Seeking a reputable dealer in Chicago area

December 5, 2017, 11:06 AM · I writing this on behalf of my father-in-law who is a retired violin maker/restorer in the Detroit area. We have good number of valuable instruments and bows that we'd like to sell. From the minimal research I'd done, I learned Chicago is good place to do business. Can you identify the best of the best based on your personal experience?

Replies (13)

December 5, 2017, 11:37 AM · Bein & Fushi is the shop with the international reputation, and it's where I would start with a high-value collection. (I've bought and sold there, in the last two years.)
December 5, 2017, 3:52 PM · Both of the founders are now deceased, so we will need to wait and see how things play out. There are other shops in Chicago with good reputations, at least to those of us in the trade, although they may not have placed as much emphasis on the public marketing end of things.
December 5, 2017, 4:47 PM · Carl Becker & Sons is another Chicago shop with a decades long reputation for making, repairs, and sales: http://www.carlbeckerandson.com/instruments-bows/ .
December 6, 2017, 9:04 AM · How do you know who you can trust? How do you go to a dealer and know you're not getting ripped off? I googled Bein & Fushi and learned they were accused of unscrupulous practices in the early 2000s.
December 6, 2017, 9:11 AM · Ask your father in law if he knew Gus Banosky. Just curious. Not sure of the spelling of the name. Banosky was a luthier in east Detroit. My dad knew him, I surmise they met through John Challis, who made my dad's harpsichord.
Edited: December 6, 2017, 9:56 AM · Are you THAT Daniel Grajek?

If so, I know who your father-in-law was.

I'd be happy to offer advice via private e-mail, but not in the open forums.

December 6, 2017, 11:30 AM · In addition to the above, you might want to contact Seman Violins in Skokie.
Edited: December 7, 2017, 2:18 PM · I got my violin at Warren & Son in Chicago fifteen years ago or so; they were very good then, so probably worth checking out now too as a place that would be interesting in purchasing violins.

Also, Dan, another way to sell everything, if you have more than a few items, would be to approach some auction houses that specialize in the fine instrument trade. That is one way to make sure you're getting the market rate on the items and not getting ripped off. Tarisio and Bromptons are two famous auction houses that deal in fine instruments. Tarisio has an office in New York.

For others more in the know, maybe you could recommend some other auction houses worth talking to?

December 7, 2017, 12:49 PM · Hmmm To auction or to sell .... anyone have thoughts regarding pros and cons?
December 7, 2017, 1:09 PM · Depends on what it is, what certificates it has.
December 12, 2017, 6:26 AM · I've had good experiences with Seman in Skokie. Bein and Fushi is the high-end dealer downtown that caters to the CSO and pro level (as well as amateur), but I've never shopped there.
December 12, 2017, 7:20 AM · I buy from William Harris Lee
December 12, 2017, 7:35 AM · If you auction you will most likely get about 50% of the retail value. If you sell to a dealer you may get something similar to that. You should think about selling the instruments through a dealer on a consignment basis. A standard fee for this is 20% of the selling price.

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