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Sorry, but this is toxic


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There was an Amati at the recent Bonhams sale which used to belong to Mussolini. A beautiful violin with a great sound, but somehow ex-Kreisler sounds better than ex-Mussolini ...!

 

I appreciate your sentiments, but I think this is a matter for personal choice, and it doesn't upset me that Tarisio should sell it. Their description is explicit.

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Thanks for the opinions, and I think, everybody should have one regarding this topic!

Martin: I think, there's a difference between an instrument once owned by a criminal (who mostly became the owner by theft or robbery, as we know), or a violin, which was clearly intended as a piece of criminal propaganda.

In this way it is a fascist violin, of course. And making money with it has a certain smell IMHO.

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By Blank faces logic, many Italian violins from the 1920-30-40s, would have to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

That would be a shame.

I seem to remember one particularly good maker was an admitted fascist, and was shot after Il Duces fall. Pedrazzini? Rovescalli?

Don't remember right now, but having held and played the instrument, I can assure you that the violin bears no responsibility for the actions of it's maker or the government the maker supported.

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The question of whether good art can be created by evil men is an interesting one that we'll never settle and about which everyone has to have an individual opinion.  For example, do we condemn and shun the music of Wagner because he was rabidly antisemitic?  The paintings of Caravaggio (murderer)?  The Amati violin that supposedly belonged to Mussolini at one time solely because it was once his, even though he didn't make it?  I suppose it could be argued that that Amati violin was rescued from a Fascist fate. 

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-I'm sorry, I'm to stupid to upload these properly.

I have quite a collection of these labels in the meantime, which I get asked to take out of perfectly innocent “Dutzendware” instruments that have belonged to a local grammar school since they were bought ca. 1900. I have been saving them for the next Hargrave violin that comes for minor service (I have some tweezers ready). The school was a teacher training college in the 30's, and these were their inventory tickets. They also have a good library of sheet music, and you can borrow all the orchestral parts for a Schubert symphony if you like. It's still Schubert, even if a swastika library stamp is at the top of every page

OCR0001.BMP

Scan10050.zip

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Interesting posts, but I'm guessing, not one of them gets the point.

There were surely many violin makers in many countries with nasty opinions or nasty livings.

And many of the greatest pieces of art (if not all?) once in their history belonged to suspicious people.

A Schubert with a Nazi stamp still is an innocent piece of music.

With Wagner it starts to get difficult.

 

But this violin, still IMHO, is different from all those, just because it was meant from it's beginning as a symbol and expression for a special way to treat people, and this way is still alive.

Somebody out there is getting the difference?

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I understand what you are saying, and the difference, but I don't think this is an example of fascist propaganda. More likely just an overly enthusiastic maker.

 

I think it was meant, from the beginning, to be a violin. Not very different from the star of david violins that come up every now and then. ( I mean, besides one being a religious symbol and the other being an insane dictator.) It is a very poor example of fascist propaganda, if that's what it's suppose to be, and one of the thing these kinds of governments did exceptionally well was propaganda.

 

What are your concerns regarding this violin? I don't see it as attracting the same kind of goulish buyers that go after Nazi memorabilia. What would you propose become of this violin? Is it just the sale of it that bothers you?

Thanks!

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You really mean that:"Not very different from the star of David"???????????????

 

What made fascim kill millions over millions were the "overly enthusiatic" average followers, the willing helpers, as I have heard.

And what should become of this violin, I posted at #1.

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Easy now.

I meant that putting an expression or symbol of your belief or your faith or your political leanings on your creation is similar. NOT that the star of David is similar to a fascist dictator. The act is similar, not the symbol.

With respect for the victims of fascism, why not let this violin make beautiful music and bring some beauty and happiness to others. That is what it was, and still is, for.

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Also, it is a bit unfair to assume to know the true feeling and political leanings of a long dead stranger. Many were swept up in the embrace of fascism and it's twisted utopian promises. Many also "woke up" at some point. Unfortunately, too few too late. But perhaps this man later in life rejected the poisonous ideaology he embraced and spent the rest of his days working for good. Maybe. Maybe not.

Not every child, or adult for that matter, that scrawled a swastika, or other fascist symbol, on their possessions were evil. Many, even most, were just weak and ignorant.

 

Words and symbols are not in and of themselves evil and should not be feared. Only when they are wielded by evil people do they harm. The word DUCE on this violin is harmless, and it would be a shame for this instrument to not be allowed to serve it's purpose because of one word.

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Turning to the violin, I was wondering if anybody could tell me what is “Roman” about it?

