A list of master bow makers
We include here a list of bow makers of past times that we'd like to share with you. Also you can check out a list of contemporary master bow makers.
Sometimes while we have chances to try their master pieces, it's good to remember that we also have their introductions on our website.
|1||A. ACOULON||Bows of finest Pernambuco wood, octagonal sticks generally. Stamped ‘A. Acoulon, Paris’.|
|2||WILLIAM JOHN ACTON||Produced about 500 bows somewhat in the Tourte style. Splendidly balanced and of the finest well-seasoned Pernambuco wood. Stamped ‘W. Acton’.|
|3||ADAM||Born at Mirecourt, 1823. Worked and died there, 1869. Known as ‘Grandadam’. Pupil of his father Jean Dominique, whom he ultimately surpassed in bow-making. Branded ‘Adam’.|
|4||ADAM, JEAN||Born at Mirecourt. First a violin maker working temporarily at Valence-on-the-Rhone. Returned to Mirecourt 1790 and devoted himself solely to bow-making until death, 1820. His few violins have slight commercial value. His bows (largely made for the trade) are not very skilfully finished or balanced.|
|5||ADAM, JEAN DOMINIQUE||Born at Mirecourt, 1795. Son and pupil of Jean. Worked at Mirecourt. Died 1864. Had all the virtues of the enthusiastic worker, and was thoroughly conscientious. Made many scores of bows for various French dealers, which (being invariably made to a trade order and possibly hurried with the consequent scampering of delicacy), lack that subtle gradation so essential in artist bows, but occasionally had inspirations of greater price and exercised more care, thus producing a few rather fine bows stamped with his own name. In choosing from these better class ones we prefer the examples having octagonal sticks (medium red), for they seem stronger and more elastic than the round. Some stamped ‘Gene Dominique Adam’. Several German firms of the present day stamp some of their productions with the name ‘ADAM’.|
|6||ALLEN, SAMUEL||Born in Cornwall, 1858. Employed by Hill & Sons (London) for several years. Established his own business, 1891.|
Specialist in bow-making - specimens very similar to the Dodd - completely artistic and reliable - deserve to be more sought for - some beautifully mounted.
Also made a few violins.
|7||ANDREWS, EDWARD||Born at Norwich, 1886. Cabinet maker for 12 years. Afterwards a vocalist, actor, and conductor. Resident at Great Yarmouth.|
First violin made in 1926. Produced 25 up to year 1951 - Stradivarian outline, other details more or less original, body length 14-1/8 inches. Oil varnish, chiefly red and amber.
Also violas: body length 16-5/8; upper bouts 7-3/4; middle 5-3/8; lower 9-7/8; ribs 1-9/16 to 1-5/8 full; outline and sound-holes of own design.
Several excellent bows.
|8||ARASSI, ENZO||Bows of unmistakeable refinement - splendidly balanced.|
|9||BAILLY, CHARLES||Born 1879. Pupil of Lotte and Mougenot. Worked at Mirecourt from 1909. All stringed instruments made entirely by hand. Artistic modelling and finished workmanship. Effective and transparent oil varnish of reddish-brown shade. Tonal sonority.|
Imitations of old master violins. Also bows.
|10||BARBé, AUGUSTE||Worked at Mirecourt, 1875-1902. Made many excellent bows.|
|11||BAUR, MARTIN||Born 1793. Died 1875. First repairing shop to be established in Stuttgart, 1824. Maker to the Court orchestra.|
Modelling forms a judicious compromise between Italian and French. Robustness of the scroll seems slightly forced. Beautiful varnish. Greatly patronised by Molique (professor there) who asserted they were the finest toned new violins of his time.
Also produced many rather heavy but finely balanced bows.
|12||BAUSCH, LUDWIG CHRISTIAN AUGUST||Born at Naumburg, 1805. Pupil of Fritzsche at Dresden, 1818-1822. Worked for Engleder at Munich 1822. Established workshop at Dresden 1826-1828; at Dessau 1828-1839; at Leipzig 1839-1860; at Wiesbaden 1861; and finally at Leipzig 1863. Died 1871.|
Made violins in early days, but did not add much lustre to that particular art. Splendid workmanship but ideal quality of tone could not escape from all his careful measurements.
Also produced several pretty guitars, nicely ornamented and varnished yellow.
Came in contact with Spohr (1836), who gave him some sound advice on the construction and requisite balance of bows. From that date he practically devoted his talent to rivalling that of Tourte. Received silver medal at Dresden Exhibition, 1840. Beautifully made bows, unusually strong sticks, yet full of elasticity and carefully modulated balance. Many of them slightly longer than those of the French, and often dark-chocolate round sticks. Ultimately sobriquetted as the ‘German Tourte’. Joachim, Wilhelmj, and other Germans preferred them to the French, but perhaps this was due to patriotism. Stamped ‘Bausch. Leipzig’, or ‘L. Bausch, Leipzig’. Many stamped on stick under nut.
Several present-day German firms export hundreds of bows branded ‘Bausch’.
|13||BAZIN, CHARLES||Born 1907. Son and pupil of Louis. Established own premises at Mirecourt 1946. Bows unquestionably well adapted to needs of any soloist. Stamped ‘C. Bazin’.Very difficult to distinguish them from those of his grandfather C.N.|
|14||BAZIN, CHARLES NICOLAS||Producer of many bows much in demand by French players. Established workshop at Mirecourt 1869. Died 1915.|
Bows forming a resuscitation of the manner of Tourte. No weakness anywhere. Much in demand by French players. Stamped ‘C. Bazin’
|15||BAZIN, LOUIS||Son and successor of Charles. Born at Mirecourt 1881. Started in twelfth year. working there 1929.|
Magnificent reputation for bows. Perfectly made affairs, richly mounted (some ivory mounted instead of silver), Pernambuco sticks, often splendid imitations of the Tubbs. French virtuosi reciprocate the maker’s genius by widely advertising the products of their countryman. Stamped ‘Bazin’ - sometimes in two places. No better bows made by any contemporary maker.
|16||BEARE, JOHN AND ARTHUR||Expert connoisseurs, dependable valuers, and repairers in Wardour Street, London, 1893-1950. Excellent bows stamped with their name.|
|17||BELLAFONTANA, LORENZO||Born at Genoa, 1906. Studied with Cesare Candi. Also a capable violinist. Won medals at various expositions.|
Strad and Guarneriun modelling, also one or two more individualistic. Ruby red varnish with golden background.
Estimable bows stamped with his name.
|18||BERNARDEL, GUSTAVE ADOLPHE||Born at Paris, 1832. Died 1904. Associated with father, brother and Gand. Succeeded to the business of Gand, 1892, and became maker to the Conservatoire, to the opera orchestras, and to the Ministry of Fine Arts. Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, 1900.|
Fine-wrought Lupot-Strad modelling. Supremely neat workmanship. Red varnish similar to that used by father, also a red with brownish tint.
The talent which his instruments proclaim ought to be widely recognised and the area of his fame extended, for he truly maintained the prestige set up by his parent. Tone very invigorating and sonorous.
Also produced many bows. Invariably octagon sticks of dark brown colour. Often realised five guineas (1920).
|19||Léon Bernardel. Luthier||Later labels have the word ‘Monopole’ within a design, and are autographed ‘L. Bernardel’. These instruments were priced by him at ￡30. Others named ‘Conservatoire’ catalogued at ￡38.|
Violas, ’cellos, and double-basses likewise bear these names.
Name is also associated with two kinds of ‘trade’ merchandise:
(1) Students’ violins, priced from ￡2 to ￡7, and bearing the label
(2) Artists’ violins - six series - ￡8 to ￡18 in value, labelled
(3) Bows, stamped ‘Léon Bernardel’. Today’s prices up to ￡15.
|20||BERNARDEL, RENé||Trade name of violins made at Mirecourt for the Parisian firm known as ‘L’Industrie musicale’ in the Faubourg Poissonnière. Claimed to be made entirely by hand.|
Bows stamped ‘René Bernardel-Peccatte’. ￡10 to ￡15.
|21||BETTS, JOHN EDWARD||Known as ‘Old John Betts’. Born at Stamford (Lincolnshire), 1755. Came to London and studied the art under Richard Duke. Soon developed a keen business capability, opened inviting premises, and at different periods, employed notable men such as Panormo, Fendt, Carter and Tobin. Died in 1823. Buried at Cripplegate Church.|
Made few instruments himself - early productions characterised by Amatese outline and arching. Sound-holes rather inartistically wide. Scrolls always neatly finished. Excellent wood in quality and prettiness. Subsequent instruments bearing his label were most probably made by the above-mentioned workmen. Advertised that he ‘makes in the neatest manner, violins the patterns of Ant. Stradivarius, Hieronymus Amatus, Jacobus Stainer and Tyrols. Equal for the fine, full, mellow tone to those made in Cremona’. But the larger proportion of instruments emanating from his workshop were Amatese, and he instructed assistants to continue working in the ‘metier’ which brought him the best reputation and quicker increased his banking account. Doubtless quite justified in not striking out for the patch of originality, apparently being conscious of his own fluctuating skill, as well as not underrating the caprices of the public.
These instruments, whoever actually made them, give the index of the varying planes of the Amati structure. Arching beautifully done, ease and grace very discernable about the waist curves. Workmanship wholly refined. Scroll of fine volute and a perfect approach to the boss - often of broad aspect. Sound-holes also of ideal curvature. Frequently backs of an especially beautiful close-striped figure. Varnish applied as though worn and aged. Tone never brilliant or strong, but often exceedingly suave, warm and of silvery clarity.
Violas sometimes inlaid with various decorations.
’Cellos perhaps superior to the violins, and steadily gaining in the estimation of experts.
Usually branded ‘Betts London’ on button. This has been fictitiously used in a wholesale manner, and may be seen on common factory fiddles. Many specimens with a Betts label are often of the five to ten-pounds inferior order, and indubitably not genuine, not even as having been made by the most elementary of the many apprentices in his workshop.
’Cello bows also stamped ‘Betts’.
English violins ought to and deserve to have better recognition. The failure of our older makers to successfully compete with those of other countries was not caused by indifferent talent, for they availed themselves of every opportunity of seeing and measuring Cremonas and Tyroleans, and had sufficient skill to minutely copy every detail. Why they were so frequently ignored has never been satisfactorily ascertained. Perhaps it was the invasion of so many continental players who impressed possible purchasers with the tone of their instruments - in consequence, these admirers naturally desired violins with a similar tone, forgetting that the artist is often the special tone-producer rather than the instrument itself. So, of course, as it was impossible for everybody to have Cremonas, they fell back on the Tyrolean, not much troubling about anything except that they came from a foreign land. Thus an innumerable quantity, often of weak and inferior structure, found safe harbourage in this country, springing up and taking root with astonishing rapidity to supply the demand of the many credulous purchasers - and ever since inundating our markets. Many of them have feeble tone, nothing particular in the way of contour, and frequently very much bruised.
Yet they were preferred to the English productions - instruments superior from every point of view to anything from the Klotz-world. Perhaps all this had a serious effect upon the financial affairs of some of our makers, and as pecuniary difficulties often prove a stumbling block to the successful practice of any art, several of them eventually became dealers, thus still furthering the popularity of foreign goods. Today’s prices, ￡60 to ￡100. ’Cellos ￡120.
|22||BOLANDER, JOHN A., JNR.||Bowmaker, also violins, violas, cellos and basses at San Jose, California, 1959|
|23||BOTTURI, BENVENUTO||Born at Gambera (Brescia), 1882. Studied with Diguini at Cremona. Worked at Brescia, 1929-1941, then abandoned the art to become administrator of an important firm for mechanically cutting down forest trees.|
During the 12 years at violin-making he must have been particularly assiduous in amassing 100 violins, several violas and ’cellos, one quartet, and about 200 bows. Superb Strad modelling, slowly drying reddish-brown oil varnish. Won several medals and other awards. Instruments eagerly sought after in Austria, France and U.S.A.
DE SAR ME
|Monogram or name branded on button at back. Sometimes ‘Breton’ inscribed in ink at bottom of peg-box.|
Also made bows - stamped ‘F. Breton’.
|25||BROWN, JAMES||Born in London, 1786. First apprenticed to his father for whom he made bows as well as instruments. Worked in White Lion Street, Norton Folgate (London). Died 1860.|
Instruments made after 1834 have not perfect symmetry of shape either in model, scroll, or sound-holes. Varnish does not boast the finest tincture. Tone, however, rather satisfactory (though the plain wood may at first prejudice a prospective purchaser) but it would soon drop its honour in the company of an Italian violin. Produced several splendid bows, particularly for ’cello.
