TRE MICHIGAN DAILY
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1950
GE SIXTEEN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1950
3UT ADMITS, 'YOU NEVER CAN TELL':
Stradivarius Finds One-in-ten-thousand Says Ross
By LEONARD GREENBAUM
The chance is less than one in
ten thousand, but each year an
average of eight people- besiege
Prof. Gilbert Ross of the School
of Music claiming that they have
found an original Stradivarius vio-
And the story is always the same.
An old fiddle that grandmother
stuck away in the attic is un-
covered during cleaning or by the
youngsters. Some remote ancestor
brought it from Europe and the
violin has been in the family for
THE JOYFUL discoveries find
a label in the fiddle that read
Stradivarius, and the pilgrimage to
Prof. Ross has begun.
"Actually," Prof. Ross main-
tains "they don't want an opin-
ion of the violin's authenticity
but only a confirmation of their
"They have already settled for
a minor fortune and have men-
tally spent every cent of it."
In twenty years and after seeing
hundreds of aspiring fiddles Ross
has yet to find one of consequence
let alone an original Strad.
THE STILL energetic quest for
the violins of Antonius Stradivar-
ius is a carry over from the last
half of the 19th century. In those
days actual Strads were turning
up in obscure places and demand-
ing a high price on the violin mar-
And despite the opinion of ex-
perts that all the existing Strads
have been found people still have
hope that the old family heir-
loom will be another.
* * *
* 4, *
* - *
By JOEL McKIBLE
Christmas theatregoing for the
people not fortunate enough to
reach New York will be available
at many of the larger cities
throughout the East and Mid-
One of the busier centers will
be Chicago with four productions
already set for the holiday period.
The principal attraction is the
national road company of "South
Pacific" with Janet Blair and
Richard Eastham in the starring
roles. It is playing at the Shu-
A very big attraction in Chi-
cago will be the premiere of a new
play by Tennessee Williams. His
drama, "The Rose Tattoo" is
scheduled for a Christmas week
OTHER OFFERINGS will in-
clude the Lunts in "I Know My
Love" and the pre-Broadway pro-
duction of "Angel in the Pawn-
shop" with Eddie Dowling and
Detroit will again have the
road company of "Mister Rob-
erts," one of the most success-
ful plays of recent years. "Brig-
adoon" will also play a return
engagement in Detroit during
The Christmas vacation will
usher back the Civic Light Opera
company to Detroit audiences.
The series will begin on Christ-
mas day with "Carousel," the fam-
ous musical by Rodgers and Ham-
merstein. On January 1 "Bala.
laika" will begin a week's engage-
THE ONE HOLIDAY play al-
ready definitely set for Cleveland
is a pre-Broadway production of
"Captain Carvallo" with Kath-
erine Cornell and Cedric Hard-
wicke. The show will come to
Cleveland after a run in Detroit.
In the East, students in or
around Philadelphia will have
the opportunity to see the prem-
iere of Sidney Kingsley's adap-
tation of Arthur Koestler's
"Darkness at Noon." It will open
on December 26 with Claude
Rains back on the stage after
a fifteen year absence.
For those Bostonians who have
not seen "Death of a Salesman"
yet, the show will play there dur-
ing the vacation with Thomas
I Mitchell in the starring role.
Boston will also be the tryout
town for "Second Threshold," a
new play by the late Phillip Bar-
rie as revised by Robert Sher-
wood. It stars Clive Brook, of
England, and Margaret Phillips.
The play deals with the conflict
between a brilliant man who has
lost his will to live and his daugh-
ter whose plans to marry are en-
,EDITOR'S NOTE: The ensuing
correspondence, salvaged from a
wastebasket, is printed in lieu of a
really fine story which never got
written. The story was to have been
handled by a veteran reporter, but-
he failed miserably in his assign-
ment and has since been heard
from no more.
MEMO TO BOB KEITH:
We need something unique for
our supplement. Go out and inter-
view those Christmas trees in
front of the library.
