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I am considering purchasing a violin currently on ebay described as "very interesting 18th c. violin". I am unsure if this is a good instrument as described and at a reasonable price. I think it is a nice looking instrument and the seller assures me it has a good tone ect. If anyone on this forum could take a look and pass on their opinion It would be most appreciated. The instrument is listed under "buy it now " (not auction), the item number is ebay 250976052187 and the seller is 150vbb1963. Thanks.

The asking price is $US4,500


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This is a tricky one. The violin is certainly pretty, I don't know what it is - different bits remind me of different things, is it Mittenwald? It looks late 18th century, and I can't see any big issues with the condition, though it seems to have been over-varnished on the table. I can't comment on the price because I can't tell who made it .... I would guess that the price is fair, and about what you'd pay at auction.

Looking at the seller's feedback, s/he appears to have sold some expensive items which people have liked, but we don't know if that means anything, maybe they were all fools! There are several returns in there, a sure sign of a seller "overselling" items slightly (not mentioning repairs or being optimistic about provenance/value).

The reason why I wouldn't buy this is the fact that there's no return policy. I don't think you can expect someone to shell out $4500 or thereabouts, sight unseen, for an anonymous violin that may sound abysmal.

What does the seller have to hide, why on earth wouldn't you offer a sensible trial period?

I would read nothing into the fact that it has a bridge stamped by Guiviers. Bridges travel from one violin to another, also Guiviers sell cheap violins like everyone else!

Overall I don't get a good feeling about the listing or the seller. Can't quite put my finger on it ... something about the table, and the rather unfriendly descriptive style. Plus the fact that this is clearly a business seller ($20,000 of sales on Ebay in the last 12 months) who is obliged under EU law to provide a return policy on Buy It Now items......

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I know the seller personaly. He is called Papei. I have known his father, who also deals, for decades. If he ever puts anything on ebay that I am interested in, I go around and visit him (or invite him to me), and we "deal" between us, leaving out the middle man. He is quite charming, and makes an effort to have good quality instruments. His prices are however orientated on the upper end of the retail market. I'm sure he wouldn't make a fuss if you wanted to give something back, whatever it says in the listing

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Jacob, do you have a view on what the violin is? I think you're implying that it's rather overvalued for Ebay.

I assumed that this was a dealer making use of Ebay to offload some "problem" items, but if you've bought stuff from him that he's had on Ebay then i must eat my words. If it's Robert Papai then I also know him (though we've never met).

So, let me not be so negative - Pipper, get something in writing to the effect that the violin can be returned if it doesn't please you for any reason, and go into the deal in the knowledge that it's not a bargain but probably a fair price. It's astounding how little such violins can be bought for at household clearances and sales, maybe you should offer half the asking price!

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Robert Papai is his father, although they deal seperatly from eachother. I am not sure what the violin is, although I guess it comes from somewhere bohemian from the 19th. C. I expect he is hopeing that someone makes an "offer"


Why buy a violin with "no return" policy ? It makes the violin haeder to sell. It should be return within 10 days if it is not satisfactory. Buyer pays for the shipping.

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