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Slips through the cracks...


pahdah_hound

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But I wonder if all the glowing early writings of such as Benedek are not exaggerated.  Most of us who have seen enough Nemessanyi, Doetch, Voller, Panormo, and so forth,  know that we haven't seen one yet that would fool anyone.  So one wonders if it isn't more often than not a myth that they ever did.

 

 

A few points ...

I don't think there's any comparison with the Vollers, who copied the external aspects of instruments only - the inner work doesn't stand up to a moment's scrutiny, nor the purfling. Plus many other points of style that they just didn't notice.

I'm not aware of anyone who's seen "enough Nemessanyi" ...!

If you were looking at a superb copy/fake, how would you know? The only way of knowing would be the word of the maker (Jacob' s Roger Hargrave example fooled plenty ....) or in extremis a dendro.

Certainly we know of any number of examples which dendro has recently unmasked - for anything up to two centuries these instruments passed muster with all the great experts of the day. 

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But it would be interesting to know the history of the 120 rejects.  Given that they were "accepted for examination," the organizers must have had some reason to believe that they might be Strads.

 

Yes, the owners said so. :)  

 

Pardon me for asking but what exact point are you trying to make and why ??

 

This entire thread seems like a lot of energy spent on what's not even gossip. Are our esteemed armchair experts trying to warn the gullible public not to buy Nemessanys for cheap on the speculation they might be DGs ???  :lol:

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Yes, the owners said so. :)

 

Pardon me for asking but what exact point are you trying to make and why ??

 

This entire thread seems like a lot of energy spent on what's not even gossip. Are our esteemed armchair experts trying to warn the gullible public not to buy Nemessanys for cheap on the speculation they might be DGs ???  :lol:

 

if you'll be specific about what you find unclear, I can be specific about what was intended with my posts.

 

if your question is, why did I make the statement, "But it would be interesting to know the history of the 120 rejects.  Given that they were "accepted for examination," the organizers must have had some reason to believe that they might be Strads," my reason was I don't know if the organizers received 128 instruments in total to evaluate or they received only 128 that deserved more careful examination.  I can imagine that they received far more offers to provide instruments than 128 possible violins, and some were dismissed out of hand without looking at the instrument because of the source.  I would suspect that the organizers would have looked at possible reputable sources of Strads only in looking at 128 instruments.  If so, then rejecting 120 violins as non-Strads is significant, more significant than rejecting 120 random instruments which had Strad labels.  If they rejected 120  instruments from naive, deluded owners whose only criterion was the label says "Stradivarius", then it's not at all surprising that the number is as high as it is.

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David Schoenbaum, The Violin, 2013, p. 222, makes reference to that exhibition: "In 1937, with no Stradivaris in Cremona to  exhibit at the bicentennial exposition, the organizers appealed to owners everywhere and even the general public for specimens.  Of the 128 instruments accepted for examination, eight were found to be genuine."  Schoenbaum's reference is "Santoro, ed., Le Celebrazioni, pp. 19ff."

Thanks,Skiingfiddler,

I think that's what was in my mind, having re-read the book recently, but it may also have appeared elsewhere.

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The link that you cite, with the guidelines offered there, confirms that in art attribution a wide variety of institutions and people have input: academic institutions, museums, independent scholars and experts. 

 

While the field of violin attribution has gotten somewhat broader in recent years with non-dealer scholars and some use of university facilities and faculty -- for dendrochronology for example  -- the academic community doesn't seem as involved in violin authentication as it is in art.

Obviously, the world of fine arts in general, and visual arts in particular,  has a scope and profile way beyond that of stringed instruments. Safeguards, checks and balances, are in place proportionally. Even so, things there also slip through the cracks occasionally?

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Obviously, the world of fine arts in general, and visual arts in particular,  has a scope and profile way beyond that of stringed instruments. Safeguards, checks and balances, are in place proportionally. Even so, things there also slip through the cracks occasionally?

