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Televet

Mad Money

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In Dwight's 18th Century Viola thread, Deans uses the term 'mad money' to describe what amounts to a gamble on an instrument or instruments at  a distant online auction. For most purchasers of a T2 instrument, we  won't have the opportunity to try them, but many of us will bid and sometimes buy. I have bought a couple of violins and a bow from T2 since the T2 inception, with low expectations, yet have been happy with the results.

Dwight started the ball rolling, an 18th Century Probably French Viola in not bad shape, with a very reasonable guide price.Capture.JPG.4bdff949cc15d2e938fb743e5fa5e4f7.JPG

 

I kind of liked this one for no other reason than that it caught my eye, but I probably won't bid on it because my mad money fund is lowish right now and because of the horrible Canadian Exchange Rate.

Capture.JPG.3276403a1042d6c238678a56bbf051f3.JPG

I was also attracted to Lot 161 initially by its beautiful 'Fahrkarte' and then it grew on me!Capture.JPG.9326e1b83631126e528bff4c7c29e45b.JPG

So, what about my mad  money choices for T2 September Sale, and where would you direct your mad money?

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I have to say I like Dwights pick. The size worries me though, I would need to play this one. There are always a half dozen or so fiddles that I like, I try to hold off, but sometimes give in. Waiting for that 17 inch plus old German/Austrian instrument of my dreams.

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This one is kind of interesting.  It looks good, looks like the setup is good, is cheap, and probably no more likely to sound worse than any of the rest:
https://t2-auctions.com/auctions/lot/?csid=2198667264&cpid=3483615232&filter_key=4a508f37c390b6ff25c931321c8ec316

The one that says so-and-so, student of Scarampella is kind of interesting.  I can't find the name but the scroll isn't too far off maybe...  An invitation to wishful thinking though, unlike the first one.

 

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Lot 185, of course!  I understand that it has a known pedigree, but wow, it looks like a child made it with a spoon and a steak knife.  I wonder if it really will go for over $10,000...or for the $30,000 that they think it might go for...so definitely watching just for fun.  I hope the Mad Money game becomes a thing.  I like knowing what people would buy if they were buying.

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Yes, sounds like she did great work. But I'm not sure I get the label. Was she the owner of "Strings and things" , or the owner of a violin purchased there.

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A little sleuthing turns up she "operated"  "Things In Strings repair, sales, and rental shop in Lakeland".  I'd guess she ordered the violin for the shop and it arrived thinking she was its maker so she fixed it by crossing out the word "luthier" and adding the "Made expressly..."  Sounds like she helped found a couple of orchestras and school string programs and at some point made supplies and services available.

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On September 7, 2017 at 12:39 PM, not telling said:

Lot 185, of course!  I understand that it has a known pedigree, but wow, it looks like a child made it with a spoon and a steak knife.  I wonder if it really will go for over $10,000...or for the $30,000 that they think it might go for...so definitely watching just for fun.  I hope the Mad Money game becomes a thing.  I like knowing what people would buy if they were buying.

Went for $27,500; $33,000 with premium.

https://t2-auctions.com/auctions/lot/?csid=2198667264&cpid=3438886912&filter_key=f2cc69870db25d4f112eba4b2a2b93d8

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23 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Holy Crap Batman!

Someone must have decided they knew what it was!  I would say that auction did very well.  A quick sloppy count puts about 90% sold.

DLB

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We tend to assume that when the price goes up the bidders involved must know what they are doing ....

And yet it's surely easier to pay too much for something at auction than to pay too little!

OTOH, I can't see much wrong or "ill-educated" about this violin, and to me it is very far from the work of a child with a steak knife. It has been knocked about a bit, and the erosion to the right f-hole makes it look massively more wonky than it is. But look at the arching, the wood, the varnish - this is (or in my view was) a classy violin.

 

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

And yet it's surely easier to pay too much for something at auction than to pay too little!

