What do you guys think about these two makers? Which would you prefer and why?
I had a Stefano Scarampella that I got rid of in 1959 (damn it!) I did not like the overall sound (although there was plenty of it and the open E string felt like it cut through my ear, my brain and out the other side! What the dealer paid me helped pay to get our newborn first child out of the hospital, but was no more than my father had paid its maker for a new American made fiddle 7 years earlier. The American fiddle is still in my "collection."
With respect to what? Probably Stefano, or do you mean Giuseppe?
All Fagnolas I've played sounded better than the Scarampellas. And looked much nicer too!
There are a lot of fake Scarampellas out there. I'm not sure about Fagnola.
everyone is faked
Michael, I'm referring to Stefano Scarampella. I recently tried one made in 1907, and found it better than the Fagnolas that I have tried.
Sounds like a dilemma between farfalle and rigatoni!
Have you read this article?
What is price and condition like?
They say that it is in excellent condition, and I cant show it to you now, but it looks better than the images than I can find on the internet. They are offering it for $150k.
Certificate of John Dilworth.
Sounds good for me.
In general, nothing in this price range sells quickly. (This should be a consideration for you as an investor, also -- you are generally looking at months, possibly even years, to sell a violin.)
There’s a 1903 Scarampella/Gadda that I know about selling for far less than $150,000. It used to belong to Sergiu Luca. Send me an email through my website if you’ll be in the NYC area and would like to try it.
What is a 1903 Scarampella/Gadda? Aged 3 little Gaetano probably did not contribute much. Hopefully it does not mean it comes with a Mario Gadda certificate. ;)
Andrew, what was your process for narrowing it down to these two makers?
"Do you guys know if Scarampellas sell quickly? Should I make a quick decision?Is it a good investment?
David, my process for lowering it down to these two makers was just taking the violins by these two makers and then comparing it to violins made by other makers in the same period, eg. Antoniazzi, Bisiach. I had a friend do a blind test with me, and the outcomes were that the Scarampella sounded better than the rest.
You simply cannot generalize like that. Every instrument is unique, and just because in your little batch of testing, the Scarampella that you have wins, does not mean that it's going to win out over every other violin by those makers.
Hi Michael, the violin has a Stefano Scarampella label and comes with a certificate from Phillip Kass of Moennig in Philadelphia among other places. The violin is attributed as being a joint effort between the two makers. Really fantastic fiddle!
Lydia, I'm confining myself to Italian makers of that narrow period of making because the violins made in this period are usually in better condition than violins made 200-300 years ago. The violins in that period can also emulate the sound in the old Italian Masters.
One more question: If a violin like this, say, a Stefano Scarampella made in 1907, his Golden Period, in mint condition, selling for $150k, say, approximately how long will it take to sell?
Forgive me for butting in, but it sounds like you absolutely want an old Italian instrument, even though there is no telling whether a 150K Italian is really better than a 75K (or 50K) contemporary instrument - even though looking for a contemporary instrument has the significant benefit the maker can make adjustments for you. And you get to keep a lot of money, which may be better than speculating this Italian will appreciate over time.
"One more question: If a violin like this, say, a Stefano Scarampella made in 1908, his Golden Period, in mint condition, selling for $150k, say, approximately how long will it take to sell?
Also remember that on consignment you'll lose 20% of the purchase price to the dealer, and at auction, there are significant fees as well (and auction prices are usually wholesale ones).
Hmm, it is of course completely up to you, but my obviously biased opinion would suggest you reconsider your motivation. I am big fan of old Italian instruments as well, and some modern ones such as Scarampella (I have a mid 20th from Genoa), but not because of any particular sound I would expect.
The problem is, I don't know when I will be able to visit the shop again, and I am quite eager to acquire that particular violin, so I was wondering how long it would take for the dealer to sell the violin.
an impossible question!!
That's really unpredictable. If you're uncertain, just tell the shop to call you if the instrument seems like it's about to sell.
I am happy to tell you guys that I now have the violin on trial. I made a few calls, and I went to the shop to take out the violin.
Unless you're a highly established violin shop/dealer like Florian or Kenneth Warren and Sons, don't expect to make money off your instrument. The market is nil and you can expect to sell for a loss. Invest your money somewhere else.
I agree with Tom, you have to decide if you are getting a tool for making music or investing your money. These are two very different things.
Well, I would hope that there are some nuances in between, namely that you can buy an instrument and have the chance to switch later if you want at low losses, no loss or even a minor profit.
If you're looking for trade-in's, then buying at retail price is your option. Robertson or Brobst carry very high end instruments and have 100% trade-in values.
