An excellent Mirecourt violin with a fine tone, rather better than your average Collin-Mézin! Lovely size and in near perfect condition.

I’m a big fan of better Mirecourt trade violins – for sound they often rival C20 Italian violins costing 10 times the price. Their only drawback is that they tend to be big, with 35.9 and 36cm being the standard. However, here we have a very good example of the genre in a rather more comfortable size. In fact everything about this violin is a bit better than average – the wood is first class, the workmanship very precise, the scroll exquisitely French. The label states “Giacomo Luigeri” etc. but this is an Italianized version of Charles Brugère. Like many Parisian makers, Brugère sold personal models under his own label but also offered less expensive instruments for students, often bought in the white from Mirecourt and thicknessed and finished by apprentices in the workshop.

The varnish is subtle and lustrous, with the scroll and corner edges nicely set off in black. The condition of this violin is faultless – a few dings to the varnish but no cracks or damages whatsoever.

The other accusation that is quite reasonably levelled at Mirecourt instruments of the period is that they are a bit bright and strident. Not this violin! The tone is rich and smooth, tending to the dark, but still clear and articulate. It’s a very fine sounding instrument, full of colour and very engaging. The sound is consistent and well balanced throughout the register, always smooth, rich and musical and never harsh.

Really an exceptional violin of its type…

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