Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Huge gap between estimate and sale price - thoughts on why?


Kjlawrence
 Share

Recommended Posts

If pushed to guess, I would say that two bidders feel confident that it is actually by Matthias Albani rather than just attributed to?  Or is it possible that they feel it is another very highly regarded maker altogether?  I am curious about what those with extensive auction experience think could lead to such a huge under-estimation.  Thanks!

 

http://tarisio.com/pages/auction/auction_item.php?csid=2197880832&cpid=3212640256&sCategory_ID=32

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried to discuss it before, here:

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/329061-tyrolean-violin-and-viola-at-tarisio/

mainly under the aspect of the controversial "tyrolean" attribution,

but nobody seems to be interested.

Tyrol may sometimes be located in Florence or Rome, not only in Bohemia. ;)

Did you notice the soundpost crack in the back?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was following this one closely, I love big violas. The back SPC is what I find interesting, its clearly stated in the condition report. It seems more and more that people are disregarding the common belief that back SPCs are instrument killers.

 

17th and 18th century violas over 17 inches are pretty rare in the US. I'll bet it has a killer sound. All it takes is a couple guys who really want a big old viola that sounds great and have that kind of mad money. My bet is that its gone to an end user, not a dealer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how to ask this question, or if it can be answered.  But I'm curious if anyone knows how often these "sleepers" (or in this case maybe a "semi-sleeper") turn out to be proven worth the money paid.  

 

The question might be complicated since I would assume that big shops or experts with sufficient clout could sustain their opinions whether truly right or not.  And most of us don't know the history of the instrument after it leaves the auction.

 

So I guess my simplified question is:  Are these bidders who pay far more than the estimate usually right, or not?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This question can only answer the winning bidder him/herself: Did they get, what they wanted to get?

Whoelse should tell?

 

My first thought was, here might be somebody speculating on an italian instrument, but deans' opinion sounds also convincing. It's always worth, what a buyer wants to pay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My view with this instrument is that two players fought over it - large violas of this age are rare as hen's teeth, and if it sounded good (as the Kenneth Warren letter asserted), then it would be worth a lot to a baroque player.

I like Jacob's highlighted flame/ Füssen possibility. But who's to say a huge lovely old Füssen mega-viola isn't worth $30K?

So I don't think this was a sleeper so much as a rare instrument with a lot of value to a very small number of people - the beauty of the internet is that specialists can find such things.

In general, it would seem that when 2 experts identify a genuine sleeper, the price paid is almost always much higher than if it had been correctly identified. "Sleeper hubris" is the technical term, and it serves auctioneers well ...!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

17th and 18th century violas over 17 inches are pretty rare in the US. I'll bet it has a killer sound. All it takes is a couple guys who really want a big old viola that sounds great and have that kind of mad money. My bet is that its gone to an end user, not a dealer.

 

If I might make an observation:

The antique makers here (in Austria), the large majority of whom were ethnic Füsseners, but also those with roots in the Salzkammergut, made quite a lot of Violas in the 42cm/43cm LOB and more range, in the period up to about 1750. Interestingly, should one come across one of these with its original undisturbed neck, one can’t help noticing that they are scarcely longer than violin necks. I have always explained this to myself, that the viola prior to 1750ish, was more an instrument to fill in the harmony, scarcely venturing out of first position, until the likes of Haydn started to write string quartetts etc. and the ladies and gentlemen Violists had things to play that they would need to go home and practice! Certainly after approx. 1750ish and through the entire 19th. C, violas of this size didn’t seem to be wanted and were therefore not made (exceptions, I know). The widespread redundancy of large Violas might even have lasted until Lionel Tertis. The musicologists on this forum are invited to correct me if I’m talking nonsense

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Acer rubrum?

 

Sorry, I'm not into ---Dendrophilia -------------(or less often arborphilia or dendrophily) which literally means "love of trees". The term may sometimes refer to a paraphilia in which people are sexually attracted to or sexually aroused by trees. This may involve sexual contact or veneration as phallic symbols or both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Acer rubrum?

 

 

That flame figure looks oddly tight and I'm not entirely sure natural flame can have such figure in slab cuts even in acer rubrum. The back does look like it's slab cut judging by the blotted grain, can anyone confirm?

