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Zulu Hound Thread?


Dr_V

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Why is it locked? I re-read the thread and I'm not seeing at all why it would be locked. Why is it some threads that critique one posters auctions seem to go on for weeks with multiple pages of slander and unfounded speculation (while the auction is ongoing), and then Lyndon get his shut right down because someone poo-pooed his auction? Seems like it's not on the up and up and removes any semblance of neutrality this site once had.

I was curious to hear Jacobs opinion of the violin Lyndon was hawking for $2500, it had multiple cracks including a belly and back sound post crack, was purchased for $130 something dollars, then basically glued together and shined up. I'm curious if Jacob believes this violin was also " scarcely commercially viable to restore." or if $2500 was a fair price.

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Why is it locked? I re-read the thread and I'm not seeing at all why it would be locked. Why is it some threads that critique one posters auctions seem to go on for weeks with multiple pages of slander and unfounded speculation (while the auction is ongoing), and then Lyndon get his shut right down because someone poo-pooed his auction? Seems like it's not on the up and up and removes any semblance of neutrality this site once had.

I was curious to hear Jacobs opinion of the violin Lyndon was hawking for $2500, it had multiple cracks including a belly and back sound post crack, was purchased for $130 something dollars, then basically glued together and shined up. I'm curious if Jacob believes this violin was also " scarcely commercially viable to restore." or if $2500 was a fair price.

It does appear that the powers that be at this blog may have a prejudice in favor of two self professed experts that drone on and on about themselves here.

These two world class experts,"in their own minds" flaunt the rules with impunity, calling names, accusing others of libel,and fraud, cite bogus legal actions against other violin dealers, and are generally unpleasant in every way.

When anyone else even approaches the edge of the rules, they are quickly chastised!

Clearly, some of the bloggers are wildly jealous of the sucess of others, and rather than learn from them and improve their business practices, They choose to try to tear down other respected, sucessful members of the violin trade .

Unfortunately for these two, they have only succeeded in disparaging themselves.

For this blog to survive with any self respect at all, I believe the moderator must mantain and enforce the same set of rules for the "Gang of Two" that he does for everyone else.

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Why is it locked?

I was curious to hear Jacobs opinion of the violin Lyndon was hawking

The thoughts (on this violin) of much of the violin making part of the MN community (including me) can be read here:

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/324316-132-on-ebay-buys-you/

I expect Jeffrey locked the other thread due to a sinister expectation that it would decend into an exchange of verbal injuries

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the reason im asking, martin, is that the notorious gang of two has made the unsupported allegation that this violin couldnt be worth close to $10,000 in good condition(no post cracks etc) and that given its compromised condition, charging $2500 is above retail, and not at all a fair price, does anyone besides dr vj and lorenzo feel that way, and what do you feel a fair price for this violin in this condition, assuming its sounds really good as i am testifying.

i should point out that sound quality is not usually used in pricing expensive violins, but as one shop owner of one of the top shops in the LA area told me, under $5000 instruments are more priced on tone, or at least the tone has a significant influence on the price, and might i add even with expensive violins, ones that sound bad for the price are more likely to be discounted, and ones that sound great less so IMO

i should add because of a soundpost crack on the top and the back, and structurally well repaired but not invisible crack repairs on the top, i am calculating that the full retail value should be roughly 75% off the full retail value of the same instrument in good condition, with no post cracks and very few, very well repaired cracks, etc etc, is my 75% figure realistic?? also i think the same 75% devalueing should apply pretty much the same to mr hounds aegedus klotz labeled violin in the other thread, because the amount of compromise in the condition is pretty much the same

the reason i said it had a $10,000 tone, is that in my opinion the same violin in good condition sans cracks would be worth $10,000 and sound pretty much the same, just like a $50,000 bow with a broken head would play and sound pretty much the same but only be worth $5,000 or less....you could likewise say you could expect mr hounds klotz to have a roughly $10,000 sound, as thats close to what it might be worth in good condition, if jacobs assesment of it is accurate and it is school of klotz, not klotz

