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Giovanni Valentini

London sales October 2019

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Hi,

I am looking for some opinions or advice on a couple of instruments in the forthcoming sales in London:

1) Tarisio's has a JB Vuillaume Guarneri model which is described as in 'good condition', which is true except for the belly which someone must have sat on: I count four bass bar crack and three sound post cracks (secured with two patches) plus a lot of minor ones. The repairs are very well done, hardly visible to the naked eye and don't seem to affect the sound. Yet, is a starting price of £120000 justified? By comparison, Ingles and Hayday offer JBV Strad model for the same estimate, but its is mint condition.

2. Brompton's are offering a GB Guadagnini, a great instrument and in excellent condition. However, according to Ch. Beare, the bass side of the back has been replaced, possibly by the Hill firm and probably using part of an old Italian violin. Again all very well done, but to what degree does that depreciate the instrument?

Thanks!

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for JBV the Guarneri model is more sought after, so a higher estimate is justified. But, the condition is not nice as you pointed out. It would not be something I would invest in, there are plenty of vuillaume that are in a better condition for a similar price.

A guadagnini in mint condition from his golden period can go for a million or more...

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27 minutes ago, chrissweden said:

for JBV the Guarneri model is more sought after, so a higher estimate is justified. But, the condition is not nice as you pointed out. It would not be something I would invest in, there are plenty of vuillaume that are in a better condition for a similar price.

A guadagnini in mint condition from his golden period can go for a million or more...

Thanks for your thoughts. That was my feeling too. I am just not sure how much to take off that million for half a new back (albeit nicely done). By comparison, Ingles and Hayday have an Andrea Guarneri with a (not great) replacement table. It's a good fiddle, but has a disappointing 50-70k estimate ...

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29 minutes ago, Bishopstrings said:

I saw the "Guad" yesterday.

Yikes..........

 

Why 'Yikes'? The back replacement is not a 100% match, but for that the violin is extremely healthy all around (as far as I can tell). It was also a joy to play. Interesting that the Hill certificate makes no mention at all of half of the back being replaced ...!

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13 minutes ago, chrissweden said:

I heard the pressenda plays lovely and the gagliano at bromptons, albeit it has worm so not for my me :( 

I'll go for the sleeper :) 

Yes, the A. Gagliano at Bromptons has potential (apparently it has not been played for ca 100 years), but, as you say, much of it has been eaten.

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It seems to me that the Lupot Del Gesu copy is a much more interesting thing than the Vuillaume, although I suppose it’s not as popularly appreciated.

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30 minutes ago, Guido said:

Wouldn't half a new back take off value like a sound post crack to the back or even more?

Most assuredly, but how much? - On the other hand: The violin does not have a sound post crack (nor any other cracks worth mentioning)! Because I am looking for an investment instrument, I wonder whether an instrument like this will keep its value or even go up in value. I fear that buyers in that price range will usually be looking for something neater (?)

Edited by Giovanni Valentini

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1 hour ago, Guido said:

Wouldn't half a new back take off value like a sound post crack to the back or even more?

More - otherwise you would just replace half the back on any instrument with a back post crack.

Generally people would try to retain as much of the original instrument as possible.

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22 hours ago, chrissweden said:

I heard the pressenda plays lovely and the gagliano at bromptons, albeit it has worm so not for my me :( 

I'll go for the sleeper :) 

I played the Pressenda....sounded horrible IMHO

 

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 5:46 AM, Giovanni Valentini said:

Most assuredly, but how much? - On the other hand: The violin does not have a sound post crack (nor any other cracks worth mentioning)! Because I am looking for an investment instrument, I wonder whether an instrument like this will keep its value or even go up in value. I fear that buyers in that price range will usually be looking for something neater (?)

The general advice for investments would be to seek out excellent examples and very good condition.

When you make an investment you should try to anticipate future buyers, their preferences or concerns. I think a violin with half a replaced back is a bad idea considering this.

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On 10/16/2019 at 10:46 PM, Giovanni Valentini said:

 Because I am looking for an investment instrument, I wonder whether an instrument like this will keep its value or even go up in value. I fear that buyers in that price range will usually be looking for something neater (?)

If you are looking for an investment instrument, you are looking in the wrong place. An auction house's primary responsibility is to the consignor, and attributions and condition reports are advisory, not legally binding.

As Guido says, an "investment instrument" is only an investment if you can sell it, and sell it relatively easily. It must be in excellent condition and have an excellent and widely acceptable sound. Such instruments don't end up at auction except in the rarest of cases, generally from an estate or for charitable causes.

Collectable or investment worthy instruments command a premium when you buy them and when you sell them. If you want to make a solid investment, you need an advisor who has your interests at heart, and you need to pay for that too. You also need parallel/multiple certificates to be sure that one expert won't kill an instrument certified by another. Then you need to sit back for about 10 years ...

"Musicians' instruments", things which have minor or major condition issues, may be a great buy but not an investment. For example, the last thing you would do with a mint Peccatte bow would be to use it professionally - much better to keep it in a drawer and take it out occasionally to admire it and play a few bars of something gentle.

 

 

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I like the cello. That's the investment instrument.

What is the sleeper? Gagliano? Oh well I wouldn't want to buy sight unseen with a single Tarisio expert piece of paper if I wanted to invest in a collectable, made by a faker. I'd like to go there just for the crack. And to actually get out of the house and have a browse, some booze, nevermind, it's bingo that night....

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