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Just in: Well-known violin dealer is charged with larceny

Connecticut media are reporting that Charles Magby Jr., owner of Charles Magby Fine Violins Ltd., has been charged with first-degree larceny.

Police say they have received complaints from customers who deposited instruments with Magby for sale or repair and have been unable to get them back. The instruments range  in value from $3,000 to $100,000+; they include violins, cellos and bows.

Magby, 63, has been released on $50,000 surety bond. He has traded in the US and internationally for over 30 years.




The police investigation deals a further blow to a trade that has been destabilised by the jailing in Austria of dealer Dietmar Machold and the disappearance of more than a dozen previous instruments.



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  1. Renee Bradley says:

    I’m hoping those customers will be able to get their instruments back.

  2. Renee Bradley says:

    Also hoping this is somehow a big misunderstanding!

    • M. Lovett says:

      It is no misunderstanding. He stole 3 bows and a cello from me, valued at 27,000 and I have been trying to recover them or the money for 3-4 years! Police would not help and I have spent $4000 on private investigators and attorneys. I have little hope. I have known him for maybe 30 years and always believed he was a friend. Sadly mistaken.

      • Renee Bradley says:

        Very sorry to hear that. I have been dealing with Charlie for many years and I’m so disappointed to hear this!

      • my comment was just eaten by cyber when update shut down my cptr. no more details. Only that I filed report in 2008 or so with G.P.D., officer Tulko. Basic same story. Magby was to refurbish antique rare French and German violins, Antique Japanese and German bows. fine Czech bow, left in cases with antique violin tools and other special items. This around 2002. Song and dance through the years. Jane Whitemore accepted the instructions to handle with special care and no rush job. She must know a lot of his business dealings after working for him for twenty years and getting her fine cello from him.
        This man needs to teach classes in his own prison for the rest of his life. I seem unsympathetic cause I’m too old and this is too painful.

  3. Helen Pellegrini says:

    Charles “lost” a violin we had put in his shop on consignment. Not so much ($1,200) but oh my. I too had thought that it was just simply disorganization, but now I am wondering. It has been only a year of waiting for my check.

    I am also very disappointed because I know he really is a fine craftsman and would like to believe there is still some art in the world.

    Nevertheless, I am contemplating contacting the authorities, because there is no reason for other young players and their parents to be victims.

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