Ref :   0729

A superb half-size violin by the French firm of
Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy
Mirecourt, 1910 or earier

The South African-born violinist, Julian Herman, was for many years Concert Master of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and is today a foremost violin teacher in Holland. Julian had his first lessons with his father, Max Herman, in the mid-1950s, and this splendid half-size instrument was his childhood violin at that time.

Max Herman was an important violin teacher in Natal, based in Pietermaritzburg, and was also closely associated with the important Danish violinmaker, Amon Bilmark (1894-1961), who at that time was established in Durban. Bilmark regularly imported very fine instruments into South Africa and it can be said with confidence that this violin was brought into this country by Bilmark and sold to Max Herman for Julian's use.

It is the work of the French violinmaking studio of Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (JTL) in Mirecourt and although undated, it dates from around 1910 or earlier. It has a generic label ('Sébastien Kloz, 1700') in it, but also bears the JTL trademark directly next to it. This violin has nothing to do with Klotz.

The two-piece maple back is nicely flamed with a medium to narrow curl. The ribs, neck and scroll are less figured. The top, as with the rest of the instrument, it free from any cracks or evident repairs. Varnish is a wine-red that only the French ever really got right. Both the corners on the top's g-string side are damaged, probably due to some carelessness on the part of the children who used this violin during the past century, but other than that, this violin is in excellent condition.

The violin was recently set up with a new modern tailpiece with built-in adjusters and with new strings. It has a matching chinrest. It is sold with a case and bow. The bow would require some attention.

The tone is really good - strong, clean and even, well-balanced and responsive. This is the kind of instrument that rewards effort, and makes the learning process a pleasure, both for pupil and teacher.


Dimensions :
  30.2 cm

Condition :
  In excellent structural condition. No cracks or evident repairs. Two corners on the left front are damaged. It was recently set up with a modern tailpiece and new strings. It comes with a chinrest, not shown in the photos.

Provenance :
  Probably brought to Durban in the early 1950s by the violinmaker, Amon Bilmark. Owned by the important teacher, Max Herman, for the use of his son, Julian. Later passed to another musician family. Current ownership withheld.

Price : Withheld
The violin is sold with a case and bow. The bow would require some attention.


home                     violins                     violas                    cellos                    bows             

p o box 14    ballito    4420 kzn    south africa            mobile : +27 (0) 78 0148000             email: