French Violins

Fine French violins, selected for tone.

A Mirecourt Violin labelled Serafin, circa 1920

£1,850

A Mirecourt Violin labelled SerafinA lovely and very typical early 20th century Mirecourt violin in perfect condition, bearing a label for Santo Serafin 1720. More details


A Mirecourt Violin circa 1920

£3,000

Mirecourt ViolinA lovely Mirecourt violin with a stunning one-piece birds-eye maple back – in excellent condition and with a great sound. More details


Mirecourt Violin, Charles Brugère Workshop, 1907

£5,000

Charles Brugère Workshop violinAn excellent Mirecourt violin with a fine tone, rather better than your average Collin-Mézin! Lovely size and in near perfect condition. More details


A Fine Mirecourt Violin circa 1890

£6,000

Fine Mirecourt ViolinThis is a lovely Mirecourt violin of some quality, broadly equivalent to a late 19th century Collin-Mézin. It has well conceived arching, finely worked edges and corners, and delicately fluted f-holes. It’s in excellent condition – just two repaired wing cracks to report, otherwise no cracks or repairs. The varnish is oil, very well preserved, with an attractive hint of craquelure. More details


Charles JB Collin-Mézin 7/8 Violin, 1901

£8,500

7/8 ViolinHere’s a very fine 7/8 Collin-Mézin with a 4/4 sound! It’s in spectacular condition for its age, and it plays beautifully. More details


Jerome Thibouville-Lamy Violin, Mirecourt 1905

£9,000

Jerome Thibouville-Lamy Violin, Mirecourt 1905Jerome Thibouville-Lamy, or JTL, is one of the best-known names in the violin trade. The JTL mega-workshops in the Vosges produced hundreds of thousands of violins from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. Mostly these were student violins which have remained popular on account of their excellent sound. But they also produced beautiful handmade “violons de maitre”, most likely the work of Alfred Acoulon More details


Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1898

£12,000

Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1898Collin-Mézin is probably one of the best known names in the violin trade. Although the firm went rather downhill in the 20th century, pre-1900 violins by Collin-Mézin Senior are very sought after, partly because they represent the best in Mirecourt workmanship, partly because they are always successful tonally. More details


Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1890

£18,500

Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1890We have four Paul Bailly violins right now – perhaps that’s some indication of how I rate him as a maker. This is the least expensive due to the back length, but it has a fantastic sound. More details


Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1875

Recently sold

Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1875Paul Bailly is definitely the most interesting maker to have come out of the Vuillaume shop, and this is the first of 3 violins of his which we will be offering. Bailly was a tireless experimenter – he also moved house a lot, working in Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Reims, Leeds, and finally Paris again! Very few makers worked to so many different models, and yet his style is always distinctive, with a softness around the edges quite uncharacteristic of French making in this period, More details


Georges Chanot (II) Violin, London 1861

£25,000

Georges Chanot ViolinIs this a French violin or an English violin? Hard to say! It was made in London, but Chanot himself was French, and had come to London ten years earlier to work alongside fellow Frenchman Charles Maucotel. There was a huge influx of French makers on the London scene at this time, and the Chanot family in particular became a vital part of English violin making. More details


Paul Bailly Violin, London 1890

£25,000

Paul Bailly Violin, London 1890Paul Bailly is definitely the most interesting maker to have come out of the Vuillaume shop, and this is the second of three violins of his which we will be offering. Bailly was a tireless experimenter – he also moved house a lot, working in Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Reims, Leeds, and finally Paris again! More details


Paul Blanchard Violin, Lyon 1894

£30,000

Paul Blanchard ViolinPaul Blanchard was an outstanding maker who worked for HC Silvestre before setting up his own workshop in Lyon. The violins he made pre-1900 are vey highly regarded, and the del Gesu models particularly so. This violin is a spectacular example in mint condition, with an outstanding concert sound. More details


Charles Adolphe Maucotel Violin, Paris circa 1850

£32,000

Charles Adolphe Maucotel Violin“A Vuillaume by any other name would smell as sweet …”! Here we have a superb sounding violin by Vuillaume’s right hand man, Charles Adolphe Maucotel. It is in almost all respects indistinguishable from a Vuillame, and it has a superb concert sound. More details


Alberto Blanchi Violin, Nice 1904

£35,000

Alberto Blanchi ViolinAlberto Blanchi was perhaps the most refined maker of the Nice school. Although his name sounds Italian, his work is French through and through, coming from Pacherel, Bovis, and his father Auguste Blanchi. His work is very artistic, and this violin is a great example – Guarneri model, lustrous cherry-red varnish, a dramatic one piece back and a fantastic scroll. The condition is near-mint and the sound is bold yet delightful. More details


Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre Violin, Paris 1892

£37,500

Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre ViolinThe Silvestre family are at the heart of French violin-making in the 19th century. Pierre Silvestre worked with Lupot and Gand, and subsequently trained most of the great Lyon makers. Hippolyte worked for Vuillaume before joining his brother in Lyon. Their nephew Hippolyte Chrétien brought all this vast experience together and produced beautiful instruments which are unrivalled both for sound and for quality of workmanship. More details


Joseph Hel Violin, Lille 1889

£38,500

Joseph Hel ViolinThis is a very fine del Gesu copy by one of the most interesting of late 19th century French makers, Joseph Hel. Generally Hel worked to a Stradivari pattern, and his Guarneri models are quite rare and much admired This example is in unusually fine condition with no cracks or damages, and the sound is world class. More details


Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844

£50,000

Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844The Silvestres were exceptional makers, and their success owes much to their training with Nicolas Lupot and JB Vuillaume. The two brothers worked together from 1829 until 1848, and this violin is a very fine example of their collaborative work. It’s in an exceptional state of preservation, free from repairs or damages, and with very little wear to the original varnish. More details


Pierre Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1852

£55,000

KEYWORDSPierre Silvestre is one of the greatest of French violin makers – he was direct successor to Lupot, and founder of the all-important Lyon school. I have a real soft spot for the Silvestres, but Pierre was the real talent! This violin is a rare Guarneri pattern, it’s in great condition if rather well-loved, and the sound is exceptional. More details


Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1862

£57,500

Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1862Pierre and Hippolyte Silvestre were exceptional makers, and their success owes much to their training with Nicolas Lupot and JB Vuillaume respectively. The two brothers worked together from 1829 until 1848, and then worked independently – Hippolyte survived his brother by 20 years and produced the greater number of instruments, but both makers are accorded equal status within the trade. This Guarneri model violin is a superb example of Hippolyte’s later work, and it’s in great condition. More details


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