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the reason im asking, martin, is that the notorious gang of two has made the unsupported allegation that this violin couldnt be worth close to $10,000 in good condition(no post cracks etc) and that given its compromised condition, charging $2500 is above retail, and not at all a fair price, does anyone besides dr vj and lorenzo feel that way, and what do you feel a fair price for this violin in this condition, assuming its sounds really good as i am testifying.

i should point out that sound quality is not usually used in pricing expensive violins, but as one shop owner of one of the top shops in the LA area told me, under $5000 instruments are more priced on tone, or at least the tone has a significant influence on the price, and might i add even with expensive violins, ones that sound bad for the price are more likely to be discounted, and ones that sound great less so IMO

i should add because of a soundpost crack on the top and the back, and structurally well repaired but not invisible crack repairs on the top, i am calculating that the full retail value should be roughly 75% off the full retail value of the same instrument in good condition, with no post cracks and very few, very well repaired cracks, etc etc, is my 75% figure realistic?? also i think the same 75% devalueing should apply pretty much the same to mr hounds aegedus klotz labeled violin in the other thread, because the amount of compromise in the condition is pretty much the same

the reason i said it had a $10,000 tone, is that in my opinion the same violin in good condition sans cracks would be worth $10,000 and sound pretty much the same, just like a $50,000 bow with a broken head would play and sound pretty much the same but only be worth $5,000 or less....you could likewise say you could expect mr hounds klotz to have a roughly $10,000 sound, as thats close to what it might be worth in good condition, if jacobs assesment of it is accurate and it is school of klotz, not klotz

Hey Lyndon,

I think your violin is worth at least as much as you sold it for. I also think a person could do much worse than buying a violin from you. I believe that you not only care deeply for the instruments themselves but also about your customers. That you should spend 100 hours on careful and painstaking restoration and not be properly compensated for your time and investment is not reasonable.

I agree that under $5000 tone and conditiion are perhaps the most important factors in determining value and saleability. To find a great sounding fiddle, well set up and ready for $2500 is more than just slightly difficult. I think your buyer got his money's worth and I am certain your customers are satisfied. I think it is an nice touch to follow up with a personal phone call after selling something on ebay. Customers really appreciate that kind of caring attitude.

Jesse

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Simple answer to "why" I locked the thread (which I offer as a courtesy, as I really don't need to give you a reason)? I saw another train-wreck possible (probable) and had other things to do (like work that I send an invoice for), so did not have time or energy to watch it closely. Believe it or not, my work as moderator here is on a volunteer basis.

It looks like now I'm being connected to a conspiracy theory of some sort. "Lorenzo" from Pedersano & Dr. "V"... I think maybe you should note who it was that started the locked thread (he's not complaining, BTW), and re-read my previous warnings and requests on other threads (possibly some you were not involved with personally as well as those you were).

After you do that, you are welcome to quietly agree or disagree with my actions, consistency, and motives, but you (and others who post with an alias) should know that although you wrap yourself in the warmth of anonymity on this board, your identity is a bit more transparent to me than it is to the rest of the members... so maybe you should understand this when interacting here. I'd strongly suggest you consider what you, yourself, are contributing, and how you are doing it, and worry less about a bias I may or may not have.

Jesse. Nice, gracious, communication especially considering some of the recent history on this board. Your mother must have raised you "right". :)

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i guess in this context i owe pahdah something of an apology, contrary to someones crazy assertion, i do not consider myself world reknowned anything other than big mouth!! i am not an expert, by a long shot, i personally dont have a clue whether pahdahs klotz, jais or juzek are genuine, all i have to go on is the opinion of people i have come to trust as experts, and as weve seen here time and time again, experts disagree and are never right 100% of the time about everything

i want to retract a statement about pahdahs violins being frequently overpriced through the auction process, the klotz would be worth $2500 if its not real and easily twice that if it was real, the price for the jais might be high, but i can easily imagine a retail store charging just as much as it went for, a juzek master art violin ive heard of being worth up to $10,000.

