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Buying in Italy


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#1 Bert

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Posted 08 January 1999 - 03:50 PM

I am planning a trip and will be visiting Rome,Italy. I am also shopping for a good violin. I saw advertised in a magazine some dealers in Rome. One was Rudolpho Marchini who listed quite a few credentials. What do you know about this dealer or others in Rome? Need advice.





#2 Herbert

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Posted 08 January 1999 - 04:59 PM

You would be well advised to buy in this country. If you buy in Italy, you will pay highly inflated prices, and have little or no service after the sale. Why not visit several shops in this country, compare prices, quality, etc. before shopping in Italy. There are many dealers now who will go to great lengths to help you find a suitable instrument. This period is what we call a 'buyers market". Prices are lower now than in previous years in many of the best violin shops.




#3 coloradojohn

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Posted 08 January 1999 - 05:32 PM

something I ran into when I bought my fiddle in germany was the VAT (value added tax) you're supposed to be able to get a refund of it when you take something out of the country. I didn't do the paperwork right or something, I never saw my refund. I wonder if the dealer just kept it and never sent it. He never replied to any of my letters.

additionally, I bought when the D mark was around 3 to 1 US$$ so the exchange rate was helping me. I don't think the exchange rate is so good in Italy that fiddles are dirt cheap compared to here in the US. On the other hand, I bet fiddles in Asia, with it's depressed economy, are bargins.






#4 theo C

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Posted 08 January 1999 - 05:41 PM

: I am planning a trip and will be visiting Rome,Italy. I am also shopping for a good violin. I saw advertised in a magazine some dealers in Rome. One was Rudolpho Marchini who listed quite a few credentials. What do you know about this dealer or others in Rome? Need advice.

Hai Bert.
I am a weird collector and i get things from all over europe i am doing this for a long time now.
when i am hunting for nice looking things for a nice
( "cheap") price i dont go to violin dealers.
when i want a good violin ,i am going to a (Very good)
violin dealer in my own country, tell him what i look for and he will come up with something i like and can tryout for some days (weeks).a good fiddle has to be tuned tried out with the strings you like etc etc . I dont know if there are climate differences between your country and italy but that could give some trouble to.
often are people on holidays in a different mood and they spent money much easier.what also can give problems, and third dont think that italian violins are better then violins made in your land .
When you want a nice italian build violin ,and you want to buy it in Italy go to cremona there are more
violinmakers than elswhere in italy
Have a nice holiday and lots of hunting pleasure
Theo C
p.s look out they drive cars like madman.





#5 Al Stancel

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Posted 08 January 1999 - 07:29 PM

Hello....the quickest way to get ripped off is to buy a violin in Italy. I don't know what the other posts said...will read later.

If you know the person you are dealing with, fine. I think I would trust Maurizio Tadioli, Cremona and Claudio Amighetti...but Rome and Bologna are places to shy away from.

If you do buy, get a written guarantee, notarized, that you can reverse the deal in a certain lenght of time if the violin is not as represented.

Good luck,
Al






#6 S. Hersh

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Posted 08 January 1999 - 09:32 PM

Als words of caution cannot be overstated. I have had years of experience travelling in Italy buying violins as a professional dealer. Even when approaching the problem with some knowledge and experience I frequently made a mistake here and there. My batting average was better than many, but after a point I just had to factor into my buying the reality that I would occassionally get taken . This made the going tough and I didn't always clear a profit on my trips. I can't imagine how an non-professional could avoid being taken to the cleaners when buying an antique violin in Italy.

I agree with those on the board who recommend that you buy from a domestic source. Pick a dealer that carries their own inventory, has a favorable trade in policy, and has a clearly demonstrated interest in long term relations with their customers.

S. Hersh

: I am planning a trip and will be visiting Rome,Italy. I am also shopping for a good violin. I saw advertised in a magazine some dealers in Rome. One was Rudolpho Marchini who listed quite a few credentials. What do you know about this dealer or others in Rome? Need advice.






