Etienne Laprevotte is a rare Parisian maker who brought innovation and refinement to an essentially Mirecourt style. He is well documented in the literature as luthier to the Duke of Bordeaux, and principally known as a maker of fine guitars. This is the only violin I have seen of his, and all the more rare for being in excellent condition.
When you actually start looking, there are so many extraordinary makers based in Paris in the early 1800s. It would be hard to imagine two more different violins than our Joseph Calot and this Laprevotte, and yet they were made in the same city within 10 years of each other. This violin owes much more to the early 19th century Mirecourt tradition (cf. Didier Nicolas) than to Lupot or to Vieux Paris, but it’s a highly individual piece of work nonetheless. Very flat arching, one-piece front and back of excellent quality, very refined and individual edgework, an unusually artistic scroll and a superb orange-brown oil varnish.
The condition is exceptional for the age of the violin, with very little varnish wear. There’s a tiny wing crack to the treble f-hole and some wear to the table corners, but that’s it. The original neck has been retained, and built up with a fillet under the fingerboard – always nice to see that.
This is a violin which has been designed with a good deal of intelligence. The sound is smooth, warm and full with a great response. It’s a very easy violin to play, and there are no false notes or weak spots in the register. For my taste it’s a bit lacking in aggression, but if you are looking for an instrument that will blend easily and create a wide fruity sound it would be ideal. A lovely violin for chamber music, and a great choice for historically informed classical repertoire.
Dimensions: Length of back 36cm, stop 131/195mm
Certificate: Vatelot-Rampal paris 2017
Click or tap an image to enlarge it. Click or tap again to supersize.
Are you interested in this Etienne Laprevotte violin?
Look at other French violins like this.