I take the violin, the case, the glue, and the string into a special shop and I check the value with the professional jeweller. The price usually goes up if the violin shows signs of being handled to a very high price,” he says.
The string-maker’s business model depends on quality, price and quantity. The higher the cost of the string, the less it will sell. “The more there is, the less the number of buyers will find any value,” says Bali.
At the top is the string that has been cut at the factory, where it is tested for quality and strength, as well as weight. “If it is made of thin silk, with no string to support it, you will not want to take it out of the factory since it will not have the weight needed to support it any more and it will rot much sooner than that,” says Bali.
As for an instrument that has already been produced, there is often a lot of hand-cutting, which can be done to lower the weight by increasing the width and length. The violin will only be sold to the original owner, after which it will have to be inspected by the violin maker and the value determined. “It is a very costly process, but a good deal of time has been saved. All that is left is for the owner to collect the new strings.”
The best-selling strings are those from the factory-made brands such as Gewandhausen Balthazar, and Stradivarius. But at the same time, the number of imported strung models is on the rise. “The number of imported Stradivarius violins has gone down recently; there is a decrease in demand for Stradivari made violins,” says Bali.
Sebastiano Balducci’s new documentary “Liar Liar: What the F— Did My Grandfather Really Do?” is based on an exposé he did on his grandpa for Italian newspaper Il Giornale last year. In it, Balducci — who won a Tony a few years ago for his performance in the Off-Off Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof” — recounts getting asked for a picture of a dead body, what he says was an unasked for question:
“I was asked for identification of mine from a dead relative who had been buried three days ago, and I have never provided any such identification. I also am a photographer or a
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