Ref :   1064

A good French copy of a 1671 violin by Francesco Ruggieri, made by the firm of
Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (JTL)
Mirecourt, circa 1920

go to Home Page
see more Violins
This is a very well-toned violin in superb condition. It appears to be a deliberate copy of (or at least extensively influenced by) Ruggieri's work on which it purports to be based. As much as we are all familiar with the standard and different models and labels of the JTL workshops, this violin is the first (and only) Ruggieri copy I have ever encountered from the JTL stable. It appears to have been made around 1920. Although clearly labelled as a JTL product (with the Ruggieri label slightly overlapping the JTL label, there is actually not much that recommends this violin as French work. This raises the question whether JTL in later years might have been sourcing instruments elsewhere for distribution under the JTL banner. But that remains speculative.

In this violin the outline certainly follows that of Ruggieri (approximately) and the arching is deeper and more in line with Italian work than with that normally associated with French work. And this includes the Fs which are more associated with Ruggieri's style. The only element here that might point at French roots is a back length of 36.2 cm.

The two-piece back, ribs and scroll are of good maple, evidently of the same piece of wood. The top is of medium-grained tone spruce. The purfling and F's are sharp and neat. Workmanship throughout this violin is fine and well-executed, on a par with the best associated with JTL instruments. The violin is in superb condition with no cracks to the plates and with no evident repairs. The varnish is a light golden-brown.

This instrument has an interesting provenance and it is hoped that it would eventually be in the hands of someone who would appreciate its history and fine qualities.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 36.2 cm

Condition :
  This violin is in superb condition with no cracks and with no evident repairs. It is currently fitted with a student-type tailpiece which can be replaced.

Provenance :
  This violin belonged to a professional musician in England, a lady who played it for people in bomb shelters to distract them from the horrors of the air raids during the war. After the war she gave it to her niece, also a professional musician who studied at the Royal College of London and who played in various orchestras in England. It was her principal instrument. She had no family and after her retirement lived in considerable isolation in a cottage. In old age she eventually gave the violin to another lady - also a violinist - who often called on her. It would appear that this violin was in the hands of three women, all three of whom had known difficulties.
Current ownership withheld.

Price : On request


home                     violins                     violas                    cellos                    bows             

p o box 14    ballito    4420 kzn    south africa            mobile : +27 (0) 78 0148000             email: