Collin-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. This example is in excellent condition, with only the inevitable wing crack to the treble f-hole to report. The varnish is a bit chipped and scuffed, but edges and corners are well preserved.
Authentic Collin-Mézin instruments always have inking to the scroll and rib joins, the labels are dated, and there’s a very characteristic signature south of the soundpost.
I play hundreds of fine Italian violins every year which don’t have the solidity or musical versatility of this violin, and it’s baffling that players so often choose price tag over sound quality.
Collin-Mézins are so popular because they just work! This one is no exception – it’s built on a Guarneri-inspired model and is darker in character than the more typical Strad model. It has a well-balanced sound, quite resistant and focused but still powerful, smooth and friendly. As always with Collin-Mézins it retains the same character throughout the register – no wolf notes, no weak notes, no pokey notes. There’s no limit to how hard you can play this violin, and it would be ideal for a budding soloist or an enlightened professional.
Length of back 35.8cm, stop 130/193mm, total length 59cm
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