Purloined 1740 Violin Recovered

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Ralph
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Purloined 1740 Violin Recovered

Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:56 pm

Stolen violin returns for an encore

Sophie Kirkham
Friday August 19, 2005

Guardian
A rare 18th century violin has been reunited with its owner more than a year after it was stolen.

The violin, worth £20,000, was found by experts when it turned up at an auction house this month.

The instrument is one of few made by Edward Lewis still in existence.

Alan Brind, a former BBC young musician of the year, thought he would never see his 265-year-old violin again after it was stolen from the back of his car in June last year.

The 36-year-old, who won the BBC contest in 1986, has used the instrument at concerts all over the world.

"It was a bit like going into mourning or splitting up from a long-term girlfriend," he said. "It had travelled all around the world with me and the relationship was very personal.

"I was not sure I would be able to [replace it] because it had a particular quality that was unique.

"I will be interested to rediscover what it is actually like because I think I had managed to wean myself off it.

"I thought that if someone who knew nothing about musical instruments had stolen it, then it would end up at the tip or in a car boot sale in Skegness.

"If someone did know its value, then I assumed it would be sold abroad."

The violin, which is dated to around 1740, was recovered when an unsuspecting dealer took it in to Bonhams auction house, which checked it against an insurance company list of stolen items.

Philip Scott, the head of musical instruments at Bonhams, said he had immediately recognised it as a "very special piece".

"This was a much finer instrument than those usually offered by this dealer, so we decided to do some more research," he said.

"After a thorough investigation, it transpired that our violin was indeed the one listed as stolen.

"There are few surviving examples of Lewis's work, so it really is delightful that we have recovered this one.

"The dealer who brought it to us has confirmed in writing that he has no further interest or claim to ownership of the instrument, so we are now free to return this superior violin to its rightful owner."

Brind, who lives in Fulham, west London, temporarily abandoned music in favour of snooker, but returned to lead the European Union youth orchestra and has made a number of recordings, including one of Sibelius's violin concerto - the composition that won him the young musician title.

He went on to work with the Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova, with whom he now has a daughter, and plays with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Chamber Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Thu Aug 18, 2005 8:39 pm

I honestly don't know who this is, however, I'm glad that he got it back. I just wish they would have done more than simply making the dealer sign a form releasing it.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:41 pm

Harvested Sorrow wrote:I honestly don't know who this is, however, I'm glad that he got it back. I just wish they would have done more than simply making the dealer sign a form releasing it.
*****

Once it was proven that the violin was stolen the dealer lacked any title to it even if he was a Good Faith Purchaser. If he did not sign a release a civil action to recover the instrument (replevin) would have been necessary, a waste of time and money and a lawsuit that would have darkened the dealer's reputation.

Merely being in possession of the violin is wholly inadequate either here or in England to support a prosecution for criminal possession of stolen property.
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:06 pm

I didn't know that. To be fair though...assuming it did come into his hands, what are the chances he didn't know it was stolen? I'd say fairly low...

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:08 am

Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Ralph » Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:23 am

Harvested Sorrow wrote:I didn't know that. To be fair though...assuming it did come into his hands, what are the chances he didn't know it was stolen? I'd say fairly low...
*****

Reasonable supposition doesn't meet the standard of Probable Cause necessary to commence a criminal action here or in England. More is needed than the possession of the violin by a person who deals in them.

Now if Joe Smith was caught trying to sell the violin on a street corner for a few bucks...
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Post by aurora » Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:52 am

jbuck919 wrote:Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?
While we're at it, let's start the club that scratches their collective heads & wonders why on EARTH would anyone leave a quality instrument in their car.

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Post by Ralph » Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:38 am

aurora wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?
While we're at it, let's start the club that scratches their collective heads & wonders why on EARTH would anyone leave a quality instrument in their car.
*****

Remember when Yo Yo Ma left his priceless cello in the trunk of a New York City cab? The unsuspecting cabbie pulled into his garage several hours later to be surrounded by cops.

And a valuable clarinet was left by a musician on the sidewalk bordering Lincoln Center a couple of years ago after he hailed a taxi.
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Albert Einstein

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Post by aurora » Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:43 am

Ralph wrote:
aurora wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?
While we're at it, let's start the club that scratches their collective heads & wonders why on EARTH would anyone leave a quality instrument in their car.
*****

Remember when Yo Yo Ma left his priceless cello in the trunk of a New York City cab? The unsuspecting cabbie pulled into his garage several hours later to be surrounded by cops.

