Ref :   0950

A very good Italian violin by
Neck and scroll by Didier Nicolas l'ainé (1757-1833)
Milano, circa 1880

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This is an unusually attractive violin in excellent condition and with exceptional tonal properties which lend itself to solo concert performance. The tone is rich and focussed with intensity and projection in the g-string and clarity and power in the high register. It responds with ease.

Despite very little biographical information being available about this maker, he is listed by the authorities William Henley and René Vannes and also in Karel Jalovec's work 'Italian Violin Makers' as having worked in Milan during the period 1865 to 1890. The modern expert and commentator, John Dilworth, confirms this. All of them mention his superb and meticulous work in the Stradivari model and the use of reddish-brown varnish, which largely describes this violin.

It should be stated that the neck and scroll are not original to this violin, but is by the important French maker, Didier Nicolas, L'ainé (1757-1833). The previous neck and scroll definitely wasn't original to the violin, was of very poor quality and was poorly fitted. I had this Didier Nicolas neck in my collection (previously from the J. J. van de Geest collection) and after some analysis it was clear that the Nicolas neck would fit perfectly onto this violin - even the varnish matched. The neck block was replaced and the Nicolas neck and scroll fitted, making for a superb combination in an excellent violin.

This violin is made of finely selected materials - the top is of unusually good tone spruce with a very fine growth lines at the centre seam, opening slightly to the flanks. The top is in excellent condition with only minor repairs. The back and ribs are of nicely figured maple with a distinct medium to broad curl, making for appealing flames. The Fs reveal a steady and experienced hand. It is particularly the reddish brown varnish, with a touch of ruby, that give this violin a particular visual appeal that lingers and keeps drawing the eye.

This is an excellent instrument for a serious violinist.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 360 mm

Condition :
  Excellent condition with only minor repairs to the plates, professionally done.
The new neck block was fitted and a neck and scroll by the French maker, Didier Nicolas l'ainé was fitted. This work was undertaken by Svend Christensen.
This violin is structurally secure with new pegs, new endpin, a new nut and a fresh setup which includes Pirastro Evah Pirazzi strings.

Provenance :
  This violin belongs to Johan Grobbelaar

Price : P.O.A.


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