Ref :   0653

A good Anglo-French violin by the firm of
Rivière & Hawkes
London, 1885

In 1857 the French violinmaker and dealer, Jules Prudence Rivière (1818 - 1900) emigrated to England and in 1865 established a partnership with the publisher William H. Hawkes. (This is the same Hawkes of the publishing firm Boosey and Hawkes.) Their partnership was known as Rivière & Hawkes and even though today their legacy is best marked by the excellent double basses they produced, they also made, imported and distributed a range of other instruments including many violins of different qualities and models. The quality was always very good. They operated at 28 Leicester Square, London. The firm dissolved when Rivière withdrew from it in 1889.

Whatever the exact sources of their instruments were, or the extent to which Jules Rivière had a hand in their making, is not clear today, but it can be said with certainty that these instruments, although sold in London, were almost entirely made according to French traditions and at first sight can be called French.

This violin - a Professor Violin model made in 1885 - is in impeccable condition. What strikes one first about it is the excellent choice of materials - a very finely grained spruce top, with well-flamed maple back and sides. It is made along French lines, with immaculate attention to detail, particularly in the purfling and the f-holes, the palettes of which are nicely fluted. The whole violin shows careful workmanship in the traditions of la bonne lutherie française. It was recently fitted with a rosewood tailpiece and chinrest to match the original rosewood tuning pegs.

This instrument has a strong, bright and open sound and speaks easily throughout the register. What is particularly appealing is the richness of the g-string. In quality it is a few cuts above the workmanship of the firms of Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (JTL) and Humbert-Laberte Frères, at least in tonal properties.


Dimensions :
  Back length: 36 cm

Condition :
  Impeccable. Other than a superficial mark in the varnish next to the fingerboard, and a few scratches as is normal in violins 135 years old, this violin is without a crack or discernable repairs

Provenance :

Price : Withheld


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