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Vintage instruments for sale

Violin making is not only about construction, but also about restoration of bowed instruments. Every now and then I buy and restore instruments I like, from small size “medio fino” Mirecourt instruments to signed master instruments sold with certificate (made by an approved expert).

In general, I sell the instruments rather below the going price. In my opinion (and I’m not alone!) the cash value of vintage instruments is over-evaluated far too often as a consequence of speculation.

Here you'll find what I have currently available in my workshop. For price information, please send me an e-mail or give me a call !



Violin branded "F. Pillement", early 19th century

This is the second Pillement I'm proposing, after the first one was sold right away. This instrument is big, a bit long (36,2 cm) and large, and you hear it: The sound is rich, deep, warm, with superb resonance.

Actually, this violin is so good that some worms started eating away at it - half of the belly was so well eaten that I had to throw it away. So what you see here is 3/4 Pillement and 1/4 Vosshenrich. This was certainly one of the most interesting restauration I ever did, and as to the resulting sound, it was worthwhile !

As it is no longer 100% original, the price is a bit lower than you might expect.















violin Nicolas Ainé, branded and signed inside the belly, Mirecourt 19th century, set-up 5-string

What to do with a violin this big, long, large, high, with a big neck, etc., as this -otherwise very pretty and perfectly conserved - Nicolas Ainé ? Others might have put it aside for it's big dimensions. As to me, I decided to offer it a deep 5th string. And amplifiy it.

This 5-string has got a real C-string, which responds, and which sounds. Not as much as a viola, but balance with the "normal" 4 strings is excellent.

So, rather than cope with a 5-string made from a mediocre Chinese with a horrible Piezo pick-up - or an all electric one, why not try a GOOD classical violin in a 5-string setup ?















Violin branded "Maline", Mirecourt early 19th century

A violin of compact dimensions on an Amati model. It's easy and nice to play, the sound is clear, bright and precise. This instrument was partially eaten by our good friends, the worms, and has a couple of cracks. All is now properly repaired and the wormy parts have been replaced.

To resume, an instrument which lived a rich life, and which merits to live on !
















violin of the Légato range (click on the link for further information)




















Violin of my own making, Verfeil near Toulouse 2006.

Inspired by the famous "Cannon" by Guarneri del Gesù and made from wood of the finest quality from the 1940s.

The sound is clear and powerful. The thickness of the plates being inspired by the original, this instrument needs to be played-in by a vigorous bow. to open up and develop all of its harmonics.
















Violin branded "Rémy", Mirecourt late 19th century

A nice violin, a bit big, with a well balanced sound and rather medium-typed. Probably the most versatile of the instruments I currently propose.

The sound is warm, powerful, rich, and as present in the lower as in the high ranges.

This instrument has got 2 repaired cracks (one of which is a soundpost crack on the belly), otherwise it is in very good condition.

















Tcheck violin, early 20th cerntury,  on a Gasparo da Salo model

Pretty violin of Tcheck making with a double ornamental purfling and a slab-cut one piece back. This is one of the rare instruments I currently propose having the "correct" size - 35,7 cm over the back arching. Apparently, the Tchecks back then did great work on the outside of the resonance-box - the inside was another story. The thickness would have been OK for a Cello ! After having arranged that, a new bass-bar and a revised neck-angle, this instrument now sounds as it should:

Clear, warm, easy response, and not too powerful

















Violin probably Mirecourt, late 19th century, labeled Stradivarius (Haha !)

This pretty violin on a big Strad model is a bit strange: Probably made in one of the bif Mirecourt-workshops, it has the characteristics of a master instrument (varnish, wood-choice, pretty scroll).

The sound is well balanced, present spontaneous and powerful.

Otherwise it's in excellent condition. I replaced the original bass bar of somewhat archaic dimensions.

This violin is comparable to signed Mirecourt master instruments - but as it isn't signed and it's not a "pedigree dog", I sell it for a very reasonable price.














Violin "Breton"

Originally the name of a luthier, this was later a Parisian brand in the late 19th century.

This instrument is massive (not moulded), the archings betray the hand of a skilled craftsman.

The thickness has not been retouched, as it is much more regular and well tapered than on cheaper Mirecourt instruments.

I nevertheless replaced the samewhat smalliosh bassbar and reduced the neck-angle for use with modern strings.

What makes this instrument an interesting bargain is it's (repaired) soundpost crack. These nasty cracks reduce instruments' value by 25 %. Nevertheless, the reparation is life-time guaranteed and doesn't have any negative impact on the sound.

Sound which by the way is full, noble, warm and balanced.











Violin Georges Apparut 1941

Instrument in near perfec condition, probably very rarely played.

The sound is clear, strong and well-balanced.




















German violin labeled "Borelli"
This violin has an apocryphla labe "Borelli". It actually is a german violin from about late 19th early 20th century. As you can see on the pictures, it's antiques, with very nice wood and varnish.
Rare thing seen on German instruments, this one was moulded. I revised the thickness, glued a reinforcement inside the back, and fitted a new bass-bar. The right f-hoel was very worn, but with it's restauration, it's like new.
This instrument is very powerful, easy to play and well-balanced at the same time. You easily find some of the characteristics of Guarneri del Gesù's work, which as clearly influenced this model.
















Violin Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (JTL) revised by myself

Like nearly all moulded Mirecourt instruments, this one too was too heavy, too thick, until I look after it a bit.

Revised thickness, revised neck-angle, new bass-bar and lo! it works.

Easy to play, balance and power. Nay, not too much personality, sorry. This is the VW Golf of violins.

A tuned one, though.

Excellent value for money, whatever !


I've also got his twin, with more reddish varnish.














violin J. Barbé père, Mirecourt, probably ca. 1850

Nice warm and round sound, very expressive. The stain on the back is an ireon-stain in the wood and has got no incidence on sound.




















German violin late 19th/ early 20th centruy.

With a pretty slab-cut one-piece back on a model inspired by Amati.

Clear and well-balanced sound, easy to play, good student-instrument.



















French violin (probably Mirecourt) 20th century "tuned"

Revised thickness, revised neck-angle and new bass-bar, minor reparation on the button.

This is a nice student-instrument: well-balanced, easy to play.


















A strange German violin with a somehat crude lion's head and ornamental edges on the belly, probably built in Germany or eastern Europe.

This was the second instrument of the former solo violinist of the "Orchestre du Capitol". THe sound is rich and powerful.



















Viola 40,6 cm labeled "Dominique Fantin Varese 1954"


Nice sound round, warm and intimate, easy to play.

I'm not really sure where this instrument really comes from, so I sell it as being a copy. This changes price, but not sound !





















2 nice Mirecourt Cellos will be coming soon !