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fiddlesurgeon

Illegible label

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I've had this on my ebay watch list. It was getting too pricey for me when it hit $400

At less than 2 hours to go, it is now at $3500.00.

I tried to make out what the label says. I can't make heads or tails of a maker,

but it looks like it has the faint word fecit, so it may be because of this sign

of it being Italian, or maybe its the bow stamped Voirin. Does anyone else have

any thoughts?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380302489906#ht_7282wt_932

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"There are no cracks, chips or separation to this violin"

Other than - at least - two saddle cracks and numerous varnish and wood 'chips'.

Why do people write such things? It can't just be ignorance of violins. Anyone can see that the above statement is simply not true.

Andrew

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But I'm sure someone who is bidding $3500 and is sincere about going through with it would not overlook these in the pictures, or would they? Oops, I hadn't refreshed. its at $4550 now and just under 45 minutes left. :o

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Darn, I wish I had watched the end, from $5800 to $20,000 in less than 2 minutes.

shill bidding party!!!!whoah the label looks like it could say guadagnini, but theres no graft, and the lettering on the label looks fake, something tells me we havent seen the last of this one on ebay

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shill bidding party!!!!whoah the label looks like it could say guadagnini, but theres no graft, and the lettering on the label looks fake, something tells me we havent seen the last of this one on ebay

Yea, if you look at the Bid History, it kinda looks like the real bidders all fell out after about $35.00. Go figure.

-----Barry

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why would they shill bid the price up to 2,000? that would creat an Ebay final value fee that's more than the violin is worth. That doesn't make sense.

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I don't know what this seller is doing, but........

One of the "shill bid scams" I have seen in the past is to have the "winning bidder" be a "non-pay" which then avoids the eBay fee.

The sellar then contacts the "loosing" legitamate buyers, tells them the "winner" was a "non-payer" and asks them if they would like to make an offer.

If an offer is accepted, the buyer thinks they got a bargain and the transaction is completed outside of eBay. No fees for the seller, no protection for the buyer and no opportunity to give negative feedback.

Buyer beware.

-----Barry

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Due to the picture size and resolution of the single side view of the head and neck, I think the evidence is inconclusive re graft. A high quality one would be difficult to tell in the picture provided. MyOldViolin4.jpg

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now i think you are in on selling this fiddlesurgeon, the flame in the neck and the flame in the scroll are the same and there both offset at the same angle :unsure:

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Buyer beware? of what? paying 20K for that fiddle? You've got to be kidding!

j,

"Buyer beware" of the "scam" that I detailed above. If you are contacted by a eBay seller offering to sell you an item you bid on, "due to a non-paying buyer", remember that if you buy the item "outside of eBay" you will have absoulutely no protection (from eBay) from an unscrupulious seller. Don't know how hard that is to understand, but there it is again.

now i think you are in on selling this fiddlesurgeon, the flame in the neck and the flame in the scroll are the same and there both offset at the same angle :unsure:

Lyndon,

I personally would never go so far as to subscribe motive to fiddlesurgeon (whom I have never met), however, I will go so far as to say that YOU are right on the money regarding the flame direction and fade. Good eye. I don't see anything that would indicate a nech graft either.

Due to the picture size and resolution of the single side view of the head and neck, I think the evidence is inconclusive re graft. A high quality one would be difficult to tell in the picture provided. MyOldViolin4.jpg

fiddlesureon,

There is no claim by the eBay seller in their ad that this violin has had a neck graft. Soooooooo........ tell us, whydja bring it up?????????

-----Barry

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now i think you are in on selling this fiddlesurgeon, the flame in the neck and the flame in the scroll are the same and there both offset at the same angle :unsure:

The neck has been replaced. The 'resolution' is fine but after eBay's system compression the image has become too small to see fine detail. Download and enlarge the picture, the joinery can be seen and it is good work.

@ McBenet:

Can you provide any real evidence that a 'scam' was going on? Nowadays eBay can put local law enforcement and/or the FBI on a crook's doorstep before they can say 'scat'. If you don't believe it try running this same auction from your eBay account, if you have one that is.

Somebody recognized that the violin was worth every penny it took to buy it and made sure. So its no different than buying online through a Tarisio auction or anywhere else.

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the difference is you payed 20,000 for a piece of trash, relatively, anyway the point is even neck grafted fiddles with legible labels dont go for 20,000 on ebay, somethings definetly odd about this auction, at tarisio you have an expert opinion on the instrument and its value before you bid, here on ebay you have nothing

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The neck has been replaced. The 'resolution' is fine but after eBay's system compression the image has become too small to see fine detail. Download and enlarge the picture, the joinery can be seen and it is good work.