Stamped ‘J. Brown, Junr’.
|26||BRüCKNER, ERICH||Born 1880. Worked at Steinkirchen near Lübben (Germany) since 1912.|
Violins, violas and ’cellos - Stradivarian and Guarneriun modelling - all attuned according to the theories of Dr. Grossmann. Finest woods, Cremona-like varnish, splendid personal workmanship. Tone ‘completely equivalent to the Italian’ in roundness and mellowness. Assisted by brother Ernst, 1925.
Also bearing the signature of Dr. Grossmann. Produced various grades of cheaper violins etc. Bows likewise of various models - Brazilian wood.
|27||BRüCKNER, WILHELM||Worked at Erfurt (Saxony), 1900-1925.|
Violins and bows achieving considerable popularity.
|28||BRYANT, PERCIVAL WILFRED||Born 1902. Worked for George Withers (Leicester Square, London), 1920-1932. Established at Brighton 1939.|
Aimed at a lofty position in bow-making and has certainly achieved an entire triumph. Many of his productions are used by virtuosi of several nationalities.
|29||BUCKMAN, GEORGE HATTON||Born at Dover 1845. Amateur. Played violin in local orchestras. Artistic in many directions, especially landscape photography. Studied violin making from books. Lived in a delightfully situated house on the highland of Kearsney (near Dover). Died 1920.|
Strong modelling of large dimensions, Stradivarian - body length 14-1/4; upper bouts 6-5/8; lower 8-3/8; waist curves 3 inches from corner to corner; deep ribs, large but elegant sound-holes superbly traced, prominent edges nicely rounded, widish purfling accomplished without a tremor, arching finely conceived, completely masculine scrolls, and the usual pretty wood.
Also made Guarneriun models - body length 14 1/20.
Varnish of two shades, golden-red and red, but the maker always acknowledged his semi-failure to apply it as he conscientiously desired. Tone (on a few of his instruments) especially penetrative when under a strong bowist.
Only produced about 50. Sought little publicity. Some unfinished specimens left at his death were reverently treated and improved by his friend Alfred Dixon.
|30||BUTHOD, CHARLES LOUIS||Born at Mirecourt 1810. Worked with Vuillaume for several years at Paris. Set up large premises at Mirecourt and engaged several assistants. Yearly output (at cheap prices) totalled 800 violins, 401 violas and 50 ’cellos. Subsequently became director of the Thibouville-Lamy firm. Died 1889.|
Three grades of strongly constructed violins - Stradivarian modelling - red, golden-yellow and light brown shades of oil varnish, frequently applied in the Vuillaume method.
Similar style in violas and ’cellos.
Also silver-mounted bows. Stamped ‘Buthod A Paris’.
|31||CALLIER, FRANK J.||Born in America. French parentage. Worked at St. Louis 1900-1914; at San Antonio (Texas) 1916-1926; and at Hollywood (California) 1928. Specialist in hand-made bows.|
Eliminated nothing which enables the performer to display his diversified flights of fanciful bowings or the steady stroke of sustained power. Beautifully constructed heads - strong, without that rather ugly squarish appearance of some - and finely slender in the stick just at the upper part. Specially chosen Pernambuco wood. Also copies of famous models.
Added, during later years, the art of violin making to other achievements. Exhibited specimens at Chicago and Philadelphia, 1925 and 1926 - recipient of silver medals. Modelling scientific and symmetrical, determined by fine harmonic ratios. Firstclass master in the art of varnishing.
|32||CANDI, CESARE||Born at Bologna, 1869. Pupil of Fiorini. Worked at Genoa in an old house, weathered by time, on the old square of Sarzana almost on the hill of Carignano, where the city appears clad in a beautiful silver-grey through the blue of the sea and the harsh bareness of the mountains.|
Instruments of high rank, greatly admired by Italians. Charming outline, nice sloping ‘shoulders’, enhanced by lovely edging. Particularly elegant scroll with beautiful circling to the non-aggressive ‘boss’. Magnificently delicate purfling, and long but well posed sound-holes. Rich, transparent, and warm shade of varnish. Captivating tone, round, full, sunny and penetrating. All specimens made from a massive beam that once supported an elegant vault of a sixteenth century church. Also produced highly decorated violins of new design which appealed more to ardent collectors of art-treasures than to professional violinists. Innovated undulating shoulders and no upper corners - singular but interesting. Beautiful complex ebony purfling, with folia gated arabesques done in pearl on the inner side - also on the ribs. Scroll embellished by delightful carving, adorned with leaf work, accompanied in the delicate curves by an effusion of pearl, further enhanced by ebony bordering. Lavish decorations on the sides of the peg-box, also on the pegs. Similar treatment at the end of the fingerboard, and on the button at the back, under which is a large unique design. Bridge of dark maple worked in tortoise shell. Ebony tail piece with an ivory design symbolic of a mask. The whole constituting a miracle of inlaid work. The bow also superbly decorated on the sides of the head and saddle.
Constructed 320 violins, 30 violas, 25 ’cellos, 100 guitars, 29 lutes, 100 mandolines, and a large number of bows.
|33||CHANOT, GEORGES||Born at Paris, 1830. First worked in father’s workshop. Assistant to Maucotel in London, 1851-1857. Established own business premises in Wardour Street, 1858. Gained an undisputed reputation. All the principal players, English and Continental flocked to his place to enjoy or benefit by his counsels. Received a ‘mention honourable’ at the Paris Exhibition, 1878. Died 1895.|
Guarnerius models possibly superior to anything else he made. Delicate workmanship done by one who had unusual skill and patience and, above all, an intelligent sympathy with the purpose of an artist. Workmen of this character have never been abundant - and it is not to be wondered at, as the chances of tonal realisation and public recognition are many, and the actual profit gained is very slight.
Made a good number of bows that do not generally come up to the exact standard of a soloist’s bow. Usually dark sticks a shade longer than the customary length, rather overbalanced at the top, generally heavy, and have a broad saddle and nut. Magnificently finished and rather exquisite-looking when cleaned up, but the sticks have little elasticity and the material sometimes of that kind which warps after several years’ playing. Stamped Chanot.
|34||CHANOT, GEORGES ADOLPHE||Born in London, 1855. Established at Manchester, 1879. Died 1923.|
Modelling after Stradivarius, Guarnerius and Amati. Workmanship governed by the invaluable experience gained during apprenticeship under father’s guidance. Also that careful attention to every contributing aid, from the selection of the wood to the splendid texture of the varnish. Worked and thought persistently to obtain a tonal quality which should compel the attraction of the best players - certainly met with a large measure of success.
Splendid ’cellos of Stradivarian modelling - one gained the gold medal at the Inventories Exhibition, London.
Bearing two designs of medals, and G.A.C. written.
Took out a patent, 1885, incorporating ideas of holding the violin correctly, and to assist players who had acquired a faulty method. Invented a folding bow, 1891, the object being to fold the bow to the length of the violin, so that the violin case of orchestral players could be much shorter, and consequently lighter and more portable. Claimed that his invention was fully practicable, the stick being (somewhere near the silver lapping) in such a manner that it could be folded.without unscrewing the nut or taking the bow to pieces in any way, and that it did not lose its strength, elasticity, balance or rigidity - in fact that it was as good and safe as any ordinary bow.
Also made a curiosity violin consisting of 700 pieces of wood.
|35||CHANOT, JOSEPH ANTHONY||Born in London, 1865. Son, pupil, and successor of Georges (3). Worked in Wardour Street from 1881. Died 1936. Had a high place in the record of the most noteworthy representatives who have constituted the violin-art world of London. Produced many admirable violins which have been and will be greatly appreciated. Absolutely splendid are those modelled on the lines of the ‘Pig Guamerius’ of Sainton. Undeniably beautiful in every detail of workmanship. Distinguished by a remarkable fullness of tone, and its capabilities for expressive playing - having unusual qualities (with regard to modern instruments) of delicacy, richness and resonance - everything brought to that high state of tonal power which will ultimately be equal to any Cremona or Lupot.|
Such violins are a source of great pride and gratification to all who are fortunate owners - completely desirable acquisitions affording unqualified enjoyment in the present, and a valuable investment for the future. Covered with plenty of rich varnish of various shades (we prefer the golden yellow) that will stand the test of scores of years’ wear and become lovelier during that period.
Always (as a repairer) clever and especially neat and clean in everything he undertook - and as a connoisseur and valuer never otherwise than conscientious, this being backed up by unbendable honesty.
Produced many bows now considered fairly valuable. Usually light coloured sticks. Stamped J. A. Chanot.
|36||CHARDON, ANDRE||Born 1897. Son of Georges. Worked at Paris.|
Many splendid bows bear his name - very successful in perpetuating the Tourte-Lupot heads - fine pernambuco sticks. Immaculate designing and superfine workmanship. Stamped with name and initials.
|37||CLASQUIN||Worked at Paris, 1900. Pupil of Bazin. Died 1926. Bows of refined workmanship, perfect balance, strong heads. Stamped Clasquin.|
|38||CLAUDOT, CHARLES||Born at Mirecourt, 1750. Died there, 1828.|
Singular and uniform absence of real merit in workmanship. Yellow brown or reddish brown varnish giving the instrument a very ordinary amateurish sort of appearance. Tone not worth the consideration of a sensitive ear.
Supposed to have worked in Paris as well as Mirecourt. Branded name inside on the back. Also bows bearing his name.
|39||COCKER, L.||Born 1908. Amateur.|
Ordinary Strad modelling - Millington varnish. First instrument dated 1934. Also very excellent bows.
|40||COLAS, PROSPER||Born at Coincourt (Vosges), 1842. Worked for Vuillaume at Paris, 1871. Died 1918. Perfectly balanced and finely headed bows.|
Stamped Prosper Colas - or P.C..
Made few good ’cellos and violas.
|41||COLLIN-MEZIN, CHARLES JEAN BAPTISTE||Born at Mirecourt, 1841. Son of C. L. Collin. First apprenticed to his father; removed to Paris, 1868. Soon became a favourite and prosperous repairer; and commenced to make his own instruments, which in all details other than the varnish, follow the larger models of Stradivarius, Guarnerius and Amati. Awarded gold and silver medals at the Paris Exhibitions of 1878, 1889 and 1900. Named Officer de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts, 1884. Died 1923.|
Formed a friendship with influential people and was considerably popularised. Solicited the opinions of such eminent violinists as Joachim, Sivori, Massart, Armingaud, Maurin, Sauzay and Marsick. Joachim performed on one of his violins in a quartet at St. James’s Hall, London, and was pleased with its penetrating quality. Sivori was presented by Collin-Mezin with a replica of Paganini’s Guarnerius, and the violinist wrote a flattering testimonial concerning the conscientious trial he had subjected the instrument to. Léonard played on one of the Guarnerius type, and was delighted with the unusual responsiveness of tone for a new violin. Armingaud said that a Collin-Mézin would ultimately vie with a Stradivarius for flexibility of sound. The ’cello virtuosi Franchomme and Jacquard used instruments of Collin-Mézin in the later years of their career.
All the comparisons made by these various soloists admitted the superiority over other new violins, particularly for sonority, resistance and perfect evenness of vibrations on all the strings in every position. Collin-Mézin frequently stated that he mistrusted any artificial process of heating or chemically treating the wood. Guaranteed all instruments to be made of wood grown old naturally, and attributed the tonal success to his knowledge of wood and experiments in acoustics with a special system of bass barring according to the age and kind of material used.
For our part we think he failed where some Frenchmen have succeeded, and that is, he never succecded in imparting any real beauty of tone notwithstanding the assertiveness of his secret processes. We admit the extremely powerful order of this tone, coupled with hard-to-get brilliance, but it will take many years of strenuous playing to bring its now comparative harshness to the necessary purity for a successful soloist. Workmanship in every part particularly fine, therefore players fifty years hence may be proud of their possession. Varnish, yellow or brown yellow, not distinguished by any gorgeous splendour of transparency, in fact it is often very thick and dull.
Benjamin Godard’s Concerto Romantique was first performed at a Pasedeloup Concert, Paris, 1876, by Marie Tayau on a Collin-Mézin violin with (what was then an innovation) E and A steel strings suggested by the maker. which rather points to the fact that he was attempting to get brilliance and clearness at the expense of purity.
Violas and ’cellos are larger imitations of the violins. ￡60 1959.
