Clouds of dust fly off clusters of bows and almost invariably the best cases are the ones which contain the worst instruments.
However, on the basis that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, they nearly always contain something worthwhile. We have a violin in our January sale that was consigned as part of a much larger collection. Leaving aside the dispiriting collection of Maidstone Murdoch’s and Saxon grimness, twinkling through the nonsense, was a really pretty Neapolitan violin. Reminiscent of a Januarius Gagliano, it is one of my favourite items in the auction.
And this happens far more often than you might imagine. The Lamy bow (genuine), surrounded by Sartorys (fake). It keeps the job interesting and keeps Amati relevant.