Ref :   0788

A very good French violin by
Ch. J. B. Collin-Mézin père
(1841 - 1923)
Paris, 1886

Sold with documentation by Andreas Post and Josef Vedral

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This violin is an outstanding example of the work of Charles Jean Baptiste Collin-Mézin père (1841-1923) and dates from the period when he was at the peak of his powers - he was about to receive gold and silver medals at the Paris Exhibition of 1889 (and again in 1900). He had also just been named Officer of the Academy of Fine Arts, two years earlier (1884).

After initially studying with his father, Collin-Mézin moved to Paris in 1868 where he became an important maker and restorer, eventually earning him international respect in his own lifetime. Some of his foremost contemporary violinists played on an instrument of his, notably Joachim, Sivori and Léonard, who were all impressed by the clear and powerful tone of his instruments. Armingaud stated that Collin-Mézin would one day compete with Stradivari in flexibility of sound.

This instrument is in an exceptionally fine state, one may almost say in mint condition - it has one small benign crack next to the lower saddle, repaired and held directly by the endblock. The varnish is original - beautiful and clear honey-brown with high transparency, allowing the appreciation of woods. The marks on the top right quarter are merely superficial and typical of an instrument which had been well-used for some 140 years. The two-piece back, ribs, neck and scroll are of really nicely figured maple with a distinct medium curl - very appealing. The top is of medium grained tone spruce. The corners and purfling in this violin are truly impeccable. The Fs are superbly elegant - reminiscent of Pique's work, making the overall impression of this violin extremely pleasing on the eye.

This violin's tone matches its good looks - rich, sonorous, well-balanced and with ample projection. It is suitable for solo work and should be in the hands of a very good violinist who would appreciate its fine qualities and know how to explore its capabilities.

The set-up has been changed since the photos were taken: the violin now has a ebony Hill-type tailpiece, fitted with one golden adjuster on the e-string.

The violin characteristically bears the maker's signature in the back near the sound post, along with his label dated 1886 by hand. It is sold with documentation by the Dutch makers, Josef Vedral (Rotterdam, 1994) and Andreas Post (Amsterdam, 2006).

This maker's work is not to be confused with that of his son, who bears the same names (b. 1870) and who embarked on a more commercial approach to violinmaking.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 35.6 cm

Condition :
  Truly superb condition, free from discernable repairs. Some superficial marks in the top are characteristic of such older instrument which had been well-used.

Provenance :

Price : P.O.A.


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