Landolfi

WORKSHOP OF STEFANO SCARAMPELLA

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Just curious on the attribution of a recently sold violin in Tarisio February sale, lot 159.  Is it fair to say that, by describing this fiddle as the workshop of Scarampella, one can assume that this violin was possibly the product of collaborative work with  Gaetano Gadda,  since Gadda took over Scarampella's workshop later on and carried his violin making tradition.   Or it was simply done by some unknown apprentice who made the violin?   

https://tarisio.com/auctions/auction/lot/?csid=2198945792&cpid=3556409344&filter_key=

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Is it common at Tarisio to have a winning bid that's half of the low estimate like this?  As a seller I'd be disappointed.

Edited by StanY
Typo

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Didn't see the fiddle. However in general, if an auction boils the attribution down to 'workshop of' it is not taking any responsibility. I always imagine what happens if a customer goes to court with the bought item. If the attribution is 'made by' a good lawyer can do a lot of things. With 'workshop of' things are getting extremely difficult. 

In the case of Scarampella it sounds to me like 'you can imagine it is a Gadda, but we didn't say it.' 

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2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 I always imagine what happens if a customer goes to court with the bought item. If the attribution is 'made by' a good lawyer can do a lot of things. With 'workshop of' things are getting extremely difficult.

I would think the opposite.  If you were claiming "made by" you could point out well-known features.  But you can't prove workshop of.  Easiest thing for a judge who's heard it all day after day is give him his money back and call it square and nobody out.

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If the auction house believes the violin was made from Scarampella’s workshop, what evidence do they have to prove that Scarampella didn’t make the violin himself?

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52 minutes ago, Landolfi said:

How big of a workshop that Scarampella had when he was active?  How many apprentices did he have?  

 I see Scarampella as a maker who always wanted to work alone. Only when he got too old and plagued by gout in his hands he needed a helper and employed Gadda as an apprentice. 

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1 hour ago, Bill Merkel said:

I would think the opposite.  If you were claiming "made by" you could point out well-known features.  But you can't prove workshop of.  Easiest thing for a judge who's heard it all day after day is give him his money back and call it square and nobody out.

That's exactlyks what I jam saying. If a customer buys s wrongly attributed instrument which was described as 'made by' in the catalogue he can point out all the missing features in a lawsuit. 

(Having helped a customer in this situation I have to say however, at court it is not that simple. In the end we won the case but it was not only because I pinned down all the wrong features.)

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A "workshop of" attribution would need no more than an authentic undisturbed label or brand or signature, yet with no clear indications that it was made by that individual.

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If I would travel to Japan and joined Andreas' shop for a while to make a violin there, would it be than "workshop of Preuss"?:rolleyes:

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Why the high estimate, which if I'm not mistaken would today be similar to a good Gaetano Gadda - retail ?

Anybody read the condition report?

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If the instrument is originally labeled Scarampella but the seller feels that the instrument is the work of Gadda during  Scarampella's last years or both working together then "workshop of" is the correct and safest description.

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6 hours ago, martin swan said:

A "workshop of" attribution would need no more than an authentic undisturbed label or brand or signature, yet with no clear indications that it was made by that individual.

Then how is that different than attributi  “a violin wth label Scarampella”?

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If Scarampella labelled the violin and it "went through his workshop" that is rather different from the thousands of German and Chinese violins with fake Scarampella labels.

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

If the instrument is originally labeled Scarampella but the seller feels that the instrument is the work of Gadda during  Scarampella's last years or both working together then "workshop of" is the correct and safest description.

I would describe that as Stefano Scarampella showing the hand of Gaetano Gadda. After all, a Vuillaume is still a Vuillaume even if made by Derazey or Maucotel.

There are quite a few "Scarampellas" made by Gadda after Scarampella's death, bearing genuine labels. But these are certified as Gaetano Gaddas.

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7 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I would describe that as Stefano Scarampella showing the hand of Gaetano Gadda. After all, a Vuillaume is still a Vuillaume even if made by Derazey or Maucotel.

There are quite a few "Scarampellas" made by Gadda after Scarampella's death, bearing genuine labels. But these are certified as Gaetano Gaddas.

Maybe it is impossible to tell them apart, but how can you tell if the violin was done only by Scarampella, or with help from Gadda?  You certainly can’t tell based on label and the year made. Maybe a comprehensive DNA test. Would a dendro help?

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10 minutes ago, martin swan said:

But these are certified as Gaetano Gaddas.

Perhaps this is what the Tarisio experts thought, but just weren't quite confident enough to certify it as such.

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Dendro would establish an earliest possible date, so it might  show up something which was made later by Gadda.

But ultimately I think it's to do with the way they used the tools and some minor details - this is what expertise is all about, and why you would never buy a Scarampella without a serious certificate from a recognized authority.

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2 minutes ago, deans said:

Perhaps this is what the Tarisio experts thought, but just weren't quite confident enough to certify it as such.

The scroll is very rustic for a Gadda!

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3 minutes ago, martin swan said:

The scroll is very rustic for a Gadda!

So i wonder what the experts from Tarisio were thinking, gave such a high estimate in the auction, but only sold below the low estimate. 

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Just saw this, according to Tarisio’s biography on Scarampella, in 1919, he took on his only official apprentice, the young Gaetano Gadda.  Therefore,  if the fiddle is attributed to the workshop, it must be a collaborative work between Scarampella and Gadda, since he had no other apprentice, and he was too poor to hire more staffs.

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