Georges Chanot is generally regarded as the finest French violin maker after Nicolas Lupot. He was a renowned conoisseur of Italian violins, and his del Gesu copies are particularly sought after. This is a great example, and the sound is as good as it gets.
For some general observations about Georges Chanot’s work, have a look at the description of this Strad model violin we are currently offering
This violin is a very finely observed copy, with all the gung-ho fluidity of a real del Gesu. The materials used are very true, the varnish also.
The condition is a bit of a mixed bag. The back and ribs are untouched – there are some restorations to the table but unusually no post or bassbar cracks. There are fine and well repaired cracks leading down from the base of each f-hole, wing cracks each side, and some disruption to the grain either side of the fingerboard. The scroll has been re-cheeked on the D and A pegs. So nothing very important of itself, but quite a few repairs nonetheless.
People tend to rave about Chanot’s Guarneri copies, and playing this violin I can see why. I’ve never really come across a violin with this combination of creamy smoothness, articulacy and sheer muscle. In fact none of the del Gesus I’ve tried have sounded as much like a del Gesu as this violin does!
We don’t pretend it’s cheap, but the sound is genuinely extraordinary – about as far away from the popular “idée reçu” of the French sound as it’s possible to be. Capable of the most delicate whisper or a mighty roar, in my view this is one of the great violins.