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Greetings,

I purchased this violin bow today at the T2 auction.  It is stamped “A. Deblaye.” and comes with a certificate from Pierre Guillaume attributed to Emile Francois Ouchard ca. 1930.  I am curious as to why this item may have sold in T2 rather than the fine auction.  Is the attribution unreliable?  Did E.F. Ouchard make bows for A. Deblaye?  Does this look like the work of E.F. Ouchard?  Any opinions or knowledge sharing is great appreciated.  TIA 

l96248frog.jpg

l96248tip.jpg

Edited by John Alexander
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2 minutes ago, Dani Tsui said:

 The certificate says " School of Ouchard" and not by himself

Perhaps a better translation would be , "Orbit of Ouchard".

T2 is fun (especially when a Roth sells for 12k with 41 bids-the most for any item in the auction...), but you must remember that everything in the T2 is there for a reason.

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11 minutes ago, duane88 said:

everything in the T2 is there for a reason.

Although, to be clear, a reason may not necessarily be bad.

Some (many? most?) of the instruments in the T2 are just fine (like Roths), but they just are not suitable for the "Fine" auction. 

Hopefully, the OP bought a nice bow.

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I think the T2 auctions are gradually getting some better and more interesting things in them. Perhaps Tarisio are trying to make their main sales more prestigious by moving some lower tier items into T2.

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A few years ago I bought a fantastic bow by Joseph Halligan at T2. It was listed as “stamped” But appeared to be in perfect condition and very well-made. I bought it for an insignificant sum.

At the very next fine instrument auction was another bow by Joseph Halligan, And even to poor eyes like my own, It was exactly the same quality, but this one was confidently identified as “by Joseph Halligan” I do not know why the first bow was listed as questionable and the second one was not, especially when they could’ve just called him on the phone and asked him, which I did. I bought the second bow also, At a slightly higher price than the first. They are both fantastic bows.

The interesting thing about the situation is that it was repeated exactly a year or so later with two bows by Hovis-Hagen. The first one was, I Think, at T2 And sold for very little, to me. The second one was in the Fine auction and sold for considerably more, to someone else, Although I certainly gave it some serious consideration. But they were both beautiful bows and the one I acquired was an excellent player.

Your bow looks lovely, and I don’t think you have any grounds for remorse, unless you mortgaged the house for it.

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Thanks Philip,  that is a good story with a happy ending.  I’m glad you made some good acquisitions through Tarisio.  I have also had good experiences buying through them.  However, I feel as though there should have been a clear disclaimer.  The presence of a certificate with the name of specific maker implies authenticity to me.  The fine print in a foreign language without a disclaimer is deceptive in my opinion.  If the bow turns out to be a great player it would be worth it.  But that’s a big gamble.  I’ve sent a message to Tarisio expressing my opinion and asked them to cancel the sale.  I think I’m better off sticking to the fine auctions and getting items with accurate attributions.  

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9 hours ago, John Alexander said:

My gosh, I feel rather foolish.  I thought I was buying a bow made by EF Ouchard.  Lesson learned - buyer beware.  Hopefully it turns out to be nice player. Fingers crossed!

You did well my friend don't sweat it. For $2280 you got a decent bow. At that same price you'd pay for a low grade ARCUS Sinfonia. Did you try it?

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There are some issues with this bow, I'll try to be polite here, it is quite light and will be difficult to sell again, the winding/lapping seems to be thick solid silver to increase the weight of the bow at the expense of the head (probably) feeling extremely light. the ebony used for the frog is of a low quality (lots of brown flames)

For the same money or less you could get a certified Morizot freres bow with good weight and balance.

The head does resemble EF ouchard and in my opinion it could well be from his workshop (he did supply bows to Deblaye so it's a possibility. 

Please do let me know if my fears are true regarding weight/balance of this bow...

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Thanks Chris.  The weight alone is not a concern for me if it has good balance.  Tarisio seemed to think it was a well made bow of good craftsmanship.  I will try it out and hope for the best.  I will definitely post my review.  Tarisio was actually very understanding and offered to consign for me (with no sellers fee) if I don’t like it.  I thought that was very fair.

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On 4/16/2021 at 6:12 PM, John Alexander said:

 (...)  I think I’m better off sticking to the fine auctions and getting items with accurate attributions.  

The fine auctions also have plenty of problems. Perhaps to a lesser degree but there are problems. Every purchase should be looked at with some skepticism. There are difficult to find items. The auctions are often better for collectors as the value of owning a piece of history is significantly less worrisome than having it also be a great, if not a good player.

So Auctions are fun for some. PhilipKT has had an intuitive sense and good fortune to match. There are many others who have done well. But I have been outbid for virtually everything I had liked after playing. I am happy to take risks at a shop, but have felt a bit uncomfortable when paying above my limit. My last purchase was for a collectible and payed double over what was intended as my friend was the ( proxy ) bidder. Probably double over what any rational person would pay. I still experience some heartburn and anguish. So much so that it has yet to be set up and played after two years. They say that if you worry about what you spend.... I do look at it about every six months.

