April fool Story or not?


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Today came a customer and requested from me to do the following things:

  1. Change all blocks and linings from a BOB structure to Strad type structure with linings inserted into the corner blocks.
  2. Paint flames on the neck and the ribs.
  3. Then revarnish the whole instrument (which has an approximate market value of 80000usd) 
  4. To complete everything the customer wants to have the f holes changed from a Strad model to a Andrea Amati model, because the customer found a webpage which describes the acoustic benefits of Andrea Amati f holes.
  5. For cosmetic reasons the customer wants to have the tips of the purfling at the corners extended so that they cut through the outline of the corner end.
  6. The customer doesn’t like the gorge under the scroll and wants to have it cut deeper inside.

April fool story or not?

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

For cosmetic reasons the customer wants to have the tips of the purfling at the corners extended so that they cut through the outline of the corner end.

Is that a Cremonese trait ?

I would see that as a bad day mistake on a Stradivarius.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

Only if you do it:)

Might as well do a whole new instrument. Tell the customer that it will cost $100,000 (cash up front of course!) and you might be able to get it done in a year or two, or so, with no guarantees (written, signed by him) on future market value, how it will sound, or how it will look. Next move? :D:lol:

Or you could just laugh him out of the shop!

 

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1 hour ago, duane88 said:

That sounds like a very Japanese ask!

+1 - I once handled a coin that had been owned by a guy in Japan. He had his jeweler "fix" it, removing evidence of cracks in the die from which it had been struck - features that exist on every one of the 13 known examples.

Had the work never been done, it would be worth about $800K today, with the improvements, I bought it for $125K and sold it for maybe a 20% profit.

So, I'm guessing this isn't an April Fool's hoax.

Is the original fiddle Neapolitan?

Seems like an opportunity to offer to build him what he really wants (although he probably won't see the logic in it). 

 

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2 hours ago, not telling said:

Everyone else has too much experience to be surprised by anything, but I'm just gonna say that all sounds completely insane and really has to be fake. Maybe I'm right? Tell us tomorrow. 8-)

but it's already tomorrow there!

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5 hours ago, Three13 said:

+1 - I once handled a coin that had been owned by a guy in Japan. He had his jeweler "fix" it, removing evidence of cracks in the die from which it had been struck - features that exist on every one of the 13 known examples.

 

 

I would have gotten my jeweler to put those cracks back in with a quickness  :lol:

I'd say you win this game! 

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1 hour ago, Jeny Mahon said:

I would have gotten my jeweler to put those cracks back in with a quickness  :lol:

I'd say you win this game! 

I didn't win - the guy who wrecked the coin certainly lost, though.

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21 hours ago, Delabo said:

Is that a Cremonese trait ?

I would see that as a bad day mistake on a Stradivarius.

For clients who dwell in self made fantasies all absurdities are factual and real. :(

 

20 hours ago, FiddleDoug said:

Might as well do a whole new instrument.

I was thinking about that....

.... however knowing this particular client, I prefer to talk against a wall. Then I don’t have to expect any irrational answers.

 

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17 hours ago, deans said:

Your BOB and $80K value dont quite fit together. Maybe early 19th century French? 

Sorry for the imprecise description. It is a violin which doesn’t have the linings inserted into the corner blocks. I think the Francesco Guadagnini label is correct, but this is not topic of this thread. 
 

And unfortunately not an April 1 joke. First I started to write a header like ‘what would you do with a customer asking you to destroy a valuable instrument?’ Then it came to my mind that it could as well serve as a camouflaged April 1 joke. It’s a real headache and I am prepared to explode in front of the customer yelling him/her out of my shop. If the customer refuses to leave I will have the phone number of the mental clinic at hand.

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37 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

For clients who dwell in self made fantasies all absurdities are factual and real. :(

 

I was thinking about that....

.... however knowing this particular client, I prefer to talk against a wall. Then I don’t have to expect any irrational answers.

 

How perceptive is this client? If you made a whole new violin copying their current one but building in their modification requests to it would they notice? Just curious.

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18 hours ago, deans said:

Your BOB and $80K value dont quite fit together. Maybe early 19th century French? 

Of course you seem to miss something like the complete Neapolitan school (Gagliano, if this rings a bell:)), the Genovese, the old Brescian etc.

Maybe that's part of the problem why people want to have changed the inside work into a "proper" one.

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26 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

How perceptive is this client? If you made a whole new violin copying their current one but building in their modification requests to it would they notice? Just curious.

I tried already all sorts of dissuading strategies with the result that the customer comes back with new requests.

looking on all with the eyes of a psychologist, I have the impression that all changes on the instrument are secondary. The customer seems to be attracted to the foreigner I am (and actually was before the client of another foreign violin restorer in Japan) and believes that such a person has the ‘magic’ Japanese violin makers don’t have. I am sure if a restorer from Italy comes to japan the customer will disappear the very moment, because ‘Italy’ has all the magic in this country.
 
I see myself often as the ‘violin doctor’ in all its variants. One day I am the emergency surgeon for a loose cello neck one day before a solo performance with orchestra, the next day I am the cosmetic surgeon for face lifting an instrument, then I am the doctor prescribing a new string, then I am a sport doctor realigning the bones on a fiddle to make it run again and yep, here I am training my skills as a psychologist.

 

 

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