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Violadamore

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Having seen instruments, which later went into a Bromptons auction, I was quite shocked by the condition assessment on the website, and just how little of the fairly obvious damage was mentioned.

I know they say that they are not trained luthiers, and it is only an approximate condition report, but then again, the people there have been doing it for a long time.
If you had to do a detailed report for hundreds of items if would take forever, so I can also understand why they tend not to. And sometimes listing every little thing might make an ok instrument or bow seem like a disaster waiting to happen. Hard to balance being fair, and keeping it saleable.

This is why you really need to be there in person and inspect everything yourself. Each persons idea of what is acceptable or not will vary.

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No need to bash Brompton's, the do a great job and this is not their premium auction but more or less something between Tarisio's T2 and their regular premium auctions. That is the reason why there are more defects with the items listed, not good enough for the normal one but still far better than T2 auctions.

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2 hours ago, chrissweden said:

No need to bash Brompton's, the do a great job and this is not their premium auction but more or less something between Tarisio's T2 and their regular premium auctions. That is the reason why there are more defects with the items listed, not good enough for the normal one but still far better than T2 auctions.

+1

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Chris and Clef should consider re-reading Wood Butcher's post. He is not commenting on the quality of the merchandise being offered or even on its actual condition, merely pointing out that in his first hand experience,  the condition statements significantly under estimate problems that ought to be apparent and ought to be declared. Martin will likely point out that its the auction house's job to get the best price for the consignor, which is of course true, but it would seem to me that defects which are obvious when an instrument is in front of you, should be declared especially if they are much harder to see in the photographs.

Chris also compares the T2 offerings to those of Bromptons. I have zero experience at Bromptons, but T2 condition reports correspond very well to the instrument offered in my personal experience, and that was 

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I've recently bought 2 violins at Brompton's and tried out 20 or 30 more at "private" audition - usually with some hot-shot blasting away at the Sibelius 6 feet from my ear.

I don't blame the auctioneers, but it's frequently been the case that the impression made by a violin at audition was completely different from that gained simply from reading the description and scanning the pictures. None of them had been properly set up but I believe you can still get a pretty good impression of their playing qualities. Without that opportunity, and with my primitive state of knowledge, I wouldn't dream of bidding more than a few hundred pounds.

Even my "no play, no bid" resolution didn't stop me making one mistake - failing to spot that the violin I particularly enjoyed had a quite marked "scoop" to the neck and fingerboard (which of course wasn't mentioned in the condition report).  It cost a further 75% of the hammer price to have it straightened. Overall, though, I'm happy with the service (and education) Brompton's provide and look forward to using them again.

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Conditions reports are one thing. Tarisio and Amati certainly do a better job here, but one should not expect a 'retail' situation at auction.

I was more concerned with the (optimistic) attributions (given that they are not trained luthiers and hence know nothing, lol).

One example on the current auction could be lot 203, A violin by Georg Klotz. I don't think many people in the world would be brave enough to name an individual member of the Klotz family these days without very good reasons (after decades of declaring just about every Mittenwald violin as one Klotz or the other and thoroughly muddying the waters).

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12 minutes ago, Guido said:

 

 

 

One example on the current auction could be lot 203, A violin by Georg Klotz. I don't think many people in the world would be brave enough to name an individual member of the Klotz family these days without very good reasons (after decades of declaring just about every Mittenwald violin as one Klotz or the other and thoroughly muddying the waters).

Well, this is an unusually nice Mittenwald violin which bears a striking resemblance to a Georg Kloz we had a while back with a Hill certificate. 

There's also a Hill number, and the more enterprising among us could surely find out what the Hill records say ...

In this case the attribution seems quite reasonable, the estimate likewise. I slightly scanned the catalogue but this one stood out to me! 

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17 minutes ago, Guido said:

A violin by Georg Klotz

Been a lot of old George on MN lately. Funny too, I recently looked at another.