And a valuable clarinet was left by a musician on the sidewalk bordering Lincoln Center a couple of years ago after he hailed a taxi.
Not to mention the Strad that nearly became a CD cabinet. Peter Stumpf, LA Phil's principal, left his cello out in front of his house, someone swiped it, someone else found it- in a trash heap, I think- and thought "Gee, wouldn't this make a neat CD cabinet".


Those we all accidents, though. I'm talking about deliberately leaving instruments in cars. Maybe it's just my NY upbringing..... one person's paranoia is another person's common sense.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:08 am

They should all be organists. The instrument makes up in charm what it lacks in portability.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Ralph » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:52 am

aurora wrote:
Ralph wrote:
aurora wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?
While we're at it, let's start the club that scratches their collective heads & wonders why on EARTH would anyone leave a quality instrument in their car.
*****

Remember when Yo Yo Ma left his priceless cello in the trunk of a New York City cab? The unsuspecting cabbie pulled into his garage several hours later to be surrounded by cops.

And a valuable clarinet was left by a musician on the sidewalk bordering Lincoln Center a couple of years ago after he hailed a taxi.
Not to mention the Strad that nearly became a CD cabinet. Peter Stumpf, LA Phil's principal, left his cello out in front of his house, someone swiped it, someone else found it- in a trash heap, I think- and thought "Gee, wouldn't this make a neat CD cabinet".


Those we all accidents, though. I'm talking about deliberately leaving instruments in cars. Maybe it's just my NY upbringing..... one person's paranoia is another person's common sense.
*****

I know exactly what you mean. Once a semester I pick up exams, those dreaded Bluebooks, from the Registrar. My unwarying routine is to head straight home, no stops anywhere, and unload them. I have always had this horrid fantasy of stopping for something and the car gets stolen.

Years ago a professor reported that all his Civil Procedure exams were stolen from his car at Boston's Logan Airport. You can imagine how his students felt. We later denied him tenure for a host of reasons.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:16 pm

Ralph wrote:
Harvested Sorrow wrote:I didn't know that. To be fair though...assuming it did come into his hands, what are the chances he didn't know it was stolen? I'd say fairly low...
*****

Reasonable supposition doesn't meet the standard of Probable Cause necessary to commence a criminal action here or in England. More is needed than the possession of the violin by a person who deals in them.

Now if Joe Smith was caught trying to sell the violin on a street corner for a few bucks...
I'm aware of this. I'm saying it would be nice if something could have been done, hypothetically...not that there's any way it could have occured without some really expensive investigation.

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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:22 pm

Ralph wrote:
aurora wrote:
Ralph wrote:
aurora wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?
While we're at it, let's start the club that scratches their collective heads & wonders why on EARTH would anyone leave a quality instrument in their car.
*****

Remember when Yo Yo Ma left his priceless cello in the trunk of a New York City cab? The unsuspecting cabbie pulled into his garage several hours later to be surrounded by cops.

And a valuable clarinet was left by a musician on the sidewalk bordering Lincoln Center a couple of years ago after he hailed a taxi.
Not to mention the Strad that nearly became a CD cabinet. Peter Stumpf, LA Phil's principal, left his cello out in front of his house, someone swiped it, someone else found it- in a trash heap, I think- and thought "Gee, wouldn't this make a neat CD cabinet".


Those we all accidents, though. I'm talking about deliberately leaving instruments in cars. Maybe it's just my NY upbringing..... one person's paranoia is another person's common sense.
*****

I know exactly what you mean. Once a semester I pick up exams, those dreaded Bluebooks, from the Registrar. My unwarying routine is to head straight home, no stops anywhere, and unload them. I have always had this horrid fantasy of stopping for something and the car gets stolen.

Years ago a professor reported that all his Civil Procedure exams were stolen from his car at Boston's Logan Airport. You can imagine how his students felt. We later denied him tenure for a host of reasons.
Statistically, the chances are just as great that your home will burn with the tests inside. Knew you would not want to miss the good news.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by violinland » Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:02 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?
But at least One Strad and one Del Gesu have been successfully copied so much so that the Strad that has been copied was taken to New York to the home of a top ranking violinist. At that time the violinist in question had the original on violin loan. He (the violinist)was then asked to play both instruments and could not tell the difference. I have played the original but not the copy and can confirm that is one of the great Strads in existance.

