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Not my EBay violin


victordriver
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Hmmmmm ....

There is widespread ignorance about Mirecourt violins, but there's also a lot of deliberate misunderstanding. For instance I had a conversation yesterday with a customer who had been advised to get a Collin-Mezin or a JB Colin for her daughter. Dealers advance the name of JB Colin as if it was broadly equivalent to Collin-Mezin, when the reality is that these were rather poor Laberte Workshop violins with a name made up to cash in on (or steal) the success of the Collin-Mezin family.

I have an H Blaise which I'm setting up today (this is a Cousenon-Bernardel trade name). Doing a quick trawl to establish a fair retail price I found several reputable shops selling such instruments as "made by H Blaise", "bearing his usual handwritten label" and "from the workshop of H Blaise".

We regularly see similar commercially advantageous misunderstandings with Geronimo Barnabetti, Arthur Parisot, Blondelet, Acoulon, Albert Deblaye, Fournier, Torelli, and about a hundred other names either fabricated or borrowed off someone in the office or bought from an expired luthier's widow.

Nicolas Bertholini is one of these, and the production of violins bearing this particular label runs from about 1910 to 1930. I couldn't say whether the seller knows this or not - misinformation is so widespread, even the venerable luthier who plans to certify it may think it was genuinely made in 1810 with some futuristic industrial varnish and crazily modernist design.

The price seems very fair ... but the description is inaccurate!

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Whose label?  For all the 3 photos provided show me it could come from Beijing or Bubenreuth.  Private listing, no returns, £1,200.00 opening bid, £150.00 shipping, and seller has only 8 previous sales, none of anything expensive or music related.  I see nothing blatantly wrong with the violin, but little right with the listing.  I would respectfully suggest that the seller examine similar offerings for ideas before doing this again.  OTOH, the accessories offered sound like a nice package deal.

 

My serious guess on the provenance, allowing some slack for an obvious newbie, is midrange late 19th. to early 20th. century Mirecourt...

 

Edit--Thanks, Martin, you of course have probably nailed it.

 

Did you intentionally shoot your new avatar photo to look impressively Macholdish? :lol:

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Violadamore, you need to swat up on your Mirecourt violins.

100% standard Bertholini - I'll see if I can find a sample label.

Even the wood is typical :lol:

 

attachicon.gifbertholini028.jpg

Yep, you're of course right.  The seller, of course only showed the bottom of the label with the 1810, and nowhere names the luthier.  I should have hit the Terrier site before posting..

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Sorry, I don't follow on the label. Is the view that the violin is a Bertholini that has had an incorrect label (date) attached to it?

 

I find the advertisement vague - this isn't someone that I would have confidence dealing with. What exactly are the bows offered - brazilwood or pernambuco? It strikes me that the description has been written in such a way that it promises a lot but actually guarantees nothing. Perhaps the advertiser thinks he knows what it is. Was the luthier's name meant to be read?

 

As for the advice given.....edit - by the advertiser not maestronetters!!

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I find the advertisement vague - this isn't someone that I would have confidence dealing with. What exactly are the bows offered - brazilwood or pernambuco? It strikes me that the description has been written in such a way that it promises a lot but actually guarantees nothing

 

 
I had been wondering if this was the one you bought at Bonhams, untill you pointed out the advertising copy:
 
“MADE OF Pernambuco & Ebony wood  (of which a complete in-house bow re-hair (male horse hair)”
 
I wonder how one can do a gender test on horse hair?
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Standard Bertholini label, standard Bertholini violin.

I think it's most likely that the seller has no idea that these labels indicate an early 20th century violin.

I can post more photos of Bertholini labels if you like .... :lol:

Male vs. female horse hair - smell it of course. As far as I know the only reason for preferring male horsehair is connected to horsey personal hygiene.

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Sorry, I don't follow on the label. Is the view that the violin is a Bertholini that has had an incorrect label (date) attached to it?

 

 The seller never gives or shows the luthier name, or I'd have checked it first :wub: ............

