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Ivan Viehoff

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About Ivan Viehoff

  • Birthday 09/25/1962

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Play 46-key Maccann Duet since 2004<br />Play piano<br />Sing in choir<br />Cycle touring<br />Play bridge<br />
  • Location
    Chalfont St. Giles, England

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. I got it from Agnes She got it from Jim We all agree it must have been Louise who gave it to him Now she got it from Harry Who got it from Marie And ev'rybody knows that Marie Got it from me... I started listening to Tom Lehrer when I was but a mere stripling, and it took me a long time to work out what this song was about.
  2. What does "true value" mean? With a commodity like gold we can say what it is inherently worth, and then adjust the price for the specificities of the selling arrangements. For a one-off object, it is hard to separate the object itself from the selling arrangements. The present seller purchased the concertina in open auction on ebay, which I think was around about £3100, someone will doubtless correct me. Since the time of that sale, the price of concertinas has if anything fallen. Given that the present seller has mainly failed to get any bids on his auctions, and hasn't allowed any auction with a low starting price to go to completion, I think that remains the best estimate of the true value of the concertina we have, whatever "true value" means in this case. Someone suggested that a concertina of this specification and date would normally be worth the best part of £5000, given the reputation of Wheatstones of that period, provided these things could be warranted by a person of reputation. That is probably why the present seller thought he had a bargain and would sell it on for a good profit. One problem he has, aside from any issues relating to his own reputation, and the history of repeated non-sales, is that various persons of reputation have publicly said that this specific concertina plays peculiarly badly in comparison to its peers.
  3. I've followed every attempt he has made to sell this instrument, and although the guy clearly doesn't really "get" ebay, I think with time the nature of how he thinks has become clearer. I don't think we have seen rude gpanda for some time now, I think he has realised it doesn't help. I suspect he has, or has had, problems controlling his anger: during the earlier sales attempts he got angry when asked questions that exposed his ignorance, or else problems with the concertina. He was once particularly upset to be asked about the serial number (a perfectly reasonable question that turns out to be embarrassing in this case), but recently he has been open about the serial number situation. There was an early attempt to sell it where he put a sensible starting price on it (I think it was GBP2000), but he stopped it because a couple of days before the end there were no bids close to his ambition of selling it for rather more than he bought it for: a decision which exposed his distrust for the ebay auction market. Since then, he has mostly tried to sell it with a very high starting price, operating a bit like a showroom dealer rather than an ebay auction seller, but these never attracted a bid. At one stage he put it on at a slightly higher starting price each time it failed to sell. He twice pulled the auction because he put the decimal point in the wrong place in the starting price, as illustrated by immediately restarting it with a starting price 100 times higher. By recently trying to sell it with a starting price of €3500, and letting it run to completion (I think that is roughly the value of the bid he once got on the auction he started at GBP2000) he has for the first time shown an apparent willingness to sell it for less than he bought it for. He has grown up to the idea he might have to take a loss on this one. He must have been mortified he couldn't even sell it at that level today.
  4. As far as I can see, the auction with a €3,500 starting price went to completion with no bids. He must have been really upset about that, because he probably thought that even a pressure sale of it would get at least €3,500, after all that is a few hundred less than he paid for it originally. But I think the concertina market has weakened since then, and by now this concertina has a lot of history. I think the €99.00 starting price in the following auction was more likely a misplaced decimal point than a deliberate ploy to annoy bidders, because he has prior record of starting an auction with a misplaced decimal point. I think that he has long been following the strategy of putting a relatively high price on it, like a show-room dealer with a highly priced object in a shop window, he hopes one day someone will come along and buy at that price. But the €9,900 ridiculously high price was perhaps informed by anger at the recent outcome. He is still a person with an insufficient belief in the market to think that he will get a fair price if he starts the auction at €99 and gets a few bids on it. Quite so close to Christmas probably wasn't quite the best time also.
  5. This is a confusion over the difference between a lower case L and an upper case I. Best viewed in Times Roman so you can see the difference. Try http://www.lsped.com/ They would appear to be a recognised escrow service.
  6. Why didn't I feel any curious about the outcome when following the link... I am curious about the outcome this time. What's new is that the starting price is lower. And the wording of the ad makes it looks like he really wants to sell, whereas previously he was suggesting if you were special he might just let you have it. So perhaps he'll let the auction go to completion, unlike the two previous occasions when there was a risk he might sell it (the latter time because he put a decimal point in the wrong place). When he first got this concertina, there was a good chance he might have sold it at that price, after all it is rather less than he paid for it. But with all the messing around and the world moving on and that, well we'll just have to see.
  7. You also didn't say how it was tuned. If you don't say these things, buyers on ebay will tend to assume it is in old pitch, and it at least needs a basic restoration of the pads and valves, etc. But given that you got a bid of only got a $1700, and meer tattiness wouldn't halve its value, I think you need to do a bit more still to work out how to communicate that it is a concertina of quality.
  8. Is it because your arms weren't long enough to play it?
  9. A Very British Murder is a 3-parter on BBC4 about the British fascination with crime and crime writing, presented by the ubiquitous Dr Lucy Worthless. They had a nice concertina on in the first part yesterday - anyone recognise it or the player/singer - being used as an accompaniment for a song about William Corder, he of the Maria Marten murder in the Red Barn at Polstead. Probably about 2/3 of the way through, also reprised for the credits. You can watch it again for the next 3 weeks if you are in the UK (or of sufficient internet savvy to pretend you are in the UK). Linky: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ftzlq
  10. Indeed but not usually on a 55-key, even from Wheatstone, though a rare exception did turn up recently. And not all Wheatstone 57-keys (as the 58-key is usually called - the extra key is an air button) do it either - in particular the early instruments usually don't. A 57-key was on offer on this website not very long ago, and they are slow to sell, so do have a look around, it might be still available. Because the market is very small, buying just the Maccann you want can take a little while, even though there seem to be more sellers than buyers in the market just now.
  11. So rare, that wikipedia doesn't have a page on it, and sends you to mellophone instead, which is a brass instrument. From what I can gather it has 7 strings, so presumably you can only press one button per row at once. What isn't quite clear to me is how the strings are made to sound, and how much contribution they make to the overall sound if there is also a free reed being sounded. It rather reminds me of that inimitable composer PDQ Bach, one of whose pieces was written for orchestra, bagpipes and lute - you couldn't hear the lute over the orchestra, and you couldn't hear anything over the bagpipes.
  12. Ivan Viehoff