pahdah works with his experts and i work with mine, it would seem im getting somewhat lower, more conservative appraisals from my experts than pahdah is from his experts, a slight change in wording would erase my criticism, if pahdah said " in my opinion this violin is most likely the work of aegedus klotz, if not; almost certainly made in the style of klotz, in mittenwald" then there is much less to argue with.

i have a slogan in my ads HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY, if youll see my listings and postings youll see that i give me opinions truthfully, and dont try to hide the bad points about me and instruments i market, my devout christian mother tries to tell me there is such a thing as being too honest, but i disagree, my honesty has got me further in this business than my workmanshop, honestly

now for me to try and say pahdah should do business in such a painfully honest way as i might, is a little ridiculous, as far a big sellers on ebay, pahdah is one of the best and most successful, everyone in the business knows if you go into 90% of the violin shops to buy a klotz labeled violin, it might be klotz school not klotz, and the label may not be that old. so if you were to ask me does pahdah do business in a less honest way than most violin shops, i would have to say, no

that being said i was very impressed by pahdahs success on ebay when i was starting out and we had many pleasant talks on the phone,

i wish pahdah the best in what is a very tough time financially for most people in the business, if pahdah and i can take the relentless criticism leveled on maestronet, we can both benefit and improve our listing style,

so im going to bury the hatchet with pahdah, and stick to more constructive criticism, sometimes it helps to just admit there are different opinions on a given instruments authenticity, and i invite pahdah to consider some slight wording changes in his appraisals that would be more acceptable to more experts, as ive said before it can only help your business in the long run, even if you get slightly less for one violin

likewise i would encourage pahdah and others to give me honest advice, not rude condemnations, as i too am just starting out more selling on ebay, and very honestly pahdah knows way more than just about anyone(especially me) on selling on ebay

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while im at it i would also like to apologize to mr martin swan, martin has worked less time in the business than i have, so early on i made the mistaken impression that martin must know less about appraising than i do, certainly not true, at least within the fields mr swan specializes, the difference is mr swan, it seems, has been working full time and going to auctions and seeing hundreds if not thousands of violins, i have not, ive been very lazy, sitting at home and not seeing and carefully studying more than 300 violins in 16 years

i guess it just goes to show, you shouldnt jump to conclusions about people, sorry martin

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accusing others of libel,and fraud, cite bogus legal actions against other violin dealers, and are generally unpleasant in every way.

Dear Lorenzo,

I will keep my answer brief and abstract, and will not refer to any individual even implicitly.

In a previous thread I explained the consequences of “Betrug†(fraud) according to paragraph 146 of the criminal code here. This requires 3 “facts†to occur:

Täuschungsvorsatz = deliberatly misleading a third person despite better knowlege

Schädigungsvorsatz = intent to damage someone or their wealth herewith

Bereicherungsvorsatz = intent to enrich oneself with the above

I explained the sanctions (prison) for violating this law. It is a criminal offence, and certainly not something that someone who’s mother has brought up well would do. Far from “bogus legal actions against other violin dealersâ€, I actually have to waste my time in court with these things.

Selling an antique with the blemishes of time, whilst pointing such blemishes out, doesn’t even infringe the first “fact†and certainly is neither an offence nor reprehensible.

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I think that when attributing a violin for which the seller has limited expertise nor a written certificate, but for which colleagues with specific expertise have expressed their opinion casually or verbally, it is prudent to say "probably by" or "I believe it is most likely authentic". When the seller has reasonable expertise in a particular area to attribute something (in my case some Juzeks, Roths, Medio Finos, Boston makers, some Mirecourt stuff, some Mittenwald) backed up by the opinions of others with experience and expertise, it is reasonable to positively attribute, even in the absence of written expertise. If the seller is in error, and remedies the situation to the buyer's satisfaction, there is no fraud, no matter how many laws can be sited describing what constitutes fraud.