 

 

It's all somewhere in here, enjoy :)  http://www.luthiers-mirecourt.com/documentation.htm

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/250947-help-nicolas-bertholini/

 

Proof of Martin's expertise:

http://martinswanviolins.com/sales/a-mirecourt-violin-nicolas-bertholini-c1910/

 

Here's an offering of one where one photo is probably adequate http://www.ebay.com/itm/VIOLON-ANCIEN-NICOLAS-BERTHOLINI-OLD-FRENCH-VIOLIN-POUR-RESTAURATION-/350894136418?pt=FR_YO_OInstrumentsMusique_Cordes&hash=item51b2eb9c62  :lol:

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And I thought you knew something about violin identification, Jacob!

i must admit it is a bit awkward when I try to walk through doorways, but at least people know I'm dedicated ....

Bertholinis - sold about 10, they are very common. In fact the label crops up on violins with quite different varnish and model, but that one is "quintessential".

re the previous Maestronet thread (2004), Bertholini is a Laberte trade name, not JTL.

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Without a root attached, damfino.  Lusitano's bailiwick, anyway.  The folks who sell it proclaim it as such, nobler, i guess, until you consider that it probably came from geldings :lol:

 

Excuse you?! Leave Portugal's last remaining pride and joy intact please, it's one of the very few things that the TROIKA hasn't gotten to and we can still boast about.... me LOL

 

Having said that, the fact listings such as these go into serious detail about things which are hard to prove (male horse hair?) sets off alarm bells and the fact the ebay seller history is short and not instrument related makes it worst. Is it totally impossible that the label is not original? I've seen a few "new" sellers with little to no sales history poke at violins with unusually "uncommon" or better words, not the run of the mill instruments on ebay. Something smells horsey...

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Standard Bertholini label, standard Bertholini violin.

I think it's most likely that the seller has no idea that these labels indicate an early 20th century violin.

I can post more photos of Bertholini labels if you like .... :lol:

Male vs. female horse hair - smell it of course. As far as I know the only reason for preferring male horsehair is connected to horsey personal hygiene.

 

OOOOOps - sorry totally misread your posting.Still doesn't leave me with any confidence in the seller.

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OOOOOps - sorry totally misread your posting.Still doesn't leave me with any confidence in the seller.

 

If you get bored with Bonhams, you should buy a train ticket through the channel tunnel to a Paris auction next time. It’s just as grotty, but much more exciting because of the nutty French numbers. Every time that I have been, there were always a few “Berthoini” factory violins with exactly that label. You can look at them, say “Oh”, then walk on and look at something else and don’t even have to listen to anyone telling you about bow-hair sex, since the catalogue is in French
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If you get bored with Bonhams, you should buy a train ticket through the channel tunnel to a Paris auction next time. It’s just as grotty, but much more exciting because of the nutty French numbers. Every time that I have been, there were always a few “Berthoini” factory violins with exactly that label. You can look at them, say “Oh”, then walk on and look at something else and don’t even have to listen to anyone telling you about bow-hair sex, since the catalogue is in French

 

Bromptons actually. I did think about running 'bow-hair sex' through google translate so that I could use the phrase across the channel but perhaps not.

 

Anyway, I feel that my time with Maestronet is done, so I will say 'au revoir' et 'bon chance'

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 Is it totally impossible that the label is not original?

Yes ... :)

unless someone removed a label from a Bertholini and put it in a .................. Bertholini (a plot so fiendishly evil that not even Vuillaume would have thought of it)!

 

Jacob, since France joined the Euro (2002) things are much duller. However, the amounts charged for cups of coffee are pretty nutty, even by Viennese standards I would think.

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If you get bored with Bonhams, you should buy a train ticket through the channel tunnel to a Paris auction next time. It’s just as grotty, but much more exciting because of the nutty French numbers. Every time that I have been, there were always a few “Berthoini” factory violins with exactly that label. You can look at them, say “Oh”, then walk on and look at something else and don’t even have to listen to anyone telling you about bow-hair sex, since the catalogue is in French

 

 

Hmmm...

 

post-35343-0-17397300-1381791739_thumb.jpg

 

evil-genius-smiley.gif?1292867590

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I’m not sure if that’s Mongolian, or mongoloid.   :rolleyes:

 

smiley1901.gif

 

Lol, I'm loving creative use of smilies. I only now realized Martin Swan is the Martin Swan with the violin antlers, I'm literally in shock!

 

Back on topic, is it me or are violins out of the normally offered ebay stocks popping up all over the place? It's disheartening if it's true, I rather liked the pompous adverts for "Genuine" strad/amati/DG and countless "old" stainers".....

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