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C.B.Fiddler
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I was going to write you privately Ben since I didn't want to derail this thread but now Jezzupe has brought this up I'll state the basics.

Tire blowout, explosion-hit a fence after swerving right-flipped into the air and spun by the metal fence as it twisted and broke apart, high speed rolling bouncing abot 4 times down a steep hill- clutched the steering tight with my knees arms and tucked my head and held on until everything stopped. concussion, l shoulder injury many bruises and lot of pain, amnesia and persistent headaches and confusion about time. I should have died but I didn't. I will be well in the future as long as I "rest my brain" from the concussion.

Write me privately for more or go to facebook. There's more to this story but I'll leave it for outside this forum. Thank you all for your concern.

Ya, thats why I don't race anymore. well I glad you are ok, that sounds pretty hairy, any time fixed objects and trees are around it becomes a crap shoot. I'm very glad your still with us, and wish you a speedy recovery.

I am going to strongly suggest a "chi" based martial arts in order to quickly regain "yourself"

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I'm a little confused by the prices bandied about in these articles and in regards to others recently. I may be mistaken, but wasn't a recent sale of a Strad a record at just under US$4,000,000? Then I read this quote about Mr. Rosand's violin being sold:

"In October 2009, he sold his 1741 Guarneri del Gesù violin (previously owned by Paul Kochanski) to a Russian businessman for around US$10 million. This was believed to be the highest price ever paid for a violin, and Rosand donated $1.5 million to the Curtis Institute of Music."

Was it really sold for that much, or as has been discussed in the articles, could the price have been inflated by the people handling the sale?

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I'm a little confused by the prices bandied about in these articles and in regards to others recently. I may be mistaken, but wasn't a recent sale of a Strad a record at just under US$4,000,000? Then I read this quote about Mr. Rosand's violin being sold:

"In October 2009, he sold his 1741 Guarneri del Gesù violin (previously owned by Paul Kochanski) to a Russian businessman for around US$10 million. This was believed to be the highest price ever paid for a violin, and Rosand donated $1.5 million to the Curtis Institute of Music."

Was it really sold for that much, or as has been discussed in the articles, could the price have been inflated by the people handling the sale?

I believe you're referring to the sale of the Molitor Strad for $3.6m at Tarisio auction last October. That is the *auction* record for a Strad. Private sale record price is probably higher. Also, Rosand's sale is a del Gesù, so the price point is different.

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B&F or Beare could have spoken up. I understand there might be the perception of "conflict of interest/deal assassination" where dealers might be concerned, but what about 'independents' like Dario D'Attili, iirc, who was still alive at the time?

Roger gave two examples of how people reacted to his warnings, when he was working for Machold: 1)ignore 2) "who the hell are you". How do you think they would have reacted to warnings from Macholds competitors?

Rob

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Roger gave two examples of how people reacted to his warnings, when he was working for Machold: 1)ignore 2) "who the hell are you". How do you think they would have reacted to warnings from Macholds competitors?

Rob

That's hardly the point I'm making. I don't blame the buyers for questioning Roger bona-fides in the 80's; he wasn't anywhere as established then as he is now. The more fundamental issue is everyone else well established in the trade knew, at a minimum, that something was awry (even if matters didn't rise to the standard of proof) in the 80s, yet for whatever personal reasons they didn't cut Machold off (which Fushi finally did around 2008, because Machold stopped paying the bills). I'm of the belief that would have precipitated Machold's demise considerably earlier.

The reason NJSO is holding the proverbial bag is they chose not to listen to their own consultants, who basically told the NJSO officers that the deal was fishy. NJSO apparently also chose not to hire Beare. For that NJSO can only blame themselves.

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I am not in the business so I certainly won't argue on what happened, but when people say : "These people knew", it's usually more a case of " These people had a very strong feeling, but no real proofs"

And in our societies it's very easy to claim something against one person and find yourself being sued in court by 10 very hard working lawyers paid hundreds of thousands dollars when you can only afford 1 unpaid one. And it's not unheard that 20 years later the good one who claimed something is actually proved to be right, but died forgotten and in the mess while the bad one enjoyed wealthy life.

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Well, there are important legal issues here... Since there are no scientific means to determine if a violin is or not a Del Gesù, eventually you have the opinion of expert A against the opinion of expert B. In court, an expert will be called to give his opinion, and again you will have the opinion of expert A against the opinion expert B, the instrument will become suspicious and its current owner will loose money... It is not all that simple.

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"I am not in the business so I certainly won't argue on what happened. . ."

