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15 minutes ago, deans said:

How did this thread get from Roths to Fagnolas?

I made the mistake of asking about Johann Anton Stark violins. Should have started a new thread for that.  And this Stark violin is not $9k, like the Roth I took out on trial that started this thread.  The Stark is $4,500.

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I think in the $4,000-$5,000 price range, there could be many violins with less familiar or ginned up trade names that were made for violin shops that wanted an exclusive brand name only they sell.  There are hundreds of violins available in that price range in violin shops around Washington DC.

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4 hours ago, KB_Smith said:

 1952 Caressa & Francais Paris violin to try.  I unboxed them and they are acclimating to their new environment.  It's 35 degrees in D.C. today and the instruments are quite cold from several hours in the UPS truck.  I don't know how long to wait before trying to tune and play them.  I might wait till tomorrow. 

I think I'll be busy for the next week doing a "fiddle playoff."  

Was Caressa and Francais still in business in 1952?  Francais, Emile, yes, but I thought that the firm's name changed after the loss of Caressa.

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3 minutes ago, duane88 said:

Was Caressa and Francais still in business in 1952?  

No, Caressa & Francais ceased to exist around 1920, then Albert Caressa continued for a while ...

And a genuine Caressa & Francais would not be in the same price bracket as a "Stark" or even a hugely overpriced EH Roth.

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1 hour ago, uguntde said:

I have seen Fagnolas described as genuine that were crap.

Plenty of genuine Fagnolas are crap ...

 

2 hours ago, uguntde said:

I just can’t see how anyone would attempt a fake Roth and get a stamp made with the same bugs the original Roth stamp has. Too much work.

The question is rather to do with who had access to the brand and who really made the violins that the brand found its way into ... 

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30 minutes ago, martin swan said:

No, Caressa & Francais ceased to exist around 1920, then Albert Caressa continued for a while ...

And a genuine Caressa & Francais would not be in the same price bracket as a "Stark" or even a hugely overpriced EH Roth.

That is what I thought.

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15 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Plenty of genuine Fagnolas are crap ...

 

The question is rather to do with who had access to the brand and who really made the violins that the brand found its way into ... 

I have seen some frightening copies made in Tokyo that sort of put me off of Fangolas for life! They were, as the maker told me, "auction tested".

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2 hours ago, Blank face said:

This might be an authentic Roth low grade model, but there are also uncountable numbers of identical violins out there labelled with another dealer's label. So there's nothing specific "Roth"-ish with this sort of instruments.

The Roth workshop apparently did make violins for other shops, so it is no surprise that there are "uncountable numbers of identical violins out there." They may have originated from the Roth workshop.

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22 minutes ago, martin swan said:

No, Caressa & Francais ceased to exist around 1920, then Albert Caressa continued for a while ...

Henri Francais and Albert Caressa started the business in 1901 and ran it together until Hneri retired in 1920.  Albert Caressa continued the business until he retired in 1938.  Henri Francais' son, Emile, actually married Albert Caressa's daughter and worked as a shop foreman for Albert until albert retired in 1938. Then Emile took over in 1938 and ran the shop until 1984.  After he stepped down, the business folded.  The question in my mind is could Maison Albert Caressa, who actually had his own label, also have continued to use the original Caressa & Francais label on some of the violins his Maison produced to take advantage of the brand recognition and popularity?  and Emile could have continued that tradition from 1938 on.  Would not be unheard of for that to happen, plus Emile was married to Lucille Caressa ...

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Found these on Tarisio Cozio Archive. So I guess they each had their proprietary label.  Still, I think they both may have produced some trade violins out of the shop with the Caressa & Francais label to take advantage of the brand recognition and popularity, but I have no evidence of that beyond the label in the 1952 violin I currently have in hand.

 

A_Caressa_label.jpg.87f40624ff571459ffb380399cfe2a8f.jpgEmile_Francais_Label.thumb.jpg.e18753c90aa709f82f06b84970090465.jpg

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8 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

The Roth workshop apparently did make violins for other shops, so it is no surprise that there are "uncountable numbers of identical violins out there." They may have originated from the Roth workshop.

This might apply for some high end instruments being made in a limited production line, but not for massproduced cheap models. These were, as common for the period and all other firms, supplied by the cottage industry and labelled/branded with the particular name. All other informations are the usual telltales to inflate prices.

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8 hours ago, KB_Smith said:

  The question in my mind is could Maison Albert Caressa, who actually had his own label, also have continued to use the original Caressa & Francais label on some of the violins his Maison produced to take advantage of the brand recognition and popularity?  and Emile could have continued that tradition from 1938 on.  Would not be unheard of for that to happen, plus Emile was married to Lucille Caressa ...

No - therefore a 1952 Caressa & Francais label would ring major alarm bells for me.

 

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5 hours ago, Blank face said:

This might apply for some high end instruments being made in a limited production line, but not for massproduced cheap models. These were, as common for the period and all other firms, supplied by the cottage industry and labelled/branded with the particular name. All other informations are the usual telltales to inflate prices.

The Roth workshop instruments, even the 120-R models, are distinguished by consistently higher quality compared to run-of-the-mill cottage industry Dutzenware. I have not seen a real one that does not have nicely fluted ffs, a well-cut scroll going deep into the throat, and a well-applied varnish. The combination of these features are rare in "massproduced cheap models" of the period, but they are standard even in the lower-end Roths. They are also good musical instruments.

I think that it is important to remember that EHR started the company to produce and export better quality instruments in a methodical way and track their manufacture because he recognized the general poor quality and haphazard production of the cottage-industry. Furthermore, when selling violins via catalog in the United States pre-WWII, establishing a brand reputation for consistent quality was a competitive advantage, which is exactly what he did.

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4 hours ago, martin swan said:

The question in my mind is could Maison Albert Caressa, who actually had his own label, also have continued to use the original Caressa & Francais label on some of the violins his Maison produced to take advantage of the brand recognition and popularity?

 

4 hours ago, martin swan said:

No - therefore a 1952 Caressa & Francais label would ring major alarm bells for me.

The label in this instrument actually says: “Fini sous la direction de/Caressa & Francais / Luthiers du Conservatoire / 12 Rue de Madrid a Paris / 1952.”  So that translates to “Finished under the direction of Caressa & Francais ...).  I spoke with the guy who runs the violin shop who sent this to me. His father, the violin shop owner, personally bought this violin in the 1990s in France.  He has seen 1000s of violins and has no reason to believe it is not authentic.  He also said the bridge that is on it right now was cut by a luthier who worked at W.E. Hill & Sons in England for 10 years and can validate this violin is authentic.  I’d still be interested in knowing if the label, Fini sous la direction de/Caressa & Francais / Luthiers du Conservatoire / 12 Rue de Madrid a Paris, is a valid label for violins produced by Maison Emile Francais from 1938-1984. 

I found reference to a violin that was auctioned in UK in 2017 by Gardiner Houlgate with this same label, but it does not say what year that violin was made.

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The "fini sous la direction de" is a very common way of labelling Mirecourt violins which were bought in and tarted up (or just labelled) by well-known Parisian firms or makers. "Fait sous la direction de" would be marginally better, but still code for "not actually made by ..."

However, Caressa & Francais did not exist in 1952 ergo the label is nonsense, as is the claim that it's "authentic" because the bridge was cut by someone who used to work at Hills..

Whether someone bought a violin in France or not is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether it's as labelled - plenty of fake labels in France. Equally, seeing 1000s of violins is no guarantee of sagacity.

If this shop is selling the violin as a Mirecourt trade violin bearing a fanciful Caressa & Francais label, then there is of course nothing to argue about ... 

I take it this is the violin in question https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1952-Caressa-and-Francais-Paris-Violin-/124298813356?nma=true&si=gvfvxVpTaijYK9SMqnnwzSvzraE%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

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2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

I think that it is important to remember that EHR started the company to produce and export better quality instruments in a methodical way and track their manufacture because he recognized the general poor quality and haphazard production of the cottage-industry.