MEMO TO DAVE THOMAS-
In view of several previous en-
gagements, I would find it very
difficult to fulfill your recent re-
MEMO TO KEITH:
That wasn't a request, it was an
order. Go to it.
MEMO TO THOMAS:
Let's be sensible about this. If
you would like a story about the
greenery and tinsel, the snow and
beauty, and the marvelous great-
ness of the yuletide season, I
would be more than happy to
write it. But your order to talk to
some Christmas trees lies in the
realm of the insipid. I won't do
MEMO TO KEITH:
This is a stick. Get on it.
MEMO TO THOMAS:
This shouldn't even happen to
James Pooler or Alexander Botts
even. I stood in front of the
Library today and watched those
trees for fifteen minutes. Nothing
happened. So I said "hello." Still
no results. Then I started popping
questions, such as "How does it
feel to have some of your branches
"wired on," I thought this might
embarrass them into replying. It
didn't, so I guess there's no story.
MEMO TO KEITH:
Just what do you mean, no
story? You've uncovered an un-,
beatable angle, what with thosel
artificial limbs. Assume that the!
trees are female, and ask' them
what it feels like to have all their
most alluring features padded.
This could be written up within a'
framework of subtle allegory and
satire. Get going.
MEMO TO THOMAS:
I just talked to a forester and
'he intimated that female trees are
rare. I gathered from what he
said that most plant life is bi-
Ace Reporter Passes from Scene
Anyhow, how can one
MEMO TO KEITH:
Great angle! Get a picture to
go along with this. Ana finish the
story by tonight or your head will
MEMO TO THOMAS:
No picture is to be had. Those
ever-fearful women's staffers have
locked the whole photography
staff in the darkroom and the
key has disappeared. I think we
both realize that my story would
not be adequate without a picture,
and besides, even if we had a pic-
ture it wouldn't be much good
without a story. Therefore I feel
it inadvisable for me to pursue
the assignment any farther.
To write anything based on the
material at hand would only re-
sult in filling your columns with
baloney. This, of course, you
would never, never tolerate. With
kind regards, I remain, sincerely,
MEMO TO KEITH:
Your newspaper credentials and
personal effects have been sent
out in the morning ,mail and
should reach you shortly. With
There are 500 known violins in
the world today made by the fam-
ed Italian craftsman of the 17th
and 18th century.
Experts believe that Stradivarius
who lived and worked to the ripe
old age of 92, produced twice this
number during his lifetime, but
that the remainder have been lost
through fire, flood and war.,
* * *
FOR GENERATIONS, however,
a spurious label business has per-
petuated the hopes of many, and
cashed in on their gullibility. But
some of the spurious labels are
not meant for deception. Manufac-
turing houses dress up their stan-
dard violins with labels reading
"Antonius Stradivarius - model."
And there are many violins bear-
ing the label "Antonius Stradivar-
ius-made in Japan."
The resulting confusion has
caused numerous books on the
subject and has placed great
weight on the opinions of vio-
lin experts throughout t h e
world, opinions that have often
been dragged into court trials
over the authenticity of a pur-
Even if one of the aspiring fid-
dles does turn out to be an origi-
nal Strad, the selling price is a
fluctuating one and often not the
fantastic amount envisaged by the
In 1928, at the peak of prosper-
ity the average sale was $10,000.
The same instrument during the
depression sold for $3,000 and a
year ago for anywhere between
$12,000 and $28,000.
WANTED-One original Stradivarius violin. Pictured above is the rogues gallery portrait of the
"Joest" violin, a Strad formally owned by Prof. Gilbert Ross of the School of Music. The location of
this violin is known, but other members of the family may still be at large. Be on the lookout!
IcO ? PATIOWJO74D
S yTWU NO1CTE
"It's your turn to wash, Rover!"
* * *
Another famous Strad, the
"Joest." was owned by Prof. Ross
for 20 years, but was sold by him
in 1947. To his knowledge there
are no Stradivarius' instruments
Prof. Ross, however, does not set
himself up as an expert. His first
words to any hopeful Strad pos-
sessor are "Take it to a recognized
Ross compares his task of dis-
solving the hopeful's illusions to!
that of a doctor telling his pa-
tient that he has cancer.