Players have always created their own mythos about the business and the way people operate in it that doesn't reflect reality; which, in fact, consistently contradicts reality. I see a lot of that in this thread. As Roger notes, informed contradiction is futile.

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Indeed battle of expert is common.

One very good example of what would have been of great value for top violins but could not be done is actually what happens for Van Gogh paintings. There is basically only one single organism that determines if a painting is a real Van Gogh or not, that is the Van Gogh museum of Amsterdam. I guess the jury is knowledgeable enough and does the best thy can when a claim is made. Their answer can take quite a long time, and maybe they made mistakes in one way or another but at least the market for Van Gogh is very clear.

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Hi Dean! I am going to write once and once only about this topic (unless or until I feel the urge again). I don't think that I can ever be accused of not speaking out. The problem has always been to shut me up. As you say back in the eighties I worked for Machold in Bremen. And although his father had sold a couple of Strads it was mainly down to me that Dietmar's business took off. I took him to his first auctions in London and introduced him to people in the business. I also fixed up the instruments he wished to sell in a way that seldom happened in Germany at that time. Most of the best German makers were still working in London in the early 80's. Within three years I had set up a workshop with eleven restorers with nine different nationalities. Many of these people are exceptional characters in the business today. It was dynamic and fun to be a part of. We were all well treated and very well paid for our various talents. The Macholds (especially Dietmar) were smart enough to let us get on with what we could do best. But Dietmar was a wizard in his own field and that was making, working with and moving money. He could have sold carpets and done the same kind of deals. Moreover, in spite of the fact that he never had many personal friendships that I was aware of, (and I was very close for a time), he was nevertheless an extremely personable and persuasive personality. It did not surprised me when he began open shops all over the world after I had left the firm.

He sold instruments to God and Mammon. He sold behind the "iron curtain" to many east European countries and even to North Korea. At the same time he was creaming off the western worlds top capitalists. In this respect he took no moral stand where business was concerned.

I have to say that for the first year or two in Bremen I spoke very little German and was not always aware of the financial side of the business. I simply got on with building up the workshop which because of the various nationalities mainly conversed in English. However, slowly and very surely I was introduced to the dealing side. Mainly I traveled and did customer service work on a scale that had never been seen before in our business. I was his trouble shooter and I was good at it. If needed I would fly to Boston to fit a sound post, to Budapest to cut a bridge, and be driven through checkpoint Charley to the North Korean Embassy in a diplomatic car, to adjust the odd Strad or two. I was in my early thirties and I came from a northern English working class family. It was as if all my birthdays came every day. It was fun and it was exciting and I was handling Strads Amaties and Guarneries almost by the hour. So what went wrong? Well, about three years into the job I began to see things that were very unsettling. Attributions that were at best sloppy and at worst........ So in my forth year I decided to get out because quite frankly I thought that the walls would be falling in at any moment. But by this time I had a young family and I had invited many friends to came and work at the shop who also had young families. There were four babies born within one month to the workers in the shop Dec/Jan 1983, and several more later. Rightly or wrongly I felt very responsible for them. So my job became a kind of juggling act. Trying to get out and prepare myself as a solo maker. Trying to help and prepare my colleges for this eventuality and trying to warn customers wherever possible. And all this to be balanced against doing my daily job for the firm and writing articles for the Strad and judging competitions and the like.

There was a lot going on and it took its toll. By the time I finally got away at the beginning of 86, I was on the edge of a breakdown. Any of my Machold colleges will confirm the severity of my state at that time. I was pretty much unbearable. You ask why no-one spoke up. But we did, and often. People either did not hear or chose not to hear. Five years ago a gentleman who bought and swapped an instrument in the early eighties called and said,

"You knew that the instrument I swapped was wrong, because when I said to you this is a good deal you said, 'Its not a deal I would make.'"

Yes I said and you remembered this twenty years later, so why did you do it? And this was not an isolated incident. Even as late as two months ago I told a bank that two Strads that they had lent a huge amount of money against were wrong. And the banks lawyer said,

"Machold is a world famous expert and a well respected dealer. Who are you?"

And this has been the cry so often. Not only do people not wish to hear, but so often they do not wish to rock the boat, either because of the damage that this might do to the business generally, or because they have at one time had dealings with Machold.

In addition there was the problem of proof. We all saw the piles of money but we could prove nothing, and in fact I believe that we would have been in serious danger had we tried. People want to believe what they want to believe and that is how the Machold's of this world have made so many killings.

