A French violin for 58K

October 4, 2006 at 04:54 AM · I am interested in a French violin which gets a Vuillaume's label in it but the certificate says it is a Hippolyte Silvestre's. The violin looks similar to those shown as Vuillaumes' on the market. My question is, the dealer asked me for 58K. Is it a market price for violins this kind?

Replies (16)

October 4, 2006 at 07:31 AM · Sean,

All depends on where that market is?

You happen to be in Taiwan. Your market is quite different from USA and Europe.

How much is a BMW or M.Benz where you are.

I'm sure it is very different price than it is in Europe.

October 4, 2006 at 07:12 PM · Sean:

My reaction is that, for the US anyway, this is a bit high. The instruments by this maker I have seen have all been under $50k and I think even under $40k.

There is some variability in this maker's instruments. But my understanding in the past was that the ones I was being shown were among the better ones.


October 5, 2006 at 12:07 AM · While the price you mentioned is higher than I am used to seeing for instruments by this maker, the description that you offered (looking like a Vuillaume) may indicate that the instrument is a rather nice example. Unlike P. Sylvestre, it's more rare find an H. Sylvestre instrument that closely resembles a Vuillaume in finish...

Anyway, the price is high enough that I'd suggest you have reliable person (who knows your market) examine it and give you a second opinion... but I don't think it's responsible to comment any further on the net (about an unseen instrument).

October 4, 2006 at 11:49 PM · Exactly my sentiment Jeffrey.

It would be much easier to say, that fiddles of this maker are hard to find on "ATLANTIS". Therefore on "ATLANTIS", they are over and above$_______.00 ;D

BTW Sean,

If it is any consolation, Lexus and Acuras are way cheaper for you guys than for us.

October 5, 2006 at 12:17 AM · I would be VERY CAREFUL. There are many frauds out there and when the maker is in doubt, if you want to sell the violin later, you might be in for a nasty surprise

October 5, 2006 at 01:08 AM ·

October 5, 2006 at 01:03 AM · Daniel,

The worst one was a v. com member (who has since been expelled) who was trying to pass garbage fiddles as the real strad & del gesu. He also featured his bogus instrument on Ebay @ 2.5 mil.

October 5, 2006 at 03:35 AM · Wow....terrible! I have to say that in my former life of violn hunting, I have come across at least three situations of expensive wonderful sounnding instruments that were inflated in price and had questionable origins. This happened in different cities (one in Europe) and seems to be a bad tactic of some luthiers. It is a cut throat business, I hear, and some, unfortunately DO bend the rules.


October 5, 2006 at 03:39 AM · Also - There were two Sylvestre's - both brother's I think. It is Pierre Sylvestre who was the better of the two. Don't quote me, but 58K might be reasonable for Pierre's.


October 5, 2006 at 03:57 AM · And that "bogus E-bay" instrument is now my MAIN PROFESSIONAL GIGGING VIOLIN.

It's a great sounding instrument, as far as I'm concerned. Audiences love it and so do I. I'm ecstatically happy with the look and sound for what I paid for it. I'm not selling it at ANY price :D

Many would say that I'm an idiot. If that's the case then I'm the happiest idiot there is. After all, that's MY violin they're talking about.

October 5, 2006 at 03:51 AM · "Happiest idiot"--You just reminded me of one of my favorite quotes, can't for the life of me remember who said it:

"...and those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music..."

October 5, 2006 at 04:16 AM · I'm thought insane by those who CAN hear the music, and they have that right Maura!

Anyway, French violins are rising in price. Silvestris are fine instruments, and they'll only continue to gain in value and desirability. But do check with the official violin luthiers like Gennady and Jeffrey in order to make sure one is paying fair market value for the name. I don't know what the etiquette is of visiting a luthier for a 2nd opinion, but obviously it's possible. Auction listings also have some indication of an instrument's wholesale value.

The violin that is now my main concert instrument DOESN'T have a pedigree or certificate, so it would probably be considered totally worthless by official luthiers. Thus my violin has no resale value whatsoever, likely less than that of even a Chinese factory violin. And I've brought it down to $0.00 because I'll refuse to sell the thing as long as I'm alive.

October 5, 2006 at 04:17 AM · http://www.tarisio.com/web/red_book_3.php?q_type=6&from_intermediate=1&from_red2=2&instrument_type=Violin&price_minimum=&price_maximum=&auction_house=&makers%5B%5D=Silvestre%2C+Hippolyte+Chr%E9tien&makers%5B%5D=Silvestre%2C+Pierre&makers%5B%5D=Silvestre%2C+Pierre+%26+Hippolyte&makers%5B%5D=Silvestre%2C+Silvestre+%26+Maucotel

Copy and paste that. I barely saw any auction prices that were half of 58K.

October 5, 2006 at 04:32 AM · Kevin,

Walking that thin ice again %|

Everything is relative. If you paid more than 2K for the fiddle you bought (which you are so happy about), as I said before "you should consult with your analyst".

The fiddles in question belonging to your "buddy" who was expelled from v.com as well as maestronet trying to pass them off as the real deal, do belong on Ebay, but not for 2.5 mil. More like a few hundred $.


October 5, 2006 at 04:31 AM · I feel bad posting this much, but since there's no stop I'll go ahead and do it.

Aren't those wholesale prices for those Tarisio violins? Not only that, but do those violins have certificates of authenticity with them? Violins that have been identified in writing by professional luthiers always have more value attached to them than ones that have not.

Part of the trouble with buying from auctions is that without the certificates, resale value is difficult. That's probably why these violins are so inexpensive - one's taking a "risk" without the opinion of an informed professional. Of course, one can pay to get a violin certified provided that the violin is indeed worth certifying.

I'm NOT walking thin ice, Gennady. It is not a crime to publicly be happy over a violin that I was happy paying a price for. Besides, YOU brought up the issue again on this thread. I'm just adding my $0.02, that's all.

The price I paid is that agreed on between me and the seller. We are both happy, and there's nothing illegal about that whatsoever. And that's NOBODY'S BUSINESS but our own.

I really don't mind you laughing at me because my audiences and I are pleased with my instrument. Besides, my violin is OFF THE MARKET and so your estimate of a few hundred dollars is a few hundred dollars too high!

October 5, 2006 at 04:33 AM · Auction results, do not in any way reflect Market Prices. A lot goes into it.

The condition, pedigree, cert. provenance, example of the maker and which period etc. None of that info is available for perusal in these auction reports/results.

As I have stated a very long time ago using Sam Z's Isaac Stern fiddle as an example, which sold at Tarisio for a record breaking 130K.

Or the G/T Thomachot which sold for over 10k after Buyer's prem.

Auction result, do not set market prices.

There are times when instruments go on sale at auctions with certificates etc., and it is these kind of instruments that fetch a lot.

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