I think that learning from expertise and relaying that expertise in the form of a belief of authenticity without crediting the expert, is also reasonable. If I were to publish the names of experts who assist me in identification as a favor, or as a business courtesy, or publish the names of players whose opinions of tone I use, I would soon not be able to count on their help for long.

We are all aware that there is a lot of disagreement among violin experts. I once had the opportunity to test how much disagreement there actually is. Years ago, at the Park Plaza hotel in Boston before a Skinner auction, I brought about 2 dozen fiddles that I planned on offering to other dealers attending the auction. In the group, I had two rather valuable fiddles which I had borrowed from a friend. One was a well-known, labeled, 18th century master German violin of which photos appear in the most prestigious reference and bearing old, top notch certification. The other was a labeled modern Italian violin ($50,000) with impeccable current certificates. These were unpriced and mixed in with my usual unpriced assortment on display in my hotel room. What surprised me was the number of experts who were not even interested enough in these valuable violins to ask the price. One expert and owner of a large European enterprise, told me outright that neither was authentic. When I pressed him and asked if he was interested at any price (figuring he might be setting me up) he showed no interest at all. Didn't even make a low ball offer! Of the dozen or more dealers from all over the world who looked at these fiddles only three expressed interest. One was the partner of a consignor of mine whose expertise I often seek, another was a leading international expert and dealer (who actually recognized the fiddle having authored one of its certs) and the third was a dealer from Germany whom I do not know.

The point is that here was an opportunity for experts to take advantage of the "ebay guy" who had something special, likely without knowing it. Nobody did. I would have thought that someone who recognized it would have offered $5000 for the modern Italian on the outside chance they could buy it for 10% of its worth. Maybe they all just like me and didn't want to take advantage of me, and wanted to let someone else do it instead. Several experts were quite certain these two violins were no more special than the others I had on display, but most didn't care at all.

Expertise in violins is not universal nor is it always accurate even when expertise in a particular area is established. I have heard the best experts tell me occasionally that they are not familiar with something or that they just don't know. Its usually because they are expert in high-end Italian stuff and dont waste a whole lot of time studying lower-end pedestrian things of the type I show them. I think expertise becomes more reliable and accurate as the value of the instruments increase. I think that expertise on rare 18th century Cremona instruments is well established, whereas expertise on 18th century Saxon fiddles is less established.

The recent hullabaloo over my ebay listings (quite a different tone from that on this board several years ago), has caused me to thinik about some of the terms I use and how I write my descriptions. After much thinking, I have decided to continue to think about it some more.

Jesse

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The argument that “experts disagree†is often correct. In other cases there is scarcely room for disagreement. 18th C Saxon fiddles are quite well researched, and hardly possible to confuse with South Tyrolean ones, should one have interested oneself for antique violins at all. In the concrete case, Bruce even posted photos of a real Jais, so I think it was a little more than an “opinion.†I would be perfectly happy to suggest relevant literature, should you wish. Similarly the attempt to relativise a precisely defined legal definition of fraud seems a little reminiscent of pro-creation arguments v. Darwin of an incomplete fossil record.

As such a master of sophistry, it seems a shame that you aren’t running for president, since the two that are seem positively retarded by comparison.

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i dont think its always a good idea to give people the impression an appraisal comes from me or you, when it actually comes from one or more experts we consult, for one thing people might be less likely to trust your appraisals if they think they come from you, than if they know you are consulting experts as well, i do know its practically impossible to find experts that will let their name be quoted, and when you say in an ad, "experts said" without a name, some people dont understand this and think youre being shady. so it is a difficult decision, and each broker has to use their own judgment and do what they think is right

me personally, i wouldnt expect to find any top appraisal experts selling violins on ebay(theyd be busy running their own shop), so when i see an ebay dealer telling me, "in my opinion this label is genuine, and this violin is the work of...." red flag warnings go up immediately

on the other hand if someone were to see one of my ads: "i work with one of the top maker/shops in los angeles, and he said......" and "ive also shown pictures to several experts around the world, and they agreed...." one might think thats more likely to be possible than for the seller himself to be a top appraiser

