Ref :   0933

A French violin labelled
Michel-Ange Garini
Lorraine, France. Circa 1910

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The label, 'Michel-Ange Garini' appears to have been used in instruments distributed by the firm of Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (but not made by them). No person by that name is listed in any of the important dictionaries of violin and bow makers - it was purely a generic label used to denote a certain series and quality of instrument.

These instruments apparently were commissioned by the firm of Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (JTL) from another studio in Lorraine, over the period 1900 to 1920. They are generally characterised by an attractive wine-red spirit-based varnish and bear a very simple label, as shown in the photos.

Their objective was to fill the dearth of affordable well-toned instruments in which costs were kept down by employing techniques that resulted in nice-looking good-sounding violins, freed from many of the labour-intensive norms that added little to a violin but loaded the costs. For example, in the case of this violin the purfling is simply marked into to wood, but not actually laid. The 'flames' in the back and sides are in reality a clever manipulation of the varnish during the application to create the impression of rich flames in the wood, whereas a close examination of the details of the varnish show that this is a superficiality. Yet, it works and the impression this creates is of the opulence of highly-flamed materials.

Further, cutting the top and backs in one piece (as in the case of this violin), eliminated the work and effort of gluing two halves together and creating accurate and secure central seams, again lowering costs. Also, the wood in the tops are often of unusually open growth lines - cheaper and at the same time facilitating overtone response resulting in rich tone. The net result of these instruments was simply what they were intended to be - affordable, good-sounding and nice looking - for many students and musicians this is a winning recipe.

The above describes this violin well in every aspect and it serves much as a good example of the 'Michel-Ange Garini' instruments. And yes, it is well-toned, responsive and a pleasure to play on and listen to.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 35.7 cm

Condition :
  This violin has a new nut and pegs and a fresh setup. The G and A string pegs have been rebushed. A hairline crack in the pegbox just below the scroll (at the A string peg) has been professionally repaired and includes a pin vertically through the flank - combined with the rebushed peg, the pegbox is perfectly secure.
Marks and scratches in this violin are superficial. The top sustained some marks from the latch of a violin case which repeated impacted on it when closing the lid carelessly, just below the bass c-bout. This is superficial and does not affect the structural security.
Further, a minor crack at the top end of the treble F has been repaired professionally.
As it is now, this violin is secure and should serve well for many decades.

Provenance :
  The property of Johan Grobbelaar

Price : Withheld


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