"I dread it, but never refuse to
see any of them. The odds are
small, but you can never tell when
someone might actually have
found the real thing."
Trip to Europe
To e Awarded
NEW YORK - A scholarship
trip to Europe next summer, with
all expenses paid, will be awarded
to the person who writes the best
essay entitled, "Why I Would Like
to Go Hosteling in Europe," it was
announced yesterday by officials
of American Youth Hostels.
The winner in nation-wide com-
petition for this trip will join one
of the supervised groups sponsored
by AYH and will spend eight weeks
abroad. He will have his choice of
U.S. EXPERT VISITS:
British To Be Judged
For Male Magnetism'
* All, Different Colors
* Many Styles
* For Men, Women, Children
RAMSAY CANFIELD, Inc.
119 East Liberty
-Red-haired Lisa Lengyel, who
teaches American men the uses
of "male magnetism" in handling
their women, tiptoed down a lin-
er's gangplank here for a 30-day
look at Britain's reserved men-
Lisa, who is founder and di-
rector of the American Institute
for the Study and Development
of Male Magnetism (AISDMM) in
New York, said she has two jobs
1. Select this island's "ten most
2. See whether there's enough
demand for "male magnetism"
lessons here to justify setting up
a branch of the AISDMM.
MISS LENGYEL, well-groomed
and exuding "female magnetism,"
impressed on newsmenthe neces-
sity for getting these basic facts
straight about the male-British
"The perfect man would strike
a woman as being a threat, a
promise, and a mystery. I would
sum him up as a well-mannered
"Men do not need to be hand-
some to attract women-but they
must have charm and personal-
ity, they must be interesting con-
versationalists and they must have
a certain amount of practical
MISS LENGYEL, who weighs
122 pounds and is five feet three
inches high, said her perfect man
"would have the character of an
Englishman, the polish of a
Frenchman, and the businessI
training of an American."
Miss Lengyel said she gives
lessons to 250 American men
ranging from boys in their early
20's to worried businessmen in
She shows them how to dress-
buying their entire wardrobe if
necessary--and even gets a re-
port from each man after he re-
turns from a date.
'_ _ _ _ _''III
508 East William Street
trips to the British Isles, Central
THE MOST EXPENSIVE Stra- Europe or France and the Rhine-
divarius in history, the "Betts" land.
brought a record price of $100,000
in 1937. At present it is housed in Full information and applica-
the Library of Congress. Its high tion forms for the scholarship may
collector's value is due to its never be obtained from National Head-
having been played since Stradi- quarters, American Youth Hostels,
varius completed it in 1709. 6 East 39th Street, New York 16,1
FOR YEAR-ROUND PLEASURE ON
EACH PRADES FESTIVAL
Casals, Serkin, Tabuteau, et al.
10 Records.........,..............$4.85 each
BEETHOVEN: Ninth Symphony
N.Y. Philharmonic, Soloists, Chorus under Walter
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SL 159 ................... ..... ....$9.70
CHRISTMAS STORE HOURS
Open Wednesday Till 9 P.M.
Christmas Festivities, continued -
3-speed PHONOGRAPHS mean
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BROTHER JIM will welcome a phono-
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All the New Records -
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Ukeleles, Violins, Cellos, or
BRAHMS: German Requiem
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus
SL 157 ..........................
PUCCINI: La Boheme
Sayao, Baccaloni, Met. Chorus and Orchestra
SL 101 .... ............................$9.70
VERDI: La Traviata
Soloists, Chorus, Orchestra of Rome Opera
SL 103 ..............................$14.55
WAGNER: Die Walkure (Act 3)
Traubel, Janssen, Met. Opera Ensemble
SLI105 ....................... ....... $9.70
Carnegie Halt Jazz Concert,. 1938
Goodman, James, Krupa, etc.
For the person who has everything . . . there is no gift
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