Next Auction Dates
Details about our next online instrument auction.
Sell At Auction
Detailing the five simple steps to selling in one of our intstrument auctions.
Buy At Auction
How to buy in our online instrument auctions.
Our next online instrument auction will take place on the 16th February 2015.
The viewing days are the 14th & 15th February
The Lansdowne Club,
9 Fitzmaurice Place
London W1J 5JD
There are quite a few advantages to selling at a violin auction. You have a clear date when the 'sale' is about to happen, and there is a good chance that your violin will sell (good auction houses have sell rates of between 70 and 90%). As long as the buyer pays on time, you are also likely to be paid within 30 days of the sale, less the fees of the auction house.
All of this is good news. The bad news is that sometimes the price isn't going to be as high as you would have received if selling a violin through a violin shop. A violin shop may also have more time to research the instrument, make it sound as it should, and present it in a good light.
In the end it can be a trade-off between time pressures and extracting as much money from an asset as possible. If you do your research carefully, you should be able to find which option is best for you.
The first step of placing an instrument or bow in one of Amati's auctions is obtaining a valuation and establishing an attribution. Amati offers a free valuation service for anyone with a violin, viola, cello or bow. We host a number of complimentary valuation days in the UK and abroad, which are without obligation. We welcome you along to any you should wish to attend. To view the list of upcoming valuation days click here.
Alternatively, if you are not able to attend one of Amati's valuation days, we have an online valuation service. Just follow a few simple steps by uploading some images for the specialists to have a look at and we'll reply to you with a provisional estimate.
Sometimes, instruments and bows require more time and close inspection in order to establish an attribution and an up to date market value. If this is the case the Amati specialists can take the instrument or bow for a few weeks to do thorough research. If, at the end of this process you decide you'd like to sell, we can add the instrument or bow to one of our upcoming auctions. If not, we can organise returning the item to you. Amati is also happy to organise certification where appropriate.
If you decide you would like to auction your instrument or bow, then a consignment agreement needs to be signed. This will outline the estimates, an agreed reserve price and the terms and conditions. At this point, a specific sale will be recommended. If you have not met with an Amati specialist in person, it may be appropriate for you to send the instrument or bow to us. If this is the case, we will post you one of our specifically designed shipping boxes for you to use to ensure the safety of your items.
4. The Auction
Once we have the instrument or bow in our possession, we will spend time cataloguing and photographing your items. Amati uses very specialised 360 degree photography equipment to give a detailed, all round view of each instrument. The auction catalogue will up uploaded onto the website approximately two weeks before the final sale date. At this point people are free to make bids. Once the online bidding concludes we notify all vendors of the sale result within twenty-four hours.
Amati pays all successful vendors thirty-five days after each sale. This happens either by transfer or by cheque.
Viewing the auction in person:
Despite all the bidding happening online, it is always possible to view the instruments and bows in person at one of our viewing days. These are held in the ballroom of the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair, London. There are two days of viewing before the sale date. It is also possible to have private viewing sessions. Please contact us if you would like a private viewing.
Registering to bid in the auction:
After just a few very simple steps you can register as a bidder with Amati. This involves clicking on the 'register' tab at the top of the homepage. You will be required to submit a shipping address, contact details as well as registering a credit or debit card. There will be a £1 registration fee as an credit check.
Once you have registered an account with us and when the auction is live, you will be able to place bids. Feel free to browse the catalogue and bid at your leisure in the auction period. There is also a helpful 'watch' function so you can keep an eye on the lots that you are interested in. It is also possible to leave proxy bids. This is where you enter in the maximum amount that you would like to purchase the lot for and then the computer acts as the auctioneer, increasing the bid amount in the appropriate increments if there are other bidders. If you have been outbid, you will receive an email notification.
After the auction:
Once the sale has concluded you will be notified by email if you bid was successful. Once this has happened we will ask what your shipping preferences are and the invoices will be updated accordingly. Once payment has been received we will either ship, deliver or arrange collection of your won lots as appropriate.
Trust & Privacy
How you can trust Amati and why your privacy is important to us.
Meet the Amati Auctions team.
We provide a free online valuation service.
We are building a company that you should feel you can trust. If you have any concerns about anything relating to our use of your data you can email our Director - firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime we hope that the following might be of use.
We Respect Your Data
You are protected under the Data Protection Act. This means that Amati Instruments Limited will use information provided to better understand your needs and provide you with better service. Specifically, we use your information to communicate with you and to update you regarding our services.
We Respect Your Trust
We are aware that large numbers of bids flow through the Amati site during the auction period. Access to detailed bidding information is only available to specific administrative staff. Our Directors only know as much information as is available to any other bidding member of the public.
