Sign in to follow this  
stern

World Authority

Recommended Posts

Yes, the BEST expert is the one that agrees with you :)

[and this might also apply to the posts above that popped up while I was typing this, depending on whose "consensus" we are talking about]:

A nice quote, something that I heard several times from Bob Bein regarding owners who shop their instruments around trying to build up a bulk of unknown and unqualified appraisers who say the same elevated thing about their mutt violins: "Ten bad opinions don't equal one good one."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Only if your reason for inquiring about a fiddle is to get your ego massaged. If what you want is good information and, with an open mind, you ask enough people and do some of your own research and thinking, the good sense from the nonsense tends to sort itself out.

As I mentioned, don't discount greed. It's often as-or-more powerful than ego... and I've heard some rather interesting justifications as to why an owner will take the word of one individual over another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may have misunderstood. My comment concerned your list, those missing from it, and the consumer recognition of those on it... and that it might just be that I'm in a better position to know about these (and the missing) individuals and their reputations internationally than you are... There are a number not on your list which should certainly, and not arguably, be there.

This list is certainly not all inclusive and if there are others who should be on the list I believe most here welcome that information-problem is seems some are reluctant to give it!

The list was derived by asking most on the list "Who would you take this fiddle to?" Charles Beare once told me via email to take a fiddle to Mr. Bein which I did.

As stated there are some people who are very good at identifying certain makers who most likely would never make a list such as this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
depending on whose "consensus" we are talking about

The consensus that would be important would be that of the experts I'm consulting, with some kind of weight placed on their opinions according to reputation. That weighting of opinions might very well make the opinion of one well regarded shop worth more than a number of opinions from lesser known shops.

The "consensus" between my non-expert preconceptions and one dealer who happens to say something I was hoping for, while all the other expert opinions disagree, should be very suspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as giving Mr. Beare's list-one response was-

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.

Not sure why the hesitancy to mention the names that Charles Beare gave as it is only "his" opinion and many here do not have access to the VSA Journal of 1994.

From my observations it does appear that violin identification has become more specialized. Who are the top specialists? Speaking to dealers through out the world the general consensus seems to be if you have a fiddle that you think is-

Dutch- Andreas Post- Amsterdam

Flemish/Belgian- Jan Strick- Brussels

French-Jean Jacques Rampal/Vatelot Paris

German- Hieronymus Kostler-Stuttgart

Italian especially older ones-Charles Beare-London

Modern Italian-Eric Blot-Cremona

English-Andrew Fairfax-London

American-David Bromberg-Wilmington, Delaware

French Bows- Jean Francois Raffin-Paris

German Bows- Karl Schmidt-Dresden

In the U.S. Jim Warren-Chicago, Chris Reuning-Boston,Christophe Landon-New York

These seem to be the names that come up time and time again and whose opinion seems to be generally valued in the world violin trade- Do not know what names Mr. Beare mentioned as I do not have access to the 1994 VSA Journal.

I have personally met and dealt with all on this list and have found that the majority of dealers/makers throughout the world seem to be in agreement with this list- thus this is the consensus among the people in violin business- not my own personal opinion.

Stern i think youve left off Bernard Millant for French bows and also Paul Childs is well respected in the US.

Also for Dutch and possibly Flemish ,Fred Lindemann is long respected, though not sure how much authentification he does.His opinion is worth getting though.

Charles Beare knowledge spans further than Italians .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will need soon an specialist in Chinese instruments...

The first thing I do now when someone shows me a recently acquired modern Italian is to see if it's Chinese or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stern i think youve left off Bernard Millant for French bows and also Paul Childs is well respected in the US.

Also for Dutch and possibly Flemish ,Fred Lindemann is long respected, though not sure how much authentification he does.His opinion is worth getting though.

Charles Beare knowledge spans further than Italians .

Yes Millant for French Bows should be on the list, Childs though is not known much outside the U.S.

Millant and Raffin more well known internationally for french bows.

Agreed that Mr. Beare's knowledge includes makers outside Italy- thus the thread title World Authority

Internationally he has the reputation for being the best at old italians in the world- his opinions and certificates

are seldom disputed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes Millant for French Bows should be on the list, Childs though is not known much outside the U.S.

Millant and Raffin more well known internationally for french bows.

Agreed that Mr. Beare's knowledge includes makers outside Italy- thus the thread title World Authority

Internationally he has the reputation for being the best at old italians in the world- his opinions and certificates

are seldom disputed.

.............................................

Didn't Childs just curate the RAM London Tourte exhibition?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.............................................

Didn't Childs just curate the RAM London Tourte exhibition?

Yup. He also was the author of an excellent book on the Peccatte family and another on Persois. I completely disagree that his reputation stops at the US boarder. I have requests for his certificates rather regularly from clients internationally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tangentially OT:

I would be interested in thoughts on the profusion of coloured 'atlases' of stringed intruments that have appeared in the last few years or are due to appear.

