This is a fine French violin by Georges Coné, made in 1935, no. 53. It’s in near perfect condition and has a big, warm, fruity sound.
Georges Coné was the inheritor of the unique Lyon violin-making tradition handed down through the Silvestres, Paul Blanchard and Emile Boulangeot. These violins have always been admired for their tone and for the quality of workmanship, precise yet somehow loose and bold.
This example is unusually well preserved, and apart from some small areas of retouch to the varnish (which is typically soft) there are no condition issues.
It can be irksome when people bang on about “the French sound”. Of course there is no such thing, and while we do find rather a large number of late 19th century Parisian violins which are scratchy and stiff, these are fortunately not representative of French making as a whole.
The sound of this violin illustrates the point perfectly – the first adjective that comes to mind is “honeyed”. It’s warm, smooth and powerful but without sacrificing articulacy or high frequency sizzle. It has great response, excellent balance and consistency of tone throughout the register – in other words, a well thought out and fully realised instrument.