Know Who We Are
We are always at the end of a telephone if you need to ask any questions. Usually you might get Emma, although at busy times it could be any one of us. You can call us on 020 7099 7114.
We Are Insured
Amati is insured through Lark Insurance - underwritten by Lloyds of London. If we are covering your instrument through our loss & damage warranty, you can relax, knowing that your instrument will be well cared for.
Amati has been set up by James and Sarah Buchanan. It is a site designed to create an international market place for musical instruments. Dealers and makers around the world are able to upload their stock and buyers can search by a number of fields to find their perfect instrument.
Working in senior personal assistant roles during her time in London, Sarah now also runs a website platform dedicated to childbirth. Sarah's understanding of the auction world and from her experience of developing and running a specialist web-based platform means she brings to Amati a range of skills and understanding.
James has worked for the last 15 years in the musical instrument world, starting as a porter at Bonham's, ending up running the music department in London for Christie's auctioneers. James left Christie's Auctioneers in 2005 to co-found Brompton's Auctioneers, and then left Brompton's in 2012 and set up Amati. He has also commissioned and helped edit The Brompton's Book of Violin and Bow makers.
Emma joined Amati from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, her previous appointments being personal assistant to the British High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and to the Deputy High Commissioner of India. Although the violin market may be new to Emma, the FCO has given her more than enough experience to help support the office and offer exceptional client service.
Oswald joined Amati having grown up in a musical family. He previously worked for Itella in Germany before working in the cheese industry. Having played the cello and piano for many years so thought musical auctions as the ideal career path to take. He believes that his strong appetite for improvement and success coupled with his musical interest makes him a useful asset to our dynamic and friendly team.
Richard spent a decade working in retail, specialising in Customer Service before making the change to web development. After several years working in a design agency, he joined the Amati team to provide online support and manage all aspects of the website and its continued development.
Violin Auction Highlights
A selection of our notable violin auction highlights
Cello Auction Highlights
A selection of our notable cello auction highlights
Amati has a large database of makers and instrument auction prices.
A fine violin by David Tecchler, Rome
This violin was sold in our March Auction.
The violin described by Charles Beare as 'the second best Tecchler in the world'. Exhibited in Paris in the 1970's this violin is a remarkable example of this maker's work.
Sold with the receipt and correspondence relating to the violin's sale from J. & A. Beare, London. Sold with the dendrochronological report of Peter Ratcliffe.
David Tecchler, Lechbruck, Germany [1666 - 1747]
Born circa. 1666 Lechbruck, Füssen Germany, d.c.1747 Rome Italy. The Tecchler family in Füssen were neighbours of the Socher family: Giovanni and Giacomo Socher were recorded as luthiers in Rome c.1650. David Tecchler was himself active in Rome from 1696 where he was probably apprenticed to Alberto Platner.
A violin by Annibal Fagnola, Turin
This violin was sold in our March Auction.
Sold with the certificates of G. Houfflack, Paris, 1948 and L.P. Balmforth, London, 1948.
Annibal Fagnola, Turin, Italy [1865 - 1939]
Active in Turin from 1894. Pupil of M. Rinaldi. Established independently from 1899 at 3 vicolo Scuderie Reali. Very prolific maker, specialising in copies of Pressenda, Rocca, and Guadagnini.
A French violin by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris, circa 1845
This violin was sold in our October Auction
Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Mirecourt, France [1798 - 1875]
Second son of Claude François (IV), above. Undoubtedly the most successful French luthier, entrepreneur, inventor, and connoisseur. Prolific maker of all bowed stringed instruments and their bows, by his own hand or through his carefully managed workshop which employed some of the most skilful craftsmen in France.
A French cello by J. B. Vuillaume, Paris
World Record** Price Realised* £210,800
This cello was sold in our December 2013 auction
This cello had been in the same distinguished family for (almost) the last century. After 1945 the family decided to lend the cello to the band of the Royal Artillery under whose guardianship it was played for H. M. The Queen and heads of state for the last fifty years.
Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris, France [1798 - 1875]
Second son of Claude François (IV). Undoubtedly the most successful French luthier, entrepreneur, inventor, and connoisseur. Prolific maker of all bowed stringed instruments and their bows, by his own hand or through his carefully managed workshop which employed some of the most skilful craftsmen in France.
An Italian cello by Carlo Giuseppe Testore, Milan, circa 1820
Price Realised* £124,000
This cello was sold in out October 2013 auction
Carlo Giuseppe Testore, Milan, Italy [1660 - 1738]
Active in Milan from c.1683. Pupil of G. Grancino. The best maker of the family, his work can rival that of Grancino, and shows the influence of both Amati and Stradivari, with a fine low arching characteristic of the Milanese school.
A fine Cremonese cello
This cello was sold in our May Auction.
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