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Next Friday May 22 Charles Beare will turn 72 years old. He is generally regarded as the top authority in violin identification-especially old italians- in the world. Now he only occasionally comes into his shop in London.

Within the next ten years he may retire completely.

Who will assume his position? Who in the violin world is as respected to take his place? Any opinions who the most respected authorities are in this world wide business?

Perhaps not just one person but several?

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Within the next ten years he may retire completely.

From the Wikipedia bio of the conductor Pierre Monteux:

"From 1961 to 1964 he was principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. He was 86 when he was invited to take the post, and he famously accepted on condition that he had a 25-year contract, with a 25-year option of renewal".

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Next Friday May 22 Charles Beare will turn 72 years old. He is generally regarded as the top authority in violin identification-especially old italians- in the world. Now he only occasionally comes into his shop in London.

Within the next ten years he may retire completely.

Who will assume his position? Who in the violin world is as respected to take his place? Any opinions who the most respected authorities are in this world wide business?

Perhaps not just one person but several?

How about René Morel?

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I see several people trying really aggressively to position themselves to be perceived as the replacement, but they just don't have the chops. I don't think there's anyone qualified for the job at this point. Whether someone will manage to convince players that he's the man is another issue based more on theater than qualifications.

I'm thinking that the day of one man expertise is gone--there's too much to know, and it's impossible for one person to collect the type of study collection and reference materials CB has gathered and learned from, now.

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How about René Morel?

I believe Rene Morel is closer to full retirement then Charles Beare. I do not believe Morel does much regarding identification/certification anymore.

Very interesting to see the lack of response to this thread and the question it poses. Is that more because

1. there is no one to take his place? 2. People do not want to say? 3. People don't know or have an opinion?

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I was curious why you decided to start this thread into the auction scroll, but It's not all that important, I guess.

I was simply going to replay "several" when I first read the questions... it's been headed that way for years (specialization).

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I was curious why you decided to start this thread into the auction scroll, but It's not all that important, I guess.

I was simply going to replay "several" when I first read the questions... it's been headed that way for years (specialization).

Since the auction scroll deals more with sales, identification, certifications then the fingerboard or music happenings I thought it would fit better here then the others. It could certainly be moved to another board if better suited- perhaps it should have been started on the pegbox.

Just a little surprised at the lack of response to the initial question- or perhaps the silence is an answer in itself.

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I think the pegbox would have been a good place for the thread (check the forum description).

BTW: Charles actually spoke to this question, even mentioning names, during a question/answer session following a talk at the VSA convention in Portland, 2004.

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I think the pegbox would have been a good place for the thread (check the forum description).

BTW: Charles actually spoke to this question, even mentioning names, during a question/answer session following a talk at the VSA convention in Portland, 2004.

Care to share those names for those of us that weren't there?

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Very interesting to see the lack of response to this thread and the question it poses. Is that more because

1. there is no one to take his place? 2. People do not want to say? 3. People don't know or have an opinion?

I think that you asked a question where the people who don't know what they're talking about, which is where most discussion comes from, are at a loss, for a change. People outside the specific field are very late to realize who knows what in this particular arena, and historically have often chosen wrong, based on theater not expertise. When you sit down with people who make their living selling violins, the list of who to trust becomes very short, and also very qualified as to who knows which areas well, how often they make mistakes, anyway, and why. It's not how many times you fire the gun that counts--it's your percentage of bulls-eyes.

In expertise there's the stuff that's obvious to everyone, the stuff that's obvious to no one, and the hazy stuff in the middle. Real-world functional expertise is greatly defined by one's failure to make mistakes in the hazy areas, and that's more connected with integrity than knowledge. Integrity is in shorter supply than information. Trying to be a flashy, aggressive dealer conflicts strongly with integrity, and I think CB's strength is that he is a real first-rate scholar as well as a dealer, which is a very rare combination. The people I have known who are good experts in some way or another are driven about it, and spend a lot of time tucked away in a corner trying to learn--geeks, in short. :-)

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Care to share those names for those of us that weren't there?

