The Laberte Workshops in Mirecourt produced a phenomenal number of violins in the early 1900s, in all shapes, sizes, and price brackets. This is a perfectly preserved “Vuillaume” labelled violin, a good midrange Laberte with an exceptional sound.
We always try to keep a few exceptional sounding student violins, and these are invariably Laberte or JTL instruments. The big Mirecourt firms succeeded in producing very professional instruments which were inexpensive to make but which prioritised sound quality – their instruments gained worldwide popularity, and a hundred years later they are still the best choice for a player on a tight budget.
This violin has a “modèle d’après Jean Baptiste Vuillaume” label, but in fact it’s a classic Laberte model with . The varnish is lightly antiqued on the back, and beautifully preserved throughout. There are no cracks or damages, and the violin is well set up with new pegs, bridge and tailpiece. Aside from a couple of minor blemishes to the varnish, this violin is in outstanding condition.
In its price range this violin is pretty much flawless. The sound is well balanced from bottom to top, musical, friendly and articulate. There are no weak notes or harsh spots in the register, there’s plenty of volume, and the overall tone is sweet and fresh. I would quite happily use this violin myself – it doesn’t have the sophistication of a classical Cremonese instrument but it’s as good as most violins that are 10 times the price.
Dimensions: length of back 35.9cm, stop 130/195mm
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