@ McBenet:

Can you provide any real evidence that a 'scam' was going on? Nowadays eBay can put local law enforcement and/or the FBI on a crook's doorstep before they can say 'scat'. If you don't believe it try running this same auction from your eBay account, if you have one that is.

Somebody recognized that the violin was worth every penny it took to buy it and made sure. So its no different than buying online through a Tarisio auction or anywhere else.

First: As I recall, I stated: "I don't know what this seller is doing" As far as the "scam" that I described, I know 2 people who had THIS "scam" perpetrated on them from 2 different sellers. AGAIN, "I don't know what this seller is doing".

Second: The SELLER made no claim of a neck graft or neck replacement in his/her eBay ad. How do YOU know the neck has been replaced?????

Third: The only other thing I would say is: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." (Shakespears Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Act lll, Scene ll)

-----Barry

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the violin in question does appear to have some kind of fake neck graft but the 'join' to the back of the scroll is just plain in the wrong place, the join would end up showing through the back of the scroll where the grooves are carved, the graft could even have been photoshopped in by the seller, any way this does not look to me like any kind of 1700s italian or german for that matter violin, i say 1800s fake worth a couple thousand ;)

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the violin in question does appear to have some kind of fake neck graft, i say 1800s fake worth a couple thousand ;)

Lyndon,

If you look at the bid history on this item, the last bidder who appears to be a legitimate buyer is listed as i***i (74) with a 100% Positive Feedback. If you click on this buyer, their 30 day history shows they have bid on 30 items listed with 21 different sellers in the last 9 days, all bids appear to have been for string instruments and 19 of them are listed specifically as violins.

The buyer listed as i***i fell out of the bidding at $65.00 (US) on Dec. 27, 2010 at 14:25:16 PST.

The next buyer is listed as ****0 (35460) with a 100% Positive Feedback, but interestingly, this buyer does not show a single bid on a musical instrument of any type in the last 30 days from any seller. ****0's high bid was $67.37 (US). After that, the bidding suddenly goes crazy and the bidding price is run up by a bunch of bidders with extremely low purchase numbers, mostly 0's & 1's.

If you then jump up to the "winning bidder", and check their history, you will note that a***t (winning bidder) has bid on only 3 items in the last 30 days and if you check up in the upper right hand corner you will note that 55% of all his/her bids in the last 30 days have been with this seller.

I think Lyndon's estimated age and value or "1800s fake worth a couple thousand" is awfull generious. Personally, I would put it in about the same range as i***i and guess it's fair market value at less than $100.00 (US) [includeing shipping and handleing].

-----Barry

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fiddlesureon,

There is no claim by the eBay seller in their ad that this violin has had a neck graft. Soooooooo........ tell us, whydja bring it up?????????

-----Barry

Barry,

True, the seller did not mention neck graft, but who bids (or stalks the listings) solely on the basis of written description? How many auctions have you seen recently that are just text and do not include even a single picture? I've seen one recently, but they are few and far between any more.

My impression of a general antique dealer auction site (which is what the seller represents themselves as in their about ME) and not violin or music instrument specialists would be that, confronted with an instrument with a neck graft 1) might, if noticed, consider it a value lessening repair, in which case, fall back on the "I'm no expert, look at the pictures and decide for yourself" disclaimer to avoid a misrepresented item claim, or 2) if it is a well executed graft, it could go unnoticed even.

btw, you'll know if it is me selling by the seller name smartmover, which is probably an oxymoron ;)

(I'm regretting my choice of fiddlesurgeon too, but I'll stick with it anyway).

Steve Hudson

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Barry,

True, the seller did not mention neck graft, but who bids (or stalks the listings) solely on the basis of written description? How many auctions have you seen recently that are just text and do not include even a single picture? I've seen one recently, but they are few and far between any more.

My impression of a general antique dealer auction site (which is what the seller represents themselves as in their about ME) and not violin or music instrument specialists would be that, confronted with an instrument with a neck graft 1) might, if noticed, consider it a value lessening repair, in which case, fall back on the "I'm no expert, look at the pictures and decide for yourself" disclaimer to avoid a misrepresented item claim, or 2) if it is a well executed graft, it could go unnoticed even.

btw, you'll know if it is me selling by the seller name smartmover, which is probably an oxymoron ;)

(I'm regretting my choice of fiddlesurgeon too, but I'll stick with it anyway).