Almost no-one is immune to the greed that the right story can awaken within us and in this respect Machold is one of the greatest story tellers of the era. Right now I feel genuinely sorry for him, but I also feel more sorry for the musicians and private individuals who have suffered from his excesses. The Bankers will recover (at our expense) but for the rest only time will tell. It has been twenty five years since I left his shop and I have met him only twice since. Like everyone else who left I was quickly ostracized. The shops workers were told to show me nothing and to tell me nothing and generally I was glad of it.

Thank you Roger ( Man of Honour ) Hargrave

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If one is going to put that much money into instruments it would be smart to purchase those that have provenance. Certificates like hill, wurlitzer, beare, etc help. If you buy instruments with no provenance caveat emptor. Many if not most have a history. In my opinion there are not many attic, monestary, castle instruments that are undiscovered.

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This story is awful, and interesting. Does anyone know who he was affiliated with in Seattle?

Reading this reminded me of the divide between most new makers, such as myself, and dealers. We live in a different world.

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I'm a little confused by the prices bandied about in these articles and in regards to others recently. I may be mistaken, but wasn't a recent sale of a Strad a record at just under US$4,000,000? Then I read this quote about Mr. Rosand's violin being sold:

"In October 2009, he sold his 1741 Guarneri del Gesù violin (previously owned by Paul Kochanski) to a Russian businessman for around US$10 million. This was believed to be the highest price ever paid for a violin, and Rosand donated $1.5 million to the Curtis Institute of Music."

Was it really sold for that much, or as has been discussed in the articles, could the price have been inflated by the people handling the sale?

The price you quote for the Rosand fiddle is correct as I remember it from the Strad. Don't be misled about del Gesu/Strad; some say tomato, some say tomahto. Doesn't make one more valuable than the other. Cellists, for instance, often prefer Venetian school.

(And hang onto your hat: another fiddle is said to be coming to market with an MSRP in the neighborhood of $18 million. Some neighborhood, eh?)

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This story is awful, and interesting. Does anyone know who he was affiliated with in Seattle?

Reading this reminded me of the divide between most new makers, such as myself, and dealers. We live in a different world.

Again...a little premature for me to be expressing my thoughts but here goes:

I have purchased from dealers who are great friends. I almost made a high end (when I had money) purchase from a dealer with international reputation but caution from a player (who purchased many high end instruments) and most importantly my gut feeling stopped the deal. The violin was probably as represented but I didn't "bond" with the dealer to a point of trust.

I don't think we live in a different world though. I have never met Jeffrey personally but I know who he is and my radar tells me that Jeffrey is incapable of misrepresentation. There are many others out there like Jeffrey. Then it extends from there....if Jeffrey trusts them they are reliable in my book. I'm not sucking up...just pure feelings.

Actually the big name (and modest) dealers that partake in Maestronet are all good people in my book. Perhaps it's that ability to reveal your feelings and share thoughts that makes these folks endearing but much of it is the timing of statements and how things are stated that reveal a person's character.

Then there are those that don't post here. I met Gregory Singer in NYC with my family. I expected a formality since he sees and deals with outstanding instruments. What I saw was a wonderful gentile man who spoke proudly of his father and took his time with my children as they tried various instruments. This was many years ago and now I know that Manfio works well with him but this doesn't surprise me.

I think there are mostly honest dealers out there at my level of visibility. Machold wasn't someone I would ever run into since I never had that kind of money.

Hope this makes sense-

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Again...a little premature for me to be expressing my thoughts but here goes:

I have purchased from dealers who are great friends. I almost made a high end (when I had money) purchase from a dealer with international reputation but caution from a player (who purchased many high end instruments) and most importantly my gut feeling stopped the deal. The violin was probably as represented but I didn't "bond" with the dealer to a point of trust.

I don't think we live in a different world though. I have never met Jeffrey personally but I know who he is and my radar tells me that Jeffrey is incapable of misrepresentation. There are many others out there like Jeffrey. Then it extends from there....if Jeffrey trusts them they are reliable in my book. I'm not sucking up...just pure feelings.

Actually the big name (and modest) dealers that partake in Maestronet are all good people in my book. Perhaps it's that ability to reveal your feelings and share thoughts that makes these folks endearing but much of it is the timing of statements and how things are stated that reveal a person's character.

Then there are those that don't post here. I met Gregory Singer in NYC with my family. I expected a formality since he sees and deals with outstanding instruments. What I saw was a wonderful gentile man who spoke proudly of his father and took his time with my children as they tried various instruments. This was many years ago and now I know that Manfio works well with him but this doesn't surprise me.

I think there are mostly honest dealers out there at my level of visibility. Machold wasn't someone I would ever run into since I never had that kind of money.

