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Dom40

I’m wanting to attend the Vichy Auctions November.

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How do the Auctions work there is it still 24% commission in total ? Are there french to English translations ? Thanks 

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It is many years since I went to a Vichy sale. There is not much English spoken there. In particular, you should practice understanding numbers in French!

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2 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

It is many years since I went to a Vichy sale. There is not much English spoken there. In particular, you should practice understanding numbers in French!

Ok thanks il take someone who speaks french . 

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2 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Just learn to count. You don't want to speak to them, do you?

No your right ! Did you get anything nice there ? 

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Vichy used to be quite fun but in the last couple of years (particularly since the Millant Collection sales), 50% of the buyers are from Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and they pay prices which for me are close to retail. For example a good Sartory will generally sell for about €25k all in ...

I still go but it's more one of these watering holes on the violin dealer migration route where you can sit around and socialize with colleagues, a bit like Mondomusica.

Everything is in French, catalogues included, and yes the buyer's premium is 20% plus VAT.

One of the unfortunate consequences of the web is that now everyone looks at everything, and if you think you've got a bargain you haven't ... a hundred well-informed rival dealers already decided it wasn't worth what you paid!

 

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38 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Vichy used to be quite fun but in the last couple of years (particularly since the Millant Collection sales), 50% of the buyers are from Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and they pay prices which for me are close to retail. For example a good Sartory will generally sell for about €25k all in ...

I still go but it's more one of these watering holes on the violin dealer migration route where you can sit around and socialize with colleagues, a bit like Mondomusica.

Everything is in French, catalogues included, and yes the buyer's premium is 20% plus VAT.

One of the unfortunate consequences of the web is that now everyone looks at everything, and if you think you've got a bargain you haven't ... a hundred well-informed rival dealers already decided it wasn't worth what you paid!

 

Seems to me one would need friends in these big auction houses. Well to progress quickly. I’d love a Sartory bow but would prefer a Samuel Allen just because it’s English made. Oh and a Voller brothers Violin to go with the Samuel Allen  bow ! ( my dream ) 

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2 hours ago, Dom40 said:

I’d love a Sartory bow but would prefer a Samuel Allen just because it’s English made. Oh and a Voller brothers Violin to go with the Samuel Allen  bow ! ( my dream ) 

Then Vichy isn't the place ... 99% of what is sold at Vichy is French.

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58 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Then Vichy isn't the place ... 99% of what is sold at Vichy is French.

Oh well . Maybe il get lucky. 

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Vichy is quite a zoo, and I don't know anyone (except maybe Raffin and Rampal) who actually seems to enjoy going to the sales. If I'm in buying mode, I try to scope out the lots that interest me ahead of time, look at them at Raffin's or Rampal's shops, then place a bid order. English fiddles and bows rarely turn up, though in the past when non-french things like german violins or bows came up, they were bargains. Be aware that you can get a free certificate with any purchase, but both Raffin and Rampal have limitations to their expertise when it comes to non-french things. I once bought a fantastic early Knopf that had been in Vatelot's personal collection, but Raffin admitted he doesn't know enougth about these to certify them as "by" a particular maker.

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Vichy is bow heaven for a collector like myself. Italian violins are rare and often go for high results because as Martin stated out the eastern buyers simply have deeper pockets. But those people came long before the Millant collection, first time I was there in 2013 30% of the people were from Asia and I don't see an increase. Let's hope everyone spends all their money on the overpriced Millant stuff so we can get nice deals the day after.

I disagree about things going for full retail. I nice Sartory at Vichy is usually an untouched attic find that has not been played in years and often has the original lapping and faceplate. This is something you rarely see at English or New England auctions where I barely see any bargains and where things sell AT retail prices.

But to answer your question, people do reply in English if you ask a question. There is also a monitor which shows the current bid.

 

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2 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

fantastic early Knopf that had been in Vatelot's personal collection, but Raffin admitted he doesn't know enougth about these to certify them as "by" a particular maker.

Goes to Show that Raffin is a true expert

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I agree with Martin prices are much higher there than they used to be,far less attractive if you deal. I first went when the internet was only really taking off and the prices were very affordable .

You can always  bid over the phone as well ,they never have an English language problem whenever i`ve done that. But i suppose online bidding is easier now if you don`t attend.

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2 hours ago, chrissweden said:

 Let's hope everyone spends all their money on the overpriced Millant stuff so we can get nice deals the day after.

I disagree about things going for full retail. I nice Sartory at Vichy is usually an untouched attic find that has not been played in years and often has the original lapping and faceplate. This is something you rarely see at English or New England auctions where I barely see any bargains and where things sell AT retail prices.

 

 

It's odd - we have quite a different perspective.

For a dealer I would say the Millant stuff has been too expensive to be a proposition, but most if not all of it has been great examples with excellent playing qualities. It's rare to find collectable bows in mint condition which are also serious bows for musicians. For a collector I don't think the prices have been that high - bows of this quality are as rare as hen's teeth and they are worth their weight in gold.

The "attic find" bows at the general sale are also a proposition for a collector, often in very nice condition, sometimes with original lapping, but it's very rare for one that has a strong stick to go for a price where I could make any profit. Lots of weak bows, that somehow still sell to someone for a lot more than I would pay ...