Steve Hudson

Hi Steve,

I checked this seller's other items for sale and also his/her history and discovered that he/she has sold and is selling many violins. He/she may represent themselves as "I'm no expert..." and state all of the customery disclaimers, but it certainly appears (to me) that he/she does in fact have some level of knowledge regarding the items he/she sells. If a seller makes a specific claim, it is up to the buyer to investigate that claim to the best of their ability. If a seller omits a specific claim, particularly one that would increase the value of an item that the seller appears to have at least some knowledge of (dispite disclaimers), then it is usually acceptable to assume the claim does not exist.

The seller makes no claim of a neck graft, pure and simple. OTHERS, who claim no affilliation with this seller do claim there is a neck graft, some of them, quit adamately. I find that --------- odd.

I find the bidding pattern for this particular violin --------- odd.

OTHERS, who claim no affilliation with the seller, suddenly began makeing claims regarding the value of this instrument and justifying the (exprbatent) sale price after I said "Buyer beware". I find that --------- odd.

OTHERS, who claim no affilliation with the seller, demanded that I offer proof of the seller engageing in a scam after I described a scam I had seen in the past but said specifically: "I don't know what this seller is doing...". I find that --------- odd.

OTHERS, who claim no affilliation with the seller, have come forward to streniously defend the inadequcies of the seller. I find that --------- odd.

All of this may not mean anything at all, but, my old daddy used to always tell me: "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, there's a pretty good chance that it's a duck.

"fiddlesurgeon", decent enough name. If you are saveing any fiddles from their demise and returning them to playability and good homes, then by all means, have no regrets regarding the name.

-----Barry

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Lyndon,

If you look at the bid history on this item, the last bidder who appears to be a legitimate buyer is listed as i***i (74) with a 100% Positive Feedback. If you click on this buyer, their 30 day history shows they have bid on 30 items listed with 21 different sellers in the last 9 days, all bids appear to have been for string instruments and 19 of them are listed specifically as violins.

The buyer listed as i***i fell out of the bidding at $65.00 (US) on Dec. 27, 2010 at 14:25:16 PST.

The next buyer is listed as ****0 (35460) with a 100% Positive Feedback, but interestingly, this buyer does not show a single bid on a musical instrument of any type in the last 30 days from any seller. ****0's high bid was $67.37 (US). After that, the bidding suddenly goes crazy and the bidding price is run up by a bunch of bidders with extremely low purchase numbers, mostly 0's & 1's.

If you then jump up to the "winning bidder", and check their history, you will note that a***t (winning bidder) has bid on only 3 items in the last 30 days and if you check up in the upper right hand corner you will note that 55% of all his/her bids in the last 30 days have been with this seller.

I'm a legitimate buyer. I buy better instruments, and seldom bid on more than one or two instruments in a month. What's suspicious about that pattern, especially for someone who has the confidence to pay that kind of money? It looks the last several bids were automatic bids in the last 30 seconds of bidding, and shill bidding doesn't work that way if you are trying to run a price up. Shills are designed to drive the price up to the buyer's maximum, and that's pretty hard to do in 30 seconds. OTOH, if I got a "second chance" offer as a losing bidder, I'd definitely be having second thoughts.

The seller has over 25,000 sales with a near perfect rating. Ebay's feedback system notwithstanding, that looks like a pretty well established seller to me. Clearly, at least two people saw something of interest in that violin. No unjustified claims were made about it. Pretty hard to run a scam under those circumstances. I'm not an expert on old Italian instruments, but I have owned a few and handled a lot more. I can't say anything about that particular instrument based on what I could see in the photos, but I wouldn't reject it out of hand. A lot of old Italian violins don't look like much. We just sold a much less impressive looking violin at the last Tarisio auction in the mid five figures.

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Indeed, what's all the fuss about? It was located in Rhode Island -It would be easy enough for dealers from NY to get a look at it before bidding.

If someone only buys instruments in that range, they wouldn't have a huge feedback rating. I've certainly been to enough junk auctions where there is an item of interest

to experts in the field. Word gets out. The damn things break records. In Chicago there was an early Becker violin at the crummiest antique auction and I swear it went for retail.

Same for a Knut Reindahl. Then in November of this last year there was a Qianlong Chinese vase in a junk auction in a London suburb sold for 43 million pounds to a dealer from mainland China.

I love this particular auctioneer, they have a wide variety of antiques and it is a family run business, taking a lot of consignments. This fiddle caught my eye, I was hoping I could try for it.

Most auction houses are now online, which makes it impossible to "get lucky." Oh well!

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The label doesn't look good to me at all. From here it looks like nothing more than another baked xerox, only over-baked because (second photo) it's not only dark brown but starting to decompose.

Mid-1800s from Tirol maybe?

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