Joseph Chardon was the son in law of Geroges Chanot, also his apprentice and his successor. Born in 1843 he lived a long life, and was assisted in the family business by his son Georges Chardon. This viola was made around 1915-1920, and it still owes a lot stylistically to the wonderful instruments of Georges Chanot.
This is quite an impressive instrument. Very crisp details without the harsh lines of so many Parisian makers, a scroll which has changed little in design from the superb scrolls of Georges Chanot, and an impossible richness of colour for an oil varnish.
The arching is also classic Chanot, very flat yet long.
The condition of the instrument is excellent, with no cracks or damages whatsoever.
Chanot school instruments are very highly regarded for their tone, and this viola lives up to the standard. It’s loud and projecting without the nasality that bedevils a lot of French trade work. The low arching enables the instrument to move a lot of air and produce a big sound full of overtones, slightly fuzzy and enveloping. Very smooth, musical and easy to play, with excellent balance through the register – this would be a great instrument for a serious quartet player.
Dimensions: length of back 399mm, vibrating string length 36.1cm
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