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Well, this is an unusually nice Mittenwald violin which bears a striking resemblance to a Georg Kloz we had a while back with a Hill certificate. 

There's also a Hill number, and the more enterprising among us could surely find out what the Hill records say ...

In this case the attribution seems quite reasonable, the estimate likewise. I slightly scanned the catalogue but this one stood out to me! 

I fully agree. And it stood out for me, too. Really nice. I still find it brave to declare an individual Klotz w/o much back-up. Apparently even Hill were a little hit an miss with German violins at times.

The Mittenwald Museum has a Georg Klotz from the same year, which is nicer still. Despite many similarities, the museum reference example seems to be a different outline (narrower waist) at first glance.

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It's no surprise that Hill's, or other top shops of the same period might be a bit hit and miss with some German violins. If you are mainly selling expensive 17th, 18th & 19th C. Italian instruments, a German violin of comparatively little value, may not warrant much research.

If it looked like a Kloz, smelled like a Kloz, was brown like a Kloz.....

I would guess that they were correct in their attributions, far more times than they were not.

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[Scene in the Klotz shop, circa 1770]

"OK, there's another one done, who wants to finish it?"

"I need one over here."

"Cool.  Here, Georg, catch."

:ph34r:

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On ‎9‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 2:38 AM, Wood Butcher said:

I would guess that they were correct in their attributions, far more times than they were not.

The more I look at old M-wald violins, and their old attributions, I'm getting less and less likely to make that guess.

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2 hours ago, deans said:

The more I look at old M-wald violins, and their old attributions, I'm getting less and less likely to make that guess.

I think the Hills were pretty knowledgeable.

There’s a widespread tendency to call any nice Mittenwald violin a Kloz, but Hills seem to have stuck pretty closely to reference examples with original labels ...

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8 minutes ago, martin swan said:

but Hills seem to have stuck pretty closely to reference examples with original labels ...

"Reference examples"? The Hills actually had reference examples of old German violins? What criteria did it take to become a reference example? A label? If the George Kloz in the M-wald museum from 1772 is a good reference (I'll assume it is-but why should I?) then the one from Bromptons isn't even close. Although to be fair, the Bromptons fiddle just has a Hill number, doesn't claim anything else. Anyone look it up?

Seems that the auction houses these days are more and more hesitant to stand by Hill certs for Klotz fiddles, giving them an "attributed to" label. I can think of a few that I looked hard at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, deans said:

...Although to be fair, the Bromptons fiddle just has a Hill number, doesn't claim anything else. Anyone look it up?

My point was more about Bromptons claiming it to be by Georg Klotz on what appears to be their very own expertise; even w/o referencing to what the Hills may have seen in it.

It might be forgivable in a sense that this nicer-than-many Mittenwald violins should justifiably command a good price; and seems to need the help of a name for that matter.

But it is not helping in improving the quality of accepted attributions over time.

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With all reservations, just looking at photos only, it has in my eyes very close resemblances to the museum's example as well as to others I believed could be by Georg II Kloz, in regards of model, scroll and overall workmanship. A whole world beneath this and those we've seen here pesentedas G.Kloz labelled recently. I think these differences shouldn't be blurred by speculations about how they might have used violins as sports equipment.:)

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3 hours ago, Blank face said:

With all reservations, just looking at photos only, it has in my eyes very close resemblances to the museum's example as well as to others I believed could be by Georg II Kloz, in regards of model, scroll and overall workmanship. A whole world beneath this and those we've seen here pesentedas G.Kloz labelled recently. I think these differences shouldn't be blurred by speculations about how they might have used violins as sports equipment.:)

Agree.

I have seen very few old German violins with Hill certificates (various Kloz, Widhalm, Geissenhof), but these certificates have stood the test of time. I believe the Hills were very cautious and based their attributions on good information.

And yes, a reference example is a violin with an original label which is widely agreed to be correct. I don't think you need to see that many sub-Kloz Mittenwald violins or many top-level ones before it becomes possible to distinguish the hopeful labels.

 

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