 

I didn't know that there were more safeguards, checks and balances in the art world than in the violin world before reading Schoenbaum and the document you linked to.  I assumed that dealers dominated expertise in art, as they do in violins. The question might be whether the violin world can evolve toward more safeguards, checks and balances and whether expertise in the art world is a model for that evolution.

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 The question might be whether the violin world can evolve toward more safeguards, checks and balances and whether expertise in the art world is a model for that evolution.

A discussion such as this can only be peripheral to the issue. It would be interesting to know if the major stakeholders, instrument makers, dealers, academic institutions, auction houses and their associations have advanced very far in finding a common way forward to some monitoring and regulation of the market.... or if it's even an issue at all on their agenda.  Probably something  beyond the scope of this forum.

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I didn't know that there were more safeguards, checks and balances in the art world than in the violin world before reading Schoenbaum and the document you linked to.  I assumed that dealers dominated expertise in art, as they do in violins. The question might be whether the violin world can evolve toward more safeguards, checks and balances and whether expertise in the art world is a model for that evolution.

I have a friend who worked for a prominent art dealer in NYC, and she says that you don't get to do both sides of the coin. One track or the other.

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I have a friend who worked for a prominent art dealer in NYC, and she says that you don't get to do both sides of the coin. One track or the other.

 

Duane,

 

I know nothing about the art world.  Does your statement mean that someone involved in the commerce of art is either a dealer or an authenticator; you can't be both?  If so, that's a pretty simple model to follow and a good idea.

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Id be interested in any opinions or comments.

[Considers the probable number of scammers naturalizing Chinese violins as Hungarian and listing them on "budget venues" at the same instant she's typing, then considers the gaggle of traditional dealers who've been flogged on this forum from time to time for creatively attributing "rubbish".]  

 

I feel that there is sure to be some "trickle down" effect from this.......  :rolleyes:  :lol:

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Well, the lovely example shown in post #62, along with the ones in Google Images (the ones which aren't junk  :) ), just show more examples which could not pass as Stradivari.*  How many examples do we need before we begin to suspect the premise?


 


*I have to admit I didn't look through all the Google images; maybe there is a really great example which could pass.   I'm still waiting for someone to post one which is close enough to leave some doubt.  Or point us to an example. And, of course, we could never prove that SOME Nemessanyi are passing as the real thing if some of them are good enough.  I'm just hoping to see one that is really close.


 


FWIW, all three I have seen were Strad patterned.  There was an example sold in S.F. back in the 1970s which was supposedly a great del Gesu copy. I didn't see it.  When I asked if it could pass as original, I was told it could not.


 


 


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  The catalog says that this violin was from the estate of Victor Aitray (1921-2012), Budapest-born former concertmaster of the Chicago symphony.

 

This story cries out for knowing more about the history of this instrument.

 

If this was Aitay's primary instrument, then this fiddle was in the concertmaster's hands in one of the world's best orchestras in which there must have been quite a few old Italian instruments including old Cremonas, in Chicago, which has had some of the best shops in the world for old Cremonas.  This fiddle would have gone through those shops for routine maintenance and been in the hands of restorers who had worked on plenty of old Cremonas.  One would think that somebody in those shops would have gotten suspicious about what this fiddle was and pursued it.

 

This fiddle apparently went unrecognized not only by Skinner's staff but also apparently went unrecognized in an environment -- concertmaster, Chicago Symphony, Chicago shops -- where one would expect recognition.

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Anybody registered with Brompton's to see how this one went?

 

http://www.bromptons.co/auction/30th-march-2015/lots/47-a-fine-hungarian-violin-by-samuel-nemessanyi-pest-1865.html

 

Looks great from photos.

post 16 ...

What an astounding violin. We put it through its paces on a few occasions and did a dendro - if it had been in perfect condition it would have gone for more.

It wiped the floor with the Guadagnini in the same sale.

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This story cries out for knowing more about the history of this instrument.

This fiddle apparently went unrecognized not only by Skinner's staff but also apparently went unrecognized in an environment -- concertmaster, Chicago Symphony, Chicago shops -- where one would expect recognition.

There does appear to be more to be told............

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