a little bit on honesty, to me honesty means that you convey the truth to the customer, to most people honesty means say anything you can say to sell the violin to the customer, as long as you dont tell a lie in the process,

if you think about it these two definitions are not the same, but actually quite different, if you dont believe that not saying anything at all can be dishonest, all kinds of bad things about the violin can be not communicated to the customer

honesty is not just the simple concept of making statements that are accurate(tell no lie), it also involves not letting your customer get the wrong or inflated ideas about a violin, i think it also involves letting the customer know honestly what the violin is worth, as well as detailing its defects. not just the good points about the instrument and its sound but the bad points as well

of course this all comes down to your own personal concept of whats right and wrong, and maybe i am being overly moralistic about honesty, but i can tell you honesty is really good for ones reputation in this business and as little as one or two slip ups on honesty can destroy or damage ones reputation, so perhaps honesty isnt everything in this business, but reputation sure is, and in the long run i think youll find honesty, reputation and experience go hand in hand

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The argument that “experts disagree” is often correct. In other cases there is scarcely room for disagreement. 18th C Saxon fiddles are quite well researched, and hardly possible to confuse with South Tyrolean ones, should one have interested oneself for antique violins at all. In the concrete case, Bruce even posted photos of a real Jais, so I think it was a little more than an “opinion.” I would be perfectly happy to suggest relevant literature, should you wish. Similarly the attempt to relativise a precisely defined legal definition of fraud seems a little reminiscent of pro-creation arguments v. Darwin of an incomplete fossil record.

Hi Jacob;

I terms of fraud, in some cases I think the challenge seems not be the definition of the word itself, but how fraud laws are applied within different geographical locations and possibly even some (social) cultures.

For Jesse, Lyndon, Jacob et all:

To a greater of lesser degree, we are all limited by what we see/sell/work on... and what we are willing to research outside of that grouping. Concerning Saxon & Tyrolean instruments; While I do believe I can very generally sort out one group from the other, I am not at all confident about the specifics outside a rather finite number of makers, or families of makers, within these schools... and would therefore seek out a second opinion, from someone who I felt was more experienced and reliable with these schools of making, for whatever "call" I made before selling it to a client as a "....". The same goes for the Flemish/Dutch school. While I've worked on and sold a good number of Rombouts, Jacobs, and Cuypers, there are a good number of other makers I've not seen/photographed/held/opened. Yes, there are books, but they are best for style/feature comparison, history or bringing back focus once I've held the real thing... not in determining if it is the real thing.

I mention all this because the only real argument for not disclosing third party opinions, especially those sought when it's appropriate to do so, is commercial. Don't have permission to name names? OK... but then it might not have been a professional opinion, right (one that was paid for)? If there are differences in opinions, that is reality... but contrary to what's been presented in the last several posts, I believe there is a much lower rate of disagreement if one checks with the known authorities on the school/maker one is dealing with instead of assuming all experts "know everything".

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but you (and others who post with an alias) should know that although you wrap yourself in the warmth of anonymity on this board, your identity is a bit more transparent to me than it is to the rest of the members... so maybe you should understand this when interacting here.

I am curious what this means, it seems a very odd thing to say, am I required to use my real name and location when posting? Would my real name and state of 25 million people make me less anonymous? Should I take this statement as a threat? Will you "out me" if I don't tow the line? I really don't know how to take it so I ask seriously.

Either way it is amazing how quickly that zulu hound thread was shut down while others that went on for weeks and were much more antagonistic remain open even now. You say there's no special reason for it, and I guess I'll take your word for it (I don't have another choice do I?)

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The thoughts (on this violin) of much of the violin making part of the MN community (including me) can be read here:

http://www.maestrone...-ebay-buys-you/

I expect Jeffrey locked the other thread due to a sinister expectation that it would decend into an exchange of verbal injuries

Do you feel that with the back and belly sound post cracks that this violin is also "not commercially viable to restore" like the both the Jais and Klotz violin were?

