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Is this an authentic Celestino Farotto?


agpereira
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Hi!

My name is André and I am new around here. I am a professional violinist who is starting an instrument collection.

At a recent auction I was given the chance of buying a violin labeled "Farotto Celestino allievo dello zio Celste fece in Milano l'Anno 1959" for 700€. Thing is, I am not an expert on luthierie whatsoever, so I don't know if this is a copy or not. Could someone with a trained eye clarify it for me? And maybe also let me know if you think this is a good deal?

Appreciate your kindness!

Celestino.jpg

Celestino1.jpg

Celestino2.jpg

Celestino3.jpg

Celestino5.jpg

Edited by agpereira
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Welcome to Maestronet Andre .... there are many, many contributors on this forum that know so much more than I, but the violin you have been offered is very likely not a Celestino Farotti and more possibly a chinese copy ( but it may be a good sounding instrument even so ) and so a price of 700 is not unreasonable. Good luck with your pursuit of an instrument collection :)

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2 hours ago, agpereira said:

Hi!

My name is André and I am new around here. I am a professional violinist who is starting an instrument collection.

At a recent auction I was given the chance of buying a violin labeled "Farotto Celestino allievo dello zio Celste fece in Milano l'Anno 1959" for 700€. Thing is, I am not an expert on luthierie whatsoever, so I don't know if this is a copy or not. Could someone with a trained eye clarify it for me? And maybe also let me know if you think this is a good deal?

Appreciate your kindness!

Celestino.jpg

Celestino1.jpg

Celestino2.jpg

Celestino3.jpg

Celestino5.jpg

Welcome to MN, André! 

IMHO, comparing this with examples from Tarisio as well as prices from Brompton's, even allowing for Farotto's rather "various" productions, there's no real chance that this is authentic.

https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/browse-the-archive/makers/maker/?Maker_ID=172

https://www.bromptons.co/reference/makers/details/farotto-celestino.html

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

Welcome André,

May I ask what is your goal in starting an instrument collection? Particularly if you are "not an expert on luthierie" or in any specialized area of violin collecting.

Indeed. This looks to be the opposite end of the scale from the quality of instrument any self-respecting professional would use.

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2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Welcome André,

May I ask what is your goal in starting an instrument collection? Particularly if you are "not an expert on luthierie" or in any specialized area of violin collecting.

Thank you!

Although I am not an expert, I am a young professional who has had the chance to play on very fine instruments while studying in London (Pressenda, Long Pattern Strad, Ceruti, Rota, Hel, etc.). Having returned to my homecountry of Portugal, I would like to start a collection in order to lend good quality instruments to students who don't have the possibility to afford them themselves. Besides, I love the violin, the instrument I play, and finding beautiful and good sounding specimens gives me great pleasure. I don't believe I have to be an expert in luthierie to start a violin collection.

2 hours ago, mysticpaw said:

Welcome to Maestronet Andre .... there are many, many contributors on this forum that know so much more than I, but the violin you have been offered is very likely not a Celestino Farotti and more possibly a chinese copy ( but it may be a good sounding instrument even so ) and so a price of 700 is not unreasonable. Good luck with your pursuit of an instrument collection :)

Well, not having the opportunity to try it before paying for it, I think I will not pay this price for the instrument. Thank you for your help and welcoming message. 

1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

Welcome to MN, André! 

IMHO, comparing this with examples from Tarisio as well as prices from Brompton's, even allowing for Farotto's rather "various" productions, there's no real chance that this is authentic.

https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/browse-the-archive/makers/maker/?Maker_ID=172

https://www.bromptons.co/reference/makers/details/farotto-celestino.html

Thank you for welcoming me! I appreciate your help. I don't think I will buy this instrument.

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10 hours ago, agpereira said:

I would like to start a collection in order to lend good quality instruments to students who don't have the possibility to afford them themselves. Besides, I love the violin, the instrument I play, and finding beautiful and good sounding specimens gives me great pleasure. I don't believe I have to be an expert in luthierie to start a violin collection.

If I might offer you some advice before you start collecting any violins.
If something is for sale in the public domain at 1/10, or less, of the price it would cost in a good shop, it's a sign to close your wallet, and walk away promptly.

If you wish to make a collection of instruments available for your own students, I would suggest talking to a shop owner, or restorer and take their advice on 120 year old restored German/French  commercial instruments. If you can visit a good shop which stocks good new violins by Gewa or Jay Haide, that are properly set up, you could be pleasantly surprised by what you can get for the price.

Buying rubbish from eBay will never be satisfactory, unless your students will not progress much beyond playing nursery rhymes.
 

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3 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Buying rubbish from eBay will never be satisfactory, unless your students will not progress much beyond playing nursery rhymes.

^This. And the key word is "rubbish." There are occasionally some good collectable violins for sale on eBay, but most of the "vintage" and antique violins are rubbish. Different kinds of rubbish, but rubbish none-the-less. Some of it was rubbish from the start, some of it rubbish because of damage (seen and unseen), and some of it rubbish deliberately modified by con-men and thieves to appear valuable.

