Celeste Farotti viola

May 2, 2004 at 12:41 AM · Hello,

I have an opportunity to purchase a Celeste Farotti viola that is in mint condition. I've seen pictures but the problem is that I can't hear it played before I purchase it. Is there a risk buying this instrument in terms of its sound? I could purchase it for a song, so to speak. The year was 1924. Thanks for any advice.

Replies (7)

May 2, 2004 at 06:12 AM · Yes, there is a huge risk with such an inconsistent maker as Farotto. Dealers charge around $US35k for a very fine example, but his violins and violas have remained unsold in auctions for under $US10k at times. I wouldn't buy it without trying it and loving the sound first. But his violas tend to be rather bright sounding, in a somewhat crass way.

Of course it will also look bright orange and if you wish, you can steal it and hide it at your local public junior high school as it will blend in the with instruments there quite well.

May 5, 2004 at 08:15 AM · From ebay?

May 5, 2004 at 06:10 PM · Anyone selling a musical instrument should not have a problem with allowing a trial period. If they do... run away.... fast.

May 13, 2004 at 02:53 AM · I played quartets for a while with a violist who owned a Farotti. A beautifully made instrument, however it tended to be quite bright and piercing, most unviola-like. We were doing Beethoven's late quartets at the time, and he often struggled to support the efforts of the other players.

But always try to play before purchasing.


May 13, 2004 at 04:32 PM · Thanks for all the comments, everybody! Yes, it was on eBay and I didn't win the auction. But today I got a second chance offer.... apparently the winning bidder didn't come through. His bid was something around $2,000 and mine was $1,555. They offered it to me at my bid price. hmmmm?

May 13, 2004 at 06:25 PM · Don't do it, you don't even know that it is bona fide. Even an expert can't tell with E-bay pictures. He's an overrated maker by dealers, not that popular among players, and you don't want a fake.

Look at it this way, if you had something that was worth US$20k, would you sell it for $2k? If something ever sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

May 15, 2004 at 04:29 AM · VERY interesting! I too, was a bidder on this viola, did not win the auction, and received a 2nd chance offer yesterday. I thought the email was somewhat suspicious and when I emailed back to ask questions about the viola, I got a rather impolite response. Then, I went back into the ebay auction and clicked on the winner of the viola and there was positive feedback from the seller dated yesterday. Could this 2nd chance offer be some kind of scam? I did a google search for Farotti and thankfully, this page was my first hit. I'm definitely NOT going to pursue this viola!

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