    €5200, which failed to get any offers, is only a 2% reduction on £4600 at present exchange rates. Also it was an increase on the €4800 minimum bid he got no offers in his previous two auctions for this instrument. He did put it to auction recently with a minimum bid of €480, but he stopped that auction. It was clearly a misprint.
  13. Auction prices of restored vs unrestored instruments suggest that, unless you are a highly respected dealer or concertina restorer with a reputation for commissioning sensitive and appropriate restorations, you get better value by selling unrestored. It would be interesting to know what yours is in more detail. How many keys has it got, and what is the lowest note on each side, is usually the key info. Most Maccann duets lying around are 46 key (or smaller), and these usually don't make very much money unless they are rather rare high quality ones. There is a fair traffic in them so they usually sell on ebay at reasonably appropriate prices (though avoid quiet periods like summer hols). The rare ones aside, in restored condition they mostly fetch £500-£800 when sold at auction, and a good £300 or so of that is in the restoration. Larger ones (ie more keys) are mostly quite a bit more valuable. However the traffic in the market is very slow, not many of a given type are bought or sold in a year, and finding a buyer willing to pay a sensible price for them usually takes a bit more time and effort than putting it on ebay - can take several months for a deal to form. It may be worth advertising it here, or attempting to negotiate with a reputable dealer.
  14. I didn't follow this through properly before. I overlooked that his readvertisement is at precisely 10 times the previous starting price, ie €4,800 rather than €480. Plainly his "error" in the earlier listing was that he missed a zero off. He never intended to have that auction at all.
  15. The sale was terminated because there was "an error in the listing". Since I can't see any difference in the new posting, that looks like an excuse for termination he thinks he can get away with. As we know, the reality is that the bidders didn't bid high enough early enough to give him confidence he was going to get his target yield. The reality is that he has just alienated a bunch of bidders and the re-run of the auction is likely to go even slower than the previous time. He suffers from (fairly common, to be honest) misperceptions about how best to make use of auctions, and how markets for valuable assets work, which is a bit sad for a dealer selling valuable items on ebay, but I don't think necessarily puts him in the category that #8 suggests.
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