Description of instruments in auctions
I am quite confused with descriptive terms such as "good" "fine" "interesting"
Does it imply the craftsmanship, sound quality or materials of that particularly instrument is more superior than the others?
Are there any objective measurement for such the terms as "good" "fine" etc ?
Have you ever been to a wine tasting? At least your violins are not being described as fruity or mineral.
The goal is to sell violins. What do you expect them say?
I bought a "good" violin at auction a few years ago. Of course it's an impossibly vague and subjective description but now that my eye is more educated I sort of see what they mean - good craftsmanship rather than sound quality which they NEVER comment on. "Fine" is better than "good" but "interesting" is just bid bait. Naturally there's no comeback even if on greater acquaintance you (backed up by a panel of experts) happen to find it deeply uninteresting.
The main violin price issues are basically origin and condition. Everything else is fluff. Violins YOU think sound better don't cost more; violins YOU think are pretty don't cost more because everyone isn't YOU, and you should be happy for both of those things. Of course, a lot of the question of tonal excellence is coupled with origin, but what's clear is that "fine", "good", "interesting", etc., are basically advertising words.
Those 'advertising' words are often used to denote instruments that have superior materials or craftsmanship, which can be subjective (like tone). So, buyer beware. A responsible auction house will supposedly use these terms with care, but it's up to the buyer to know what's what...
Ever been to a car dealer?
Slightly off topic, but I found an instrument with a label that reads O’Buttner 1910. It doesn’t say where it was made, but I believe it was New York. Has anybody heard of this maker, and what quality of violin did he produce if so?
There is no way other than personally testing it out to understand an instrument.
Greetings and welcome Anne!
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