Pierre Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1852


Pierre Silvestre ViolinPierre Silvestre is one of the greatest of French violin makers – he was direct successor to Lupot, and founder of the all-important Lyon school. I have a real soft spot for the Silvestres, but Pierre was the real talent! This violin is a rare Guarneri pattern, it’s in great condition if rather well-loved, and the sound is exceptional.

I always keep an eye out for Silvestre violins – they are quite as finely made as Vuillaumes, and often sound better. For me, French violin-making reached its summit with Nicolas Lupot, and Pierre Silvestre continued his tradition well into the 19th century, somewhat in competition with Vuillaume.

The workmanship of this violin is exquisite – the scroll has the soft precision of Lupot, the edges and corners are exact but smooth, and there are pins half-set into the purfing. The del Gesu model can be seen primarily in the f-holes and the C bout curves, but also in the slight stretching of the scroll in the vertical dimenson.

The condition is excellent – there’s some mashing of the treble c-bout edge and there’s one very neatly repaired crack above the bass f-hole, otherwise no cracks or repairs. The superb fiery-red varnish is abundant and well-preserved, though there are a couple of areas of “orchestral wear”.

This violin is all about power – it has a big and clear voice of the sort I tend to think of as “the Juillard sound”. You need to be a big player to get on top of it, but it will do what it’s told – ask it in no uncertain terms, and it will answer decisively and firmly! It has great projection, and would be ideal for a young soloist who can’t quite afford a del Gesu. Excellent upper register, crisp and clean in fast passagework, and impossible to overload.

Dimensions: Length of back 35.8cm, stop 129/196mm

Certificate: Vatelot-Rampal, Paris 2017 Pierre Silvestre Violin certificate

Click or tap an image to enlarge it. Click or tap again to supersize.

Pierre Silvestre Violin front photo Pierre Silvestre Violin back photo Pierre Silvestre Violin side photo Pierre Silvestre Violin scroll photo


Pierre Silvestre Violin label  

Interested in this Pierre Silvestre Violin?

Look at our other rare violins.

Ref: 5350

Contact us

We offer a personal service to all our customers, and are happy to chat on the phone or by email.

Don't be shy... contact us today!

We have violin dealer insurance for sending instruments internationally and all purchases from the website are covered by a 14 day return policy.

Look at our customer reviews.

Subscribe to our mailing list

We never pass on our email list to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time.