Each instrument stamped at the side of sound post with Collin-Mézin, a copyright facsimile of signature.
Popularity of these violins gave rise to many counterfeits in the nature of violins labelled Collin, being foisted on the credulous public by unscrupulous vendors in the trade instruments made by Collin-Mézin. Collin-Mézin instruments are only genuine when bearing the signature, and (on the later ones) the announcement of the Grand Prix.
Produced excellent bows of pernambuco wood for which he received as much as ￡5; but of late years this price has steadily dropped although the article has considerable resistance and flexibility with nice weight and balance.
|42||CORSBY, GEORGE||Worked in London, 1785-1830.|
Produced a few violins generally of Amati modelling. Style and workmanship in the manner just then in vogue - in other words, rather ordinary. Dark orange-red varnish, rather thinly applied. Usually fine grain material for the top.
Cellos follow the Amati in outline, but flatter arching. Workmanship and varnish quite ordinary - the latter of red-brown shade sparsely used.
Also produced several fairly good bows. ￡65, 1959.
|43||CUNIOT-HURY, EUGèNE||Born 1861. Son of Pierre. Died 1912. Hury is the name of his wife. Worked in rue Vuillaume, Mirecourt. Made first group of bows in 14th year, and straightway became a fully-fledged professional. Won several gold medals and diplomas of honour. Produced specimens of various grades in value. Copied all the well-known styles with equal success. Highest priced examples richly merit laudatory testimonials. Each bow doubly gifted with elasticity and strength. Even those purchasable at small expenditure will not be received with any semblance of a frown from any fastidious critic.|
Business carried on by assistants, 1914-1920. ￡45, 1959.
|44||DARBY (DARBEY), GEORGE||Born at Taunton (England), 1849. Worked at Bristol, 1882-1920.|
In the making of his violins he did everything entirely with own hands; and to the fact that he was a violinist as well as a maker, must be ascribed much of the splendid tonal results achieved. Aimed at keeping pace with public standard - a standard gradually growing away from the old methods of draughtmanship of several English makers. Out of this, he wrought many masterpieces that rival the work of Frenchmen and brought him on the high road to winning fame on the continent.
Not the slightest lapse from artistry impeded the interpretation of his conception of what he should do in imitating the model of a Strad. Had a preference for this outline and arching, etc., but equally successful with those of Guarnerius, Amati, and Gagliano. His genius magnetised a popular interest to circulate around his productions, because he always bore in mind ‘that the violin-maker is an artist only as far as every line he shapes has the intention of forming beauty and responsiveness of tone’.
Used an orange red varnish mostly, almost old Italian in appearance, and applied it with that discrimination aided by experience which must accompany success. Instruments plentifully wooded with finest material. Adopted none of those abominable processes of chemically or heating the wood and thus close up the portals of a future tonal edifice with a bang. Achieved magnificent results in tone - a tone that might make some of us look to the future and not always the past for our solo instruments.
It is not such a daring expectation to look for some advance in things that go beyond this present horizon. Are we to suppose there will be no Stradivari of the future? No similar inspirations of culture and cleverness that produced the Cremonas? Let him say so who has the sublime egotism to believe it. For our part we think that Darby will reach that Parnassus of fame if his work is not obscured by the prejudiced opinions of connoisseurs against English violins.
With G.D. double circled; autographed; and dated Jan. 1902. Darbey on some labels. Also made superb bows - perfectly balanced affairs that make virtuosi revel in their displays of fanciful bowing. Sarasate and Wilhelmj used them.
|45||DARCHE, NICHOLAS||Born at Mirecourt, 1815. Brother of Joseph and Charles Fran?ois. Worked for N. F. Vuillaume at Brussels. Established at Aix-La-Chapelle, 1840. Died 1873. Made more than 1,000 instruments.|
Early Specimens justify his artistic ambition - workmanship skilful, Also had that kind of intuitive feeling of arriving at the tone specially suitable to each different model, and in every instance remarkably pure and responsive. Followed the models of Stradivarius, Guarnerius, and Maggini. Used a very thick red oil varnish of fine texture.
Charged (in 1840) about seven guineas for his instruments - a ridiculous price considering their superior order of construction. Exhibited these instruments at Frankfurt in 1842, and claimed to ‘inoculate’ (in some secret way) the exact old tone of each model replicated.
Subsequently gave way to disturbing and frequently lengthy periods of alcoholism. During the sixties his work degenerated to the common Mirecourt type with brown varnish. Ultimately purchased violins in the white from French factories and only varnished them. Finally gave up the business altogether, and drifted to a pauper’s grave.
Some of the Darche family at Brussels have used similar labels. Made in his young days, some splendid bows. Stamped ‘N. Darche x Bruxelles’.
|46||DAY, WILLIAM SAMUEL (Senior)||Born at Liverpool, 1862.|
Had a position of great responsibility during forty-odd years in the service of H.M. Customs, and much of his time spent on board ships at London, Plymouth, Swansea, Cardiff, Liverpool, and other towns. Enthusiastic admirer of fiddles since 17th year, but did not take special notice of instrument-differentiation until four years later. Cultivated the art of repairing instruments belonging to sea-faring officers - thus afforded unique opportunities of critically examining fine old specimens. Compared Amati with Stradivari, Guarneri, Ruggeri, and others, and tried to find out the reason of their superior tonal qualities. Researched systematically from this starting point, and sought information from every available source, books as well as instruments. Soon arrived at definite conclusions in a comparison of English, French, and German violins with those of Cremona.
Put to himself the following question:
Why do modern makers (having at their command the three requisites of equal quality of wood, probably better tools, and equal skill) fail to construct instruments equal to the old Italian? And answered “that the varnish used is inferior in toneproducing qualities”.
Therefore concentrated on a suitable preparation to fulfil, if possible, all the attributes of the old master formulas. Spent forty years on the exciting and elusive problem, had the usual “ups and downs” in experimenting, sometimes discouraged with totally negative results, but ultimately achieved hls goal. Led astray at first, like many others, on the amber theory, and made violins beautiful in appearance but tonally upset by the varnish, and henceforth discarded it. Found out that the only sure-road in this direction was to work retrogressively to the conditions existing during the old masters’ period, and while so doing, disabused his mind of the idea that any of them were chemists, or, in fact, anything other than painstaking workmen. And so the never-ending varnish fascination travels along its labyrinthian path of weird versus rational seeds.
Retired from the Civil Service 1924 and joined his son (William Samuel Day, Junior, born 1887) at the latter’s violin-making establishment at Plymouth. Enjoyed the personal friendship of Sarasate, Carrodus, and other noted violinists. Though advanced in age his heart and soul enthusiasm to create something approaching the old master type no-wise diminished, and fortunately for the continuance of artistic work immediate disposal was immaterial. Violins made by himself or jointly with son realise the non-exorbitant price of thirty-five pounds, and were eagerly purchased by amateurs and professionals.
All instruments of large model and varied outline - either Stradivarian or Guarneriun with slight modifications and constructively substantial throughout. Beauty of form and workmanship never disappointing to the most exacting critic of architectural design. Interior work every whit as carefully completed as the exposed portions. No attempt to skimp the thicknesses in travelling towards a full and clear tonal maturity. Most careful selection of woods for the table and backs - everything perfectly graduated. Especial attention given to the linings of the ribs. Scrolls strong and leonine in character, compelling admiration by the massive outlines. Beautiful curvature of outline, and breadth of bouts, offering absolute harmony with the very dignified heads. Sound-holes sharp yet graceful, straight from the knife, and splendidly balanced. These vary according to the model and the particular wood used, but always consistent with the rest of the scheme.
Both father and son very conscientious in their employment of material. Backs invariably of handsome flame. Belly wood sometimes of a silver grain pine, the markings of which are enhanced by a very rich and transparent varnish - a preparation of their own manufacture - of gorgeous appearance and certainly approaches the Cremonese in its velvety elasticity - the happy result of many weary hours of experimenting and incidental expenses attached to it. Various shades from yellow to dark red, but never brown. Tonal quality of Italian reediness yet brilliant and strong, also particularly responsive.
For repair work both senior and junior triumphed over any wreck.
Bows made by the younger Day include specimens which any soloist should be proud to possess. One cannot imagine anything more superior, ancient or modern. Styles based on those of Tourte, Tubbs, Panormo, Peccatte and others. Each of superfine workmanship - magnificent combination of strength with elasticity, and superbly mounted. Those people not biased by French productions should truthfully acknowledge the superlative of our own countryman.
|47||DEBLAYE, ALBERT JOSEPH||Born at Bouzemont near Mirecourt, 1874. Worked at several Parisien ateliers, and at Toulouse with Gautier, 1897-1900. Established at Mirecourt, 1900. Became technical director of the Deblaye and Meunier Amalgamation, 1922. Died 1929. Built violins of various modelling, graduated in excellence and price - ￡8 to ￡35 - Amati style (elegantly arched and red orange varnish); Lupot style (reddish-brown oil varnish shaded etc. to look old); Amati style (medium arching,?one piece?back, and red orange varnish); Guarnerius style (highly-flamed maple, and beautiful golden yellow varnish); Ceruti style (shaded varnish); Stradivarian style (very elegant outline, and dark red-brown varnish); “Deblaye soloist model” (varnished full in modern style); “Deblaye artist model” (gorgeously-fine orange tinted varnish); Italian style (superfine in every department).|
Amati to Stradivarian styles mostly the work of assistants, but finally “touched up” by Deblaye. Others are entirely personal work and executed without the aid of machinery.
Workmanship of irreproachable finish. Designs immaculate in beauty of curvature. Harmonical perfection attained in the attuning of the plates, and by an ingenious arrangement of the bass-bar. Tonal quality of excellent homogenial sonority and brilliancy, well-appreciated by many of the French symphony orchestra players. Woods especially chosen for acoustical properties as well as for prettiness. Produced violas of similar qualifications.
Cellos of own creative modelling. ￡60. Red-brown oil varnish, plentifully applied Round mandolines named “La Vésuvienne”, and flat ones styled “Ritelli”.
Branded “No. 452 A. Deblaye”. Each specimen autographed.
Also produced bows for violin and ’cello. Pernambuco sticks, nicely finished, and of splendid balance. Stamped “Deblaye”.
Bridges of specially prepared material similarly stamped.
|48||DITER, PAUL FRAN?OIS||Born at Mirecourt, 1879. Specially studied with Charles Bazin for bow-making. Worked with his brother at Marseilles, 1925. Died 1942. First-period bows follow lines set up by Tourte and other famous French makers, but later gradually evolved own principles and these are particularly applicable to the taste and requirements of modern brilliant players.|
|49||DODD, JAMES||Worked in London. Died 1857.|
Produced many carefully made bows of really nice balance. ￡30.
|50||DODD, JOHN||Born at Stirling (Scotland), 1752. Eldest son of Edward (bow maker, born 1705, died 1810, age 105; worked in Scotland and London). First a gun-lock fitter, then a money-scale maker, and finally found his true vocation in the making of bows. Came to live in London, and assiduously devoted his hours to perfecting of bows. Lived many years at a house opposite Kew Gardens, Surrey. Died of bronchitis in Richmond Infirmary, 1839, and buried at Kew.|
Exquisitely made bows having all the ideal qualities that bring them into direct harmony with the eye. No ugly curve in the head, or abruptness in the arching that could jar on the most sensitive to absolute nicety. Secured such a perfect balance together with artistic workmanship and beautiful wood that he rightly was termed the “English Tourte”. Notwithstanding the slenderness of the sticks they have wonderful power, capable of all the surprising variety and complexity of strokes, elasticity, attacking or powerfully sustaining a note, and all the most delightful gradations of tone that an artist wishes to employ in his performances. They do not admit of wide spread of hair, but in our opinion this is an advantage rather than a defect, for too much spreading of hair is not conducive to the production of an ideal tone.
Unfortunately they have one defect, and that is in being the minutest bit too short for the bravura player. But for this rather important drawback they would rank with those of Tourte, for his hand and judgment were quite as infallible as the great Frenchman.
Stamped his name in large plain letters on the side of the nut and on the stick; but so many have been remounted that now the name may only be seen on the stick. Made all classes of bows of various values, and thus his reputation is considerably minimized, as his finest bows are fewer than the others.
