Ref :   0787

A very good three-quarter-size French child violin by the firm of
Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (JTL)
Mirecourt, circa 1890

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Almost every violin teacher will confirm that the progress a child makes in the early years of playing is often directly proportional to the quality of the instrument the child is playing on. Whereas some poor-quality violins simply cannot produce a decent sound, no matter how hard the child tries (usually to great discouragement), it is the better instruments that reward good effort with good results - serving as encouragement and incentive to work harder and make good progress.

This three-quarter child violin is exceptionally well-toned and suitable for almost any demand a child could wish to make on it. The g-string is really responsive with a rich focussed sonority and the high register is equally pleasing with projection, clarity and focus. It's tone alone makes it a desirable instrument.

This violin is one of the series labelled LE PARISIEN by the French firm of Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (JTL), which denoted their high-end output, noted for good materials, good workmanship and very good tone. This violin is undated, but the date 1875 was added by hand, probably through the sound hole - likely not by the makers, but probably by a previous owner. The violin was probably made around 1890. Now, after some 120 years, the sound has matured and is really very good.

As with most child instruments of this age, having been in the hands of several generations of children, one can expect some wear, a few scratches and nicks, and this violin is no exception. But it remains in excellent structural condition after all this time, have recently been fully restored by a Mittenwald-trained violinmaker. It should serve many more children in the decades ahead.

The beautiful one-piece back, neck and scroll are of excellent well-flamed maple with a straight medium curl - the sides are less figured. The top is of good tone spruce and fittings are of solid ebony. This is in keeping with the use of good materials that is a hallmark of JTL. This is an exceptionally good instrument from that maker.


Dimensions :
  Three-quarter size.
Length of back: 33.0 cm. String stop length: 30.0 cm

Condition :
  Structurally excellent. Recently completely restored with new pegs and new top saddle. The fingerboard was reprofiled to remove string pitting from years of playing. Two minor cracks in the top have been repaired and cleated. All marks on the top and scratches are merely superficial and have no structural impact. The varnish is original and intact.

Provenance :
  Owned by Johan Grobbelaar. Earlier provenance withheld.

Price : Withheld


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