As far as I know this sale record myth was invented by the Löwenthal/Lowendall company in the late 19th century, especially the sentence "he recognized the general poor quality etc....". Maybe Löwenthal forgot to claim a patent or sold the phrasing to the Roths?B)

Unchallenged that the Roth production line in general has an average better quality than most of the Markneukirchen/Schönbacher, and their top products can be extraordinary nice, but what I've seen from the lower end (including the photoshopped comparison of the OP with another, not very similar Dutzendware Roth violin) is hardly to distinguish from other halfway well executed instruments from this region and period. So I guess this can be difficult for the actual owners of the firm, too.

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2 hours ago, martin swan said:

If this shop is selling the violin as a Mirecourt trade violin bearing a fanciful Caressa & Francais label, then there is of course nothing to argue about ... 

I take it this is the violin in question https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1952-Caressa-and-Francais-Paris-Violin-/124298813356?nma=true&si=gvfvxVpTaijYK9SMqnnwzSvzraE%3D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Actually they sold it as undoubtly genuine, at least in the Ebay listing. Seems as if they were more specialised in wind instruments.

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KB_Smith:

In retrospect, I am going to say that you should get the violin that you want regardless of whether the violin is a authentic Roth, Caressa, Stark, whatever.

I say this because upon reflection, although I do still stand by my replies, my Roth is currently my favorite violin of the few that I have.  It sounds great, looks great considering its age (albeit not as shiny as the one you posted lol), and plays well under my fingers.  I would have probably paid retail for my Roth not knowing anything about any controversies over quality, etc...SImply put, it is a solid instrument for what I can afford and my skill level.

If you are looking at resale, then I am inclined to think that you aren't truly looking for an upgrade, but rather an upgrade/investment.  I always say to students, if you buy a $5,000 violin and learn on it for 3 years, think of the monetary value of those three years and even if you can't resell at cost or more, you got a solid three years out of it.  

So unless the shop you are buying from has a history of selling fakes, over-pricing instruments, etc., just go with what you like.  

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36 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Seems as if they were more specialised in wind instruments

Yes, it does seem they are about band instruments.  But they have a separate departments (and perhaps stores) that specialize in guitars (E.M. Shorts Guitar Shop) and violins (The Wichita Violin Shop).  Yes, they have an eBay shop, which may sullen their reputability in some eyes, but they also sell on Reverb, direct online from their own internet store, and of course in their brick & mortar store.  They are self-professed specialists in French violins and also sell violins from Italy, England, Germany, and USA.  I'd encourage you to read their violin page here and then see their list of fine French violins in their inventory before you make too quick a judgment about their business. Do you really believe these are all low quality trade violins with fake labels? Several of you have encouraged OPs in the past, including me, to buy directly from a reputable violin shop, rather than eBay.  If the violin shop happens to also use eBay to sell their instruments, does that disqualify them as a reputable violin shop?

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22 minutes ago, KB_Smith said:

Do you really believe these are all low quality trade violins with fake labels? 

I don't know where you got this idea ...

But this violin is an anomaly, and if this shop are specialists and experts in French violins then they know that.

It's either a Mirecourt violin relabelled and sold by Caressa & Francais pre-1920, whose label has been tampered with (unless 1952 is some kind of model number, but then they would surely have pointed that out) or it's a Mirecourt violin with an apocryphal label, maybe even from 1952 ... 

I wouldn't argue with the price, or with the fact that it's French. I am merely disbelieving the particular conjunction of violin and label.

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On 1/28/2021 at 11:54 PM, deans said:

How did this thread get from Roths to Fagnolas?

I said 'why would one fake a Roth' which i worth little, rather than a Fagnola which is high in value despte having a rather unfashionable spirit varnish and often not a great sound.

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10 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Quite simply because someone might be willing to pay $9,600 for it

If I were in that business I would only copy Italian violins, Bisiach, Fagnola and the likes. Mch better profit.

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