Alix Krista authored a detailed account of the rise and fall of violin dealer Dietmar Machold which appeared in the 10/19/2012 edition of businessinsider.com. It will be surprising if Machold emerges from the legal process without some jail time but even though he’s is, for all intents and purposes, out of the game that doesn’t mean the rare instrument trade is clear of bad guys.
Long (long) time readers know that yours truly was the very first source to cast suspicions on the Machold brokered deal that funneled a collection of Golden Age string instruments into the hands of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. As it turned out, those suspicions hit the target dead center (and even generated a series of lawsuit threats from some powerful folks until other sources began confirming the very same details) and one of the articles from that classic series provided an overview of the rare instrument trade as it existed in 2004.
Titled Violin Turf Wars, it paralleled the landscape of instrument dealers to that of the old west except the violin version had comparatively more black hats. It’s interesting to juxtapose Krista’s wonderfully detailed article against that post then consider whether Machold’s fall from grace means that law and order now rule the land of rare instrument dealers or if there’s still plenty of might-makes-right to go around.
What do you think?