The thing is that if you are buying in this price range, trade-in is basically meaningless for you. Searching for a concert-quality instrument, so to speak, is practically a personal journey that's likely to involve many shops and possibly a pretty large geographic range. There's a fairly good chance that whatever instrument you next want won't come from the same shop.
I think it must be a really tough call. Tarisio lists S. Scarampella auction sales going back to 1976. If you just look at the 10 sales they list for the past 5 years the average sale price was $76,300 with a range of $15,000 to $151,000 (+97% to -80%) with no chronological trend I could eyeball over those 5 years.
That's just it. Move stores, and be prepared to lose 40%. Taking a 60K loss isn't easy.
Dear all, we are talking here about trading violins in and suffering a loss. I assume that a player will do the rounds and find a violin that fully satisfies them. As such this player will in all probability hold on to this antique violin for probably the rest of their playing years. If one gets dissatisfied with it and provided they bought it from a dealer, they can trade it back in for the full price and upgrade. If however, they keep the instrument for a long time they will certainly make a profit, As an example, I'll tell my story. In 1990 I bought a Guarneri J.B. Vuillaume from Hills in London. I paid a premium on it as it was a particularly successful violin of the best period and in perfect condition. I never thought about replacing it as comparing it soundwise with other much more expensive golden period Italians, it would always come out on top. Now if I decide to sell it through a dealer, I will certainly make a huge profit on the purchasing price. Even if I put it in the auctions without reserve, I would still make a huge profit. So the moral of all this is that we should buy the best we can afford with the intention of keeping it for a long time, otherwise we stand to make a loss. If one keeps their violin for many years, then he gets the pleasure of playing it and at the end they will make a profit.
Kypros, I think part of what's being discussed here is that the OP (Andrew) is very concerned about investment value. If I recall correctly he's not a professional, so he's buying for some combination of playing pleasure and financial return. Thus he's getting a lot of cautionary advice about holding realistic expectations about potential return on his money.
The moral of your hypothetical situation is....what? you'll make a killing in any situation?
"Now if I decide to sell it through a dealer, I will certainly make a huge profit on the purchasing price. Even if I put it in the auctions without reserve, I would still make a huge profit."
Mr, West, this month, a Vuillaume Strad copy with a long BB crack and an SP patch went for 90000 Stg.at Bromptons. If mine sold in this hypothetical situation for half as much I would still be making a good profit. I really doubt if the OP bought a nice sounding, top of the range Chinese violin, he would be making any money even in years to come. A violin in order to appreciate has to be well made by someone known, proven in time that the sound has not deteriorated, thus it has to be of some age. I can tell of a few makers that made superb sounding violins that did not pass the test of time and now they sell less than what the maker was asking 40 years ago. Going on to your second point that why should an amateur need or want an expensive violin. I do not see why not. It's a free market and anyone who can afford it can get anything they like, be it a supercar or an expensive violin or whatever else. It's the amateurs that have preserved the few good classical Italian violins we still have today and not the professionals who sometimes don't even have the time to look at the violin they are playing on. Violins in collections don't deteriorate but put a violin in constant use for 100-200 years and you will see the difference.
Lydia, we all follow the auctions and we see that every few months a new record is achieved, we see that invariably the percentage of lots sold is high. Traditionally auctions were addressed to the dealers, but nowadays players are also involved because the descriptions of lots offered are more accurate as well as accompanied with reputable certificates.
Why is that?
Per the words of a violin/bow dealer, they use auctions like Tarisio to dump their problematic stock. Many instruments have cracks, and the owner decided to cash in on their insurance. Then the insurance try to recoup whatever they can.
If you want to buy a single violin to play yourself that, if you were to sell it in 20-30 years for a significantly higher price, then there are many makers to consider.
Surely auctions are used to dump some unwanted stock which doesn't sell, but also there are some jewels to be had. As I live in Cyprus and do not have the chance to attend any auctions, I am proud to say that I bought a very fine J.J.Martin bow which I use all the time and more recently a C. 1850 Jacquot violin, again an excellent instrument I use in the orchestra. Both at very reasonable prices and well below market value. One word of caution. Auctions are not to be recommended for players who do not know the pitfalls of buying at auction. For example, I would never consider a bow unless it comes with a reputable certificate, the balance point is spot on (or at a place where bringing it to the acceptable BP it will not make it excessively light or heavy). It also has to be in good condition. AFAS violins are concerned, it's much more difficult as there repairs that can be well hidden and not disclosed in the condition report. Also, the inability of a player to take the violin home to test should be a big detterent.
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