Yes, the infamous "Winner's Curse:"

Quote

"The winner's curse is a tendency for the winning bid in an auction to exceed the intrinsic value of the item purchased. Because of incomplete information, emotions or any other number of factors regarding the item being auctioned, bidders can have a difficult time determining the item's intrinsic value."

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/winnerscurse.asp

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Lot 185 was fiercely contested but by a very limited and determined field (perhaps it would be impolite fro me to say quite how limited). "Dwight's" 18th C French Viola made a good price and "his" Breton looked like it might have  made its buyer happy. 

Interesting to see the effect of Hans Karl Schmidt's certificates on the prices of Bows. Mostly the bows tracked their estimates pretty closely but the ones with his certificates exceeded their estimates by a good solid margin and attracted numerous and diverse bidders. All in all a fine day at the races!

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20 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

 

.... A quick sloppy count puts about 90% sold.

DLB

and  the after-sales have accounted for the rest.. With two hours to go there is just a solitary bow left...

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13 minutes ago, Televet said:

and  the after-sales have accounted for the rest.. With two hours to go there is just a solitary bow left...

They are nothing if not organized.  The 6 transactions I have had with them have all gone very smooth and they are always responsive to me emails. (even though I am a PITA)

:-)

DLB

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Yeah this seems to have been a very successful auction compared to the last several. I watch these closely and usually buy/or sell something once or twice/year. This one didn't have much to interest me. But I do think the violas mentioned were probably good buys.

I was thinking hard about 166,  looks like a Widhalm school violin, which is something I want, but after asking a few more condition questions I was out, need to save that money to put towards a better example.  

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I am rather looking forward to the next two auctions.  They have two at almost the same time in London and New York.  Could be some tasty stuff.  Have any of the assembled brothers and sisters here had anything from Tarisio (or other auction house) shipped from the UK to the States? How big a PITA was it (or not)?

Thanks,

DLB

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Dwight, I am Canada-based so slightly different problems, but Tarisio London sales have quite a lot of North American Buyers and Tarisio bulk ship the lots bound for N.America which reduces cost of shipping to reasonable levels. Since they also take care of all the CITES permits and Export Certificates at a very reasonable cost it's pretty painless. Amati also organize paperwork and  shipping seamlessly and painlessly in my limited experience. Up until recently Brompton's who are after all a more traditional  Bricks and Mortar outfit leave it to buyers to organize shipping but will organize CITES permits and Export Certificates.

It is still important, though, to talk to them all about specific lots in case there are particular problems with them which will make movement outside the EU more difficult.

The permit process can sometimes hold up shipping a bit, but generally not for the 90 days advertised on the website. I have bought a few antiquities at UK auction and have always been surprised at how quickly the export permits were granted.

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1 hour ago, Televet said:

and  the after-sales have accounted for the rest.. With two hours to go there is just a solitary bow left...

Might as well give Jason a 100%...

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Lot 185 looks very nice to me... except for the scroll. Like a 'Vieuxtemps' del Gesu copy, but even weirder and battered. Honestly, the grafted neck sticks out like a sore thumb to me; so nice and clean. I would definitely not mind having it.

And that top! Bass side grains are so tight whereas the treble side is quite wide. Everywhere you look there's more to discover...

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Allow me to introduce myself: I am the madman who bought Lot 57. 

Except that it is a small viola in much need of repair I don't know much about it, but I figure that with the amount of repairs already done to it, it must have been used and cherished for quite a long time. We'll see if it can become something my stepdaughter might like.

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On 9/26/2017 at 7:08 AM, Felefar said:

Allow me to introduce myself: I am the madman who bought Lot 57. 

Except that it is a small viola in much need of repair I don't know much about it, but I figure that with the amount of repairs already done to it, it must have been used and cherished for quite a long time. We'll see if it can become something my stepdaughter might like.

I hope it works out well for you.  My favorite viola bow was a "rescue job" from an auction.  Josh Henry brought it back to life for me and I really cherish it. I have this irrational desire to own a good 18th century viola of 400mm or a little more.  Probably a pipe dream but I have time and who knows I may get lucky.

 

DLB

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