This is an exceptional modern French violin by the renowned partnership of R&M Millant. It’s in top condition and the sound is big and brilliant, suitable for the concert stage.

Roger & Max Millant were one of the most important French dealerships of the 20th century, continuing the great tradition of Vuillaume, Gand & Bernardel, Caressa & Français etc, not only dealing in top level instruments and offering expertise but also making fine violins and bows based on their understanding of the old masters.

This violin is a great example of what can be achieved without recourse to antiquing – it has a beautiful golden varnish which sets off some astounding wood, the model is sophisticated and thoroughly Cremonese, and it exudes confidence.

The violin is signed and numbered (no. 409) to the label, it also bears the same number on the fingerboard and at the tailpin. Inside the violin are numerous brands.

The condition is excellent, and the violin retains its original fingerboard, bridge, and chinrest (also branded R&M Millant a Paris). There is some very minor wear to the treble c bout, and there are a few small scratches to the varnish which is quite fragile. The lower 3 cm of the back seam have also been re-glued, but there are no cracks and there’s very little wear.

We have taken the decision not to modernise the fittings on this violin, even the tailgut – it’s rare to see something so well preserved, and any future owner can decide what to keep and what to replace.

This violin fairly knocked my socks off – it has a big and brilliant sound, and it really manages to capture some of the quality of the classical Cremonese instruments.The high register is incredible – broad, sweet and silvery – and the entire violin has the energy of a thoroughbred.

This is not a violin for a faint-hearted player – it’s loud, highly responsive and laser-like – but if you can handle it, then it can handle you. Although lightly built it’s a strong instrument with excellent arching, and it will take a big bow… but I don’t think that’s the best way to treat it. Like any great soloist violin, it excels in the nuances, and it can produce a massive range of colours even when playing pianissimo.

Very expressive, very dynamic, very sophisticated – looking at the 3 labels you get the feeling that the makers were pretty pleased with themselves, and I don’t blame them… It’s a terrific violin!

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