Moreover, there are hundreds of guinea bows stamped “Dodd”, or “J. Dodd” that are the productions of various bow-making firms. These and other cheaper “mongrel” dodges of some dealers have been the means of arousing approbrium from some players concerning the name of Dodd, who have not initiated themselves into the art of detecting genuine specimens or knowing the marked difference between those and the forgeries. A large number of his bows have been unnecessarily thinned down, consequently reducing them to being practically worthless. Used both round and octagon sticks - genuine specimens invariably dark in colour. He could never be persuaded to take pupils, and had no desire for anybody to know of and perpetuate his methods. In fact he so assiduously strove to maintain his secret of cutting the wood that he refused to reveal it for a bribe of ￡1,000 pounds, although frequently destitute of the wherewithal to get a satisfying meal. His method of cutting has been accounted rather primitive, and was not usually adopted by other bow-makers. He cut the sticks to the required sweep out of a block, and thus got that delightful “Cambre” or spring by altogether dispensing with the prevalent plan of cutting straight and then bending by heating the fibres.
Some bows mounted in jewels - made for members of the Royal family residing at what is now known as Kew Gardens. Arthur Dykes of London is the proud owner of the obsolete or “Corelli” bow made by Dodd, and he considers it to be by far the most fully developed and perfectly preserved ancient bow in the universe. It is made of the finest obtainable pernambuco and is wonderfully cambered.
Dodd, though a genius of eccentric proclivity, was very illiterate, and according to Dr. Sellé (a wealthy patron of his, who lived at Richmond, and who largely assisted him when in need of the ordinary necessities of living) he was unable to write anything correctly except his own name. Of small stature - rather waddled than walked. Negligent in dress, wearing a worn out coat of the most dilapidated description, short corduroy trousers, and broad brimmed hat. Quaint personality - a regular frequenter of the public-house for his favourite tipple “Pearl”. Walked home many times with his pockets full of oyster-shells begged from various stalls, and from these he cut out the pearl for the slides and ornamentations of his bows, which accounts for the characteristic plainness of this particular department of his work. Often at a loss for silver for the mountings, and his old house-keeper frequently berated him for using up several of her metal spoons. Dr. Sellé has stated that he saw Dodd cut out the identical shape of a bow from a rough plank with only the aid of a curiously constructed saw. He must have had remarkable aptitude to accomplish so much with so little.
Last years saddened by great poverty; mainly got his daily food and drink through the charitable intentions of a few friends. ￡40.
|51||DODD, THOMAS||Third son of Edward. Apprenticed to a firm of brewers; ultimately owned his own business; started bow-making in Blue Bell Alley, Mint Street, Southwark, 1786-1789. Dealer in and maker of violins in New Street, Covent Garden, London, 1798. Moved to St. Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross, 1809. Finally became a harp and piano maker in Berners Street.|
Instruments labelled with his name, but were almost entirely made by two clever assistants in his workshop (Fendt and Lott) who were in his employment for many years.
Had a cultivated knowledge of Italian instruments, and specialised in varnishing, claimed to be possessor of a wonderful secret (studiously kept to himself), and varnished, unaided, the work of his assistants. Very fine varnish, particularly rich and transparent, in shades from golden amber to deep golden red. Though in his day the composition of this preparation was a secret, it has since been scientifically proved to have been of the usual gums and resins, but mixed more methodically than his contemporaries attempted.
Violins and ’cellos modelled after Stainer, Amati, Stradivarius, Bergonzi, and Guarnerius - altogether show that the hands of his assistant workmen were wielded with great mechanical dexterity in the essential beauty and correctness of design. Tone not purely ideal, but has much facility of production.
’Cellos frequently catalogued at ￡50 (1920).
Note. - The only possessor of the recipe for preparing the original Cremona oil varnish. Instruments improved and repaired.
Business token in the form of a coin. Front: Instruments tun’d and lent to hire. (Also bearing the head of Handel the composer). Back: Dodd’s cheap Shop for Musical Instruments, New Street, Covent Garden (with a radiated Lyre).
|52||DOLLENZ, GIOVANNI||Worked at Trieste, 1802-1856. Gained experience in Storioni’s workshop at Cremona. Instruments emblematic of a persevering and patient hand, but they only show tame subservience to the Storioni model. Purfling gives no indication of a master’s power, but has just that ordinary merit of being done by a man not especially trying his best. No delicacy about the complexities of the scroll - nothing but a sort of unfinished vigour. Fairly correct Guarnerius outline and the flat arching (though not a rigid imitation of that model), well thought out. Stradivarius-like sound-holes prove the maker’s concentrative application. Wood for top usually of strong, perfectly regular, and rather wide fibres. That for back, seldom other than fairly plain sycamore. Yellowish red varnish, possibly spirit, no alluring lustre. Tone certainly rather powerful, but for an Italian type of violin there is only a scanty pittance of real sweetness.|
Used three kinds of label, same wording as example “A”, each with decorative border, but with lettering different according to period. First period 1802 in italicised type; second 1827 in ordinary lettering; third 1832 has the maker’s name in square type, and the remaining words italicised. ￡125, 1959.
Bows bearing his name show that he had regulated knowledge of elasticity combined with strength.
|53||D?LLING, HEINZ||Bow maker. Born 1913. Son of Otto. Worked at Wernitzgrün (Saxony), 1938. Estimable bows, refined workmanship. Stamped “Heinz Dolling”.|
|54||DUCHêNE, NICOLAS||Bow maker. Worked in Mirecourt, 1783-1790. Stamped “Nicolas Duchêne”.|
|55||DURRSCHMIDT||Born 1871. Died 1922. Bows made at Markneukirchen.|
Chocolate-coloured round sticks, rather heavily heeled. Not first-class workmanship. Stamed “Otto Durrschinidt”.
|56||EURY, NICOLAS||Bow maker. Born in Mirecourt. Worked in Paris, 1800-1830. Vivacity of elasticity assembled with strength, inciting the performer to attempt various fancy bowings. Handsome octagon sticks of medium red colour, generally considered to be superior to the round sticks of chocolate colour. Stamped “Eury”. Sometimes this stamp is under the silver thread lapping. Some players prefer them to the Tourte.|
|57||FéTIQUE, JULES||Born 1875. Brother of Victor. Pupil of E. Miguel. Worked for Bazin, Sartory, and Caressa. Established own premises at Paris, 1934. Won several diplomas. Magnificent bows, almost equal to those of Victor.|
|58||FéTIQUE, VICTOR||Born at Mirecourt, 1872. Son of Charles. Apprenticed to Fournier-Maline, Ausson, and Miguel. Worked for Bazin, also Caressa and Fran?ais at Paris, 1901. Established own premises in the French metropolis, 1913. Title of “Greatest archetier in France” conferred on him at the Paris Exhibition, 1927. Died 1933. Produced 14 different models, some being exact reproductions of the Tourte, Lupot, Voirin, etc. Also an original design having an elliptical stick with canted sides affording the maximum of resistance and elasticity. Every bow a complete work of art. Stamped “Vtor Fétique à Paris”. Gained medals at Brussels, Barcelona, London and Livorno. ￡35, 1959.|
|59||FINKEL, S.||Born 1927. Pupil of Weidhass. Worked at K?nigsberg (Prussia). Bows which splendidly reflect the traits of the French and German notabilities. Stamped “Siegfried Finkel”.|
|60||FISCHER||Bow-maker at Brambach (Bohemia). Stamped “Fischer -B”.|
|61||FLEURY, H.||French bow maker in Paris, 1900-1927. Strong sticks, modelled after Tourte, generally with whalebone lapping. Stamped “H. Fleury”. ￡30 (1959).|
|62||FONCLAUSE, JOSEPH||Sobriqueted “Le Mayeux”. Born 1800. Died at Paris, 1864. Bow maker. Made good progress under the guidance of Pajeot and Peccatte at Mirecourt. Employed by J. B. Vuillaume at Paris, 1825. Ultimately opened own workshop in the rue Paqerin. “Balance” is here given its fullest significance. Strength and elasticity beautifully welded together. Altogether charming bows to handle - workmanship irreproachably fine. Stamped “Fonclause” in broad lettering. ￡35 (1959).|
|63||FORSTER, WILLIAM||Born in London, 1764. Died 1824. Amatese modelling often quite similar to that favoured by father. Workmanship variable and erratic, but as neat as possible when he chose to exercise care. Tonal quality often really sweet, sonorous, and very responsive. Brownish red varnish, lustrous and transparent. ’Cellos sometimes have some affinity to Stradivarian principles, and are especially fine-toned. Produced a few double-basses, which he let out on hire. Generally of indifferent workmanship and shaped almost like a ’cello. Violas, body length generally 15-1/2 inches. Sometimes signed above or below tailpin.|
Some labels are without “Also Music Seller”, and sometimes written neatly to imitate printing.
|64||FRAN?AIS, EMILE MARCEL||Born 1894. Son and pupil of Henri. Worked for Penzel at Markneukirchen, and for Lyon and Healy, at Chicago. Established own premises at Paris, 1938, the same shop where Lupot worked. Appointed repairer to the Conservatoire. Decorated with the Legion of Honour. President of several associations in the city. Known as the “modern Vuillaume”. Assisted by a large staff of expert workmen. Famed for remarkable replicas of famous violins, violas, and ’cellos, including the Strad of Menuhin, Guarnerius of Ysaye, “King of Bavaria” Strad, etc. Created a new form of viola for quartets - laudatory notices received from French and Hungarian quartet players. ￡80 (1959).|
Also branded “Emile Fran?ais Paris” with monogram and a lizard-like figure. Many really fine bows with certain originalities. Stamped “Emile Fran?ais à Paris” in two places.
Finally (in collaboration with Margot - celebrated lacquerist) made wonderful replicas of ancient decorative instruments including a viol-da-gamba titled “Terrestrial Paradise”, a violin named “Bénéfique sur le Maléfique”, and a viola called “Allegory”. These bear three different labels (with designs by Calbot), each having a musical stave and the clef corresponding to each instrument, and “Similes sed Singularis” at the foot. Quite unique.
|65||FRIEDRICH, JOHN||Born at Cassel (Germany), 1858. Gave evidence, when a boy, of skill which was subsequently developed under Schonger at Cassel. Worked for M?ckel at Berlin, Hammig at Leipzig, and in other German centres. Went to New York, 1883, and by sheer force of merit worked his way into rivalship with Gemunder after three years residence. Also a capable violinist. Died 1943. Produced about 300 violins, violas, and ’cellos, all entirely his own handiwork. Recognising the perfection to which the old Italian makers brought their art, he endeavoured to model instruments after the best originals of Nicola Amati, Stradivarius, Guarnerius, and Maggini. Having had many opportunities of a completely critical observation when taking the old master violins to pieces, he built his exactly (as regards the thicknesses) as they did. Workmanship represents the choicest neatness gained by any maker, past or present. Wood used possesses those remarkable tonal qualities which give that rare sonorousness, purity, softness, far-carrying and sympathetic timbre. Always justly prided himself upon the preparation and application of the varnish. This possesses much of the distinguishing characteristics of the Cremonese - transparent, strongly adhesive to the wood, soft in its consistency, and brilliancy of surface. When worn, either naturally or by artificial means, it reproduces the brilliant colouring, as well as the fire-like radiance which adorns the famous Cremonas. Application of varnish done exactly to faithfully represent the worn appearance of the old originals. Stradivarius replicas have a golden brownish varnish under which the wood fibres flash out like small fish-scales. Guarnerius replicas have been treated to a fine display of brownish red shade, absolutely wonderful. Every man has little weaknesses, and Friedrich occasionally evidenced his in the apparent impatience of hand whilst tracing the purfling.|
The World’s Fair held at Chicago, 1893, afforded him the opportunity of bringing about a wider knowledge of his productions. Of this he took the fullest advantage, and placed an exhibit of completed and incompleted instruments which gained the highest award and a special diploma of merit. Similar critical encomiums were received at the World’s Exposition, St. Louis, 1904. Many letters of commendation from the finest players afforded him considerable joy, and encouraged him in his truly artistic efforts. ’Cellos (few) equally resplendent in workmanship and varnish, and have a tonal quality that renders them attractive to soloists.
