Makers - Do you issue certificates with new instruments and/or bows you make and sell?


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Yes, I make certificates for the violas I make.

 

In the past I wrote them in Italian, but dealers and players showed a clear preference for English, that's what I do now.  Good photos in the proper angles and a description of the instrument.

 

And, yes, it takes time, as everything in lutherie.

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4 hours ago, Shelbow said:

Curious to know if anyone issues certificates with what they make and sell?

Is this a useful thing to do for you or the customer or just a waste of time?

I consider it to be waste of time, of no practical use to the client, since printed documents can so easily be forged these days.

Instead, I suggest to my clients that they keep copies of our email exchanges, and checks sent to me and endorsed by me, as being a much more valuable level of proof.

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20 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Instead, I suggest to my clients that they keep copies of our email exchanges, and checks sent to me and endorsed by me, as being a much more valuable level of proof.

But, when you are dead and gone, the client may still have to prove actual violin was the one associated with these docs. Pics can help I think. 

Now that I think about it, I wonder if my future heirs will be able to match which fiddle is which when I'm gone. I guess I wont care.

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34 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I consider it to be waste of time, of no practical use to the client, since printed documents can so easily be forged these days.

Instead, I suggest to my clients that they keep copies of our email exchanges, and checks sent to me and endorsed by me, as being a much more valuable level of proof.

Also, gotta figure the future experts are going to say "I can't describe a real Burgess, I just know one when I see it."  :)

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4 minutes ago, deans said:

But, when you are dead and gone, the client may still have to prove actual violin was the one purchased. Pics can help I think. 

Can't just about anyone exchange the original pictures for substitutes?

It's much more difficult to alter transaction trails and records kept by a bank, in my opinion,

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33 minutes ago, glebert said:

Also, gotta figure the future experts are going to say "I can't describe a real Burgess, I just know one when I see it."  :)

Lots of experts "know one when they see it", partly because there are so many of them out there, and partly because I don't make copies or otherwise attempt to disguise my personal style.

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5 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Can't just about anyone exchange the original pictures for substitutes?

Sure, but a bank record just means someone paid you money for a violin. Someone could buy 1 Burgess and sell 50 of them. 

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I do issue a certificate with instruments I make.

I am not so worried about how easy they can be copied. I am using some tricks which are pretty hard to copy. Otherwise I think it is the absolutely foolproof protection to have an online catalogue of the entire work. I don't know if it is possible to extend such an online catalogue after ones own lifetime.

 

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14 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I consider it to be waste of time, of no practical use to the client, since printed documents can so easily be forged these days.

Instead, I suggest to my clients that they keep copies of our email exchanges, and checks sent to me and endorsed by me, as being a much more valuable level of proof.

I find it very surprising that you do not issue a certificate. Personally I would very much like to have one with your genuine signature. Maybe a simple thumbprint that could be checked against a known legit one of yours would help. Your signature could be witnessed by someone else which would also add to the proof.

And if your certificate is not worth having then whats the point of having any certificate ?

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I know the majority of the certificates issued will be lost by the players.... even so, what we see in the market is that some kind of paper issued by the maker that follows the instrument is important, as visit cards, letters exchanged, receipts (I saw a violin with Vuillaume's receipt).

I also remember of a fantastic Ferdinando Garimberti cello, that was owned by an Italian priest here, he commissioned the cello from Garimberti and had the ecclesiastical papers authorizing him to get the cello, since he had made some kind of poverty vow.  He sold his old classic Italian cello to get the Garimberti that was much cheaper, and was authorized to do that.

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I make certificates for my instruments.

I am aware that they cannot be a sufficient guarantee for authenticity, but in my opinion a certificate from the maker of the instrument is better than nothing. However, the only effective way that I know is to keep a photographic archive of all the instruments produced, so as to be able to certify the authenticity without a shadow of a doubt even just starting from photographs that can be sent by potential buyers around the world without necessarily bringing the instrument to my workshop for a visual inspection. I have always photographed all my instruments and I have a truly complete and detailed archive, this has already been very useful for me to "unmask" some forgeries of my violins. So I invite the fakers to be very careful, or at least to wait for my death before trying other forgeries.:)

I also registered my trademark, in order to be able to legally prosecute fakers more effectively, and to further discourage these dishonest practice.:angry:

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10 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

I make certificates for my instruments.

I am aware that they cannot be a sufficient guarantee for authenticity, but in my opinion a certificate from the maker of the instrument is better than nothing. However, the only effective way that I know is to keep a photographic archive of all the instruments produced, so as to be able to certify the authenticity without a shadow of a doubt even just starting from photographs that can be sent by potential buyers around the world without necessarily bringing the instrument to my workshop for a visual inspection. I have always photographed all my instruments and I have a truly complete and detailed archive, this has already been very useful for me to "unmask" some forgeries of my violins. So I invite the fakers to be very careful, or at least to wait for my death before trying other forgeries.:)

I also registered my trademark, in order to be able to legally prosecute fakers more effectively, and to further discourage these dishonest practice.:angry:

Reminds me of a quote by Al Capone. :) 

"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me."

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I think there are many good reason's besides fakery to have a good photo cert. Insurance claims will probably go smoother if the instrument is lost, could make it easier to recover, customs issues if you are travelling international or move, it gives potential heirs at least some idea of what they have to deal with an estate, etc.

Not perfect of course, but it gives an owner another line of defense for an expensive and treasured possession.

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I've never had a "certificate of authenticity" with an instrument...but I gotta admit, I wouldn't mind if instruments came with one.

We seem to like such things. :wub:5

If I had to think of what I'd want that to be, I'd like it to be made of nice paper (heavy weight), with a stamp, and with a couple of "real" photos.

https://www.thestampmaker.com/Products/Desktop-Embosser-with-Your-Artwork__DESK_EMBOSSER_WITH_ART.aspx?gclid=Cj0KCQiA-OeBBhDiARIsADyBcE5wJlX_XRRb6Hz968UFk49YES1L7sUsY2sTtUHFBVNkbBh4cKo3P-4aArgAEALw_wcB

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6 minutes ago, Rue said:

I've never had a "certificate of authenticity" with an instrument...but I gotta admit, I wouldn't mind if instruments came with one.

We seem to like such things. :wub:5

If I had to think of what I'd want that to be, I'd like it to be made of nice paper (heavy weight), with a stamp, and with a couple of "real" photos.

Oh, all right, I'll put a certificate of authenticity up on my dating profile, even though any woman with the slightest bit of life experience knows that it's impossible for a man to be "authentic". :P

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18 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

Reminds me of a quote by Al Capone. :) 

"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me."

:) I could hang a sign in my workshop with this quote...or I could write it on certificates.:lol:

Beware Italians:ph34r:

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Just out of curiousity, and being somewhat related to this topic, do people fake makers that are still living? Wondering if it is too risky to make a fake when the maker is still alive and can be asked to verify an instrument. 

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