Violin identification and pricing book. Auction results and records


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Hello, I happened upon a book a few years ago, and am in need to find a copy of it. I have no idea what it is, or who the author is, but it was a three ring binder-style book full of auction sales records from 1980-1994. It had violins, bows, cellos, and basses. It gave great information on identification, sold prices, makers families. It didn't have any photos whatsoever.

I would either like to get that book, IF ANYONE KNOW WHAT IT IS OR WHERE I CAN FIND IT... Or I would take any other sugestions on books you have experience with.

Thanks!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Did the Red Book used to have info on identification? I have looked through a 2003 version but I do not remember seeing anything beyond auction results.

(edit) It turns out the *2004 edition I saw did in fact have this section. Very informative, but not hard and fast rules in my humble opinion.

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Did the Red Book used to have info on identification? I have looked through a 2003 version but I do not remember seeing anything beyond auction results.

Earlier, in 1995, Mr. Florence copyrighted a 10 page section regarding some of the characteristics of English, French, German, Dutch. and Italian violins, from the 16-1700s up to the 1840-70s. My copy, from '98 has this. At that time it was titled as I mentioned in my post above.

I have no idea regarding Mr. Florence's level of expertise, but certainly a 10 page presentation has to be limited; and the pictures were just drawings.

I would like to know what the 2012 edition offers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Earlier, in 1995, Mr. Florence copyrighted a 10 page section regarding some of the characteristics of English, French, German, Dutch. and Italian violins, from the 16-1700s up to the 1840-70s. My copy, from '98 has this. At that time it was titled as I mentioned in my post above.

I have no idea regarding Mr. Florence's level of expertise, but certainly a 10 page presentation has to be limited; and the pictures were just drawings.

I would like to know what the 2012 edition offers.

Just to fill in some of the blanks here...

Tom Florence was a violin dealer that lived in Atlanta. He worked from his home on the South side and I bought a couple of violins from him over the years. The first when I was in high school.

Mr. Florence was a great guy that always spent time with me explaining the various ins and outs of the trade -- even when I was a high school student with no money. ;) You could never just go see Tom for a quick visit. He always wanted to talk. :)

His manual was originally just for himself. He used it to keep up with the market in the pre-internet days. Eventually, so many people became interested in his project that he began selling it as a stand-alone product.

It makes sense that Tom and Donald Cohen would have had a connection, since Donald worked in Atlanta in the 70s/80s. I took my bow to him to be re-haired several times. I can see how Donald may have carried on the work after Tom passed away.

Unfortunately, Tom smoked like a chimney. He never seemed in particularly good health to me, and eventually the lung problems got the better of him.

In a lot of ways, Tom was ahead of his time. If he had lived to see the flourishing web today, I'm sure his entrepreneurial nature would have led him to create one of the first on-line auction results manuals.

I miss Tom's chatty ways, friendly nature, and love for all things violin. I learned a lot from him.

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Earlier, in 1995, Mr. Florence copyrighted a 10 page section regarding some of the characteristics of English, French, German, Dutch. and Italian violins, from the 16-1700s up to the 1840-70s...

The information and the drawings in this 10-page section are derived from a small booklet called "How to Tell the Nationality of Old Violins" which was published by Balfour & Company in London in 1900.

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Tom was a super guy and did love to talk about violins. He had the best collection of reference materials and library of any single person I have ever known. I would go by his home just to talk and look through his books, When he died a fellow named Sam Eden a Dr, in Atlanta bought the reference manual and he started calling it the red book but then he suddenly died and I believe Cohen then bought the rights to the book.

Tom sold a number of important instruments with Warren and Son in Chicago. Eventually cancer ended his life.

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Tom was a super guy and did love to talk about violins. He had the best collection of reference materials and library of any single person I have ever known. I would go by his home just to talk and look through his books, When he died a fellow named Sam Eden a Dr, in Atlanta bought the reference manual and he started calling it the red book but then he suddenly died and I believe Cohen then bought the rights to the book.

Tom sold a number of important instruments with Warren and Son in Chicago. Eventually cancer ended his life.

Tom was a pilot too, wasn't he? Super guy.

I still smile when I think of how he pronounced Gag-ali-ano. :)

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Tom was a pilot too, wasn't he? Super guy.

I still smile when I think of how he pronounced Gag-ali-ano. :)

Yes he was he showed me photos of him flying the Governor of Georgia around the state. He could walk from his house across the street to the original Atlanta airport. I recall he was selling a Landolfi or Gofriller with Warren's shop just before he passed. Very nice gentleman.

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