Bows also highly prized for their elasticity of stick and finely finished workmanship. Modelled after Tourte, Voirin and others. ￡100. Bows ￡30.
|66||GAGLIANO, GENNARO (JANUARIUS)||Second son of Alessandro. Born 1690. Died 1771. Worked at Naples. Supposed to have worked in early youth with Stradivari. Had first place of honour in this family until the last few years, when the instruments of Ferdinando and Niccolò rapidly leaped into more recognition. Not a very prolific maker. Modelling something Stradivarian in conception, though the outline (particularly upper part), is less graceful. Body length usually 14 inches. Generally nicely broad and flat, but there are a few examples about on which he slightly raised the arching and made tiny divergencies at the sides. Workmanship must be recognised as completely artistic in rather superb neatness. Sound-holes beautifully graceful, but seem a shade shorter than those of Niccolò. Also set rather wider apart. Scrolls vary. Some characterised by greater breadth and freedom than those of the other Gaglianos, others (generally associated with early dated violins), assume something akin to the Stradivarian, and in their way quite splendid though not perfect, but the majority have not that consummate sweep we like to admire, but instead there is a noticeable decline into a sort of meanness as though unwilling to lift up its head. Also, the boss seems set very low. Fine belly wood, handsome backs and ribs. Varnish either of a light orange-brown or of darker reddish shade, both of subdued radiancy. None of the family quite approached Gennaro in this important matter, although a recipe in his own handwriting remained in the family, probably kept secret some essential ingredient. Tone rather full, of rich quality and responsive in all registers (except perhaps the higher notes of the third string which are often dull, though a lower adjusting of the bridge may remove the defect). First and second strings refreshingly clear, whilst the G string has that sonorous quality compelling the bow to exert its mastery. Some instruments have a beautifully thin purfling. Best period, 1730-1750. ￡200 in 1930 represented the average price. We think this figure rather excessive although certain American dealers may vociferously disagree, since they were placing 2000 dollars alongside the name at that time. Produced several small violas. Charmingly clear tone but without that real viola-depth quality properly belonging to the instrument.|
General measurements: body length, 14-3/4 inches; upper bouts, 7-1/8; lower, 8-7/8. ’Cellos of seraphic beauty, body length generally 29-1/2 inches. A Stradivarius ’cello, dated 1732, has been attributed to Gennaro Gagliano. Irreproachable workmanship, arching slightly fuller, ribs narrower, and the warm-looking red-brown varnish applied more thickly than usually exhibited by the Cremona maker. Bought from Gennaro by an Italian, 1740; sold to M. Champsor (a well-known ’cellist at Marseilles), 1765; and passed into the possession of M. Bonnet (a Parisian), 1826.
|67||GAILLARD, CHARLES||Born at Mirecourt. Apprenticed to Gand at Paris. Worked in that city, 1850-1880. Most successfully represented Gand’s Stradivarian modelling. Arching and scroll truly splendid. Every detail of workmanship of superior merit. Bold designing but never over-pronounced. Sound-holes admirably adapted to the whole contour, neatly cut, and being set fairly upright they seem slightly wide, but look well. Often pretty one-piece backs. Red varnish of good texture. Sometimes an orange-brown shade. Bold and vigorous bowing will get the best results from a tone not yet mature in mellowness. ￡50 (1940). Also a large productivity of bows. Generally chocolate coloured round sticks. Branded “Gaillard. Paris”.|
|68||GAND, CHARLES ADOLPHE||Born at Paris, 1812. Died 1866. Son, pupil and successor of Charles Francois. Fervent and earnest in producing the best, had sympathies with the French school and large views for its advancement, a genius working quickly and unobtrusively. Made a fair number of instruments, all beautifully finished workmanship and considerable richness of tone. Appointed repairer, etc. to the King and the Conservatoire. The most ubiquitous as well as the most conscientious of restorers, and achieved an enviable popularity throughout France. Renowned for expert valuation of old instruments. Associated with brother C. N. Eugène, 1855. “Gand Frères” obtained the first-class medal at the Paris Exhibition the same year. Received the decoration of “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur” 1862. The products of these clever brothers have always been held in the highest esteem, and year by year become more valuable. Workmanship, inside and out, very neat and masterly. Orange shade of varnish, delightfully transparent and of soft texture.|
Charles Dancla played on a Gand, and preferred it to any Italian instrument.
Bows branded “Gand Freres à Paris”. Beautifully cut - splendid sticks, not likely to warp. Usually of light weight. Artists impressed with the economic blending of strength efficiency and increased elasticity. ￡5 (1930). ￡15 (1959).
|69||GAULARD||Born and trained at Mirecourt. Worked at Troyes (France), 1820-1835. Violins and ’cellos of ordinary modelling. Workmanship carried out in a courageous manner, but without especial and studious nicety. ￡15 (1930). His bows have worthier points for admiration.|
|70||GEARY, WILLIAM GEORGE||Born at Hackney (London). Brought up to follow the trade of a lithographic printer - his vocation for several years. Proficient at an early age in the use of tools, this qualification added to the keen interest he had for violins, became the fundamental impulse that gave effect to his desire to become a “luthier”. Indebted (for practical knowledge of the craft) to W. B. Prince of Tooting, under this excellent tutor he made important progress. Fashioned mostly on the Stradivarius and Guarnerius models. Decidedly bold scroll, well-thrown, striking and symmetrical, gracefully cut and well finished. Purfling neatly, firmly, and evenly laid. Well cut and graceful sound-holes. Wood of excellent quality and figure. Details of interior workmanship perfectly accurate. Several well-known players testified to the rather satisfactory tonal results. Used Millington’s golden-brown oil varnish, and shows splendid ideas in application.|
The high degree of excellence he attained, the art of bow making proclaims him a clever ex-pupil of L. T. Chappell of Forest Gate. For strength of spring, correctness of taper, balance, and general finish, his bows are the players “desideratum”, and the prices are such as to facilitate the ready acquisition. Made quite a good number of violins and bows, and hereby found his true vocation. To makers such as he attaches the distinction of adding to the lustre of London’s roll of honour in the annals of its violin constructors.
|71||GEMüNDER, AUGUST MARTIN||Son of August Martin Ludwig. Born at New York, 1862. Entered father’s workshop, 1875. Made first instrument, 1877. Creator of the Gemunder Art Violins. Made a quartet of instruments for the Columbia Exposition, 1893, and received the highest award. Made according to the most reputed models of the old Italian makers in style, colouring, shading, and texture of varnish. Workmanship inferior however, graduations and other constructive elements strictly “Gemünder ideas” of producing uniform vibrations. Also claimed that these violins embodied a tonal quality of the same timbre as that producible from any of the instruments he made replicas from. The world’s most famous artists, from year to year, sent him remarkable laudatory testimonials concerning this tone. Instruments by “note” as well as by “ear”. Exact reproductions, but are the work of an?artist-thinker, one who gives each part of the interior its form and shape according to the acoustical function it has to perform, and not from any pattern left by this or that celebrated maker. Every change of this inside work wrought to give more power of tone, and with that great power there is no loss of refinement. Asserted that his instruments had the old Italian tone magnified by amplification and alteration of every part that tends to give an increase in the vibrating sounding board area, thereby increasing tonal volume. Great clarity too, due to special scientifically accurate graduations and arching that harmonise with each other. Wood always old, but not worn out or over seasoned, aged, but more resonant because of that. Tops of narrow, medium, and wide fibre. Backs cut in various ways.|
Some instruments made from wood taken from some very old buildings near the approach to Brooklyh Bridge. Specially prepared varnish from own formula, named “Vibrant”. Does not penetrate the pores of the wood, but lies on the surface like a shect protecting the instrument. Always pliable, never flinty or sticky, and an abundance of colour to fascinate the eye. Each model distinguished by some fixed quality of tone, bright, silvery, sonorous, sympathetic, brilliant, or powerful.
(1) Maggini model. Tone large and decidedly noble, also without the veiled effect noticeable on the A and E strings of several of the original Magginis. Light brown varnish of remarkable delicacy and transparency, shaded or thinned down in imitation of “wear”.
(2) Hieronymus Amati model. One of his best from an acoustical viewpoint. Skill stands out conspicuously, not alone in beauty of form and grace of outline, but also and more so in beauty and grandeur of tone with fluency of response. Varnished in imitation of “age and wear” so far as the application is concerned, colour tints vary from golden-brown to a glowing garnet.
(3) Facsimile of a Stradivarius dated 1705. Fiery, gleaming varnish in keeping with the grandeur and brilliancy of tone.
(4) Facsimile of the second period Stradivarius, dated 1724. Represents the finest flight of the copyist. Workmanship delightful to the connoisseur’s eye, also the woods used. Gleaming and glowing golden, or red varnish making an art-work of form and colour. Tonal quality warm and vibrant.
(5) and (6). Two Joseph Guarnerius models. Gemunder’s virtuosity of’ style as fully exemplified here as that of the originals. One large, the other small, equally happy in the varying form of line. Guarneriun varnish often exhibits a striking fiery brilliancy, a red-gold, melting to amber shades. Often termed “sonnets in colour”. “Vibrant” varnish here shows itself admirably in duplicating the colour effects, and where it is shaded off, to simulate great antiquity, retains its sheeny, filmy, diaphanous lustre even when thinned down to an almost imperceptible layer.
Arrived at the meridian of his life’s work, when he brought out the “Gemunder model” of 1905, a compromise between the deep Guarnerius and the lighter toned Stradivarius. A model possessing what he was pleased to term “Gemunder Tone”, a tone brilliant and deep, some mellowness and sympathy on every string, perfect equality throughout all the positions, and of sufficiency and plasticity to emotional and great area requirements, also emphasising two pertinent truths: (1) that a musical note is the result of a regular and periodic vibration of air particles acting on the ear; (2) that in order to cause this effect on the air particles, the vibration of the body whence the sound proceeds, must also be regular and periodic. Wonderfully fine varnish of various shades. Valued at 500 dollars.
Violas and ’cellos made on similar models.
(“August Gemünder” wirtten; with place and date between two drawn f holes)
Gemunder Art Bows made exclusive of pernambuco wood. Sticks thoroughly tested for elasticity and balance, eyed for suitability of fibre and grain - each proportioned, as nearly as its own characteristics will admit of, to the models of Tourte, Bausch, Vuillaume, and Lupot. As technical aids for the violinist they represent all the knowledge (theoretical and practical) of the bow-maker’s art. To his accomplishments as a maker must be added that of a fairly capable performer. Founded the “Violin World”, 1892, a journal offering erudite articles of violin interest. Died 1928. Inventor of “Amplitone”, 1925. Eight strips of pine wood disposed fan-wise and fastened to the pin block. Each is tuned to a note within the violin register, and sympathetically vibrate with the notes produced by the player, thus creating greater sonority and carrying power. An old principle put into new form,. early viols had two sets of strings, the lower set acting as vibrators.
|72||GERMAIN, EMILE||Born at Paris, 1853. Sonof Joseph Louis. Apprenticed to the trade at Mirecourt, 1865. Succeeded to father’s business at Paris, 1870. Went into partnership with Dehommais until 1882. Worked alone, 1882. Died 1933. Produced about 50 instruments yearly entirely personal. Modelling and workmanship worthy of analysis and comparison with any French examples. At no point do we see any desire for eccentric distinction. ￡30 (1925). Dehommais was an amateur who experimented in varnish, this being laid on the inner side and practically served to merely alcoholise and impregnate the wood for premature ageing, etc. About 100 instruments were made during the partnership of ten years. Awarded Exhibition medals and diplomas. ￡80, 1959.|
Also produced many truly excellent bows, considering that he priced them at the low figure of ￡2. Substantially built, rather too heavy for some players, but of accurate balance. Some sticks have a remarkable satiny appearance. Stamped “E. Germain. Paris”. ￡10, 1959.
|73||GILLET, LOUIS||Born 1891. Pupil of Barbè at Mirecourt. Worked at Nancy, 1925. and at Chalons-sur-Sa?ne, 1927. First-class bows favoured by several French soloists. Stamped “L. Gillet”.|
|74||G?TZ, C. A., Junior||Worked at Wernitzgrün (Saxony), 1880. Later at Markneukirchen. Commercial instruments of all kinds, also bows and strings.|
|75||GUTH, AUGUST||Born at Pilsnitz (Silesia), 1840. Pupil of Bausch (Leipzig) and Grimm (Berlin). Worked at Breslau - settled at Antwerp, 1888. Died 1912. Various models, mostly Stradivarian, to which no one can make the slightest demur. Also several splendid specimens of Maggini style. Did not believe in oil varnish; gave preference to a spirit formula of his own - applied in a very caressing manner. ￡80, 1959.|
(Bearing a portrait-reproduction of himself. Also branded “A.G.” with lyre ornamentation).