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at the labour rates that top shops like jacobs charge, neither the "klotz", the "jais" or my french violin would be worth the cost of the needed repairs at their fair labour rates, considering the depth of their experience, on top of that they cant in good in good conscience in their business sell violins with very visible cracks repairs(it would simply not be good for their reputation to sell such stuff), so the instruments are worthless to them until they are restored, in my case on this french violin, the $2000 restoration at my low rates might be a $10,000 restoration at a top shops rates, yes they would make the cracks practically disappear but the violin would still not be worth more than $3500

so if you were to ask jacob are you willing to do a $10,000 repair to a violin that will still have two soundpost cracks, and wont be worth more than $3500, im sure its perfectly reasonable for jacob to state "this violin is not comercially viable to restore" same would be true of the "klotz" and "jais"

thats why there is a small niche market for people like me who have no overhead and low labour rates to actually make a profit (or at least be payed something for their time)restoring instruments like this

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Do you feel that with the back and belly sound post cracks that this violin is also "not commercially viable to restore" like the both the Jais and Klotz violin were?

Why are you still insisting calling those fiddles "Jais" and "Klotz," and attempting to move the goalposts? The difference between Lyndon and Pahdah_hound's ebay listings was Lyndon never tried to pass his fiddle off as something it was not, while the same can't be said of the other fellow. Or as Jeffrey might say, full disclosure?

I'm a bit surprised, since you don't seem to care about proper attributions and only about bargains, that you'd come to the conclusion the purported "Jais/Klotz" are somehow better bargains than a French school fiddle. Please explain to us how you arrived at that calculus. Or are you just concerned a bargain is no longer a bargain once full disclosure has been made?

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to clarify what i believe to be jacobs position, if a violin is not in good enough condition to sell in his shop, with his high standards for condition, which he has to stand up for, and at his lowest labour rate he is willing to work for the needed repairs would cost more than he could possibly sell the violin for, then the violin is essentially, at least to jacobs business, worthless, not worth the cost of the repairs needed,

i myself have a display case full of such fiddles, jacob is not being unreasonable, all three of these fiddles, including mine, are in no condition he could possibly put on the shelf at his shop, with his high standards, and the cost of putting them in good enough condition that he could sell in his shop, is more, way more, than he could possibly sell them for

on the other hand pahdah and i have demonstrated that there is a market for these compromised condition violins in good playing condition, this niche violin market is not a part of jacob saunders market, or jefferey holmes' market, or hans weishaar violins' market, etc etc

all three of these violins if they were in great condition, would be perfectly saleable at jacobs and other top shops but the prices would be closer to $10,000 than $2500, and the sound would not necessarily be much better, if the cracks were structurally well repaired on the $2500 violins

the point being if your not disturbed by visible cracks, patched soundpost cracks, and a higher risk of needing maintenance(not to mention a much lower appraised value), then the $2500 violin can represent a "bargain" in that you get the sound performance of a $10,000 violin for 1/4 the price, if you have $10,000 to spend i would still recommend buying the $10,000 violin from jacob and company, but a lot of people either dont have the money or refuse to pay that much, which is where dealer/repair people like pahdah and i have something to offer that the top shops dont

clarification; while for the point of this discussion, there are a lot of similarities between pahdahs "jais" and "klotz" and my french, im not ready to concede that his are as good or better value/$ as mine and frankly i think my restoration work on the french violin is a little more thorough and comprehensive than the work on these particular pahdah hound violins

however i say this in the spirit of constructive criticism to pahdah, im sure if he payed brad a little more for repairs, brad could do a much more thorough job, brad knows quite a bit about violin restoration, and has thoughtfully helped a lot of people on maestronet with good advice, i think the problem is theres just such a small margin for profit on violins like this, its harder to justify spending so much on repairs

in my case being both buyer, restorer, and seller, and operating out of my house with no overhead gives me a certain advantage over some dealers

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