Instruments of the violin family are well known to be exceptionally valuable if they are the work of an Italian master such as Stradivari or Guarneri. Unfortunately, in common with many other antique articles of value, the forger, the defrauder, and the thief operate in the world of the violin in a very conspicuous way. With varying degrees of skill, labels are altered, certificates of origin are spuriously created, instruments are even made from new but disguised
to look old and to reproduced the features of an old master. Buyers, dealers, and even auction houses can easily make distressing and very expensive mistakes. Many people who own instruments, or who are interested in buying them, want to know more about the dangers, the
pitfalls, and the case histories of previous disasters. The law itself is widely misunderstood and its wide ambit not appreciated. Those who contravene the law risk actions for civil damages as well as criminal prosecution, primarily by the ever more vigilant Trading Standards Department of local authorities. It is the intention of this book to detect the background to this fraudulent activity and to explain how the law applies to it. Much of what is said applies to
the antique world generally, but there are specific and pressing problems relating to to string instruments which have not been analysed in detail before and with which this book is particularly concerned. This new edition includes an account of American law as it relates to to
violin commerce, including a discussion of violin theft, fraud, and contract issues, product disparagement, and slander, auction issues, tax issues, secret commissions, ethics, and intellectual property theft.
`This book is a praiseworthy effort to shed some light on the murkier side of the violin trade ... Harvey and Shapreau each provide a useful outline of the law concerning the various questionable trade practices in their respective countries ... an excellent overview of the pertinent legal issues for anyone contemplating the purchase or sale of a fine instrument.'
`This book is a praiseworthy effort to shed some light on the murkier side of the violin trade. Harvey has done a commendable job of evaluating analogous cases from the art world to determine how courts might decide cases involving instruments. Violin Fraud provides an excellent overview of the pertinent legal issues for anyone contemplating the purchase or sale of a fine instrument.'
John Moran, Notes
`Brian Harvey ... and Carla Shapreau ... have given us much needed information pertaining to fraud - information applicable to all musical instruments, not just the violin family ... This volume should have something of interest for everyone ... the detailed accounts of specific trials and laws in this book are highly informative ... The entire book should prove invaluable as a guide to legal and ethical practices in our field.'
Todd French, Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society 1999
1: A Case Study in Supply and Demand - the Violin Scene
2: History of Violin Frauds
3: Liability for Misdescriptions - Civil and Criminal Law
4: Business for Pleasure - Legal Traps
5: Misdescriptions and False Labels
6: Fakes and Forgeries - the Problem of Attribution
7: Stolen Violins
8: Improving Violin Trading and Repairing Standards
Part II (Carla Shapreau)
9: The Purloined Violin
10: International and Innocent Misdescriptions
11: Breach of Contract and Warranties
12: Auction Issues
13: Discovery of Fraud and Deception: Fiddling Away the Time - The Statute of Limitations and other Defenses
14: Defamation and Product Disparagement
15: Tax Issues
16: Secret Commissions
17: Criminal Liability
19: Intellectual Property
Appendix: A Summary of Practical Guide-Lines for Everyone Involved in the Violin Trade
Table of Cases
Table of Legislation