If there are several must play items, it is easier to justify a trip. The flight might not be so expensive, but a hotel stay can be ridiculous.

Your purchase was in that particular amount just shy of some good bow makers here. I have had excellent experiences with living makers.

I do not mind lighter weight bows. Some fantastic bows I have played were very light. As for balance, head light is more easier to compensate or to adjust one's playing than head heavy.bows.

Some people are understandably concerned with value, but some of the best bows I played were not silver. I like the head and how the stick looks to be stable. Have your favorite tech check it out if it behaves a little strange. History is on your side.

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Thank you GoPractice.  Excellent points.  I actually have not been to Tarisio.  I bid online without trying the items as risky as that may sound.  I have had very good luck in the past and have picked up some excellent bows and violins in the fine auctions.  To your point it is important to remain disciplined in your bidding.  There are some bidders that will pay well over retail without blinking an eye.  My strategy has been to seek value and look for items in very good condition by notable makers.  Also I do not spend more than my predetermined budget.  That way I don’t lose sleep.  In terms of playability and sound it’s impossible to know what you’re getting until you get it.  But to be fair if I were to travel to NYC and sample a bunch of items in an unknown setting rather quickly it would only give a partial picture.  If I were buying on sound alone I would go to my local luthier and pay full price.  Buying at auction has its risks but it can be fun and there are good bargains to be had.  I will certainly be more careful in the future.  But who knows, this under-weight, nickel-mounted, unauthentic bow could turn out to be a fantastic player.  So there’s always that.

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5 hours ago, GoPractice said:

My last purchase was for a collectible and payed double over what was intended as my friend was the ( proxy ) bidder. Probably double over what any rational person would pay. I still experience some heartburn and anguish. So much so that it has yet to be set up and played after two years.

Well, at least one other bidder thought it was worth almost as much as you paid, so there's that. It sounds like you're suffering from a bad case of the "Winners Curse" combined with "Buyer's Remorse."

So now the costs are sunk and you own the instrument, you might as well enjoy it. After all, there was something very attractive to you about it in the first place!

I'd love to know what you think after you set it up and play it.

On 4/17/2021 at 9:19 PM, John Alexander said:

Tarisio was actually very understanding and offered to consign for me (with no sellers fee) if I don’t like it.  I thought that was very fair.

I believe the your bow sold for less than the estimated range (is that correct?), so perhaps Tarisio thinks that it will go higher next time around.

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5 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Well, at least one other bidder thought it was worth almost as much as you paid, so there's that. It sounds like you're suffering from a bad case of the "Winners Curse" combined with "Buyer's Remorse."

So now the costs are sunk and you own the instrument, you might as well enjoy it. After all, there was something very attractive to you about it in the first place!

I'd love to know what you think after you set it up and play it.

I believe the your bow sold for less than the estimated range (is that correct?), so perhaps Tarisio thinks that it will go higher next time around.

Yes, they did mention that it was possible I could come out ahead upon resale.  That would be great.  I still hope I like it and decide to keep it.  But either way I will be happy.

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6 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Well, at least one other bidder thought it was worth almost as much as you paid, so there's that. It sounds like you're suffering from a bad case of the "Winners Curse" combined with "Buyer's Remorse."

So now the costs are sunk and you own the instrument, you might as well enjoy it. After all, there was something very attractive to you about it in the first place!

I'd love to know what you think after you set it up and play it.

 ( ... )

Yes, yes. You are correct.

It is a bit more complex in that the bidding was likely against a foundation. I did not ask about the bid history. The instrument is interesting and the original gut strings and grime are still on it. I wish it could talk. In the while, it is difficult to view it with objective eyes. It has not been photograph yet. Having said all that, it is not of much interest to most... could have had a very fine bow instead.

Will cut a new bridge, post and replace tailpiece, tailgut, strings after photographing. Do not want to clean it, With luck the nicotine will still be on it. Sad; it did not come with original chin rest.

It will sound fine. Other examples are ok.

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7 hours ago, John Alexander said:

 ( ... ) I bid online without trying the items as risky as that may sound.  I have had very good luck in the past and have picked up some excellent bows and violins in the fine auctions.  To your point it is important to remain disciplined in your bidding.  There are some bidders that will pay well over retail without blinking an eye.  My strategy has been to seek value and look for items in very good condition by notable makers.  Also I do not spend more than my predetermined budget.  That way I don’t lose sleep.  In terms of playability and sound it’s impossible to know what you’re getting until you get it.  But to be fair if I were to travel to NYC and sample a bunch of items in an unknown setting rather quickly it would only give a partial picture.  If I were buying on sound alone I would go to my local luthier and pay full price.  Buying at auction has its risks but it can be fun and there are good bargains to be had.  I will certainly be more careful in the future.  But who knows, this under-weight, nickel-mounted, unauthentic bow could turn out to be a fantastic player.  So there’s always that.