Made bows becomingly impressive by very refined work; particularly splendid heads. ￡20, 1959.
|76||HAMMIG, WILHELM HERMANN||Son and pupil of Wilhelm August. Born at Markneukirchen, 1838. Worked for Carl Grimm at Berlin, 1850; went to Amsterdam; returned to birthplace 1864. Produced during these years, many violins that exhibited his naturally gifted powers of hand, and foreshadowed the fame he subsequently merited, obtained, and retained. Lived at Frankfort for two years, finally settled at Leipzig, 1875. Repairer to the Conservatoire and Gewandhais orchestra. Won medals for fine workmanship at Dresden, Milan, Halle, and London. His knowledge in the judgment of old instruments soon brought amateurs, and professionals flocking to his premises. Intellectual intercourse opened their purses too. Died 1925. Business carried on by Hermann (son) until 1924. Violins influenced by the elevated principles of the Italians, and his spirit stirring activity produced rich impressions of that style. Kept himself aloof from tampering with the wood to get prematurely old tonal quality. The fair land of posterity shone clearly in his imagination so he built his instruments accordingly. The tone of such substantially constructed violins was inevitably new, but being absolutely full and responsive, was easily subjugated under the persuasive bowing of a fine player. Produced several especially worked violas, whereon he lavished every bit of his artistic and technical powers, knowing that the actual pecuniary gain would be infinitesimal compared to the enthusiasm and time occupied. Future generations will see high prices recorded. ’Cellos also handsomely treated with accurate workmanship. Made many double-basses during the earlier period of his life. ￡85, 1959.|
Also branded “W. H. Hammig”. Bows generally catalogued at ￡5 (1925). Stamped “Hammig, Leipzig”.
|77||HART, GEORGE||Born 1860. More of a connoisseur than an actual maker (though trained in Paris), and followed up the honourable traditions of his predecessors. Established in Wardour Street, London, where he had reason to be proud of the past, and gained confidence from all classes of violinists, amateurs, and collectors in the present. His personality, independent thought, and vast opportunities of handling valuable instruments, caused all violin enthusiasts to regard him as one occupying the highest estate in his particular domain. Employed a staff of skilled workmen (French and English), and we believe they greatly participated (if not entirely) in the construction of instruments labelled “Hart and Son”, a junction of labour perfectly justified by results. Outline, arching, and entire contour truly harmonious, together with all possible accuracy of detail, but no outstanding individuality for future generations to particularise. Finely executed scroll, somewhat deeply carved. Edges beautifully rounded, completely in the Italian style. Full margins at 1/8th of an inch beyond the purfling. Purfling of course, perfection itself. Sound-holes delineated quite artistically. Finest grain spruce, and the most picturesque maple. Golden-red oil varnish of delightful transparency. Tonal quality excellent, though unavoidably new. ￡80, 1959.|
Specially featured the making of bows. Magnificent sticks combining the balance and elasticity of any of the old French. Mounted in gold and tortoise-shell. ￡12. In silver, ￡4. ￡25, 1959.
|78||HEBERLEIN, HEINRICH THEODOR, JUNR||Born 1843. Worked at Markneukirchen. Died 1910. Instruments date from 1863. Developed into a trader, but in doing so, never descended from the exercise of his art-skill, in fact he materially helped the interests of commerce by using tact and diffusing his talent on producing better instruments than those previously exported from that industrial centre. He knew that a dual knowledge of art and business was more essential for success than had been previously thought necessary, so called forth his best enthusiasm in modelling and designing, and paid indefatigable attention to the harmonious shading of the varnish, and soon got ahead of the various competitors in the commercial world.|
Recipient of about a dozen medals from adjudicators at Exhibitions throughout Europe. Fine imitations of the old masters’ traits, all perfectly homogeneous, and particularly admirable are the warm tints of the different varnishes as well as his unique way of giving to them an old and well worn appearance. Quality of wood never varies, impossible to detect the smallest defect. Pre-eminently succeeded in imparting a splendidly clear tone, one without the slightest harshness. Also, and not of the least importance either, abundantly proved the possibility of putting every conceivable detail of finely finished workmanship to a marketable commodity, yet kept the price only slightly in advance of the many botches that had previously emanated from the workshops of Markneukirchen. Violas and ’cellos equally deserving of unqualified approbation. Also made bows, beautiful?transepts?of all the celebrated models, and at very reasonable prices.
|79||HEL, PIERRE JEAN HENRI||Son, pupil and successor of the preceding. Born at Lille, 1884. Made first violin in 15th year. Produced 400 violins, violas and ’cellos up to the year 1931. Died 1937. Built for some years, the three styles of Stradivarius, Amati and Guarnerius, but always had an intense predilection for creating an original model on some transcendent theories. This culminated in 1923 - first specimen launched into public recognition by Georges Enesco (celebrated Roumanian virtuoso). The same artist took it on his subsequent American tour, and press critics of that country were unanimous in their appreciation of its organ-like yet brilliant tonal quality. Very fine modelling of large proportions, distinguished by delightful workmanship. Splendid red and orange-red varnish, especially rich in texture, and most cleverly applied. Made a violin for the Exhibition of Decorative Arts at Paris, 1924. Gave it the name “Rossignol” (Nightingale), and was very delicately decorated. Acquired by Robert Hecquet (well-known soloist of Lille). Awarded highest diplomas at the St. Louis and Milan Exhibitions, 1904 and 1906. These artist violins were catalogued at 3,000 francs, ’cellos at 5,000 (1930). Employed a staff of skilled workmen who make another class of instrument catalogued at 800 francs. Also produced bows of the finest balance and workmanship. Stamped “Pierre Hel”. ￡80, 1959.|
|80||HENRY, JACQUES||Born at Mirecourt, 1823. Removed to Paris, 1827. Worked with Chanot, Peccatte, and Simon. Died 1870. Bows that claim the attention of enthusiastic amateurs or professionals. Beautifully finished, and perfectly balanced. Head bears a close resemblance to that of a Peccatte. Chocolate coloured sticks. Had a speciality which is to be greatly admired, we allude to his “pique” work, consisting of elaborate designs in solid gold or silver, inlaid into nuts of tortoiseshell. Gold-mounted specimens realised ￡25 (1950). Stamped “Henry Paris”. ￡40 to ￡50, 1959.|
|81||HERMANN, LOTHAR||Born 1914. Worked at Sch?nlind (Saxony). Bows of individual and distinctive propriety fit for the most exacting soloists. Beautiful workmanship. Stamped “L. Hermann” with three stars.|
|82||HERRMANN, AUGUST FRIEDRICH||Born 1863. Worked at Dresden, 1900. Died 1943. Splendid bows in the style of Knopf. ￡15, 1959.|
|83||HERRMANN, EDWIN OTTO||Born 1893. Esteemed bow maker at Sch?nlind (Saxony), 1919. ￡15, 1959.|
|84||HILL, WILLIAM EBSWORTH||Son of Henry Lockey. Born in London, 1817. Took his place in 14th year, alongside father and brother Joseph. Principally entrusted with the cutting of bridges. After the deaths of father and brother, he worked for Charles Harris at Oxford, 1837. Returned to London, 1838, established himself in Southwark, afterwards removing to Wardour Street, and finally to New Bond Street, where, in the exercise of his profession he yearly achieved transcendent popularity, particularly as a connoisseur and a business man of high principles, integrity and art delightfully combined. For several years, he did everything, in the repairing department with his own hands, employed no workmen whatsoever. Ultimately his four sons entered the business, and left him greater opportunities of building up a social edifice with all classes of the community. Died at Hanwell, 1895. Did not produce a large number of instruments, but each specimen exhibits a splendid sense of taste, accuracy of delineation, artistry of workmanship, and a trained eye in varnishing. Exhibited several finely finished violins, and an especially fine toned viola of large pattern, in London, 1862, for which he was rewarded with a medal, and special commendation from J. B. Vuillaume. Produced many bows of very serviceable utility for average good soloists. Balance and workmanship completely excellent, though their style assumes no special ingenuity of creativeness. Round and octagon sticks, generally valued at ￡5 (1925).|
|85||HILL AND SONS, W. E.||Established at 38 New Bond Street, London, 1887, moved to 140 New Bond Street, London (their present address) in 1895. Members of the firm 1935:|
1. William Henry (b. 1857, d. 1927)
2. Arthur Frederick (b. 1860, d. 1939)
3. Alfred Ebsworth (b. 1862, d. 1940)
4. Walter Edgar (b. 1870, d. 1905)
Present Partners, 1959:
Albert Phillips Hill (b. 1883)
Desmond d’Artrey Hill, son of above (b. l916)
Paul Ebsworth Hill - son of William Henry Hill (b. 1896).
A firm particularly honourable in the annals of the violin world. Each member has effected much to form the art-love and knowledge of connoisseurs, traders and players, As experts in old instruments their “guarantee’ is always considered as the most reliable in the entire world. Their zeal and integrity has never for a moment been questioned, and the name “Hill & Sons” is indeed a magical one. Their premises have finely grained rooms in which may be seen the most rare and valuable violins, etc., and most interesting preservations of labels, bridges, scrolls, etc., all to be viewed amidst every comfort and convenience always accompanied by true courtesy from the officials. Honoured with the Royal Warrant of Appointment as Violin and Bow Makers to the Kings of Italy and Portugal, 1908. Have extensive and magnificently equipped workshops at Hanwell, where a large staff of skilled workmen are continually employed, several of them having previously been the “pick” of the many Mirecourt trained. The gathered treasures of time and the harvest of several generations are laid up in the garners of those workshops and the new violins emanating from there are children of the most experienced hands and minds steeped in daily association with the finest old masterpieces. As modern instruments nothing more beautifully designed and of more refined workmanship can possibly be imagined. Also the loveliest wood is enhanced by the ever varying shades of equally lovely varnish, and applied with the greatest artistry. Replicas of the Alard or other Strads, etc. Without the aid of much eloquence from players and writers, these instruments will have an unassailable position in the future when age has ripened the tone. Some specimens realised ￡60 in 193l.
Violas and ’cellos all built with the same metrical accuracy and of the same gorgeous appearance.
As bow makers they are universally acknowledged as pre-eminent, and this preeminence is due to several important conditions which exist with them. One of the principals of these is the fact they never had any other intention but to produce the best, regardless of cost. To them the finest examples of Tourte, Dodd and others, were always available as models. Another very outstanding feature is the possession by them of a large and aged stock of the choicest pernambuco wood procurable. Pernambuco specially suitable for bows is a very difficult wood to obtain, thorough seasoning is an absolute requisite, and their bows are made only of material seasoned by natural processes for ten years. These conditions, combined with exceptional skill in workmanship, result in the production of bows equal to those of any French maker, past and present. Very fine heads and every little detail microscopically finished, great attention paid to the screws which are made from case-hardened steel. Elasticity, strength and perfect balance, altogether fine tone producers. Absolutely flawless except that some soloists do not like the whalebone lapping. Especially appreciated are the Dodd modelled examples. Stamped “W. E. H. & Sons” and “W. E. Hill & Sons”. Gold mounted sticks with a fleur-de-lys command high prices.
|86||H?FNER, KARL||Born at Sch?nbach (Bohemia), 1864. Organised his firm 1888.|
Produced many grades of cheap commercial violins, all of excellent workmanship and style for instruments of that particular class. “Master Violins” guaranteed hand-made are, in the main, of prepossessing appearance. No part of workmanship in any way faulty. No dissentient opinion awakened by the varnish, in fact everything is of an order compelling enthusiastic approbation uppermost in our thoughts. Thoroughly reliable instruments for the sum of ￡10, and a good tone may be extracted from them.