This biggest issue with Vichy for me is the difficulty of making a judgment on a bow you can't play. If you just want a box full of pretty bows that's fine, but if you are buying to sell, it's very easy to erase the cost of a trip in one over-optimistic assessment. After all, even a mint Tourte is worth nothing if you can't sell it.

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It seems curious that we don't see any number of people alleging/implying that modern bows are fully the equal of (if not even superior to ) those of the big names.

Maybe they just aren't ?

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I don't think that's the case - we know of many great players who favour modern bows.

But modern bows are (by and large) copies rather than originals. And you don't get illustrious provenance - "ex-Ysaye", "from the collection of Jacques Thibaud" etc

And many modern bows are more visual copies than "functional" copies.

Many of the great old bows beloved of soloists would score pretty low on a Lucchi meter ...!

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27 minutes ago, A432 said:

It seems curious that we don't see any number of people alleging/implying that modern bows are fully the equal of (if not even superior to ) those of the big names.

The great bow fight of today is not "old versus new," but "wood versus carbon fiber." 

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2 hours ago, martin swan said:

It's odd - we have quite a different perspective.

For a dealer I would say the Millant stuff has been too expensive to be a proposition, but most if not all of it has been great examples with excellent playing qualities. It's rare to find collectable bows in mint condition which are also serious bows for musicians. For a collector I don't think the prices have been that high - bows of this quality are as rare as hen's teeth and they are worth their weight in gold.

The "attic find" bows at the general sale are also a proposition for a collector, often in very nice condition, sometimes with original lapping, but it's very rare for one that has a strong stick to go for a price where I could make any profit. Lots of weak bows, that somehow still sell to someone for a lot more than I would pay ...

This biggest issue with Vichy for me is the difficulty of making a judgment on a bow you can't play. If you just want a box full of pretty bows that's fine, but if you are buying to sell, it's very easy to erase the cost of a trip in one over-optimistic assessment. After all, even a mint Tourte is worth nothing if you can't sell it.

I understand where you're coming from Martin, you're a dealer I'm a collector and I don't mind spending big bucks on something in mint condition with the most beautiful wood. However, the Sartory's still sell for less than at say Tarisio... I just don't understand why people still want them when you can get a Jacques Audinot or JJ Millant that plays better for far less.

Of all the bows I purchased at Vichy not one was weak not played bad. Maybe you expect a Morizot to play as a Peccatte? There are some bow makers who you can buy blindly. Not just the consistent Sartory who's bows I personally don't like (lack of personality) for obvious reasons i won't say names as the makers are still quite unknown though not surprisingly have increased a lot in the past years, apparently others found out. Still, you can spot the good playing bows by looking at the wood quality, balance and weight as i'm certain you knew already.

Perhaps there are other factors that determine the higher results? No interest on savings, high precious metal prices and political uncertainties? Or perhaps because pernambuco trees are protected and good logs are extremely hard to come by.

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In addition to the advice I gave you earlier about making sure the provenance and condition are good, I would like to also recommend that you go someplace where they speak English. 

I’m serious, language barrier can be a really really big deal especially with something as speculative as an auction, And things happen much too fast for an interpreter to be of much value.

Also, when I used to go to Skinners,  I learned that most of the fun stuff goes on in the hotel rooms, where guys are showing off instruments they brought to the auction to offer to other dealers and players. I was involved in one such hotel room party, where I bought a lovely old Morelli violin( good quality German trade violin) with perfect wood but without any setup at all, and the wonderful Robert Shallock bow that I played on for years. My companion is a violin dealer himself, and he bought some stuff too. It was really fun, and even in English I wasn’t completely sure what was going on. I just looked at the stuff and listened a lot...in French it would’ve have been less successful.

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

In addition to the advice I gave you earlier about making sure the provenance and condition are good, I would like to also recommend that you go someplace where they speak English. 

I’m serious, language barrier can be a really really big deal especially with something as speculative as an auction, And things happen much too fast for an interpreter to be of much value.

Also, when I used to go to Skinners,  I learned that most of the fun stuff goes on in the hotel rooms, where guys are showing off instruments they brought to the auction to offer to other dealers and players. I was involved in one such hotel room party, where I bought a lovely old Morelli violin( good quality German trade violin) with perfect wood but without any setup at all, and the wonderful Robert Shallock bow that I played on for years. My companion is a violin dealer himself, and he bought some stuff too. It was really fun, and even in English I wasn’t completely sure what was going on. I just looked at the stuff and listened a lot...in French it would’ve have been less successful.

That sounds like good fun . Il take all of the above into account thank you for the help I really appreciate it . 

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On 8/5/2019 at 2:38 AM, Dom40 said:

Oh well . Maybe il get lucky. 

Martin just explained how "getting lucky" doesn't happen anymore, with hundreds of dealers looking in via internet.

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2 hours ago, Herman West said:

Martin just explained how "getting lucky" doesn't happen anymore, with hundreds of dealers looking in via internet.

I don’t agree . There’s always going to be one or two good buys . I understand chances are now dramatically lower. 

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