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Ivan Viehoff

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Posts posted by Ivan Viehoff

  1. In response to a question, the seller has admitted to being sufficiently ignorant of concertinas, he doesn't know how to tell if it has any reeds, and has told buyers to assume it has none. Bidding has however reached £55.

  2. I once met someone who had a guitar he made out of thousands of lollipop sticks glued together. Putting aside plastic children's toys, it was quite the worst guitar I had ever heard, weak and thin, and quite unlike a real guitar. I really was very surprised how awful it was, and it reinforces how important the nature of the material is when sound (among other things) is involved.


    The material options for 3-d printing are limited, and even if the range of chemical possibilities grow, the layer-by-layer build up is going to affect the internal structure of the material, which often matters too. Springs, reed tongues, valves, bellows, it isn't just the fact that they flex, the way that they flex is very important, and the precise nature of the material is important for this.


    3-d printing is a superb technology for making parts whose shape is more important than what they are made out of, especially when needed in quantities that tooling up to make them in bulk is not economic. I can see it might make a few parts of a concertina, like buttons, but there is a lot else it just isn't going to be suitable for, even in principle.

  3. "In 1974 I purchased this instrument for £1000 from an internationally renowned concertina historian and collector. Consulting a number of economic indices to determine today's value, I have arrived at the figure of £13,950.00."


    Such calculations are unlikely to produce a realistic estimate of today's valuation for antique or rare items - some things come into fashion, others go out of fashion, and can do so in a very big way. Though, for what its worth, general RPI inflation from 1974 to today is a factor of nearer 8 than 14, though since 1974 was a period of rapid inflation, it probably matters exactly which month in 1974 it was sold in.


    There is no doubt that this concertina would sell, if the market was allowed to operate. If he was serious about finding the true market value for it, he should just put it on with a £1 starting bid. There is no doubt a vigorous auction would ensue. As it is, his tactics of high starting price and very high buy-it-now look more like those of a certain dealer whose offerings repeatedly failed to sell. But maybe to get a good price for it he needs serious bidders to physically see this concertina, and advertising it with very high prices on ebay is a way of getting knowledge of it into the market, to be followed by a later serious auction.



  4. Britain's leading concertina dealer said, three years ago, of Wheatstone Aeola English concertinas in general (which is what you have) http://www.concertina.co.uk/English-Concertinas.htm "Virtually any decent Wheatstone Aeola (8 sided) would be £3000+....". But understand that is a dealer's selling price in good restored condition, as a private seller you would get a bit less, and in current economic conditions the market may be a bit weaker. Any concertina that has not been in use for some extended time, even one that looks in mint condition, will require servicing to get it into good playing condition, which would likely be around £300 if you had to commission an reputable repairer to do it, assuming no serious problems - and for a concertina of such quality you really need a reputable repairer's name attached to any work done on it to maintain its value. Mike Acott is a leading example of such a reputable repairer.

  5. I followed the link to the Ebay listing out of curiosity (I play EC). The starting point struck me as surprisingly low. I know that there are not a huge number of McCann players out there, but I would have thought that the starting price would have been way higher.

    I think the seller knows that he is selling something special that is bound to attract interest from serious buyers. The risk of it going for a silly low price is small. On the other hand, having confidence, activity and movement. in the auction helps get a good price, and that is best achieved by not having a high starting price.

  6. Forgive me for saying so, but I wouldn't have thought of a concertina, particularly perhaps, English, as No 1 choice of instrument for Morris... (I do know people who do.... but if you have an open choice...)

    Morris groups most often use melodeons of the free reed instruments. But on the other hand I would say that Morris dance displays are precisely where I most often seen English concertinas being played. These things do vary regionally, and there may be some bias due to the fact that my local Morris group particularly emphasises English concertinas, having several players.

  7. The quantity of serious concertinas for sale on ebay tends to be rather smaller in Jan, as people plausibly assume there is less money around at this time of year, and prices will be weaker. Things should pick up again as we head towards spring. I would say perhaps 46-key Maccanns turn up very roughly around about once a month on ebay, but plainly sometimes you have to wait a bit longer. About half of them will need some material restoration. Just before Christmas, there were two for sale at the same time, though both were probably in better condition than you are looking for.



  8. Having failed to get a bid with a starting price of £1,990, he now thinks he'll have better luck starting at £2,190 instead. Must be the January Sales.



    The last attempt to sell the Wheatstone was also at a greatly increased starting bid of £3,900, so my previous guess of a slow Dutch auction was completely wrong.


    Maybe he doesn't want to sell them in a hurry. Maybe if you are a dealer, having good-looking premium concertinas frequently up for sale is good advertising, even if you don't sell them.

  9. Let's see what happens this time!

    It sold for £500. Hope you aren't too disappointed, but the acid test is what the market pays for it, though there is a random element to this, it must be said.


    Now it is sold I will make the comment that when you report that there was a refurb 17 years ago, and not played much since, people will think, without having it in their hands to check out, "well it may need some re-work to get it back in tip-top condition".

  10. The aucioneers has also suffered from their own incompetence. They earn a percentage, so if the hammer price had been double their commission would also be double. It is in the auctioneers interest to sell for the highest possible price. So I'd agree that it sounds like cock-up rather than consipiracy.

    If it was a conspiracy, the auction winner would have paid them a kick-back. It is precisely because of the implausibility of there being a conspiracy between the specific beneficiaries and the auctioneer in the cases that I have observed that makes me think cock-up.


    To USAnians, this side of the pond "cock-up" only very mildly irregular English - you might not hear the newreader use it, but certainly you'd hear a government spokesman happily use it to a journalist while on camera. At this link, the popularity of the contrast "cock-up vs conspiracy" is attributed to Sir Bernard Ingham, Mrs Thatcher's press secretary, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon's_razor .


    There are also things Americans should avoid saying in Britain. The term "fanny-pack" could result in an unpleasant misunderstanding in less cosmopolitan parts of the country.

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