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Wm. Johnston

Is Fulton selling his collection?

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I was looking at the Bein and Fushi website today and saw that the General Kyd is still listed for sale. The Duke of Alba is also listed there, maybe this one had been listed a while too but I wouldn't have noticed it without the Homage cd. Is Fulton selling some of his collection?

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Fulton seems to hint at it towards the end of the interview on the DVD portion of "Hommage".

Yes, I remember him talking about what will happen to his collection but then doesn't say anything in particular. I guess one of the things that I'm wondering is if he wants responsibility for less instruments? I can think of other possibilities too.

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On the DVD Fulton also says that he thinks the best way to preserve great violins like those in his collection is by selling them to people who spend a lot of money to acquire them. His thinking is that if millions are spent on a violin, the owner will give it the best care to preserve its value. It's well-known that simply locking a violin up in a vault is not a good way to preserve its value. But the general question of how best to preserve these treasures is not a simple one. They need to be played but the rigors of a full concert career might be too much. Ehnes says on the DVD that some violins by great makers have been beaten up during long concert careers. I think that more than just spending a lot of money is needed. The purchaser has to appreciate, no love, the instrument, too. Meanwhile, most of the instruments in Fulton's collection are pretty removed from concert use or recording, depriving the music-loving public of hearing them. For me that's the real gift of the Homage set. We get a chance really to compare the sound of the instruments played by the same player. The best part of the DVD for me is the "extras" section where the violins are used to play the same music from Bruch's Scottish Fantasy, covering a large part of the range of the instrument. We can compare how the G-string of the Baron Knoop strad compares to that of the Lord Wilton DG, for example.

I remember that Fulton also said that he sells instruments from the collection that he is less than totally pleased with. Maybe the Duke of Alba strad is not one of his favorites. Another question, is he still open to adding to the collection? Wouldn't the General Kyd be a good acquisition?

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