Does this say anything about the expertise of the 'collator' of the photo album?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just now struggled through this thread, so please forgive untimely responses to much earlier posts.

What's with calling Jeffrey on the carpet for not producing a list of names? I don't know what his reasons are, and haven't spoken to him about it, but I do the same. In my case, a lot has to do with potential liability issues and friendship issues, through inclusion or omission of a name, accidental or otherwise.

My (unexpert) opinion is that he's pretty well connected with the world expertise structure. So please take what you can get, and be grateful that he's posting as much info as he does. thumbsup.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree 100% David. Jeffrey, IMHO, has every right to give as much or as little info as he chooses, and, again in my opinion, gives far more than we probably deserve.

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agree 100% David. Jeffrey, IMHO, has every right to give as much or as little info as he chooses, and, again in my opinion, gives far more than we probably deserve.

Neil

I second that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We will need soon an specialist in Chinese instruments...

And one specializing in verifying modern copies. Some of these makers show characteristic quirks which they can't seem to get rid of, so one can nail the maker. Others aren't so readily identifiable. Since fraud has a rich tradition in the violin trade, what happens when skilled but little-known copyists find it most profitable to copy the better known copyists? Maybe it's already going on.

I think a maker working with freedom, in their own personal style, offers a lot more clues. Maybe Jeffrey, Pasewicz, or Weinstein will comment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since fraud has a rich tradition in the violin trade, what happens when skilled but little-known copyists find it most profitable to copy the better known copyists? Maybe it's already going on.

Indeed.

It was my impression that many of the better/lesser known American makers have been re-labeled as Italians for many years now.

Perhaps the Italian well has run dry when it comes to the big names, and we will be seeing a steady stream of "smaller" names coming up to bat.

Or maybe we already are! :)

So, who out there can really!!!! spot a fake Antoniazzi/Fagnola/Bisiach/Bisiach school/Sgarabatto violin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed, I thought it was really bad form to call Jeffrey on that.

As one of the people to call Mr. Holmes out on his posts on this topic, I apologize. I did not fully think it through and responded in a manner that does not reflect my respect for his handling the multiple tasks of being a maker, adviser and moderator of this forum. It was very bad form for me not to consider his position and the very wise path he takes in trying and succeeding in remaining as impartial as possible. Others have opined on this question and filled in the blanks and in re-reading this topic, Jeffery has handled a sensitive topic very skillfully. Again, I did not fully understand the difficult position that he is charged with and responded in an inappropriate manner.

Teo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to try my new book the first chapters of which are on my web site. Its called something like: The Identification of Classical Italian Violins.

And no-one has mentioned him but John Dilworth is one of the great unsung experts. As is Phil Cass. Its not always the high profile boys (and girls) that have the real knowlege. Several of those named are not all that they are cracked up to be. For a number of reasons I am really quite worried about the future of expertise. To become an expert you need to see very many instruments and the oportunity of doing that are becoming less as dealing generally has spread itself out. The great concentrations of instruments no longer exsist. When I worked at Hills, Aurthur Geofreys talked of the 1920's and 30's when they had as many as fifteen to twenty Strads in the shop at any one time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard in Italy many times that having files with photos of thousands instruments is quite quite important to make atributions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The great violin experts of today stem from an older tradition. That particular tradition was molded around finer instruments, which are now beyond the reach of a common musician. With the growing demand for violins and bows alike, many little-known makers from various corners of Europe take a prominent place in today's marketplace. With thousands of luthiers whose names are perpetuated in the literature, I doubt that ANY great expert in the world specializing in violin appraisal would be able to provide an objective opinion on a stunning Strad copy made by a master working in say Dubeč bei Říčany (unless that opinion is 'I don't know').

With that said, I see the future of violin identification being divided among several experts specializing in specific schools because the current model of experts is becoming more and more obsolete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

I don't know. Maybe people will go back to choosing a violin because they like the way it sounds. c040.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

La Folia wrote:

"I don't know. Maybe people will go back to choosing a violin because they like the way it sounds."

Hummm.... yes, that still happens a lot!!! .....

The problem is that we receive many professionals who got instruments which sound (and labels) they loved, but eventually we have to tell them that they had put good money on a fake instrument!!!

This is a good reason for the existence of experts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see the future of violin identification being divided among several experts specializing in specific schools because the current model of experts is becoming more and more obsolete.

An acquaintence of mine who deals in both violins and art told me that what you see for the future of violin authentification is current practice in the world of fine art. He said that there is no one in the art world who is an acknowledged expert on many artists. Instead, for each artist there is just one person whose opinion is widely regarded as the authoritative last word. That person has often written a PhD thesis on the artist.

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.