Ref :   0984

A good French violin
Probably Mirecourt, c. 1890

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The French school of violin making operated in such an insular and somewhat closed manner that it is set far apart from more flexible practices elsewhere, to the extent that it is quite easy to identify French roots in an instrument. However, attributing a maker or studio to an instrument is often more difficult. Mirecourt was and still is home to many workshops and its output of instruments during the late 19th and early 20th centuries reached proportions that have not since been equalled, at least not in Western Europe.

Identifying this unlabelled violin as being of French origin is easy in itself, but establishing its authorship is more complex. A calculated guess would date it to the very late 19th century. The main Mirecourt studios in those days were those of Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy ('JTL'), Marc Laberte, Laberte-Magnié, Justin Derazey, the Bernardel enterprise, to mention just a few. This doesn't look like JTL work, but attributing it to another studio is not simple as they all worked along the same lines and subscribed to the same perspectives and guidelines of French lutherie.

This violin is well-toned - strong, clear and responsive and speaks with ease. Materials throughout are attractive and the reddish-brown varnish is very transparent, showing off the wood nicely. The top is of an unusually finely grained tone spruce. The two-piece back and ribs are of nicely figured maple with a broad curl. Workmanship throughout is clean and steady.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 36.0 cm

Condition :
  Excellent condition.
The varnish is worn in places from natural use revealing the beautiful yellow ground making for an appealing condition. Some scratches in the top are superficial and normal in instruments of this age.
The only discernable repair is to a crack in the treble flank of the pegbox, which has been secured with a solid graft over the crack and with a wooden pin from the back into the flank, professionally done and solid. The violin has new pegs, endpin and setup and is currently fitted with professional Evah Pirazzi strings by Pirastro.

Provenance :
  Owned by Johan Grobbelaar

Price : P.O.A.


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