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Found Another Interesting eBay Seller


Charles Hansen

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Hello All,

 

While we've all been focusing on Pahdah_Hound's fiddles, I found another seller that is very similar in many ways. One main difference is that he typically sells with fixed price auctions, although sometimes he accepts "Best Offers".

 

I like this American fiddle very much and am considering making an offer on it:

 

www.ebay.com/itm/Superb-American-Violin-Fine-set-up-Collectible-Condition-/271130057772

 

I corresponded with him briefly and his first name is (wait for it....)

 

Jesse.

 

At first I thought that maybe Pahdah had set up an alternate ID for selling things WITH a reserve or starting point that was more appropriate for the instrment. But this guy is in Ohio. Very nice gentleman, and not selling the typical "dutzenware". I don't know Conway, but at least the Henley's listing appears to be a real one as opposed to one written by the luthier himself. He also has a fairly nice French fiddle along with a low priced beginners model. I don't think that everything on eBay is dreck.

 

Thanks,

Charlie

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$800-1000 would be a reasonable retail price for this violin, IMHO.  Observations-  somewhat crude scroll, roughly cut f-holes with nice fluting, nut may need replacing (just look at the E), top has nice bear claw figure to it, & the fingerboard at the neck joint if waaaaay off/too low (IMHO).

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Hello CCM and Violadamore,

 

Very useful responses, thank you. So at least it's a little different than the stuff that Jacob complains about on eBay so much. Again, perhaps a "purplish tint" to the prose, and certainly no wholesale bargains, but not Saxon "dutzenware" pretending to be something else. It is only S/N 31 of Conway's work, so it's not surprising that it would tend toward the "rough" side as CCM noted.

 

Thanks,

Charlie

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So that is american is it? No need to listen to me then, since I’m spared such Masterpieces over here.

 

I would point out that one can have surprises with the measurements with such autodidact instruments (nothing mentioned in the listing). It seems to have been made before the Americans imported the word ”Overstand”, but if they didn’t go above 3rd. position in Denver back then, that will hardly matter.

 

I always wonder, when people say, for instance “The wood is all American”, how on earth they can tell? Perhaps some kind person could tell me how one finds such things out. Other statements, such as “the craftsmanship is second to none” are rather easier to judge. -_-

 

One piece of prose which might well have been borrowed from our more famous ebayist could be “comparable to American violins of the same time period selling for $10-20k in big shops” which sounds like a quite fantastic “one that got away” tale to me
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This is something I don't understand : why on earth do people believe that butchering Bruch shows the capabilities of a violin better than

playing Twinkle Twinkle with some resemblance of decency ? All I can gather is that it sounds like crap and we'll have to fight now over who's

fault it is : the player's (?!) or the violin's.

 

And why is the fingerboard so close to the top at the neck joint ?? That doesn't look right.

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Indeed the wood is all-American.  I can't divulge how I know- but I do (trade secret, sorry Jacob).  I must admit that I do have a weakness for bear claw spruce which is said to come from the male spruce tree (sorry, can't tell you how I know that, Jacob).

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Indeed the wood is all-American.  I can't divulge how I know- but I do (trade secret, sorry Jacob).  I must admit that I do have a weakness for bear claw spruce which is said to come from the male spruce tree (sorry, can't tell you how I know that, Jacob).

 

Oh well, never mind, on second thoughts, perhaps I’m not so curious after all :P
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Hi folks,

 

This is Jesse, aka Blanketskies!  Very good to join you.  It's about time I registered on Maestronet.  I usually hang on violinist.com.

 

Well, what an honour to have a Maestronet discussion about one of my instruments!!  You started it, Charlie :-)

 

So.. Really, the workmanship is not bad by any means on this one..  The scroll may appear 'crude' because the varnish is a bit beat up.  And if my pictures weren't so huge, it would probably notice less of the cosmetic imperfections.  Elsewise, everything is very well executed indeed (though not perfect, no).  Let's remember, these are pictures, not the real deal.  I wish I could capture everything in them.  Now, I'll be the first to admit that I have to be a bit of a salesman for eBay, but the goal is to get someone to get ahold of it and PLAY it.  That's usually what matters to me with the seller, and it is usually what matters to them.  Thus the return policy.

 

Jacob, here are some general measurements.  LOB is 355mm, neck from nut to body is 130mm, the bridge stop is 195mm, string length of 327mm, string afterlength of 54.5mm.  Upper bout 171mm, lower bouts 210mm.  And what a silly thing to say about American violinists of the early 20th century.  Didn't you know that Squier and White were making better violins at the end of the 19th Century than I think ever came out of Vienna?... The SUPPLY probably says something about the DEMAND  ;-)

 

CCM, thank you firstly for your well-intended feedback, and secondly for confirming that the wood is all-American for Jacob.  It's really not that difficult to tell if you know what to look for.  I was first exposed to it with C.F. Stanley's #11 violin which I owned several years ago.  Very similar!  Jacob says, "HOW ON EARTH CAN THEY TELL!?!?"  Jacob, you learn such things by researching... what a silly thing to wonder.  But then again, you said it.  No need to listen to you!   :-D

 

However, CCM... the height from neck mortise to the fingerboard is 6mm.  A very standard measurement, yes?  Again, pictures can skew certain things, perhaps.

 

Violadamore, there is a clip on the auction page.  And Carol Stross my dear, that is Tchaikovsky, not Bruch.......   And I'm sorry you don't like my playing.   :-)

 

Cheers!,

Jesse

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Indeed the wood is all-American.  I can't divulge how I know- but I do (trade secret, sorry Jacob).  I must admit that I do have a weakness for bear claw spruce which is said to come from the male spruce tree (sorry, can't tell you how I know that, Jacob).

All (~35) species of the genus Picea are monoecious.   cutting-tree-smiley.gif?1292867578

 

I like bear claws fresh from the bakery.     :rolleyes:  :D

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  Didn't you know that Squier and White were making better violins at the end of the 19th Century than I think ever came out of Vienna?...

 

Keep on taking the tablets.
 
PS: Should you require some reading on the subject:
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Didn't you know that Squier and White were making better violins at the end of the 19th Century than I think ever came out of Vienna?

I'm certain you must be joking here just to try and get a rise out of Mr. Saunders.  Nothing to be taken away from the work executed by Mr(s). White and Mr. Squire (I think all three were talented makers) but..well, a statement such as that might have a few people rethink opinions you make about your ebay offerings.

 

DGSR  :)

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I'm certain you must be joking here just to try and get a rise out of Mr. Saunders.  Nothing to be taken away from the work executed by Mr(s). White and Mr. Squire (I think all three were talented makers) but..well, a statement such as that might have a few people rethink opinions you make about your ebay offerings.

 

DGSR  :)

 

Bingo.  It usually takes a hard blow to break a thick shell.

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  And Carol Stross my dear, that is Tchaikovsky, not Bruch.......   And I'm sorry you don't like my playing.   :-)

 

Cheers!,

Jesse

 

Indeed, I stand corrected ! Great observation ! At the time, I was reading the score for Bruch and I misstyped. Absolutely no excuse though and I hope you'll accept my sincere apologies.

 

It's not that I don't "like" the playing, it's that you lack sense of pitch - you are uncapable of recovering after a "blunder" and the bow arm is not much better. The violin might not be too bad but what's coming out from YOUR example is plain scarry. Then how can I trust your opinion(s) ?  :)  

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 even if Mr Stross is still thinking about Nicola Benedetti.

 

  :rolleyes:  Good one !   I do actually. I listened to close to anything I could find with her and still do.

She's definetely got something interesting and I must say she's ( interpretatively )

consistent : she "chops" everything in small pieces. I'd say we stand to have a very

nice surprise in a few years from Mrs Benedetti and I wish her the best.

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I'm the wrong side of the pond but I've seen a few nice American violins of this sort of age, and the wood does seem to me to be very typical and characteristic. Either all these American makers wrote terrifyingly detailed letters to Markneukirchen wood dealers expressing their strange prejudices (and succeeded in making themselves understood) or they used local wood. I wonder which is more likely.

Personally I like the look of this violin a lot, but that's based on personal experience of several very similar looking violins that sounded excellent. 

Sound samples are a thorny issue, but I do think that if even 20% of violin dealers could play at this level, the world would be a better place. I don't set much store in sound samples, since you're always hearing a room, a recording approach and a player before you hear the violin, but I can hear that this is a sweet and fruity violin with a particularly nice tone on the G.

I don't see any extraordinary claims in the listing, and the price seems fair. If I was worried about the overstand I would ask for detailed photos, and if there's a problem I would offer less.

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the wood does seem to me to be very typical and characteristic. Either all these American makers wrote terrifyingly detailed letters to Markneukirchen wood dealers expressing their strange prejudices (and succeeded in making themselves understood) or they used local wood.

 

 

My reference to the wood (post #5) was to criticize the sweeping statement in the Ebay listing “The wood is all American” which by definition is a pure speculation by Jesse B presented as a certain fact. This is pure flatulence, since he can not know where the wood grew. You can only flatuate/speculate in this respect too.

 

Your suggestion that any American had to write “terrifyingly detailed letters to Markneukirchen wood dealers expressing their strange prejudices (and succeeded in making themselves understood)” Is 180° wide of the mark too. America had been the largest export market of the Markneukirchener wholesalers since the middle of the 19th C., and from 1880, there was even an American consulate in Markneukirchen to ensure smooth transactions.

 

Re German, since he is mentioned above by the ebay recidivist , Squier jun. spoke fluent German and even had his own business card in the German language, where he describes himself as “Fabrikanten, Importeure und Engrossisten (sic.)” although Jesse B will surely wish to correct him on that account.

 

 

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