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Too Good To Be True????


lyndon

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/OLD-ANTIQUE-FRENCH-18TH-CENTURY-VIOLIN-MADE-CHARLES-FLAMBAUX-1792-/230760953658?_trksid=p3286.m7&_trkparms=algo%3DLVI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D3%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D7034157638045792639

interesting, the prices almost seem reasonable unless the sellers a complete fraud, check out his other items, a lot of them seem to have the same newer looking varnish, though.

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charles flambaux? is in jalovec, careful finish, dark brown varnish, this instrument has neither, do you think that painted purfling is original or recent, its really badly done, in either case if it really is a 1795 french violin in that condition, the price seems reasonable to me???

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This seller's items tend to be over-described and a bit pricey for Ebay, close to and sometimes exceeding retail prices.

This seems no exception, a naive Mirecourt violin, early to mid 19th century, with some nasty and ragged cracks in the table from impact damage, and surely not a Charles Flambaux. I'd also wonder at the statement that it needs further restoration, given that these people specialize in restoring instruments in poor condition - did they give up on this one?

Mirecourt instruments of this age are often very cheap - good mid-18th century French violins can be had for astonishingly low sums of money. This one is poor, and I wouldn't be surprised if the stop lengths were very odd.

Actually the more I look at this the more it resembles a doctored Medio Fino .....

I think we can discount the label, since it's frayed on the bottom edge and yet the P of Paris continues onto the wood .... meaning that an aged and frayed piece of paper was stuck into the violin with the top off and then signed.

So, what would be a fair Ebay price for a badly cracked Medio Fino with afterthought wonky painted purfling? About £75?

The nicest thing about this listing is the imaginary workshop lovingly photographed in sepia tones, with a noble and taciturn craftsman working his way through a wall of fine Italian instruments, meanwhile the breeze can be heard in the trees, perhaps a lark or two in the meadow outside the window, the Angelus being rung in the local nunnery ....

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i checked with an expert, he says the seller is completely legit, and has bought from him, certainly you get more for your dollar from this seller than you usually do with the hound, martin im really sick of your amateur appraisals your having been in this business about one third the time i have, and others have been. why dont you remember your still in school learning so to speak, before trying to do appraisals like people that have worked all their life in this business.....

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Lyndon, this is just my opinion, it's a forum after all. I don't see you holding back from theorizing on topics you don't necessarily know everything about.

I've sold around 30 Medio Finos, what about you ....

I would agree that this seller isn't a rogue, but if you cast an eye over what he/she is selling at the moment, you will see a lot of heavily restored violins with questionable attributions. Your expert friend may not be a representative sample!

I haven't been selling violins for long, but I have focused exclusively on French violins round about the turn of the 19th & 20th century, I'm pretty sure of my ground. Why the aggression?

is Jalovec right or wrong, you quoted him. You also asked for opinions. In future I suggest you add a sub-clause, something like "Martin, don't bother telling us your opinion because it's a heap of shit".

Not a great start to the day.

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Lyndon, perhaps you'd like to go to my website and look through a small sample of some of the violins I've sold in my laughably short time as an amateur violin buff and see how many you feel I've misdescribed or overpriced

I'm sure there are a few mis-attributions but as you say, I'm just a beginner, learning on the job ...

ps. just removed the links so as not to be accused of promoting my own business

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im not the one that appraised this violin and others, i stay completely out of the appraisal game and leave that to peter and/or jacob, i suggest you do the same, or at least clearly state something like in my opinion it looks like xxxxx but i am not an expert, which is basically what i do. i cant say for sure but this ebay seller seems to know a whole lot more about french violins than you do, as he is offering a much more interesting selection of french instruments of differing dates, at what look like reasonable prices to me. you cant make yourself look bigger by constantly tearing down your competition, martin.

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The nicest thing about this listing is the imaginary workshop lovingly photographed in sepia tones, with a noble and taciturn craftsman working his way through a wall of fine Italian instruments, meanwhile the breeze can be heard in the trees, perhaps a lark or two in the meadow outside the window, the Angelus being rung in the local nunnery ....

I particularly like the idea of haveing a nice comfy sofa in the workshop, although lying a violin on it (waiting to be sat on) would be strictly "verboten" here.

Didn't "Medio Fino" (i.e. JTL) use some sort of guage to paint the purfeling on?, this one seems pretty freehanded. Generaly, it looks a bit pre-Medio Fino to me (although french fiddles aren't my field of interest). I think one should be beware of the automatic reflex to gereraly make dispariging remarks regarding third parties offerings, after all, I would't want to retail the fiddle for less than his "buy it now" price either, particularly since you have told us how many % all of you poor ebay salesmen get stung for.

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Ok let's put this another way ....

Is this an 18th Century Flambaux? Don't think so!

This seller offers a lot of restored Mirecourt instruments on Ebay - many have been there for a very long time. Since you have made a comparison with my business, I should point out that most of what I sell never makes it onto the website or Ebay, but it does appear in my sold listings. I think that's a more relevant point of comparison. Since you've invited the comparison I'll reintroduce the link .... Sold Items

If you read my opinion (which you choose to take as an expert appraisal) I'm quite happy to accept that it's a late 18th century naive (as the seller says) French violin, though I'm inclined to think it's more recent and that the label's been put in after the fact. If anyone more expert chooses to disagree I will listen and learn.

