Violin dealer Dietmar Machold arrested in Switzerland.

March 31, 2011 at 04:51 PM ·

 The Strad magazine reports that violin dealer Dietmar Machold, owner of Machold Rare Violins, has been arrested in Switzerland and will likely be extradited to Austria to face charges of fraud and misappropriation.

Here is the article:

Replies (16)

March 31, 2011 at 07:03 PM ·


March 31, 2011 at 07:10 PM ·

Here's another article from the New Jersey Star-Ledger which goes into more detail:


April 1, 2011 at 04:16 AM ·

Yes, very interesting. Herbert Axelrod could be the subject of a movie. I could see Judd Hirsh playing him!

April 1, 2011 at 12:44 PM ·

It looks like his arrest has nothing to do with the Axelrod matter.  It relates charges of fraud in connection with dealings in Austria. 

He had a nice castle, though.

April 1, 2011 at 12:52 PM ·

As with Glenda's link, that's an old report, too, relative to the whole story. There's a big article scheduled for this weekend that will have much more, I think.

April 1, 2011 at 01:12 PM ·

Mr. Darnton, you're absolutely right--I missed the fact that the Spiegel article dates back to 2007. 

I deleted most of my earlier post, but the picture of Machold in front of his castle is too good not to share.  Machold and his firm are apparently in bankruptcy right now, so the castle may no longer belong to him.

Where will inquiring minds find the big article this weekend?

April 1, 2011 at 01:54 PM ·

does money really change people or they are the way they will be?

 is he the modern day tarisio? 

those little birdhouses on the roof probably come with heat :)

April 1, 2011 at 01:59 PM ·

Sunday--I'll post it if I see it.

April 1, 2011 at 03:56 PM ·

I missed what Bill originally posted, but if it is the Spiegel article about Machold's castle, it is dated 28 Nov 2010, so not that old.  Although not directly related to his recent arrest, it covers his financial troubles and his bankruptcy filing in Austria. Here is the Google translation:,1518,731104,00.html&


April 1, 2011 at 04:22 PM ·

I deleted a Spiegel article dating from 2007 about a civil fraud case filed against him by a customer that was apparently subsequently resolved in his favor, and a criminal fraud case filed against him in Austria, the outcome of which I couldn't determine.

April 3, 2011 at 04:53 PM ·

Thanks, Mr. Darnton. 

In one of the Spiegel articles, he used the term "Mickey Mouse" violin to refer to violins in the $60,000 range (or was it Euros?).  Personally, I'm quite happy to play a contemporary sub-Mickey Mouse violin, and, all other things being equal, I'd prefer to stay out of jail.

His website claims that his firm is the owner of both the Hamma and the Hill archives.  I recall that when the Hill firm dissolved, the archive went on the auction block, but of course the buyer wasn't identified.  I wonder whether these archives are now back up for sale, and, if so, where they'll land.  Not that I'm in the market--just idle curiosity.

April 4, 2011 at 11:58 AM ·

If instruments under 60K are "Mickey Mouse" violins I should be paying royalties to the Walt Disney Studios since I am making "Minnie" violas...

Here another discussion about this with the opinion of Roger Hargrave:


April 4, 2011 at 12:28 PM ·

 a little bump on the capitalistic road.

perhaps he can use the bernie madoff defense. those suckers just keep throwing money at me,,,what do you expect me to do?!

to a large extent, this is reflective of the complacency within the violin market. couple guys on the top is and make the market.

back to buying chinese made 9.99 cardboard violin for me:)

April 4, 2011 at 05:09 PM ·

 As long as we have Zig, Burgess, Curtin, et al making exquisite fiddles for a reasonable price, who cares what a bunch of idiotic snooty rich folks do with their money?


(of course, it would be nice if they used that money to actually pay taxes, but then you know how I hate to get all political ....)

April 4, 2011 at 07:42 PM ·

Most violins above 60,000 are over-priced Italians anyway, and hardly "Mickey Mouse" instruments. I'd much rather pay that money for an extremely good Hungarian (Nemessanyi), English (Lott), or French (Pique/Bernardel) fiddle.

Every Nemessanyi I've ever played has easily surpassed violins up to $800,000. They usually look better too!

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