02. Wholesale Distribution
Our Distribution Mantra
The idea behind our wholesale distribution network is to bring Fine Instruments made by commercially successful makers to a dealers doorstep at the right price point, condition and verified authenticity.
All our instruments are guaranteed to be authentic and in good condition. We send mailers to dealers detailing new instrument arrivals. We receive purchase requests and ship instruments for inspection and payment. This allows dealers to ensure they are getting a genuine product of the right condition and price point.We deal with fine violins, violas, cellos and bows.
An inside look at the many factors that can affect the value of old and new violins
Key factors that influence prices: authenticity, provenance, and condition
Authenticity will always be a difficult factor, because so much of past knowledge has been based on traditional lore, word of mouth, and paper labels. Ongoing research into these older makers has increasingly taught us that many of our presumptions were based on faulty information, and this will continue to affect that market for years. At the same time, the thrill of owning one of the fine works of past masters establishes an emotional connection between the player and the maker, as well as to our musical ancestry that we otherwise get only in history books and the music.
Provenance is the issue of past ownership, past documentation, and such. An instrument that is documented as having belonged to a great player will inherently be more desirable. It bears the performer’s endorsement, or was used in the great music that all of us learn in our studies, or it belonged to some other figure whose life influenced today’s world. Many musicians opt for a classical Cremonese violin not so much for its sound, but for the sense of being one with generations of earlier musicians whose activities form our musical origins. Past documents simply confirm this information, or at least prove that the instrument wasn’t made yesterday.
Condition is, in some ways, the most critical element. Violins live a dual existence, as tools for musical performance and as works of art, reflecting the craft, skill, and aesthetic ideas of its maker. I have no tolerance for the old saw “it was meant to be played.” Compare any Stradivari against the 19th-century reproductions made of them, and it’s instantly clear that excessive use over the past century has taken a serious toll on their condition. The Stradivaris’ varnishes were always delicate—this is known from early accounts—while the varnishes used later were always harder and more resistant. The Stradivari instruments that reflect the best and most careful use look very different from the run-of-the-mill: their varnish shows a natural patina with minimal wear, they still have sharp details of carving, and they have few if any crack repairs. There are a smaller and smaller number of these still in existence. If makers only cared about violins for use, they would have just made wooden boxes and not have wasted so much of their time painstakingly creating objects of sculptural beauty.