I think I'll pass on that... for a whole lot of reasons.

The exchange may appear in the VSA Journal, but I haven't checked.

Honestly, I'd be more likely to answer a question like "who are the best people to show "item X" to?" if asked in private... In public, it would depend on item X and the circumstances. Then again, I'm not Charles. :-)

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Next Friday May 22 Charles Beare will turn 72 years old. He is generally regarded as the top authority in violin identification-especially old italians- in the world. Now he only occasionally comes into his shop in London.

Within the next ten years he may retire completely.

Who will assume his position? Who in the violin world is as respected to take his place? Any opinions who the most respected authorities are in this world wide business?

Perhaps not just one person but several?

No disrespect to anyone living, but there is no replacement.

With the passing of Dario d'Atilli and Bob Bein, the era of experts who

a. had ready access to the world's finest violins and

b. possessed a photographic memory, closed, except for CB.

Roger Hargrave once commented that anyone can become a violin expert. All that is required is a pair of gold rimmed spectacles, a sharp suit and some Italian shoes. A bow tie is optional. This more or less sums up the situation. Enigmatic grunts when examining an instrument also help.

Maybe it is the fear of lawsuits that deters bankable attributions but it seems that people are more willing to endorse a Hill certificate than stick their neck out and make independent pronouncements.

The escalation in violin prices may be a factor here.

Glenn

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Ah, but a Hill cert from WHEN??? That's the real question.

I'll be unfair, and say that for literally decades I have heard from multiple people that Christophe Landon could become the next great expert IF he would buckle down and focus on that one thing, instead of being so darned busy at doing everything. I don't know that first person--I'm just repeating something I've heard from several different well-qualified directions. It doesn't just center on having the skill: one also needs the will.

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I took my violin to have an appraisal and went two different experts. Both famous names in the business

which I will not mention in this post. One expert opinioned the value of the violin was $3000-5000.

The second expert opinioned the value was $70,000-$80,000.

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Maybe it is the fear of lawsuits that deters bankable attributions but it seems that people are more willing to endorse a Hill certificate than stick their neck out and make independent pronouncements.

The escalation in violin prices may be a factor here.

There are certainly individuals that don't rely on the opinions of the past in order to develop their own... Then again, there is often something to lean from opinions of the past. As long as the order of discovery is "correct", I have no problem with this.

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I took my violin to have an appraisal and went two different experts. Both famous names in the business

which I will not mention in this post. One expert opinioned the value of the violin was $3000-5000.

The second expert opinioned the value was $70,000-$80,000.

So which one was right? :-)

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I paid $3,000 so there you have it.

Well, what if it really is worth the twentyfold? - That would have been a good deal. :-)

I believe that is how dealers work to smaller or larger degrees. I suppose you will get a different value range if the expert expect to buy the instrument or if he or she is getting paid for the valuation for a possible sale to a third party or for insurance purposes..

Lets try a definition: The most sucessful expert is the one being able to deal successfully, and being able to find and identify gold among something not expcted to be. Or identifying the non valuable among thought to be valuable samples.. The best knowledge makes you superior. I suppose if your dealing- and salesman skills are good, you are sucessful in the business.

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I took my violin to have an appraisal and went two different experts. Both famous names in the business

which I will not mention in this post. One expert opinioned the value of the violin was $3000-5000.

The second expert opinioned the value was $70,000-$80,000.

Was the second expert willing to write a certificate confirming his attribution and valuation?

Glenn

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Pryia will give it to me to sell to the second expert for about $65K and I'll take my commission out of that, deal?

So that is a typical way to do it, to sell in comission? What do you think is typical percentage taken in comission? 10%? Or maybe dependant on the price.

(We are probably far off the topic now, sorry for that)

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Pryia will give it to me to sell to the second expert for about $65K and I'll take my commission out of that, deal?

That one has put a smile on my face ! buissness is buissness !

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