#7 mike

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Posted 08 January 1999 - 10:26 PM

please forgive me for the following analogy, i know it's not the same, but i have wondered the same as he original poster.
at one time i was a member of an italian bike racing team in northern italy. i had intended on buying an italian hand made frame at quite a bargain (they were about $1000. at the time in the u.s. in 1986 dollars). well as i am sure you could imagine,were at least as expensive there if not more. i realized that they were out to get the u.s. suckers for whatever they could.
when we toured the smaller towns though i found dozens of local professional framebuilders that had been quietly working without any fame, fortune, or inflated prices of the known makers. the worknmanship was excellent though, and they had been working on a craft handed down to them for the last 120years.
what all this leads to is can one find local, unknown to the general population, luthiers that would sell a hand made instrument (maybe nothing equal to the best italy has to offer)for relatively little? many of the crafts people in the north work very hard, for relatively little money, and it just makes me wonder.
mike




#8 S. Hersh

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Posted 09 January 1999 - 12:54 AM

Actually I like your analogy and I think that it does sometimes apply to
Italian artisans as long as we are speaking only of contemporary
instruments. Years ago I sough out such pockets of regional style
making, and imported the works of those makers to the US. I found a very
fine maker in the town of Ferrara named Alessandro Ciciliati. He
is still making violins in the Ferrarese regional style. Cicliati's violins share
characteristics with makers like Soffritti, Gotti, and even Marconcini.
Another maker in Ferrara is Romano Gaiani. His violins also have the
regional flavor but are simple in construction and (at least they used to be)
relatively inexpensive.

In Bologna there are a few makers working in that cities style, a la
Pollastri. Corati is a fantastic maker whose instruments can rival Poggi's
best work. Guiciardi is the heir to the Poggi throne and a fine maker if a little antiseptic. Another good
Bolognese torchbearer is Marco Albanelli whose work is a little less accurate than Corati or Guiciardi. Mantua has a few makers
working in the manner of Scarampella. Mario Gadda is a maker of great
ability; but his work varies. Take note! Mario Gadda is very good at
making copies! The list goes on and on...for instance in Rome, the
destination of the original poster, Rodolpho Marchini is a fine maker. But
I wonder if you couldn't buy an instrument of his cheaper from a major
importer than from him directly.

In my view Cremona is not such an interesting town for violin making
these days. There are many fine makers there but the style of making in
Cremona has become somewhat generic; the regional feeling of the
instruments just isn't there. Even buying contemporary violins in Italy is
not without risk. The uninitiated must weigh the romance/gain/risk
ratio in determing the best way for them to buy a violin. Anyone who
would like the name of a major wholesale importer of contemporary
Italian violins, please feel free to e-mail me.

S. Hersh

: please forgive me for the following analogy, i know it's not the same, but i have wondered the same as he original poster.
: at one time i was a member of an italian bike racing team in northern italy. i had intended on buying an italian hand made frame at quite a bargain (they were about $1000. at the time in the u.s. in 1986 dollars). well as i am sure you could imagine,were at least as expensive there if not more. i realized that they were out to get the u.s. suckers for whatever they could.
: when we toured the smaller towns though i found dozens of local professional framebuilders that had been quietly working without any fame, fortune, or inflated prices of the known makers. the worknmanship was excellent though, and they had been working on a craft handed down to them for the last 120years.
: what all this leads to is can one find local, unknown to the general population, luthiers that would sell a hand made instrument (maybe nothing equal to the best italy has to offer)for relatively little? many of the crafts people in the north work very hard, for relatively little money, and it just makes me wonder.
: mike






#9 A. Buyer

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Posted 09 January 1999 - 01:47 AM

This period is what we call a 'buyers market". Prices are lower now than in previous years in many of the best violin shops.

I've been looking for an instrument for a while in what I considered to be many of the best violin shops. So far, I've seen no evidence of the "buyer's market" you are referring to. Please let me know which shops have lower prices than previous years so I may rush right out with my checkbook.






#10 S. Hersh

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Posted 09 January 1999 - 08:49 AM

I agree. I have seen no evidence of deflation for any but the least desireable string instruments. If there is a shop truly offering "bargains," (and I doubt that there is) I would like to be able to direct my clients there. I wonder if the poster is confusing illiquididty with deflation?

S. Hersh

: This period is what we call a 'buyers market". Prices are lower now than in previous years in many of the best violin shops.

: I've been looking for an instrument for a while in what I considered to be many of the best violin shops. So far, I've seen no evidence of the "buyer's market" you are referring to. Please let me know which shops have lower prices than previous years so I may rush right out with my checkbook.









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