Various classes of “trade” bows branded with his name.
|87||HOMOLKA, FERDINAND AUGUST VINCENZ||Born 1828. Son and pupil of the preceding. Worked at Prague. Died 1890. Received the name of “Prager Stradivarius” for perfect copying of one dated 1719. The more familiar we become with the productions of the Bohemians with the wealth of their resources, their almost exhaustless representations and their subtle imitations of the endless variety of contour, the more we are surprised that the passage of time has not made them more prominent among European makers. Here is one who should be placed on the highest pedestal, not only for the splendidly cunning and effective manipulation of the various Italian (also occasionally Tyrolese) models he copied, but for using just the right kind of wood specially suited to the model and period. Rather medium arching. Oil varnish in tints of red, orange yellow and reddish brown, and when a bow is drawn across the strings we are astonished at the delightfully responsive tone, ￡40 (1925). ￡85 (1959).|
|88||HOYER (Jnr.), ADOLF||Bow maker. Established at Markneukirchen, 1908. ￡15, 1959.|
|89||HOYER, HERMANN ALBERT||Bow maker at Markneukirchen, 1910-1936. Often too thin towards the point, consequently too heavy at the head. Some finer specimens gaining in popularity. Stamped “Herm. Albert Hoyer”. ￡10, 1959.|
|90||HOYER, OTTO A. (HOYER-PARISER)||Worked several years for Sartory at Paris. Established at Markneukirchen, 1925. Artist bows of exquisite workmanship and design. Strength and elasticity happily combined. Round and octagon pernambuco sticks. Stamped “Otto A. Hoyer. Pariser 1922”. ￡25, 1959.|
|91||HUME, ALEXANDER||Born at Dumfries. Studied the violin with Prosper Sainton in London. Lived at Dumfries, 1884-1912, as a teacher and orchestral player. Pursued violin making more or less as a hobby. Paid yearly visits (in summer months), to the violin centres in Saxony and Bohemia, where he attained considerable skill and mathematical proficiency in construction. Succeeded, in 1907, in manufacturing an absolutely pure gum varnish which forms a perfect preservative against atmospheric decay, and is unsurpassed for its fine soft elasticity, purity and tone ennobling quality. Worked at Peterborough, 1915. Settled in London, 1917. Died 1941. Produced excellent designs of the Stradivarius, Guarnerius, Guadagnini, Amati and Maggini. Also made a series of violins under normal full size in order to test his theory that a smaller instrument frequently had a clearer and more responsive tone than one of larger dimensions. Until the year 1908, instruments were varnished in uniform shades, orange, red and brownish red, but after that date he favoured facsimiles of old violins, and consummately varnished them accordingly. All details of workmanship very cleanly carried out; every instrument of very handsome wood. Several well-known artists have played on certain of his specimens, and have pronounced them to be truly excellent in every respect and regarded them as splendid substitutes for the ancient types. Each example also meets the exacting requirements of critical connoisseurs. The Amati models voice the tonal quality corresponding to an ideal in quartets, thereby creating the benison of pure delight - master craft conceptions inviting fair trial and comparison, whereby the opportunity is made for players to solve for themselves unaided, the controversial question of the elusive “Italian tone”, simply by the indubitable evidence of the player’s own ears, a test open and accessible to all, and in such a test abides the only authority of real and practical value to players and their audition. The so-called oil varnishes in use for the past century, which makers claim to dry in a few hours, must of necessity be of a very hard nature, not conducive to a full and soft tone such as the old violins have. The fact that from 10 to 20 applications are applied in order to get “body and brilliance” is sufficient condemnation, further, it is nothing more or less than a form of glorified resin, and when once scratched becomes an eye-sore, also has no healing quality owing to its hardness. Hume preferred to use 2 or 3 coats only of the mixture made personally, the body resiliency and soft lustre after the first application considered by him to be quite sufficient except for the particular shade of colour desired. Certainly his Class A instruments have an especially fine brilliancy and easy response, also never anything of the scrappy surface tone often associated with new productions. Bows likewise exhibit his perception of medium weight to get strength and elasticity, usually octagonal sticks.|
|92||HUMS, ALBIN||Bow maker at Markneukirchen, 1925. Pupil of Knorr and Prell. Fine artist bows, used by several virtuosi. Some stamped with the name Henri Marteau in addition to his own. ￡20, 1959.|
|93||HUSSON, CHARLES CLAUDE||Worked at Mirecourt, 1845-1872. Specialised in bow making. Stamped “Ch. Husson”. ￡15, 1959.|
|94||HUSSON, CHARLES CLAUDE||Born at Mirecourt, 1847. Worked for J. B. Vuillaume, Voirin and others. Died 1915. Bows which have found a high reputation. Soloists happily appreciate the comfortable holding and the splendidly balanced strength. Stamped “Ch. Husson”. ￡20, 1959.|
|95||JOMBAR, PAUL||Born at Paris, 1868. Pupil of Audinot, 1882-1886. Worked for Gand and Bernardel; established own workshop, 1892. Decorated “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur”, 1901. Died 1949. A fine maker, who, with sound thought and study, made successful departures from the authority of tradition, but always with judicious skill and sense. Perfect workmanship. Modelling as elegant as anyone can desire. Contributed examples that will compare, without danger of criticism, with the best French makers of the past, and ought to give an object lesson to any young aspirant in violin construction. No little point overdone. Varnish brought “alive” with much persuasiveness. Beautifully clear tonal quality, and sufficiently powerful to give the possessor of one of these instruments every reason to be proud of his property. ￡600, 1960.|
Also produced many bows highly esteemed by the French
|96||KITTEL, NICOLAUS||Worked at St. Petersburg, 1840-1880. A German of splendid talents. One who absorbed himself in reproducing the beauties of the Cremonese, and had the cleverness to beautifully accomplish everything. All scientific proportions perfectly attended to. Faultlessly prettily figured wood. Produced few specimens.|
Better known for magnificent bows. So finely constructed that he was often termed the “Russian Tourte”. Have the prime essentials of strength and elasticity. Catalogued at ￡10. 200 dollars in America (1930). Light coloured chocolate round sticks especially fine. Stamped “Kittel”. ￡60, 1960.
|97||KNOPF, HEINRICH||Born at Markneukirchen. Worked many years at L?wendall’s Factory at Berlin. Established own workshop in that city, 1873-1885. Subsequently went to Moscow to work for Zimmermann. Built commercial violins, but of a class fully showing the liberal training of a mind naturally endowed with a certain order of perception for combining artistry with mass production. Bows particularly valued, every requirement of the player being most happily fulfilled.|
|98||KNOPF, HENRY RICHARD||Born at Markneukirchen, 1860. Son of Heinrich. Worked with Bausch at Dresden, and with Christian Adam at Berlin. Established at New York, 1880. Died 1939. Made 450 violins and 50 violas. Fine modelling after the larger Stradivarian proportions. Workmanship most delightfully well finished. Scroll has that fine grace arising from a devotion to beauty - sound-holes also. Used the finest wood procurable. Orange red oil varnish of own compounding. Tonal quality very responsive and of fullest power. Catalogued at 150 dollars. Produced 50 ’cellos of the highest possible artistry. Inherited father’s talent for fine bow making and made 1,000, stamped “H.R. Knopf. New York”.|
|99||KOVANDA, FRANK||Born 1904. Worked for Lewis & Sons at Chicago, 1924. Many fine bows of various famous models, used extensively in U.S.A.|
|100||KUCZER, JOHN THOMAS||Born at Pyrimylo (Ukraine), 1888. Resident at Winnipeg (Canada), 1904. Produced 60 violins and 6 violas up to year 1949. Instruments highly praised by violinists in North America. Also many excellent viola bows.|
|101||LABERTE, MARC||Born at Mirecourt, 1880. Director of the expansive Laberte-Humbert Freres firm. Youth and activity, and a passionate desire to emulate and copy the Cremonese, acted as a spur to conquer the difficulties. Realisation of successful results (totally different from the several hazardous imitations of Mirecourt predecessors) necessitated the possession of valuable masterpieces. Spent two years assembling impeccable specimens of Stradivarius (1702), Guarnerius (1736), Amati (1650), Ruggerius (1690), Guadagnini (1755), Stainer, Gagliano, Testore and others. Undertook the delicate procedure of temporary dissecting these characteristic specimens. Then came the question of choice of woods, so made it essential and indispensable to search for old material seasoned by nature and the open air, having such qualities as to avoid any artificial preparation to obtain resonant mellowness such as practised by some of his predecessors. Compounded a warm and transparent varnish, favourably comparing with the Cremonese. By persistent effort and astonishing conception he then brought out his imitative revelations wondrous replications of the original contours and varnishes, also a definite charm of variegated tonal qualities. Likewise built ’cellos from a Joseph Guarnerius (1713), certain specimens attracting the attention of French virtuosi.|
Also bows stamped “Laberte” - fifty shillings.
|102||LAFLEUR, JACQUES||Born at Nancy, 1757. Went to Paris, 1780. Established the “Alliance Musicale” (publishing of works for Dance and Casino bands). Subsequently engaged a staff of workmen for instrument making. Died of cholera, 1833. Personal work consisted principally of bow making. Outstandingly fine imitations of the Tourte, and so finely balanced, etc., as to frequently pass for original Tourtes. Seldom stamped with his own name. Several violins also bear his name, usually red varnish, very similar to the early productions of Vuillaume, catalogued at ￡15. ’Cellos of medium arching, brownish yellow varnish, typically French tone. ￡30. (Bows).|
|103||LAFLEUR, JOSEPH RENé||Born 1812. Son of Jacques. Died 1874. Carried on the traditions of father’s firm. Violinist in early youth, subsequently assisted in the making of instruments, finally, trained his hand and eye to the production of superlatively fine bows for solo players. Bows that splendidly preserve the style of Tourte, second only to the original genius. ￡20. (Bows).|
|104||LAMBERT, N.||French. Period 1902. Nicely balanced bows of refined workmanship. Silver mounted, ￡5, gold mounted, ￡10. Stamped “Lambert”. ￡20 to ￡30, 1960.|
|105||LAMY, ALFRED||Son, pupil and successor of A.J. Worked at Mirecourt. Died 1944. Replicas of the fine bows of father. Stamped “A. Lamy. Paris”. ￡15, 1960.|
|106||LAMY, ALFRED JOSEPH||Born at Mirecourt, 1850. Worked for Gautrot at Chateau-Thierry, 1866-1877, and for Voirin at Paris. Opened own atelier in the Rue Poissonniere, 1885. Died 1919. Conscientious workman, incontestably skilful in refinement, but his bows sometimes fall short of perfect equilibrium and elasticity. Stamped “A. Lamy a Paris” or “A. Lamy”. ￡20, 1960.|
|107||LAMY, LOUIS||Born 1870. Pupil of Cuniot. Worked at Mirecourt. Died 1922. Excellent bows of various grades. ￡10 to ￡20, 1960.|
|108||LANT, ERNEST F.||Born in London, 1901. Pupil of Bidulph. Resident at Sevenoaks, Kent, 1950. Violins, violas, ’cellos and double basses. Also bows.|
|109||LAPIERRE, MARCEL||Born 1907. Established at Mirecourt, 1947. Maker of very fine bows much sought after by soloists. ￡15 to ￡20, 1960.|
|110||LATOUR, ARMAND||French bow maker, 1925. Light brown sticks, octagonal without sharp edging, refined workmanship. Stamped “Armand Latour”. ￡20, 1960.|
|111||LAVELLO, JEAN||Born at Rennes, 1908. Studied with Pierre Audinot. Established at Paris. Won gold medal, 1930. Repairer to the Conservatoire and Colonne Orchestra. Very attractive designs, oil varnish of splendid texture. Also fine bows stamped “Lavello Paris”. Bows, ￡10. Violins, ￡80, 1960.|
|112||LECCHI, GIUSEPPE BERNARDO||Born 1895. Pupil of Cesare Candi. Established at Genoa. Regarded by Italians, 1949, as standing at the top of the ladder. Won several gold medals. Modelling which propitiates Strad, Guarneriun and Amatese, alluring reddish orange varnish. Obtained gold medal for magnificent bows at Rome, 1933. Violas and ’cellos greatly appreciated for deep yet brilliant tone. Guitars in Guadagnini style for virtuosi, also some for jazz orchestras, with arching, bridge and tailpiece similar to the violin.|
|113||LEICHT, MAX||Bow-maker at Hohendorf, 1910-1930. ￡10 to ￡15, 1960.|
|114||LENOBLE, AUGUSTE||Born at Mirecourt, 1828. Apprenticed to Peccatte. Worked for J. B. Vuillaume. Opened own atelier at Paris, 1862. Died 1895. Bows of very skilful manipulation but generally too heavy for soloists, usually dark sticks. Stamped “Lenoble” or “Lenoble à Paris”. ￡25, 1960.|
|115||LONGIARU, GIOVANNI||Born at Pozzale di Cadore (Italy), 1886. Pupil (in woodwork) of Gottardo at Venice, and (in violin making) of Pezzoni at Cremona. Repairer to the Conservatoire, Venice, where he also studied violin playing and became quite proficient. Went to New York, 1903. Produced about 270 violins up to year 1948. Also violas, ’cellos and double basses. No adherence to any particular model, but rather favoured the Guarnerius. Workmanship distinguished in a pre-eminent degree, specially refined finish of the inner edges of the sound-holes. Used finest Italian woods, and worked most assiduously to the attunement of the plates. Golden red varnish made from a special preparation, claimed to be “Cremonensis secundus”. Rich in tonal quality. These gems are glorious witnesses of the powers of a great master, instruments to win imperishable renown, a great joy to all succeeding ages and to all soloists. Also produced perfect replicas of the various masterpieces. Renowned for restoring and perfecting the tone of old instruments by what he termed the “Longiarised Process”, which included special treatment and position of the bass bar. Considerable productivity of bows in early years.|
