really don't know). Do you know what I'm meaning? It almost (to me) looks a cello scroll from its proportions: thick through the pegbox for its length, with an S-curve like a mountain road, and then a scroll with no throat that's over-large in proportion to the pegbox.

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This guy regularly has a rake of demonstrably German violins labeled as Italian for sale. But this one has to take the biscuit. It's so German that it might as well be invading Poland.

http://cgi.ebay.ie/Old-antique-italian-vio...tem320332819616

How do they get away with it?

I checked this seller's feedback. There were a number of buyers who complained that their expensive violins were actually Chinese or Bohemian or something other than the description. Ebay does not police the sellers the way they say they do. They allow sellers to break all of the rules, including selling junk and refusing to give refunds, and accumulating large numbers of negative feedbacks from buyers. I asked bestviolins a question about the repairs on one of his violins because I couldn't see the repairs in his pics and he sent me a very snotty reply--the repairs were "invisible" on his violin because it was "expensive." According to him, repairs on expensive violins are always invisible. Right. I then checked the feedback (went all the way back to beginning) and discovered this guy was a fraud. I would guess that all of his fiddles are faked with ancient looking labels. Some of them may sound good, but if they were authentic, he would be selling them at a well-known auction site like Christie's or Sotheby's or Bonham's. He makes a lot of money on eBay--check the prices on the "completed" listings under his name. If you want to do business on eBay and get a good authentic violin, try Jesse Kamien (pahdah_hound)--he's honest.

Bonnie

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Funny that I saw this thread, since I had just come to Mastronet to see what people had to say about Bestviolins. He has some very nice looking, seemingly old violins (to judge by the finish). But they don't have the cracks and other damage you would expect in a bunch of older fiddles. I wonder if they are German violins. Perhaps htey are all new Chinese violins with faked old varnish. It reminds me of a comment I once saw about fake old duck decoys: no one ever wants a duck with a broken bill. So the fakes never have a broken bill. And these violins don't have any offputting damage like cracks or open seams.

This guy regularly has a rake of demonstrably German violins labeled as Italian for sale. But this one has to take the biscuit. It's so German that it might as well be invading Poland.

http://cgi.ebay.ie/Old-antique-italian-vio...tem320332819616

How do they get away with it?

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Funny that I saw this thread, since I had just come to Mastronet to see what people had to say about Bestviolins. He has some very nice looking, seemingly old violins (to judge by the finish). But they don't have the cracks and other damage you would expect in a bunch of older fiddles. I wonder if they are German violins. Perhaps htey are all new Chinese violins with faked old varnish.

Chinese violins are available with some really impressive antiquing these days. A friend of mine regularly shows me instruments to see if I think they pass the "Are they real or are they Memorex?" test. Some of his better Chinese violins really match the look and feel of turn of the century German trade fiddles that have bumped around for 80-100 years. Some of the new stuff sounds better, too--at least compared to thick-plated German trade fiddles that have bumped around for 80-100 years.

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I've no photos at all - it's Priya's fiddle.

Oops! Sorry, I saw the links in your quote and thought you had originally sent them.

Agreed that the fs are wrong for the English idea of Stainer's model, but who was it that did that "bunchy" sort of scroll if not the English (I really don't know). Do you know what I'm meaning? It almost (to me) looks a cello scroll from its proportions: thick through the pegbox for its length, with an S-curve like a mountain road, and then a scroll with no throat that's over-large in proportion to the pegbox.

Well if we're talking Milan then Bisiach was pretty similar and Grancino was even more monumental I think. In Genoa there was Rocca whom I feel made scrolls thicker and more curvy than the one on Priya's violin, although perhaps with a slightly larger throat. The Brits tended to have very scrunched up turns to the scroll when viewed from the side, with a massive area above the turns left "plain". That's not the case with this one, it's fairly evenly spread over the whole circle.

To be honest if I just saw the body I'd think it was Italian, but the varnish and scroll are really throwing me as they look German, especially as I can see the front view now. I'm wondering if it could be from Bolzano or that area, which would have Germanic influences? I can't see the arching in the pics as there are no reflections. Is it high? Does it rise suddenly in the centre around the ffs? It's so frustrating not having the thing in your hands, you can see and feel so much more :-(

I know nothing about Eastern European violins, I've never had an interest in them and you can only absorb so much. But maybe somebody who has could rule that in or out for you.

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It seems to me that dealers have found this guy. No way individuals would pay $4000+ for a violin on eBay.

With all due respect, I beg to differ. While I am happy with dealers bidding on my violins, virtually all of the $4000+ violins I have sold through eBay auctions (50 or more) have sold to private players or collectors. In fact, I enjoy hearing from many of them from time to time. The violins that sell for upwards of $10,000 on eBay at auction are usually well-known things bid on by people who trust the seller and have confidence in the seller's return policy. While I often take returns and provide refunds, the most expensive things I sell almost always stick. Recently, due to the economy, I have sold several violins on eBay that used to be $4000 or more, but fail to bring half that much. Some have even been returned despite the bargain prices. It is a problem for me because the wholesale suppliers are very sticky coming down in price, and the eBay bidders are dropping out like poisoned flies.

Two years ago, my average number of page hits for a 7 day eBay auction violin listing was over 1000. A ten day listing for a valuable thing often got more than 1500 views. Now, I get less than 800 on average. The number of lookers who "watch" one of my violin auctions has also dropped. So the environment is much more challenging for me, but that very difficulty will drive away my competition and get me a larger share of the market. As long as I can continue to make a little profit from time to time.

Things will someday get better and then today's environment of advantageous deals on eBay will look like the "good old days".

jesse

Bestviolins annoys me a bit because he likes to use some of my descriptions for his listings. He is clever enough to change a word or a few which prevents me from getting the eBay police to nail him on intellectual property theft. It is annoying though, to read my words in someone elses' bogus listing. And based on his watchcounts, his violins get plenty of action.

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This guy regularly has a rake of demonstrably German violins labeled as Italian for sale. But this one has to take the biscuit. It's so German that it might as well be invading Poland.

http://cgi.ebay.ie/Old-antique-italian-vio...tem320332819616

How do they get away with it?

Hi, friends, i am bestviolins. Please if you have questions, you can contact me directly :)) I give 14 days return policy, total customer satisfaction lies at the core of my company’s philosophy.

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I missed it too. Why did you describe it as "antique italian" if you supposed (for a few minutes?) it could be tyrolian. I also wonder about your description: " repair not visible" and "no crack.... on the back". What´s about the button? You are really luthier and denote it as "repair"? BTW 14 days return is not generous, in german law every internet dealer has to guarantee one month return.

It was a good post to hold the thread alive. thanks!

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