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Collin-Mezin


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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

Dealers that I have spoken with about it say that is next to impossible to predict what tone a particular customer will prefer when they walk in the door.

Any particular client, maybe not... a particular group of clients especially IN THIS PRICE RANGE, absolutely. While I don't normally trade instruments in this price range now, I did so earlier in my career.

To be clear: What I said was it might have something to do with appeal, not value. Some attributes tend to appeal to a larger set of players than others.

Yes, I've purchased many violins I've liked (quality/build/maker/etc) before I've heard them... but after getting them set up and tweaking what's needed to get them where I feel they should be, I've rarely been disappointed... and I have a really good idea of which clients might like them.

I've been doing this for a while...

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54 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Yes, I've purchased many violins I've liked (quality/build/maker/etc) before I've heard them...

Which is exactly my point. The tone of these "many violins" was not part of your price consideration. "Quality/build/maker/etc" were the only things you could consider. 

In the OP example, a Collin-Mezin in excellent original condition will always be worth more cash than an equivalent Collin-Mezin in restored condition, even if the later has a "better tone" than the former.

My point to the OP is that tone is not a consideration for future trade value. If he wants to optimize future trade value, then the best thing that his daughter and he can do is to preserve and protect the instrument's condition.

 

 

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

My point to the OP is that tone is not a consideration for future trade value. If he wants to optimize future trade value, then the best thing that his daughter and he can do is to preserve and protect the instrument's condition.

 

 

In some abstract philosophical universe this is correct, so one might use it as a sales pitch.

However, nothing has an investment value if no-one can be persuaded to buy it. Even the most beautifully preserved violin in the world - if it sounds like nails on a blackboard then its trade value is what a seller can get for it by putting it into auction.

Personally I would regard good tone (as far as can be subjectively assessed) to be essential. Which is the reason why I might consider buying a pre-1890 Collin-Mézin "blind" ie. without hearing it, but would never do that with something post-1890.

I agree absolutely with Jeffrey that in broad terms you can predict what sort of sound will sell, though one in twenty clients will surprise you pleasantly by falling for the lemon.

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@GeorgeH, you realize Jeffrey Holmes is one of the trade's most respected and experienced dealers and restorers, right? (He spent two decades at Shar, notably.) 

The reason that "appeal" is important is that it ultimately reflects saleability. Something might "warrant" a price of $X due to the maker/condition/provenance/etc. but actually moving that piece of stock, i.e. successfully finding a buyer to buy it at $X, is a different matter entirely. At some point in time, the seller might very well have to take $X minus Y% in order to actually sell it to someone, at which point it calls into question whether $X is the true value. A seller might have to wait years and years before someone comes along and is actually willing to pay $X. Whereas something that has a lot of broad appeal might very well sell fairly quickly for $X and perhaps even $X plus Z%.

Good dealers know what traits appeal to their particular clients and will have a good guess as to the saleability of the stock they're buying.

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1 minute ago, lwl said:

@GeorgeH, you realize Jeffrey Holmes is one of the trade's most respected and experienced dealers and restorers, right? (He spent two decades at Shar, notably.) 

The reason that "appeal" is important is that it ultimately reflects saleability. Something might "warrant" a price of $X due to the maker/condition/provenance/etc. but actually moving that piece of stock, i.e. successfully finding a buyer to buy it at $X, is a different matter entirely. At some point in time, the seller might very well have to take $X minus Y% in order to actually sell it to someone, at which point it calls into question whether $X is the true value. A seller might have to wait years and years before someone comes along and is actually willing to pay $X. Whereas something that has a lot of broad appeal might very well sell fairly quickly for $X and perhaps even $X plus Z%.

Good dealers know what traits appeal to their particular clients and will have a good guess as to the saleability of the stock they're buying.

Exactly ...

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7 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Not sure I'd go quite that far... I have never advised someone approach Charles Beare for a C-M certificate... especially a 20th century one :) 

I would suggest, if a certificate were desired (questionable if the instrument in this range is correct), and the shop selling the instrument was not qualified to issue one (the shop is responsible for sorting things out if a mistake is made), an expert experienced with (qualified) to identify this shop's instruments be sought out.  C-M instruments are pretty easy to ID once you've seen even a limited number of them... locating a suitable expert with a good reputation shouldn't be all that difficult.

I wasn’t really thinking of Charles Beare when I made the comment, more along the lines of French top experts like the late Millant, Vatelot, or Rampal. I agree with you that it wouldn’t make sense to take it to Beare, but that’s more because I’d want his certificate on an English violin and Eric Blot’s on an Italian.

