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New Hill violins

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23 hours ago, VicM said:

If I can ask you : what is the reason new violins are so much money ? I understand ( can be wrong ) that it takes +- 2weeks to make a violin and maybe a few hundred in materials. Should violins not cost more like £2-3000 or so ? And then maybe makers will sell much more ?

Google "living wage".

 

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5 minutes ago, joshuabeyer said:

Google "living wage".

 

Thank you very much. I found this one :

https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/teachers-salary-and-teaching-benefits/teachers-pay-scale-salary

is this relevant ?

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None of this grousing about violin prices is relevant. They're essentially luxury items that are priced by supply and demand - as wonderful as they are, nobody's survival or health depends upon the purchase of one. Skilled makers can and should charge whatever they like for their product - the market will determine who makes a living and who doesn't.

 

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It sounds to me as if someone wants to become intimately acquainted with a trauma surgeon. 

For what it's worth there are plenty of violins out there that are just worth the labour hours. They work, you can even find instruments for cheaper that are more than adequate for what lots of people want, but the funny thing is that when you get to these instruments that have a higher price, whose makers have made a more artistic approach rather than simply whacking out shapes, you also tend to find that through some kind of magic, they are just a whole other level of good, and ultimately it is the market that decides the value more than the maker... you can stick your violin at £10,000 or £30,000 until the cows come home, but if it doesn't compete with other violins in the same price range, you will be lucky to find a buyer, and with so many cheaper instruments out there, no buyer is going to stick their neck out and overpay. So one way or another, the market is savagely Darwinistic and every violin finds its level. It's the hundreds of musicians who buy these, not the dozens of makers, who you are arguing with. 



 

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4 hours ago, Ben Hebbert said:

For what it's worth there are plenty of violins out there that are just worth the labour hours. They work, you can even find instruments for cheaper that are more than adequate for what lots of people want, but the funny thing is that when you get to these instruments that have a higher price, whose makers have made a more artistic approach rather than simply whacking out shapes, you also tend to find that through some kind of magic, they are just a whole other level of good, and ultimately it is the market that decides the value more than the maker... you can stick your violin at £10,000 or £30,000 until the cows come home, but if it doesn't compete with other violins in the same price range, you will be lucky to find a buyer, and with so many cheaper instruments out there, no buyer is going to stick their neck out and overpay. So one way or another, the market is savagely Darwinistic and every violin finds its level. It's the hundreds of musicians who buy these, not the dozens of makers, who you are arguing with.


I would agree 100%.
One of the great, and in the early years, crushing aspects of working at a busy shop with a lot of stock, is the opportunity to evaluate your own work regularly, both against the current crop of top makers, and those from the past. If an instrument can't hold its own at the perceived quality level, the price is academic.

Musicians are largely intelligent and sensitive people, most have a clear idea of what they want, and will spend their money wisely. With regard to "The Hill" violins, I'm sure the people at Beare's, along with Greiner and Brewer-Young have carefully thought out their market.
To start up any new venture costs are high, and to make it work pricing has to be realistic. The fact that other businesses have bought some of these instruments already, shows their confidence in the product.

With regard to those who take a more artistic approach, I feel this can be less clear in the pricing at times. There are some very talented makers, who are completely immersed in the craft, but clearly never studied business, and probably haven't sat down with a calculator and done any proper costing, or looked closely at what the competition are charging.
Not everyone's goals are financial, so to them it is less about the hours invested, or prestige of a high price. This approach doesn't always get them noticed or appreciated in the way they should be however.

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I don't get all he fuss about instruments made by teams. We can go pretty far back to find that it was the case in most great workshops. 

Are some Stradivaris worth less because one can clearly identify Bergonzi's hand? What about Vuillaume? Why should it be any different when it's Greiner, Hargrave, von Baehr...? 

Being alone means one has to produce violins to live, and leaves less time for experiments and progress, and very little time for error... 

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Yes, very true.

