mendicus

'Ascribed to Guarneri' at Tarisio

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Scholarship moves on, Dendrochronology is now a thing. It might well be a nice violin but we know more about what it likely isn't than what it likely is?

 

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This violin was sold a couple of years ago by Amati auctions. At that time it was sold with another certificate (which the present consignor or auction house have chosen to leave out) from Harry A Duffy from 1999 stating the violin was by Samuel Nemessanyi circa 1870-1880.

According to Strings magazine March 28 2016  "Amati, which has been having a mix of general auctions and trade auctions, sold…..; a Hungarian-made violin, possibly by Samuel Nemessanyi circa 1870, sold for £ 49,020; ……"

In fact I just noticed that Amati's ad banner on this site has a photo of the back of this violin on it.

 

Edited by Hetland

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Interesting, so its likely not a Nemessanyi either then! There must be a really fun story that leads from a 49020 pound sale in 2016 as a possible Nemessanyi to an offering with an upper estimate of less than half that two years later. 

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The condition of this violin is not spectacular but it is not horrible either. If it was a Nemessanyi 49,020 GBP may or may not be unreasonable. What is certain though is that if you spent nearly 50,00 GBP at auction on a violin previously ascribed to Del Gesu and Nemessanyi; you would certainly want to get independent confirmation of these attributions. Since it is being auctioned again now, we can be fairly certain it is not a Del Gesu! :) If it is a Nemessanyi then Mr Duffy having sold it as such and providing a certificate to this effect would only help the sale. So why wasn’t the Duffy certificate included? The logical conclusion would be that it is not a Nemessanyi? But hold on, even as a violin described as “probably 19th century” with an estimate of 15,000 - 22,000 GBP surely the Duffy certificate ascribing it to Nemessanyi would only help the sale? So why wasn’t the Duffy certificate included?
It is this last which concerns (bothers) me. Buy referencing the Strad article and providing only certificates which ascribe the violin to Del Gesu, the auction house appears to be playing a game of “you may have just won a million dollars”.  

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Ha, I think a Nemessanyi certificate would complicate the Del Gesu fantasy.  This could have been intentionally withheld by the seller, so it's possible Tarisio never saw it.  In anycase, would be interested to hear opinions on how it sounds, if anyone plays it.  All in all, it's safe to say this violin has disappointed it's owners in one way or another ;).

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mmmm  "I think a Nemessanyi certificate would complicate the Del Gesu fantasy"

Thank you. That is my point.  But then again with a Nemessanyi certificate somebody may think they are at Skinner's buying a Nemessanyi that is actually a Del Gesu!

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mmmm   “this could have been intentionally withheld by the seller, so it is possible ******* never saw it” 

Yes the auction house may have plausible deniability; but the violin world is rather small, at least this side of it. I think if I owned an auction house and had recently expanded into the U.K. I would be checking out my competitions auction offerings. As this violin was one of Amati’s “advertised” instruments at their auction, and it was a Hungarian instrument wearing Del Gesu clothing, one would think it would be fairly memorable? Does the present auction house not know everything? Maybe? But as my grandmother used to say “I believe you. Thousands wouldn’t! But I believe you!”

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I don’t think I would take any notice of an American certificate that said „a Hungarian-made violin, possibly by Samuel Nemessanyi circa 1870“ either.

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27 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I don’t think I would take any notice of an American certificate that said „a Hungarian-made violin, possibly by Samuel Nemessanyi circa 1870“ either.

For the record you are quoting the Amati description in strings Magazine .The actual certificate said something like "I certify that the violin sold by me to ******* and bearing the label of Joseph Guarnerius cremona 1736 was made in my opinion by Samuel Nemessanyi in Budapest circa 1870-1880." then there was a description of the violin and a statement acknowledging that the instrument had previously been certified as a genuine work of Del Gesu followed by measurements and photos. Would you feel the same prejudice if it was a Canadian certificate from Michael Remenyi sr. or would it have to be a Hungarian certificate from Lazlo Remenyi?

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My Last two posts are now unhidden. And I see the violin is creeping up! I won't comment on whether it is a Del Gesu, Nemessanyi or something else or not. I have my own opinion; but what I will say is that with the exception of a select few people with sufficient knowledge and experience, in the auction world appearances are everything.  

