Ref :   0998

A very good French violin labelled
Circa 1880

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This violin has spectacular tone of the quality one would want for the performance of the major concertos and solo recitals. Not only is the tone big, focussed, responsive with clarity and balance, but it is also imbued with nobility and richness of colour which allows for expressive playing in any dynamic range - from loud to very quiet passages. It has a clear and strong soloistic quality that is beautiful on the ear and carries well in a hall.

Although at this time this violin's exact authorship remains unknown, a foremost international expert in London has recently confirmed that the violin was made in France. This confirms the initial impression based on the superb selection of materials and overall workmanship that it has French origins. However, this instrument appears to be based on a Guadagnini pattern - somewhat broad and full with slightly elongated Fs and a general 'Guad' feel. The scroll is superbly made, very balanced with carefully crafted crisp edges, quite deeply cut into the curl and with tidy fluting completing the full turn.

Workmanship throughout is of a very high standard. What remains unclear though is that despite such good workmanship, beautiful materials and tonal achievement, this violin is fitted with a generic Guadagnini label which clearly cannot point at the true authorship.

What is of interest though is that Antonio Guadagnini (1831-1881) greatly expanded business with French makers and it is understood that he commissioned instruments based on his model and specifications from some French makers - those instruments were constructed in France according to the Guadagnini specifications and finished off in the Guadagnini workshop in Turin.

It would be conceivable that this violin might be one such instrument. However, further consultation about this with experts in Europe should shed light on the matter in the future.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 35.8 cm
Upper bout: 17.6 cm
Middle bout: 12.0 cm
Lower bout: 21.2 cm.
Rib height: 28 mm

Condition :
  Excellent condition.
Repaired wingcracks on both Fs are stable. A minor crack in one rib has been repaired. No other cracks are evident anywhere.
The neck appears to have been reset and the two pins in the neck button is probably the consequence of that repair.
This violin is structurally stable throughout.

Provenance :
  The property of Johan Grobbelaar

Price : On application


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