The 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.
This is a great French violin by Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre. It’s a Stradivari copy in the high Paris style, and it’s in excellent condition, numbered 310 and branded internally on the inner back and the top block. There’s a neatly repaired crack running up from the treble f-hole, otherwise it’s very clean, with minimal wear to the original varnish.
For a while now HC Silvestre has been my favourite maker – very few makers consistently achieve a first-class tone, and amongst late 19th century makers he’s in a league of his own. This particular instrument is probably the best example I have played – it simply has everything you would want from a violin, warmth, clarity, smoothness, power, great balance, beauty of tone and intense playability. A genuinely outstanding violin.
Dimensions: 35.7cm, stop 129/196cm
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