That being said, if the OP owned the violin or wanted to buy and it didn’t already have a certificate, I’d be happy with a certificate from Reuning or Warren. I agree completely that they’re easy to identify—seeing them every day I’ve gotten quite familiar with them. For investment purposes alone, I always recommend getting a certificate from the most esteemed expert for the type of instrument it appears to be. 

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34 minutes ago, lwl said:

@GeorgeH, you realize Jeffrey Holmes is one of the trade's most respected and experienced dealers and restorers, right? (He spent two decades at Shar, notably.) 

Of course, I know that. I am not arguing with either Jeffery, Martin, or you.

I am simply saying the obvious truth: tone is going to have virtually no impact on the resale value of a violin from a customer to a dealer relative to the objective factors: maker, condition, quality, etc. 

There are many reasons that a violin might sit on the shelf of a dealer for years without being purchased by a customer, and "bad tone" is just one of them.

Dealers buy and sell violins that are not set-up or playable everyday, and not only at auctions. Often, like Jeffery described, after favorably evaluating the objective factors of an instrument, they assume that it can be adjusted and tweaked to be made to sound appealing. The purchase price is therefore set on the objective factors, not the tone. "Appealing tone" is assumed.

 

 

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...violins are priced according objective attributes such as:

- Maker or workshop
- Condition
- Appearance
- Model
- Geographic origin
- Age
- Provenance...

I suggest that size be considered in addition to the other factors that have been mentioned.  When I offer violins to other dealers they usually pull out tape measures.  An instrument with the right measurements is always more readily accepted and valued higher than one that is over-size, for example.

Perhaps size is included "model."

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15 hours ago, Potter said:

Hmm. Didn’t ring you up. Didn’t ask worth, 

just things a non expert could look at 

min choosing between a couple violins by the 

same maker. :/

 

Collin-Mezin was less a “maker” than a factory, which made a range of models as you can see in their old catalogues

http://www.luthiers-mirecourt.com/collin_mezin1936.htm

This makes any comparison of two random unseen instruments in unknown conditions impossible for anyone who should feel responsible for his/her given opinion, presuming of course that both are from the Collin-Mezin factory.

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6 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

 

Collin-Mezin was less a “maker” than a factory, which made a range of models as you can see in their old catalogues

http://www.luthiers-mirecourt.com/collin_mezin1936.htm

This makes any comparison of two random unseen instruments in unknown conditions impossible for anyone who should feel responsible for his/her given opinion, presuming of course that both are from the Collin-Mezin factory.

Thank you.The one we are leaning toward is 1908, by the son and has a signature. It is more amber blondish while 2010 is darker red brown, has no signature. On the road but will examine catalogue more closely later.

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3 hours ago, Potter said:

Thank you.The one we are leaning toward is 1908, by the son and has a signature.

Going back to your original question...

As @Brad Dorsey pointed out, the length of the back (LOB) is something that you should know if you are concerned about resale value down the road. @martin swan has mentioned that LOBs over 360mm are harder to sell than smaller violins.

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@GeorgeH, I don't think "appealing tone" is necessarily presumed. Rather, dealers can look at the physical construction of an instrument not currently in a playable state, and have a guess as to its playing qualities once properly fixed up and set up. 

I agree that every instrument has a presumed value based on the maker, date, condition, provenance, etc. However, whether a dealer chooses to acquire it, and what they are willing to pay to acquire it is going to be very much based on how long they think it will take to sell it, and what they are likely to get as an actual purchase price for it. That's sometimes quite dependent upon the part of the world they are in, too. For that matter, you  can even see quite different prices for the same maker between the east and west coasts of the US, I'm  told.

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Regarding “what my clientele are seeking,” I had not thought about it in those terms, but does that mean that if I want to sell my Gillet, I should inquire as to where a Gillet is likely to be most desirable?

”where are French bows in highest demand?”

 But that would be pretty much any place wouldn’t it? You’d have to narrow it down a lot, right?

“ where are mid-century French bows in highest demand”? 

It wouldn’t work to say “where are most 15k bows being sold?” Because anyone would be happy to charge 15K for anything.

As a buyer, I’ve never thought of it in terms of wondering what the dealer is expecting me to want, rather I thought about it in terms of me hoping that the dealer has what I want.

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49 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Regarding “what my clientele are seeking,” I had not thought about it in those terms, but does that mean that if I want to sell my Gillet, I should inquire as to where a Gillet is likely to be most desirable?

”where are French bows in highest demand?”

 But that would be pretty much any place wouldn’t it? You’d have to narrow it down a lot, right?

“ where are mid-century French bows in highest demand”? 

It wouldn’t work to say “where are most 15k bows being sold?” Because anyone would be happy to charge 15K for anything.