I cannot see how anybody could know for certain with what reason or motivation this word was written on the violin by whom, or what whoever wrote it meant. Seen elsewhere, I could suspect a sly ebay trick to lull people into thinking it was Italian. Could it be somebody's surname for instance? Are there other possible explanations? As to the “Star of David” violins, these were Markneukirchen “fancy” trade violins from the 19th C. and have any old star inlayed as a decoration, and were no more an expression of any attitude by their destitute makers, than were the ones with a castle on the back.

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I wonder if people would be equally upset if it belonged to Joe Stalin and had a hammer and sickle on the inside? He killed 30-40,000 of his own officers after the war just because he was paranoid about them staging a coup, not to mention all the millions of others.

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A violin with a"concealed" inscription of Stalins's name wouldn't (most probably)  be sold at an western auction, I suppose (and if so, I would call it also toxic, to make this clear).

I was waiting for this argument, I heard it so many times in such discussions, not new.

I can imagine some other mass murderer's names, more from the middle east and not dead for longer than some years, nobody would like to see at a violin's back.

But why should "Duce" be harmless?

Jacob is on the right trace, when he is suspecting a sly (EBay) trick - it is meant as a proof for the italian origin, and that shall make the business.

Italian! An italian violin! It must be harmless, only an innocent symbol! It's just made for music!

I can't get it, how it is possible to ignore the meaning, the real meaning of this word, and that this is not a "political opinion" nor a fancy decoration, but a kind of hate speech.

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I can't get it, how it is possible to ignore the meaning, the real meaning of this word, and that this is not a "political opinion" nor a fancy decoration, but a kind of hate speech.

Don’t forget, the next time you go to the Philharmonie, that all of those at the front are “Stimmführer” :)

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimmf%C3%BChrer

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But why should "Duce" be harmless?

 

How does it do any harm?

Who is it harming?

 

I don't believe that coming across an historical article with the name or symbol of a dictator on it, placed there by some long dead maker, counts as hate speech in any way. Nor does selling it. Are you suggesting that by selling this violin Tarisio is advocating the policies of Mussolini? I hope not.

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Don’t forget, the next time you go to the Philharmonie, that all of those at the front are “Stimmführer” :)

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimmf%C3%BChrer

 Yes, and when I'm walking on the streets, I'm going to see some "Kranführer", I'm riding with a "Lokführer" and climbing the mountains with a "Bergführer" - all honest people <_< .

BTW, we tried some weeks ago to teach our smallest boy to tell his little toy man a "Baggerführer", not a "-führer" only - all had a laugh about it.

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How does it do any harm?

Who is it harming?

 

I don't believe that coming across an historical article with the name or symbol of a dictator on it, placed there by some long dead maker, counts as hate speech in any way. Nor does selling it. Are you suggesting that by selling this violin Tarisio is advocating the policies of Mussolini? I hope not.

Sorry, but I'm not going to teach history here. The easiest way is to study some Wikipedia about who and how and what, and to read some newspaper about who is praising and following Mussolini today.

 

The last is answered before, it's more a question of business and negligence.

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I do not need any lessons on history, thank you very much. And I do a very good job keeping up with world affairs, thanks again.

 

My question has nothing to do with history, but rather how does a violin with the word DUCE written on the back do harm, and to whom?

Are you really proposing that this violin could be used as a propaganda tool today?

By giving these things some sort of talismanic power you allow them to be used. Power attracts all sorts, often bad. Take away the power and nobody would be interested in a violin with an Italian word ham-handedly scrawled on the back. By insisting that it be locked away, you give it a meaning and influence that it need not have.

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I do not need any lessons on history, thank you very much. And I do a very good job keeping up with world affairs, thanks again.

 

My question has nothing to do with history, but rather how does a violin with the word DUCE written on the back do harm, and to whom?

Are you really proposing that this violin could be used as a propaganda tool today?

By giving these things some sort of talismanic power you allow them to be used. Power attracts all sorts, often bad. Take away the power and nobody would be interested in a violin with an Italian word ham-handedly scrawled on the back. By insisting that it be locked away, you give it a meaning and influence that it need not have.

 

I don't like it to repeat me, but if you're insisting:

1.) Making business with an artefact intending (or pretending to do so, as Jacob Saunders was suspecting) to make fascist propaganda is doing harm to the many victims of fascism and everybody who is related to them or just sympathetic.(See post #1)

2.) Yes! Fascists still are existing, and there harming, hurting and killing people.

3.) Talking of some mysterious "talismanic power" is nothing I can understand (diplomatic, less diplomatic: Nonsense IMO). But to ignore fascistic/racistic/antisemitic etc. ideas and activities is the best way to strengthen them.

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