Great. You also appear to enjoy the experience.

As much as I know, there are still quite a few disappointments that I hear about. Unavoidable, I am guessing. Most of these guys ( yes, bidders are mostly guys ) are quite good at this. Those who are my friends or at least acquaintances will not admit to their auction errors and would not continue unless they are satisfied by the experience. Those who are dealers must make sure there is enough room for some profit.

Risk can be reduced a great deal, in many ways, by attending. I am mostly satisfied with VSA- type events. But when counting nickels and dimes, staying at home is the best value. Probably have paid for enough dinners and drinks to purchase a nice instrument. Just happens. And I have had way better Bar- B- Q in Ohio for the price of a beer in NYC.   

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I have had less than great purchases of course.  I recently acquired what looked a very nice bow made by a contemporary VSA gold medal winner.  The bow sounds great and has nice overtones.   But it is very soft a tad tip heavy.  I would not have bought it had I tried it beforehand.  

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9 hours ago, John Alexander said:

I have had less than great purchases of course.  I recently acquired what looked a very nice bow made by a contemporary VSA gold medal winner.  The bow sounds great and has nice overtones.   But it is very soft a tad tip heavy.  I would not have bought it had I tried it beforehand.  

I can't understand how it works out to buy 2 or 3 bows at auction, without playing them, to end up with only one (if you're lucky)that you really like. 

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a few top examples sent to you on approval by a reliable dealer rather than wait 3 months to put them back into auction, a roll of the dice, and then another 6 weeks to be paid?

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2 hours ago, martin swan said:

I can't understand how it works out to buy 2 or 3 bows at auction, without playing them, to end up with only one (if you're lucky)that you really like. 

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a few top examples sent to you on approval by a reliable dealer rather than wait 3 months to put them back into auction, a roll of the dice, and then another 6 weeks to be paid?

Good question Martin.  That was indeed my concern initially.  Thus far I have purchased a total of 4 bows at auction.  (3 at Fine and 1 at T2).  The first was a fine antique French bow with certificate which I got for 1/3 of retail price.  The second was another fine antique French bow with certificate.  I paid about 1/4 of retail price for that one.  Both of these bows were made by well-known and highly-regarded makers and play very well and sound great.  I am quite satisfied with both purchases.  The third bow was a contemporary maker VSA hors d concour winner great sounding bow but to flexible for my taste.  I ended up paying a fair price for it based on the estimates.  But I don’t think I got a bargain.  I was not as disciplined in my bidding as I should have been.  I would not have bought it had I tried it first.  But I’ll keep it in my collection for now as it can be fun to fiddle around with.  The fourth bow, the one in question which I purchased in T2, I am waiting to receive so the jury is still out so to speak.  I also purchased a very nice violin by a top contemporary maker that sounds and plays amazing.  I got that for about 1/2 retail.

To your point Martin, it would be better and more certain to trial the finest examples from a good dealer like yourself and select my favorites for purchase.  I have a very good and reputable local dealer and I have gone that route as well.  I have also ordered from remote dealers and had items delivered for my selection.  Honestly, those transactions have produced mixed results and I cannot say that one can guarantee 100% satisfaction with a dealer experience.

The benefit of buying at auction is that the pricing is generally much lower (due to the risk factor).  Of course one must remain disciplined in their bidding and knowledgeable regarding the value of the item and there is risk involved in sound and playability.  I don’t think I would buy this way if I were a professional musician with very specific requirements.  But I am a hobbyist and I am still learning as I go.  I am a student and do not claim to be an expert of any sort.  But it seems to me I have saved a great deal of money and have been satisfied in my purchases overall.  I now believe the T2 auction is better suited for experts in the trade.  There is more risk there for the inexperienced buyer.  But I will most likely buy again from Tarisio fine auction.

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Hi John, thanks for explaining ...

If it's more like a hobby then I can understand the appeal.

My perspective as a dealer is so different. Clients who come to try bows with us (professionals and amateurs) are generally extremely picky, and out of 20 good bows in their price range they will only consider one or maybe two as being remotely suitable. So for such individuals the idea of buying "blind" at auction would be madness. 

Then there's the fact that I go to pretty much every auction viewing and try every bow that's offered. Of the 1000 or so bows that are at auction every 12 months I find about 1 in 50 (at the most) that I would regard as saleable ie. great playing characteristics, no damage, minimal wear, all original, average weight and length.

I recognize that I am as difficult as my clients, but I do wonder how people think they are getting a bargain when they are buying something that isn't a viable retail prospect.

 

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