Throughout the history of the violin, workshops have set the standard for a lifetime, and trained the next generation of great makers.
From Amati onward, these were the places where developments and advances in models were made, ideas and methods shared. Had they not existed, things would be very different.

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9 hours ago, pbelin said:

Are some Stradivaris worth less because one can clearly identify Bergonzi's hand?

 

"Bergonzi's hand" in Stradivari instruments remains rather controversial, does it not?

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Many of Del Gesu’s violins, up until his father’s death, have Joseph Filius scrolls. Doesn’t devalue as it’s more or less the norm. I’m sure most of Stradivari’s golden period violins have more hands than just his own. 

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I have always had my doubts about any smart Alec who can determine „the hand of...in“ and the like. A couple of weeks ago a lady came for a service to her fiddle. We had done a large scale restoration about 25 years ago. I couldn‘t for the life of me tell if I had cut the bridge, or Hans. It turned out to be Hans, since he had put his initials in pencil on the underside of the bridge foot, otherwise I would still be wondering now.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

I have always had my doubts about any smart Alec who can determine „the hand of...in“ and the like. A couple of weeks ago a lady came for a service to her fiddle. We had done a large scale restoration about 25 years ago. I couldn‘t for the life of me tell if I had cut the bridge, or Hans. It turned out to be Hans, since he had put his initials in pencil on the underside of the bridge foot, otherwise I would still be wondering now.

Agreed.  So much posturing in our business can be so easily  connected with personal enrichment of the seller, that it gets really hard to sort out, even for full-time professionals in our trade.

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Ok, leave Stradivari and Bergonzi aside.. (I saw a violin certified as Bergonzi a couple of months ago, I could have sworn the scroll was a 1720's Strad...). 

That wasn't the point anyway. My point is that team work can be better than a one man shop. If I start experimenting with new varnish, or if I try to understand how I can use modal analysis, nothing gets built in my shop. So I progress less than if someone was helping me out. 

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19 hours ago, David Burgess said:

"Bergonzi's hand" in Stradivari instruments remains rather controversial, does it not?

Don't think so. There are a number of well documented cellos (scrolls in particular) that are believed to show Bergonzi's hand. See Bergonzi Reuning p 77. Also have a look at the wonderful b-short form cello played by Robert Max -- Comte de Saveuse.

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On 12/17/2019 at 1:29 PM, David Burgess said:

"Bergonzi's hand" in Stradivari instruments remains rather controversial, does it not?

The collaboration between the late Stradivari workshop and Carlo Bergonzi is generally understood at this point. As is the earlier association between Bergonzi and Vincenzo Rugeri.

Archival findings of both Chiesa and Rosengard make strong cases. Not to mention Bergonzi's instruments themselves.

 

On 12/17/2019 at 2:11 PM, jacobsaunders said:

I have always had my doubts about any smart Alec who can determine „the hand of...in“ and the like. 

Making the basic identification of "Stradivari violin" is to determine "the hand of Antonio". Why not with effort, practice and proper guidance could someone not learn to see more hands? 

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8 hours ago, joshuabeyer said:

 

Making the basic identification of "Stradivari violin" is to determine "the hand of Antonio". Why not with effort, practice and proper guidance could someone not learn to see more hands? 

Because bullshit

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12 hours ago, joshuabeyer said:

The collaboration between the late Stradivari workshop and Carlo Bergonzi is generally understood at this point. As is the earlier association between Bergonzi and Vincenzo Rugeri.

Archival findings of both Chiesa and Rosengard make strong cases. Not to mention Bergonzi's instruments themselves.

 

Making the basic identification of "Stradivari violin" is to determine "the hand of Antonio". Why not with effort, practice and proper guidance could someone not learn to see more hands? 

I agree,  the hands of Francesco and Omobono in late Antonio Stradivari instruments are actually not that difficult to see. A good reference is p.214 of the 2013 Ashmolean "Stradivarius" exhibition catalogue.

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On 12/17/2019 at 1:29 PM, David Burgess said:

"Bergonzi's hand" in Stradivari instruments remains rather controversial, does it not?