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Just a reminder. What "they" meant it to be by Tarisio's FAQ:

Ascribed to Antonio Stradivari: A work believed to be by this maker in the opinion of the authors of the accompanying certificates or letters, but not by the authors of this catalog.

Interesting: a work that invites speculation but lacks a definite attribution

https://tarisio.com/buyers-sellers/buyers/catalog-practice/

 

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1 hour ago, Hetland said:

My Last two posts are now unhidden. And I see the violin is creeping up! I won't comment on whether it is a Del Gesu, Nemessanyi or something else or not. I have my own opinion; but what I will say is that with the exception of a select few people with sufficient knowledge and experience, in the auction world appearances are everything.  

 

Tarisio has made it abundantly clear in their description and estimate that they don't consider it to be the work of either DG or Nemessanyi.

I would still be interested to know whether it has a dorsal pin or not so I guess I'll have to ask Tarisio as I'm not within shouting distance of London.

Glenn

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21 hours ago, Hetland said:

mmmm  "I think a Nemessanyi certificate would complicate the Del Gesu fantasy"

Thank you. That is my point.  But then again with a Nemessanyi certificate somebody may think they are at Skinner's buying a Nemessanyi that is actually a Del Gesu!

Perhaps we should ask Chicago for their opinion...they seem to be pretty good with just pictures!

 

As for a Harry Duffy papers, I would use those, alternating with Machold papers, to wall paper my bathroom. And, although I am in favor of providing all of the known history when selling something, good and bad opinions, I can see why someone might want to not mention Duffy papers even if they had them

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16 hours ago, GlennYorkPA said:

Does anyone know if it has a dorsal pin?

Glenn

That would be one of the first things to look for, so  how easy would it have  been  to fake one and make it look original  if the answer was yes ?

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55 minutes ago, Delabo said:

That would be one of the first things to look for, so  how easy would it have  been  to fake one and make it look original  if the answer was yes ?

But at what point in history was that a widely known thing to look for? The Vollers didn't seem to be aware of it.

Also, what about the possibility of a del gesu composite-a real back with a pin and the rest a clever copy, or perhaps a real del gesu except for a back that has been cleverly replaced.

A single trait doesn't identify the whole.

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19 hours ago, Hetland said:

For the record you are quoting the Amati description in strings Magazine .The actual certificate said something like "I certify that the violin sold by me to ******* and bearing the label of Joseph Guarnerius cremona 1736 was made in my opinion by Samuel Nemessanyi in Budapest circa 1870-1880." then there was a description of the violin and a statement acknowledging that the instrument had previously been certified as a genuine work of Del Gesu followed by measurements and photos. Would you feel the same prejudice if it was a Canadian certificate from Michael Remenyi sr. or would it have to be a Hungarian certificate from Lazlo Remenyi?

Quite right, A Remenyi certificate as a Nemessanyi, would certainly require taking notice of. That isn’t the case though here, is it?

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As I recall, Amati sold it as ascribed to Nemessanyi ...

Just to be clear.

a lot of grandiose theorising going on here - generally things are a bit more boring and straightforward. 

It’s definitely a nice violin. 

 

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21 hours ago, GlennYorkPA said:

Does anyone know if it has a dorsal pin?

Glenn

I can confirm that the violin has a pronounced dorsal fin and five rows of teeth. It may also have pharyngeal teeth but I didn’t have an endoscope.

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With such things I'm wondering who might have been the pitiful former owner(s) believing he/she had a genuine DG. Wasn't it Ida Händel having a similar accident? The auction listing tells nothing, all owner names in the certificates are extincted (for privacy?).

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5 hours ago, duane88 said:

But at what point in history was that a widely known thing to look for? The Vollers didn't seem to be aware of it.

Also, what about the possibility of a del gesu composite-a real back with a pin and the rest a clever copy, or perhaps a real del gesu except for a back that has been cleverly replaced.

A single trait doesn't identify the whole.

Nobody was remotely suggesting that a single trait would identify a maker. That would be shallow.

You had it correct in your first statement about the presence of the pin in DGs not being widely known until quite recently so I would expect its absence to be more revealing than its presence.

I don't understand Martin's comment about teeth in this context but I agree with him that it's a very nice violin.

Glenn

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That is a nice fiddle... and for the money it will make a collector or a musician who could never afford a real Del Gesy happy... and then the doubt "may be it is real" would make them even happier...

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