As a buyer, I’ve never thought of it in terms of wondering what the dealer is expecting me to want, rather I thought about it in terms of me hoping that the dealer has what I want.

Sorry Philip...  I don't really understand your point.  A good dealer makes an effort to know his/her clientele... and if they know you, they may have a pretty good idea what sort of things you like.  

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29 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Sorry Philip...  I don't really understand your point.  A good dealer makes an effort to know his/her clientele... and if they know you, they may have a pretty good idea what sort of things you like.  

Oh yes that’s right.

over time my violin shop guys will get an idea of the things I like.

I misunderstood. I thought it was circumstance where the dealer said ,”this is what buyers want. I will give it to them” based on budget 

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4 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Going back to your original question...

As @Brad Dorsey pointed out, the length of the back (LOB) is something that you should know if you are concerned about resale value down the road. @martin swan has mentioned that LOBs over 360mm are harder to sell than smaller violins.

Got it, will check. In the end the daughter needs to love it.

The 1908 was played tonight in an auditorium

and really projected well. 

She is loving an circa 1800 Ficker that sounds great in a small room, but less in a big space.

Plus the Ficker’s age and use are apparent.

Dark, beautiful sound though.

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3 hours ago, Potter said:

Got it, will check. In the end the daughter needs to love it.

The 1908 was played tonight in an auditorium

and really projected well. 

She is loving an circa 1800 Ficker that sounds great in a small room, but less in a big space.

Plus the Ficker’s age and use are apparent.

Dark, beautiful sound though.

There is a family of Fickers. I like the ones I owned. If it’s not in bad shape, it might be a good but. it shouldn’t be as expensive as the CMs

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2 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

t shouldn’t be as expensive as the CMs

Why not? Retail prices are in the same range which was mentioned above, for examples being in a good, original condition and of an undoubted authenticity. What's true is that there might be a smaller number of buyers for this type of violin than for catalogue products from Mirecourt.

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The Ficker made by son stamped CFF on interior. But it has what looks like a repair in soundpost area. (Like the post had pushed the top up and then been restored. Post is now elsewhere. And a worn groove of some depth along fingerboard.

So, although daughters favorite, I have been trying to dissuade her, and  longer I look at it the more I think it is not a good idea.

 

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41 minutes ago, Potter said:

The Ficker made by son stamped CFF on interior. But it has what looks like a repair in soundpost area. (Like the post had pushed the top up and then been restored. Post is now elsewhere. And a worn groove of some depth along fingerboard.

So, although daughters favorite, I have been trying to dissuade her, and  longer I look at it the more I think it is not a good idea.

 

Every maker is son or daughter of somebody, but maybe that's not the point here.B)

Without detailled photos we can't comment this in any way. A well repaired soundpost crack is very common to 200 years old violins as well as wear and signs of use. Uncorrected deformations or heavy abrasion a very different matter.

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20 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

@Potter Are the 2 American violins still in the running?

No, one was sold, the other did not survive the 2 teachers (and others) blind testing.

 

15 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Every maker is son or daughter of somebody, but maybe that's not the point here.B)

Without detailled photos we can't comment this in any way. A well repaired soundpost crack is very common to 200 years old violins as well as wear and signs of use. Uncorrected deformations or heavy abrasion a very different matter.

The abrasion along fingerboard is quite deep.

I resist putting up photos as these don’t belong to me yet, and want to respect dealer. 

17 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Going back to your original question...

As @Brad Dorsey pointed out, the length of the back (LOB) is something that you should know if you are concerned about resale value down the road. @martin swan has mentioned that LOBs over 360mm are harder to sell than smaller violins.

1908 length is 356-7 I am using a cloth tape holding up over the arch so hard to be perfectly accurate. As said before hand signed in pencil.

And numbered 5102 Label with his name , Luthier a Paris Rue de Faub, Poissoniere, No. 29

No mention of Grand Prix expo. So I am not sure how to ascertain original price withi the group it seems to fall. Is there a source you can look up the serial number?

And yes I am clear it is not the work of an individual maker.

On very close inspection I can see that there is a small looks well repaired, almost invisible crack on the top end of one of the f holes.

Otw it looks in great shape to my uneducated eye.

I trust the luthier. Asking 8K. 

We will likely borrow it for another week, look at some others, try a variety of bows.

 

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I realize in retrospect that the 1910 I was told was made by the son. I don’t believe I asked about the 1908 from a different luthier. The description of labels for the father on Wikipedia more matches what I see. Was the father still labeling in 1910, how would that have worked as a shop.? The signature is difficult to view 

although I would not know what to look for.

Taking all the violins back today so will have a discussion with shop.

Thanks for the responses. 

 

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