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Rue

Ethics: What if you DID find a real Strad in the attic or at a garage sale?

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1 hour ago, Greg F. said:

Leaving aside the near zero chance of finding a "loose" Strad in the attic, does anyone have any more genuine "discoveries" (i. e. valuable instruments or bows found in unlikely places) that they'd care to share?  

Define "valuable" and "unlikely places".  Stuff you can repair and flip for 10 times the as-is price is common on eBay.  Stuff you can repair and get appraised at 20x to 100x appears there occasionally.  Brick-and-mortar antique dealers frequently overprice their 20th. C. student "rubbish" (the cute numbered and dated labels confuse them) but miss valuable older violins as often as not due to condition.  You don't have to root in attics for Strads to show a profit. :lol:

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On 1/19/2017 at 8:17 AM, Greg F. said:

Leaving aside the near zero chance of finding a "loose" Strad in the attic, does anyone have any more genuine "discoveries" (i. e. valuable instruments or bows found in unlikely places) that they'd care to share?  

I see that posts are no longer numbered, but see my post: the 5th from the OP.  That instrument is now worth $100,000.  I don't want to say what it is.

WHY AREN'T POSTS STILL NUMBERED, Jeffry?  I think it occasionally comes in handy.

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On 1/19/2017 at 10:44 AM, Violadamore said:

Define "valuable" and "unlikely places".  Stuff you can repair and flip for 10 times the as-is price is common on eBay.  Stuff you can repair and get appraised at 20x to 100x appears there occasionally.  Brick-and-mortar antique dealers frequently overprice their 20th. C. student "rubbish" (the cute numbered and dated labels confuse them) but miss valuable older violins as often as not due to condition.  You don't have to root in attics for Strads to show a profit. :lol:

Define them however you like.  So, any "discoveries" you're willing to share with us?

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On 1/18/2017 at 11:46 PM, Rue said:

What if you DID find a real Strad (or DG etc.) in the attic or at a garage sale? Are you obligated to inform whoever had it before you? Do you have to give them more money? Do you have to give it back?  What if you keep it? What if you sell it?

Or how valuable does an object have to be before this becomes an issue?

Or what if someone gave me a known Strad or DG etc.)? Can they even do that?

Inquiring (procrastinating) minds need to ponder such things. .;)

 

Strads, I couldn't say but when it comes to paintings it'll depend on who's the owner at the moment you acquired it. You'll excuse me if I don't elaborate further. :) And if yourself find a Strad, keep it. They were negligent and deserve to be punished. :)

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7 hours ago, Will L said:

I see that posts are no longer numbered, but see my post: the 5th from the OP.  That instrument is now worth $100,000.  I don't want to say what it is.

WHY AREN'T POSTS STILL NUMBERED, Jeffry?  I think it occasionally comes in handy.

I think Glenn explained this earlier.  Problem is, when a post is deleted, the numbers are subject to change.  Best way around it is quoting.

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Look... I'm sure everyone here has a good idea of what's the right thing to do if a treasure of an instrument is "found" in an unlikely place. Simply try to determine who is the rightful owner (the person who lost it by whatever means, their heirs, the current property owner, etc). If that can't be determined, there is a process to follow to help establish legal title.  A lawyer can probably help with that.

If a legal owner is offering a violin and has set a price, only your conscience can hold you back from paying the price and owning the fiddle.

If you're asked how much a violin might be worth, and you are in the position to know and are willing to answer, it's advisable to answer honestly.  If you don't know, you can say so. If you're a pro and answer dishonestly, you may end up in court.

If something is too good to be true (a fine fiddle in an unlikely place offered by an unlikely and/or suspicious character), proceed at your own risk.  You may be buying stolen goods.

If a violin is offered in an auction salesroom, has proper ownership provenance, and is mis-identified (offered for too little), I believe that's on the auction house, but I'm not a lawyer.

If you obtain, and then sell on, a valuable object you've acquired without performing due diligence to ensure  "clean title", you've put yourself in an interesting and possibly expensive, uncomfortable, position.

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On ‎1‎/‎21‎/‎2017 at 0:23 AM, Jeffrey Holmes said:

...If a violin is offered in an auction salesroom, has proper ownership provenance, and is mis-identified (offered for too little), I believe that's on the auction house, but I'm not a lawyer...

A recent noteworthy example of this scenario occurred in 2014 when Skinner sold a mis-identified Del Gesu for around $15,000.  It was previously discussed on the Auction Scroll:

 

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Discovering an unknown Strad or Del Gesu might be the most extreme theoretical case, but in the end, isn't finding a promising fiddle or bow cheaply, getting it certified and selling it on at a three or four digit percent profit what the violin dealing business is really about? Taking a commission on a consignment sale is one way to make income, especially if one does it in volume like an auction house, but isn't every dealer hoping to make a few "discoveries" per year? Even between dealers, this sort of thing happens often. I know of dealers who get frustrated being unable to sell an instrument and pass it on to another, saying 50k$ is enough for them, then dealer 2 goes and gets a certificate from expert B and sells it for 300k$. The big profit goes to the seller who can make the sale, I guess.

 

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8 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

Discovering an unknown Strad or Del Gesu might be the most extreme theoretical case, but in the end, isn't finding a promising fiddle or bow cheaply, getting it certified and selling it on at a three or four digit percent profit what the violin dealing business is really about? Taking a commission on a consignment sale is one way to make income, especially if one does it in volume like an auction house, but isn't every dealer hoping to make a few "discoveries" per year? Even between dealers, this sort of thing happens often. I know of dealers who get frustrated being unable to sell an instrument and pass it on to another, saying 50k$ is enough for them, then dealer 2 goes and gets a certificate from expert B and sells it for 300k$. The big profit goes to the seller who can make the sale, I guess.

 

Fair profit is, of course, the object of any business... or at least any solvent business.  If I buy a piece (put my own funds in), I'd certainly want the ability to realize more than a consignment sale would yield (in most cases, there are exceptions). "Discoveries" are wonderful. They help offset the cost of doing business. For me, the same rules apply as I listed above.

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8 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

Discovering an unknown Strad or Del Gesu might be the most extreme theoretical case, but in the end, isn't finding a promising fiddle or bow cheaply, getting it certified and selling it on at a three or four digit percent profit what the violin dealing business is really about? Taking a commission on a consignment sale is one way to make income, especially if one does it in volume like an auction house, but isn't every dealer hoping to make a few "discoveries" per year? Even between dealers, this sort of thing happens often. I know of dealers who get frustrated being unable to sell an instrument and pass it on to another, saying 50k$ is enough for them, then dealer 2 goes and gets a certificate from expert B and sells it for 300k$. The big profit goes to the seller who can make the sale, I guess.

See: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-12-02/news/0412020147_1_kenneth-warren-son-violin-estate

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6 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Fair profit is, of course, the object of any business... or at least any solvent business.  If I buy a piece (put my own funds in), I'd certainly want the ability to realize more than a consignment sale would yield (in most cases, there are exceptions). "Discoveries" are wonderful. They help offset the cost of doing business. For me, the same rules apply as I listed above.

Hear! Hear!  As true down here in the rubbish bin as elsewhere, BTW. :)

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