THE WRITING OF ROGER HARGRAVE
Recently I ran across the website (above) of maker, restorer and expert Roger Hargrave while doing some online research. If one clicks the “library” tab on his home page, you will find a series of incredible articles that he has written over the years for publications such as the Strad magazine. Here you will find great essays on technical and historical issues relating to string instruments, but it is the series of pieces on the nature of connoisseurship and the violin market that I find most helpful.
His is a rare critical public voice in the current wilderness of over-commodification and increasingly unhinged pricing of violins and bows – a world where profit frequently trumps common sense and leaves musicians holding the bag. I encourage you to look at some of the following articles he has graciously made available.
The Connoisseurs’ Craft and its Role in
Instrument Identification and Valuation
The Importance of Background Knowledge
The ‘Sainton’ Controversy – Genuine or Fake?
The ‘Messiah’ Stradivari Controversy
Pry Before You Buy -Buying an Instrument
The craft of the connoisseur – What makes a violin connoisseur?