You say this seller seems to know a lot more about French violins than I do, but you would have to know more than either of us to arbitrate.

It's safe to say that this seller knows enough about French violins to set a price for this "Flambaux" which won't be a bargain, or "too good to be true" ...!

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I think it looks right for the period and country it is supposed to be (very late 18th century French). Original neck with a wedge, and despite being extraordinarily basic in concept, it may even be genuinely from the period. If it were 80 years later, we wouldn't be talking about it and it is, quite frankly, not worth talking about...

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the label could easily be added but the stamp on the back under the button takes a lot more effort to fake, more effort than the price would justify IMO what amazes me is that you martin are familiar enough with the work of this very obscure maker, flambaux, to rule out it being authentic. my guess is your blowing steam, and had never seen or heard of flambaux till today, correct me if im wrong, i actually like you, martin, you seem like a nice guy, trying hard, but appraisals are a real muddy area, ive watched for some time and your appraisals are consistently very different or wrong from our acknowledged experts opinion, jacob and peter, on top of that a lot of your opinions are added after they have already voiced their opinion, right here you just proposed this was a circa1900 doctored jtl, now in your last post its a naive late 18th century, thats a hundred years difference, so which is it? better yet dont answer and leave it to the experienced experts

it appears as peter pointed out this is an unaltered (but for the wedge) transitional circa 1800french violin, its potential to be restored to original condition, remove the wedge, fit a wedged fingerboard, gut strings etc, make it an interesting collector piece, even to musicians on a budget playing in a transitional group.

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The label looks a bad joke. The writing style doesn't look good for the time and place, it's been "refreshed" with a modern implement (which is where the edge was overwritten), and very few people mis-write their own family name, nor would leave it uncorrected if they did. I looked more carefully at the stamp: like the name on the label, it's FLANBAUX, not "Flambaux" as everyone here is writing it. Does that make a difference?

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I've never seen a Flambaux (I should think very few have) I am just going by your Jalovec quote - I thought that had convinced you too.

You posted this violin and asked if it was too good to be true. This is a public forum, a lot of people look at it for tips and hints on auctions. I said it wasn't good in the first place, quite possibly an 18th century naive violin but not really worth what it was being sold for. I would stand by that totally - your initial enthusiasm needed a note of caution to be added.

I have consistently put forward opinions before others do, and sometimes I'm outvoted, by no means always. I defer to Peter and Jacob in all things ... Jacob has huge knowledge of most of the violin making world and I'm very envious, but isn't very interested in French violins, though he's right about Medio Fino purfling. Both Jacob and Peter have been generous with their time and expertise, and I've learnt a lot faster because of them and this forum.

You're being strangely confrontational with me - is it because I forgot to wish you happy birthday? If so, I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORY

Happy Birthday you old curmudgeon (still younger than me)

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when a shady dealer gets a violin with a genuine stamp on the back but no label its possible to add a fake label to match with little effort, its much less common to go to the trouble of a fake stamp and label combo, though you see this quite often on chinese "italians" on ebay, obviously the label doesnt tell us much one way or the other, the stamp on the back may be another story

generally when shopping on ebay, a real looking stamp on the back or inside is much more likely to sway my opinion than any kind of label

the same seller has a grafted french 1830 violin with a 18th century label that he says cant be real, seems to me if he were a scheister hed be trying to pass off that one as a real label and older date.

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The label looks a bad joke. The writing style doesn't look good for the time and place, it's been "refreshed" with a modern implement (which is where the edge was overwritten), and very few people mis-write their own family name, nor would leave it uncorrected if they did. I looked more carefully at the stamp: like the name on the label, it's FLANBAUX, not "Flambaux" as everyone here is writing it. Does that make a difference?

Anyway, it should be Flambeau...

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bean, you make a good point, the label looks like an n, but if you really want to get technical the upstroke to the n could be the beginning of an m. as to the stamp, looks more like an m to me in the detail pic at the very bottom, but the f is undeciferable and the l is completely missing, strange, according to jalovec, it was pierre flambaux(same time period) who both stamped and labeled his instruments, possibly even this might be a pierre with fake charles flanbaux label

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Anyway, it should be Flambeau...

The more I look at it, the more I wonder exactly what's going on. If you look at the photos of the stamp, they're of two different impressions! The smaller ones show the crossbar of the F and a fair bit of each letter, but the largest (bottom photo in the series) isn't even marginally legible.

What exactly did the seller photograph?

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bean, you make a good point, the label looks like an n, but if you really want to get technical the upstroke to the n could be the beginning of an m. as to the stamp, looks more like an m to me in the detail pic at the very bottom, but the f is undeciferable and the l is completely missing, strange, according to jalovec, it was pierre flambaux(same time period) who both stamped and labeled his instruments, possibly even this might be a pierre with fake charles flanbaux label

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that the abbreviation "Ch." conventionally signified the given name Christian, not Charles (which was just "C." -- which is pretty clearly what's on the stamp but definitely not on the label.

As to N vs M, count the strokes. You can't get an M out of it because you run out of strokes.

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I particularly like the idea of haveing a nice comfy sofa in the workshop

Oh yes, and some wooden boxes of old bordeaux under the bench :) . I guess the maker had some too, when he painted the purfling and carved this ugly (sorry: "naive") scroll.

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