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What is this violin? Estimate was £100 sold for £37,000

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3 hours ago, chrissweden said:

In general.

Now I'm sure there are folks who would disagree but I've heard several instruments before and after there was a back SP crack and they all sounded worse. Of course there are exemptions... There's a reason why a crack in the top is generally accepted for more expensive instruments yet on the back incurs a heavy price decrease. 

There are a number of reasons that sp cracks in the back are more de-valuing than top sp cracks, but "worse tone" is not one of them. The tone after a well-repaired sp crack is just as likely to be improved as it is to be worse or simply stay the same.

One reason that sp cracks are more devaluing than top sp cracks is that they are harder to patch well. In a top sp crack, the closed crack is naturally reinforced by the downward pressure of the bridge against the arch, whereas a back sp crack has the sound post pressure pushing the crack to open from underneath the arch. In addition, there are the aesthetic considerations of a sp crack in the back versus one in the top.

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16 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

There are a number of reasons that sp cracks in the back are more de-valuing than top sp cracks, but "worse tone" is not one of them. The tone after a well-repaired sp crack is just as likely to be improved as it is to be worse or simply stay the same.

One reason that sp cracks are more devaluing than top sp cracks is that they are harder to patch well. In a top sp crack, the closed crack is naturally reinforced by the downward pressure of the bridge against the arch, whereas a back sp crack has the sound post pressure pushing the crack to open from underneath the arch. In addition, there are the aesthetic considerations of a sp crack in the back versus one in the top.

I agree with all of this.

One of the best sounding instruments we ever sold was a Genovese with a back post crack.

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2 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

This is all speculation. One could just as well speculate that some nit-wit has cut himself deeply in his finger, to borrow a German idiom (in die Finger geschniten)

Another applicable idiom would be "ins Klo greifen".:ph34r:

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10 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Another applicable idiom would be "ins Klo greifen".:ph34r:

Trying to translate slang or idioms can be extremely treacherous. I think the (Austrian?) German idiom “in die Finger schneiden”, would be roughly equivalent to the (British) English “to drop a bollock”. Goodness knows what Americans say, I’m not qualified to comment on that.

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So apart from it needing £20,000 spent on it to bring it to retail whats the problem ?

Its not a Carlo Giuseppe Testore ?

Tarisio has one of his violins that sold in November 2019 for $240,000 which would seem a very reasonable profit can be made after the work is done.

If we assume that its repaired condition brings it down to $150,000, its still not a bad days work is it ?

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We can sit here and come up with all kinds of scenarios where this could have been a good or bad buy. Maybe the buyer was himself a restorer or has one working in his shop  with some extra covid time.  There are people restoring violins all the time. Maybe somebody knew of the instrument from the past and it was believed to be a fine player. Maybe it was a collector who didnt have 7 figures to spend at the time. Or maybe it was just some idiot who by chance also happens to be wealthy. 

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

Trying to translate slang or idioms can be extremely treacherous. I think the (Austrian?) German idiom “in die Finger schneiden”, would be roughly equivalent to the (British) English “to drop a bollock”. Goodness knows what Americans say, I’m not qualified to comment on that.

I don’t know what a bollock is, but from the context it sounds like a reference to causing oneself an unnecessary problem. Maybe something like “open up a can of worms” or “bit off more than he can chew” might work?

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Bollocks /ˈbɒləks/ BO-ləks is a word of Middle English origin, meaning "testicles". The word is often used figuratively in colloquial British English and Hiberno-English as a noun to mean "nonsense", an expletive following a minor accident or misfortune, or an adjective to mean "poor quality" or "useless".

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1 hour ago, Delabo said:

So apart from it needing £20,000 spent on it to bring it to retail whats the problem ?

Its not a Carlo Giuseppe Testore ?

Tarisio has one of his violins that sold in November 2019 for $240,000 which would seem a very reasonable profit can be made after the work is done.

If we assume that its repaired condition brings it down to $150,000, its still not a bad days work is it ?

I posted a photo on page 1of a Carlo Giuseppe Testore - this violin is not his quality of work. As Jacob pointed out, the Testores were a big clan of makers, and some of their violins are barely competent.

I know a little bit about this violin (as I said, it's a small world) and I am sure it's a Testore family violin, but if it's certified as a Pietro Antonio for instance, then the retail price would be no more than £100k in top condition. Even with the best restoration in the world this one would have to be devalued by 30-40%, assuming it doesn't have a post crack, worm, internal patching or any of the other woes that beset old Italian instruments. In this case the buyer will have to work pretty hard to make a profit.

In the case of Testore, a dendro would be pretty helpful in eliminating the earlier and more accomplished members of the family. 

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8 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I posted a photo on page 1of a Carlo Giuseppe Testore - this violin is not his quality of work. As Jacob pointed out, the Testores were a big clan of makers, and some of their violins are barely competent.

I know a little bit about this violin (as I said, it's a small world) and I am sure it's a Testore family violin, but if it's certified as a Pietro Antonio for instance, then the retail price would be no more than £100k in top condition. Even with the best restoration in the world this one would have to be devalued by 30-40%, assuming it doesn't have a post crack, worm, internal patching or any of the other woes that beset old Italian instruments. In this case the buyer will have to work pretty hard to make a profit.

In the case of Testore, a dendro would be pretty helpful in eliminating the earlier and more accomplished members of the family. 

Thanks for that - much appreciated.

 

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10 minutes ago, martin swan said:

In this case the buyer will have to work pretty hard to make a profit.

There are hard workers out there. I think its fair to say that this purchase probably doesn't make economic sense for most violin dealer's business models, except perhaps for  some that have the restoration capabilities already on the payroll and/or have the specific client base.

I assume that every violin I purchased at auction wouldn't make much sense for someone trying to make an easy profit, otherwise I would probably have been outbid by a dealer. 

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What about the family of the "lady" or the person handling the estate?  How did they agree on a 100 starting price? I mean if you have a Testore in the family or at least think it is a Testore wouldn't you require at least 1000 as the starting price. I am guessing they were completely clueless but the auctioneers had their suspicions and made some phone calls? This all reminds me of an episode of "strange inheritance" where two brothers from Bloomfield New Jersey were selling their deceased parent's belongings at similar auction and an "ugly" picture that was hanging for years in their dining room turned to be a Rembrandt. They were happy with a few hundred dollars for it but is sold for over a  million with international bidders from Europe jacking up the price over the phone. The auctioneers were clueless till the price started to approach the 7 digits...

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On 9/15/2020 at 10:33 AM, jacobsaunders said:

Trying to translate slang or idioms can be extremely treacherous. I think the (Austrian?) German idiom “in die Finger schneiden”, would be roughly equivalent to the (British) English “to drop a bollock”. Goodness knows what Americans say, I’m not qualified to comment on that.

 

We have a slightly stronger expression involving intimate relations with one's own derriere...

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