There is a second issue here, to sell under these conditions it would be nesseccsry to name the copy after the original. One or two violinist might pay good money for their copies. The final issue would be idiotic. Let us say five violinists had copies of the same instrument, and I do not speak of factory copies, who all gave a concert in five different venues and the five announcers said “so and so is using the **** violin for this performance.” All the magic of playing on a well know instrument goes out of the window.

I therefore can not second your motion.

There are two scientists who produce violins in this way. Both cat scan the original and produce the working drawings for the instructions of a team of violin makers to produce the copy. In the case of the only sale I have been involved in the copy was priced at $50,000.

My friend Jack Bell who is one of the two mentioned can be found at. http://mystrad.com/Default.htm

Good one Ralph

CHENISTON K ROLAND O.L.
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:20 pm

violinland wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?
But at least One Strad and one Del Gesu have been successfully copied so much so that the Strad that has been copied was taken to New York to the home of a top ranking violinist. At that time the violinist in question had the original on violin loan. He (the violinist)was then asked to play both instruments and could not tell the difference. I have played the original but not the copy and can confirm that is one of the great Strads in existance.

There is a second issue here, to sell under these conditions it would be nesseccsry to name the copy after the original. One or two violinist might pay good money for their copies. The final issue would be idiotic. Let us say five violinists had copies of the same instrument, and I do not speak of factory copies, who all gave a concert in five different venues and the five announcers said “so and so is using the **** violin for this performance.” All the magic of playing on a well know instrument goes out of the window.

I therefore can not second your motion.

There are two scientists who produce violins in this way. Both cat scan the original and produce the working drawings for the instructions of a team of violin makers to produce the copy. In the case of the only sale I have been involved in the copy was priced at $50,000.

My friend Jack Bell who is one of the two mentioned can be found at. http://mystrad.com/Default.htm

Good one Ralph
When I was back in the States, a young violinist--you will remember her name, Cheniston--was featured at the Lake Luzerne summer music series down the road. She owns what I guess is commonly known as the "Mendelssohn Red" Strad, because Daddy had enough money to buy it for her. By her own report, no husband was ever loved so intimately as that instrument by that woman.

I do not see the point in making expensive string instruments a matter of extreme exclusiveness or a mystique. It strikes me as far more important that fine instruments be widely available to any talented player. It is simply impossible that only two or three violin makers in 18th-century Italy ever got it right.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:06 am

jbuck919 wrote:
violinland wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:Can we use this thread to start the club that does not believe that it is impossible to mass-produce a great fiddle?
But at least One Strad and one Del Gesu have been successfully copied so much so that the Strad that has been copied was taken to New York to the home of a top ranking violinist. At that time the violinist in question had the original on violin loan. He (the violinist)was then asked to play both instruments and could not tell the difference. I have played the original but not the copy and can confirm that is one of the great Strads in existance.

There is a second issue here, to sell under these conditions it would be nesseccsry to name the copy after the original. One or two violinist might pay good money for their copies. The final issue would be idiotic. Let us say five violinists had copies of the same instrument, and I do not speak of factory copies, who all gave a concert in five different venues and the five announcers said “so and so is using the **** violin for this performance.” All the magic of playing on a well know instrument goes out of the window.

I therefore can not second your motion.

There are two scientists who produce violins in this way. Both cat scan the original and produce the working drawings for the instructions of a team of violin makers to produce the copy. In the case of the only sale I have been involved in the copy was priced at $50,000.

My friend Jack Bell who is one of the two mentioned can be found at. http://mystrad.com/Default.htm

Good one Ralph
When I was back in the States, a young violinist--you will remember her name, Cheniston--was featured at the Lake Luzerne summer music series down the road. She owns what I guess is commonly known as the "Mendelssohn Red" Strad, because Daddy had enough money to buy it for her (that's a million and a half for what was at that time a 15-year-old girl). By her own report, no husband was ever loved so intimately as that instrument by that woman.

I do not see the point in making expensive string instruments a matter of extreme exclusiveness or a mystique. It strikes me as far more important that fine instruments be widely available to any talented player. It is simply impossible that only two or three violin makers in a single city in 18th-century Italy ever got it right.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Ralph » Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:37 am

Good point, John. But I suppose image matters a lot. Can you imagine a program announcing that "Ms. Schnapps performs on a 2004 Grossheimer/Hackensack violin?"
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