With over 30 years of experience in the violin trade as a violin and bow maker I have seen and experienced the work of many makers from the USA to Europe. The many instrument auctions in England and Europe as well as the USA provide contact with 300 to 400 instruments per auction, plus all the instruments that come through the trade. Violin and bow making gives that added detail that is necessary for the identification of other makers work. With the new technologies in Forensics identification have become more and more scientific, instead of just a subjective opinion. Many alleged experts have opinions, or lets call them “guesses”. They do not have the elements of scientific fact to back up their opinion. Experience and contact with many instruments allows for greater and more selective data about each makers making techniques and elements of design. Modern violin and bow identification has advanced beyond the subjective observations of the past. Perception can be altered by many subjective factors. Some times it is necessary to consult with other colleges to affirm elements of perception and fact. When we have not examined the work of certain makers we should acknoledge our limitation. The truth is, "No man is a god unto himself!"
Thirty five years of making, repairing and selling instruments in the USA and Europe. Contact with the many instruments of professional players. Viewing many collections in the USA, London and Europe. Attending many auctions in both continents. Researching resources on the internet and the many specialty books on hundreds of violin and bow makers keep on unfolding more and more details for identification..
With training in Forensics, Cognitive Psychology and Scientific methods of analysis as well the collection of evidence as a Criminal investigator the results are more than just an opinion.
Violin Society of America
Check the web for Stephen Derek
Extensive legal and investigation techniques, intensive training with the Royal Canadian Police in Canada for eleven months. Many ciricculums of study at University; experience as a Public accountant for seven years. Tutored training in violin and bow making makes for 35 years of experience in the violin trade.
Awards and Honors
Valedictorian of my class at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police College College Diploma Specialized post grad classes.
Many fine artists In the USA and Europe,