Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mad About Strads: Fiddling the Stradivarius Market

At our business, we tend to specialize in fine new instruments and represent some of the contemporary world class makers but nothing like the old world great makers. I thought it might be interesting for some of you readers out there to see what life is like for the high end violin businesses. Good article that shows this is online over at Spiegel International
"The cult surrounding the 300-year-old violins has sent prices through the roof, making the Italian masterpieces a coveted investment worth millions. Only a handful of dealers control the market—and they’re willing to pull any number of strings to maximize profits."
It's an interesting look into the world surrounding the major personas of Strad violin dealers. Dietmar Machold, 58, is the owner and President of Machold Rare Violins. He's had a long family history of violin dealing and a great deal of knowledge about the business. The article also takes a look at some of the other major violin dealers such as Bein & Fushi in Chicago and Beare's in London. I found the description of Mr. Fushi wearing a suit and red cowboy boots with the initials of Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù and his own to be funny.

If you've manged to finish that 4-page article, you'll find that even at the high end level the business can sure be "byzantine-like".

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