Hope this makes sense-

With my comment I did not mean to infer that any or all dealers are dishonest. I meant to refer to the divide between lifestyles and every day business.

My day is spent sitting in a small shop looking out at nature on a small island. Sometimes I go so long without having a conversation I forget how.

Dealers by the nature of their work deal with people all day long. You must sell every day to keep the doors open. I sell about six days a year.

I know great and honest dealers. I need them to sell my work.

Ben.

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The price you quote for the Rosand fiddle is correct as I remember it from the Strad. Don't be misled about del Gesu/Strad; some say tomato, some say tomahto. Doesn't make one more valuable than the other. Cellists, for instance, often prefer Venetian school.

(And hang onto your hat: another fiddle is said to be coming to market with an MSRP in the neighborhood of $18 million. Some neighborhood, eh?)

If you are talking about the Vieuxtemps del gesu, it is in play and the asking is 18 million.

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With my comment I did not mean to infer that any or all dealers are dishonest. I meant to refer to the divide between lifestyles and every day business.

My day is spent sitting in a small shop looking out at nature on a small island. Sometimes I go so long without having a conversation I forget how.

Dealers by the nature of their work deal with people all day long. You must sell every day to keep the doors open. I sell about six days a year.

I know great and honest dealers. I need them to sell my work.

Ben.

Ahh yes. Now I understand what you wrote. I hope I didn't offend you with my comment. I didn't see yours as negative but I didn't understand the difference you meant until now.

Hit my limit and will be offline so I can't respond for awhile.

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Well, there are important legal issues here... Since there are no scientific means to determine if a violin is or not a Del Gesù, eventually you have the opinion of expert A against the opinion of expert B. In court, an expert will be called to give his opinion, and again you will have the opinion of expert A against the opinion expert B, the instrument will become suspicious and its current owner will loose money... It is not all that simple.

I don't know. I think people are making these considerations more complicated than it ought to be. Rarely is opinion split evenly down the middle, or that it comes down to A vs. B. In reading these stories one gets the impression it's Machold vs. everybody else.

A buyer purchases an instrument from a dealer. The buyer gets tipped off that the article is misrepresented. He then seeks out the opinions of other experts. If expert A (the seller) claims the article is made by X, and the REST of the experts say it's NOT X, what's the big hang-up? If the buyer makes a big enough stink, buyer returns article to A and gets refund. At least in the US I think that's how it's supposed to work. Don't know about other countries. Yes, I acknowledge that matters get considerably more complicated if it's a trade-in, as Roger mentioned.

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I notice one of Tarisio's top lots coming up

The ex-Castelbarco Composite Stradivarius

A FINE COMPOSITE ITALIAN VIOLIN BY ANTONIO STRADIVARI, CREMONA, 1707

Labeled, "Antonio Stradivarius, Cremonensis, 1707..."

The top early 19th century, attributed to the work of Nicolas Lupot. The ribs and head 18th century Italian work, attributed to Matteo Goffriller. LOB 35.5 cm

Stradivari?!

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I notice one of Tarisio's top lots coming up

The ex-Castelbarco Composite Stradivarius

A FINE COMPOSITE ITALIAN VIOLIN BY ANTONIO STRADIVARI, CREMONA, 1707

Labeled, "Antonio Stradivarius, Cremonensis, 1707..."

The top early 19th century, attributed to the work of Nicolas Lupot. The ribs and head 18th century Italian work, attributed to Matteo Goffriller. LOB 35.5 cm

Stradivari?!

If it was described as a composite violin, the attributed work of one French and two Italian makers, clearly it will never generate a whole lot of interest!

Your post raises an interesting point, when as in this case the work of the named maker is roughly only a third of the whole instrument, can it really be considered fair or right to call it a fine composite violin by Stradivari?

It will be interesting to see how the sale goes......

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If it was described as a composite violin, the attributed work of one French and two Italian makers, clearly it will never generate a whole lot of interest!

Your post raises an interesting point, when as in this case the work of the named maker is roughly only a third of the whole instrument, can it really be considered fair or right to call it a fine composite violin by Stradivari?

It will be interesting to see how the sale goes......

It's estimated sale price is way below what would be expected for a complete Strad. If it sounda and plays like it could based on the attributed maker(s), it would be a bargain for a concert player.

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It's estimated sale price is way below what would be expected for a complete Strad. If it sounda and plays like it could based on the attributed maker(s), it would be a bargain for a concert player.

If this was a car, the back half of the chassis would be a Ferrari, the front half a Renault with a Renault engine, the rest a Bugati....:)

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