 

Personally, I wouldn't be caught spending anywhere near as much on an instrument I have not seen or played in person. Auction house fever pushing out big bucks? It might have been wiser *for that price* to actually commission or have a shop like Jeff's search for a suitable instrument...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What makes you suppose that the buyer didn't play it?

 

Tarisio is a very attractive online venue, but it's also a great auction for players since everything is well set up and immediately playable. Tarisio viewings can be noisy - it's getting worse, which is a good thing. When I first started going to auctions you could hear a pin drop - no-one ever played the damn things. Now you get 20 simultaneous interpretations of the Bruch, plus a few Meditiations from Thais, all critically out of tune with each other.

 

It's also nice for dealers since the sale prices are semi-private - for all you know Jeffrey bought it!

 

Wood - perfectly believable, with the flame fading out as the grain moves off the quarter .... it's a big piece of wood with a high arch, so it can't all present the same figure. But I also think the flame could have been "intensified" at the time of making.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What makes you suppose that the buyer didn't play it?

And for all you know Jeffrey bought it!

Tarisio is a very attractive online venue, but it's also a great auction for players since everything is well set up and immediately playable.

It's also nice for dealers since the sale prices are semi-private!

I thought the auctions were private and online only like ebay. I had no idea interested buyers could actually observe and play live (so used to ebay stories I now automatically assume this of all online auction houses). Thanks for the clarification!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

It's also nice for dealers since the sale prices are semi-private -

 

 

 

Well over €30.000 by the time you have paid the customs, and have it in your living room, for (were my gut feeling be anywhere near correct) an old Füssener Viola with a back post crack is certainly very “semi-private"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Really ?

Not everything is well set up, but most are, depending on how picky you are. I've been to many of these auctions, unfortunately I live far away now, I would have liked to try that one, but I would have been out early in the bidding.

 

Tarisio had another early large viola with a lion scroll, early in the their days, that one also went for more than expected, I think around 10K. And a really large old Flemish (if I recall correctly) viola, over 18 inches that also went high. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought the auctions were private and online only like ebay. I had no idea interested buyers could actually observe and play live (so used to ebay stories I now automatically assume this of all online auction houses). Thanks for the clarification!

Ebay is not a venue, it's a piece of software - every seller on Ebay is different. 

I used to sell regularly on Ebay - lots of people used to come and try things before bidding. 

 

I'm not aware of any "online auction house" that doesn't have public viewings .....

 

Tarisio makes more effort than most to present instruments in playable condition - it's very rare to see something without strings (though I've never been to a Speculative and Restorable sale). Ingles & Hayday are also very assiduous, and pretty much everything at their first sale was playable. But this is definitely for the benefit of private buyers - I hardly ever see a dealer playing anything. A few pluck the strings, but it seems very lacklustre, just to stop them from falling asleep!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ebay is not a venue, it's a piece of software - every seller on Ebay is different. 

I used to sell regularly on Ebay - lots of people used to come and try things before bidding. 

 

I'm not aware of any "online auction house" that doesn't have public viewings .....

 

Tarisio makes more effort than most to present instruments in playable condition - it's very rare to see something without strings (though I've never been to a Speculative and Restorable sale). Ingles & Hayday are also very assiduous, and pretty much everything at their first sale was playable. But this is definitely for the benefit of private buyers - I hardly ever see a dealer playing anything. A few pluck the strings, but it seems very lacklustre, just to stop them from falling asleep!

 

My first Tarisio "trial" experience was this Spring in NY and it was really great - nice, helpful reception, very accommodating and absolutely no pressure.  I spent hours trying every viola and most of the top violins, just because I was curious and could since it is self-serve.  For comparison, I would not feel comfortable walking into a top shop and asking to try a Cappa violin, knowing full well that I could never afford it or really even do it justice.  There were many talented students trying violins and cellos (I was the lone violist), and a few serious-faced men with measuring tapes, loops and calipers, not playing, that I assume were dealers, based on Martin's comment.  Only a few instruments were not set up.  I found that it was a great and quick way to hone in on what one likes (and doesn't) given the wild range of viola shapes and sizes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...