 

15 hours ago, joshuabeyer said:

The collaboration between the late Stradivari workshop and Carlo Bergonzi is generally understood at this point. As is the earlier association between Bergonzi and Vincenzo Rugeri.

Archival findings of both Chiesa and Rosengard make strong cases. Not to mention Bergonzi's instruments themselves.

Thank you for that.

As far as Bergonzi's fiddles go, some of the scrolls seem to have some characteristics of Stradivari, but are also very lacking in some other elements, at least to me.

Next, we would need to look into the practice of replacing damaged parts with new parts, prior to the time of restorers being able to rescue almost anything. Who supplied replacement scrolls in those days?

If Chiesa or Rosengard have been able to find documents showing that Bergonzi either sold parts to the Stradivari workshop, or made violins for Stradivari, I would very much respect that.

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7 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Thank you for that.

As far as Bergonzi's fiddles go, some of the scrolls seem to have some characteristics of Stradivari, but are also very lacking in some other elements, at least to me.

Thank you for that.

 

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On 12/15/2019 at 4:22 PM, VicM said:

If I can ask you : what is the reason new violins are so much money ? I understand ( can be wrong ) that it takes +- 2weeks to make a violin and maybe a few hundred in materials. Should violins not cost more like £2-3000 or so ? And then maybe makers will sell much more ?

You’re not paying for the labor. You are paying for the skill. If I understand correctly, Marx equated time with labor. An hour to produce a mud pie equaled the hour spent making an apple pie, so to his mind it was equal.

He was mistaken. It takes a certain skill to make a violin. And it takes a certain skill to make a fine violin. The two are not equal.

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On 12/17/2019 at 8:54 AM, Dave Slight said:


1. Musicians are largely intelligent and sensitive people, most have a clear idea of what they want, and will spend their money wisely.

2. With regard to "The Hill" violins, I'm sure the people at Beare's, along with Greiner and Brewer-Young have carefully thought out their market.
To start up any new venture costs are high, and to make it work pricing has to be realistic.

3. The fact that other businesses have bought some of these instruments already, shows their confidence in the product.

 

1. Here ??  On Earth ???

2. For sure. 

3. Indeed it does. I wonder what the price would be if the same violins would be if sold without a label as being "new, of unknown origin". 

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On 12/17/2019 at 4:04 AM, Ben Hebbert said:

It sounds to me as if someone wants to become intimately acquainted with a trauma surgeon. 

For what it's worth there are plenty of violins out there that are just worth the labour hours. They work, you can even find instruments for cheaper that are more than adequate for what lots of people want, but the funny thing is that when you get to these instruments that have a higher price, whose makers have made a more artistic approach rather than simply whacking out shapes, you also tend to find that through some kind of magic, they are just a whole other level of good, and ultimately it is the market that decides the value more than the maker... you can stick your violin at £10,000 or £30,000 until the cows come home, but if it doesn't compete with other violins in the same price range, you will be lucky to find a buyer, and with so many cheaper instruments out there, no buyer is going to stick their neck out and overpay. So one way or another, the market is savagely Darwinistic and every violin finds its level. It's the hundreds of musicians who buy these, not the dozens of makers, who you are arguing with. 



 

But then what is "compete" and what's the Hill label doing there ? :)

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On 12/17/2019 at 1:54 AM, Dave Slight said:


 The fact that other businesses have bought some of these instruments already, shows their confidence in the product.

 

Have other business actually bought them, or have they accepted them on consignment? The two would be very different financial and investment risks, I would think.

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10 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

You’re not paying for the labor. You are paying for the skill. If I understand correctly, Marx equated time with labor. An hour to produce a mud pie equaled the hour spent making an apple pie, so to his mind it was equal.

He was mistaken. It takes a certain skill to make a violin. And it takes a certain skill to make a fine violin. The two are not equal.

I reckon a mud pie made by Damien Hirst would cost several orders of magnitude more  than an apple pie made by my mother (which would, of course, be peerless) :D.

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