Some of the new Chinese instruments direct from China on eBay can turn into good and very attractive players, but usually need at least a good set-up, and some will need much more. And even then, they are not at all desirable as "collectables," but they could certainly fulfill your purpose to "lend good quality instruments to students who don't have the possibility to afford them themselves."

But if you're interested in having a violin "collection" that is worth something, then start it with a focus on one narrow area, and learn all you can about that area. That is a good place to begin. And remember these 2 guidelines:

1) It is much easier to buy violins than it is to sell them profitably.

2) Don't buy a violin unless you have plans for it in advance, i.e. keep it, sell it, or trade it.

And remember these words of wisdom from @jacobsaunders:

"Perfectly normal every-day Ebay-lifer behavior. Compulsively buy one junker after another until either 1. The money runs out or 2. The garage/shed is full up to the roof."

Or both. :)

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4 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

^This. And the key word is "rubbish." There are occasionally some good collectable violins for sale on eBay, but most of the "vintage" and antique violins are rubbish. Different kinds of rubbish, but rubbish none-the-less. Some of it was rubbish from the start, some of it rubbish because of damage (seen and unseen), and some of it rubbish deliberately modified by con-men and thieves to appear valuable.

Some of the new Chinese instruments direct from China on eBay can turn into good and very attractive players, but usually need at least a good set-up, and some will need much more. And even then, they are not at all desirable as "collectables," but they could certainly fulfill your purpose to "lend good quality instruments to students who don't have the possibility to afford them themselves."

But if you're interested in having a violin "collection" that is worth something, then start it with a focus on one narrow area, and learn all you can about that area. That is a good place to begin. And remember these 2 guidelines:

1) It is much easier to buy violins than it is to sell them profitably.

2) Don't buy a violin unless you have plans for it in advance, i.e. keep it, sell it, or trade it.

And remember these words of wisdom from @jacobsaunders:

"Perfectly normal every-day Ebay-lifer behavior. Compulsively buy one junker after another until either 1. The money runs out or 2. The garage/shed is full up to the roof."

Or both. :)

So how much have you bought off eBay to gain this valuable knowledge?  :)

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41 minutes ago, Garth E. said:

I've always said. E-Bay is not the problem any more than the seller at a garage sale or flea market. E-bay just happens to be a flea market larger than New York City. Lots of junk lots of great deals.

The "problem" is public ignorance.  Getting "burned" while shopping for specialty merchandise that you know little to nothing about, isn't eBay's fault, and doesn't just happen on eBay.  Shoot, you can accomplish that in a brick-and-mortar violin shop, for much larger amounts of money.  :lol:

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

So how much have you bought off eBay to gain this valuable knowledge?  :)

I have been violin collector since long before eBay, and I keep my herd thin. :) 

Buying violins off eBay is a form of gambling entertainment. You can "win" if you know when the odds are in your favor, but you have to be very selective on what bets you place.

"A man should never gamble more than he can stand to lose."

     - David Bromberg from Diamond Lil

But you already knew this.

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52 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

I have been violin collector since long before eBay, and I keep my herd thin. :) 

Buying violins off eBay is a form of gambling entertainment. You can "win" if you know when the odds are in your favor, but you have to be very selective on what bets you place.

"A man should never gamble more than he can stand to lose."

     - David Bromberg from Diamond Lil

But you already knew this.

Yup.  Back when I started mining eBay for "raw material", though, there was a lot more to choose from, priced much lower, and the place wasn't crawling with pro- and semipro dealers dumping trash like it is now.

I've been warning people (not just here) for years, that if you lack the expertise to identify your preferred item (among a plethora of fakes and poor examples), as well as the skills to repair, maintain, and calibrate it once you've got it, you'll only find grief buying equipment on eBay.  You'll note that I don't limit this to fiddles, it applies to any technically demanding specialized equipment.  At least crummy violins won't fly apart and cause casualties, or bilge an entire series of measurements, or put you a hundred miles off course, because they were out-of-spec, or you set them up wrong.  :ph34r:  :lol:

OTOH, if you do know what you're doing, the place is a glorious resource.   :)

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I have noticed that those who mine eBay, tend to wear several pairs of rose-tinted spectacles, when it comes to violins they have bought (strangely termed won!). They then put a value on it based on something similar, in good condition, and fully restored, for sale at a shop.

If these treasures were independently valued, a rather different conclusion on winning would be the result, in almost all cases.

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13 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

And remember these words of wisdom from @jacobsaunders:

"Perfectly normal every-day Ebay-lifer behavior. Compulsively buy one junker after another until either 1. The money runs out or 2. The garage/shed is full up to the roof."

Or both. :)

^^^ All of this!  Some day I will probably just send a crate to T2 and be done with it! All proceeds to go to my long-suffering friend who really tried to teach me how to identify good fiddles :lol: As a padawan I have not been very successful, purely due to my own failings as a learner!

 

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