|116||LOTTE, FRAN?OIS||Born at Mirecourt, 1883. Splendid reputation for bows. ￡20, 1960.|
|117||LOWENTHAL, LOUIS (LOWENDALL OR LOWENDAHL)||Established as a musical instrument manufacturer in Berlin, 1866. Born 1836, son of a draper in a small provincial town of Northern Prussia. When about seven years of age, displayed considerable talent for music and even at that early age he constructed a violin according to his own ideas namely, from an unplaned wooden board making the neck, pegs, etc., from similar material. The strings he made from strong cotton thread, the bow as best he could, securing a supply of hair from the tails of horses in the street. His father discovering his son’s love for the violin bought him a real fiddle, an instrument of reddish tint, sounding very harsh. Commenced his musical studies in earnest in 13th year at K?nigsberg High School, and in 19th year was an efficient performer on the ’cello. At Leipzig, he became acquainted with the renowned instrument maker Bansch and, later, at Berlin he connected the well-known violin bow maker Heinrich Knopf, under both of whom he took the opportunity of studying violin and bow making. Opened a retail music shop in Berlin in 1855, and from that time the business expanded. Manufactured a large number of the musical instruments he sold and the business grew and prospered. In 1867 he went to the United States and set up in business. His very valuable stock of old violin wood and musical instruments, especially a fine collection of about 60 genuine old violins, soon became known among musical circles and created a sensation as many of the instruments were very costly. One of his friends and customers was George Gemunder the violin maker, who bought some of his most beautiful wood and many valuable instruments. He soon became aware that his German-spelled name was pronounced by his new American friends differently from the original and accustomed sound, so he changed it to the English version, Lowendall. After six years he returned to Europe and devoted himself to collecting on a large scale, old Italian violins which he sold very profitably in America which he visited at regular intervals. In 1873 he lived in Dresden for a short spell and in the following year visited England for the first time, and stayed for about six weeks doing very good business. For the next five years he went annually to America and in 1878 made the acquaintance of ‘Ole Bull in St. Louis who permitted him to take a copy of his famous grand concert violin which he was playing there at the time. The copy of this instrument became known as “Lowendall’s ’Ole Bull”. He thereafter divided his time between America and England, having enormous success in both countries. Awarded a silver medal at the London Inventions Exhibition and a similar one at Bologna, Italy, for a fine display of his excellent violins. In 1889 he bought a spacious four-storey building at 121 Reichenbergerstrasse, Berlin, and employed many skilled workmen.|
|118||LUPOT||Trade bows of various grades, chiefly emanating from Mirecourt. Stamped “Lupot”. ￡8 to ￡12, 1960.|
|119||LUPOT, FRAN?OIS||Born at Orleans, 1774. Worked at Paris, 1797-1837. Made a good number of instruments in early days at Orleans and Paris, showing that he was equally destitute of real delicacy as having no adequate idea of the dignity and comparative perfection of what a violin should be. Label states he was a pupil of Stradivari, a poor attempt at deception for everybody has known that the Cremonese maker died about 36 years before Lupot’s birth.|
About 1815 be seems to have realised his non-success at violin making and renounced it in favour of making bows. Ascended out of the pit of former carelessness and put his heart and pride of work into copying the principles of Tourte, thereby bringing around him an influential phalanx of purchasers who eventually circulated his bows around Europe. Invented the “coulisse” or metal groove attached to the nut and carefully fitted to the stick on which it works, a very sensible notion and one since adopted by every other maker. Many of his bows (particularly those with octagonal sticks) have inherited all the vivacity, strength and elasticity of genius; but others show that occasionally he descended into his slip shod habits. These are clumsy looking things of little use. Design of his bows differ considerably. Heads of finest specimens not so broad as those of a Tourte or any famous makers perhaps excepting Tubbs. Top gradient has a quicker descent than the Tourte, Voirin or Dodd, and the front part (where the ivory is) has a more decided slant. Poise of this head seems to give strength and equilibrium without using too much material. Some have no stamp, others stamped “Lupot” in three places (third place found under the lapping). One of the infallible signs of a genuine Lupot is the “full-stop” after name, a trait not generally noticed. Many manufacturers of trade bows brand the name Lupot, so it behoves us to remember how to detect the guaranteed article. ￡20 to ￡30, 1960.
|120||MAIRE, NICOLAS||Born at Mirecourt, 1800. Died 1878. Pupil of Jacques Lafleur. Worked in Paris. Splendidly made bows, but for all their perfect balance we think he made them too robust and consequently too heavy for soloists.|
|121||MALINE, GUILLAUME||Born at Mirecourt, 1793. An earnest thinker who made bows commending themselves to all who have proper regard of combined strength and elasticity. Splendid heads having a deep curve down the back. Often beautiful material, sometimes gold mounted. Stamped “Maline”. ￡25 to ￡35, 1960.|
|122||MARTIN||Worked at Leipzig. Bow-maker. As instances of careful and successful finish, there are no better bows originating from Germany at the small cost of two guineas. Not artists’ bows, but made for orchestral players. The only deviation from the artistic is the rather large head, but this does not upset the balance. Stamped “Martin”. Finely polished Pernambuco sticks - silver mounted. ￡10, 1960.|
|123||MARTIN, E.||Worked in Saxony, 1915. Very ordinary bows but neatly made, dark sticks and German-silver mounts. Stamped “E. Martin. Sachsen”.|
|124||MARTIN, JEAN JOSEPH||Born at Mirecourt, 1837. Worked for J. B. Vuillaume at Paris. Died 1910. Made many splendid bows, only a few branded with his name. “J. J. Martin”.|
|125||MEINEL, FRITZ||Born 1885. Pupil of Nürnberger. Worked at Markneukirchen, 1918. Most estimable bows which have achieved great popularity. Stamped with name.|
|126||MILLANT, JEAN JACQUES||Born 1928. Son of Roger. Studied at Mirecourt. Established at Paris, 1951. Industrious bow maker, specimens greatly esteemed by French and Belgian violinists|
|127||MIQUEL, EMILE||Born 1851. Worked at Mirecourt. Died 1911. Well modelled violins obtained legitimate success extending over 30 years, details carefully wrought. Excellent varnish and a tonal quality of an unusually delicate timbre. Catalogued at 8 to 12 guineas. Also produced bows at a guinea which have considerable analogy with the standard models, quite superior to the many “trade bows” which frequently entrap that portion of the public easily misled by cheap prices. His son (born 1889) was his pupil and successor.|
|128||MIREMONT, CLAUDE AUGUSTIN||Born at Mirecourt, 1827. Son and pupil of Sebastien. Worked for Collin Mezin at Mirecourt. Employed by Lafleur and Bernardel at Paris. Established at New York, 1852-1861. Returned to Paris. Died 1887. Remarkable accuracy of detail prevails in all his numerous instruments on no little point in workmanship can be placed the slighest condemnatory mark. Such honest distinctiveness affords pleasant reflections to dwell upon and the verdict of the future will add further approbation. Each instrument made entirely with own hands, thus showing that his mind had that interior apartment of pride in personal completeness, disdaining the customary commercial procedure of his many contemporaries in having several workmen to assist in rapid production. Modelling generally of the Stradivarian and Guarneriun but with noticeably deeper ribs. Occasionally favoured the Klotz and Gagliano forms. Orange red varnish of gratifying aspect, nice constituency, though perhaps too thinly applied. Claimed that the tonal quality was superior to any other of his day. Most people as a rule are not prone to believe in a man being his own trumpeter, for he is only succumbing to the temptation of vanity indulgence but in Miremont’s case he seems to have had every justification for the outspoken and apparently conscientious opinion of his instruments, since at this day we realise that the tone is of such a carrying power and fast developing quality as not to be easily dismissed from the memory. Dealers, too, are naturally aware of this and (in 1925) were offering specimens at ￡50. Made more ’cellos than violins, many specimens highly valued for their strong yet persuasive sonority of tone. Received higbest awards at Exhibitions, Paris, London and New York. Conceived in 1867, a theory for fixing a second bar to the inside but finding that it failed to impart more tonal vitality he wisely abandoned it. ￡90, 1960.|
Also good orchestral bows stamped “Miremont”.
|129||M?CKEL, OSWALD||Born 1843. Pupil of Carl Grimm and Christian Adam. Worked at Berlin. Died 1912. Fine modelling after the Cremonese and Brescian, but not without slight modifications and considerable personality. Lustrous oil varnish, usually of reddish shade. Very strongly wooded, consequently maturity of tonal quality will only materialise with the passing of many years. Medallist at Brussels Exhibition, 1910.|
Also constructed many valuable artist bows.
|130||M?LLER, MAX||Born at Markneukirchen, 1875. Worked at Berlin, St. Petersburg, and finally at Amsterdam, 1913. Died 1948. Instruments of Stradivarian and Guarneriun modelling, all having structural points worthy of the highest praise. Built for full maturity in posterity. Varnish of own preparation, received recognition from a wide circle of connoisseurs.|
Produced 250 violins, violas and ’cellos. Also bows that hold themselves far aloof from general merchandise. Author (in collaboration with son), of “Italiaansche Vioolbouw” (Amsterdam, 1938).
|131||M?NNIG, AUGUST HERMANN||Worked at Markneukirchen, 1875-1927. Son Johann continued the business. Splendid artist bows for violin and ’cello.|
|132||MORIZOT, LOUIS||Atelier at Mirecourt, 1925. Assisted by five sons. Presented magnificent handmade bows. Admired by artists, connoisseurs, and amateurs. Made of rich material and very artistically mounted. A maker who has consecrated his activities to the highest artistry. Obtained highest award at the Exposition Artisanale, Paris, 1927. ￡10-￡15 & ￡25, 1960.|
|133||MüLLER, JOSEF||Born 1850. Flautist, well-known in Bohemia, making brass and stringed instruments. Established own place, 1873, and soon had the assistance of several workmen. All kinds of instruments came from his rapidly expanding premises, but he specially attended to the violin department. Produced good copies of a Strad, Guarnerius or Stainer, at a guinea each. Experimented in varnish for tonal improvement also patented violins and ’cellos with double plates, won nine medals for the carrying power and roundness of tone. Sometimes used new pine wood, soaked it in flowing water in order to fix or reserve the resin, thus the soft parts and the fibrous matter were united to a solid mass so that the whole plate vibrated uniformly. Also tried the process of soaking the top plate (for about four weeks) in lime water frequently renewed then dried in the air and sunlight. ’Cellos thus treated had a tone of extreme softness and purity. ￡80, 1960.|
Made serviceable pernambuco bows, various models. Firm carried on by his successor, Andreas Müller, 1925.
|134||NEUNER, LUDWIG||Most brilliant representative of the family. Born at Mittenwald, 1840. Trained in the workshop of his father Johann; worked with Andreas Engleder at Munich, also studied ’cello playing with Werner at the Conservatorium. Proceeded to Vienna where he was assistant to Gabriel Lembock; then spent six years under the guidance of J. B. Vuillaume at Paris; also continued his ’cello studies by taking lessons from Franchomme. The cleverness of his subsequent work must be entirely attributable to the impressions gathered from the masterpieces continually passing through the hands of the eminent Frenchman. Worked a few months in London; opened an establishment at Berlin, 1867; worked there with two workmen until 1883. Death of brother and father necessitated his return to Mittenwald, where he took over the control of “Neuner and Hornsteiner”. Had branch premises and workmen at Berlin and Innsbruck. Appointed maker to the Bavarian Royal Family. Recipient of various medals at Exhibitions throughout the world. Died 1897, after organising the firm in such a manner that 200 men were daily employed in coping with large orders from every country. An accomplished man, cultured conversationalist, etc. who could proudly boast of any acquaintance with Kaiser Wilhelm, Prince Leopold, and many of the celebrated virtuosi and composers of his country. Spent the last few years of life endeavouring to solve the secret of the varnish of the old Cremona masters. The firm produced all grades of stringed instruments from ten shillings upwards. “Solo Violins” and “Solo ’Cellos” were the personal work of Ludwig. Superior workmanship at the relatively small price of ￡15. Perfect modelling and replicating of the Messe Strad, or the Paganini Guarnerius, Amati, and Maggini. Finely wooded, richly varnished, and of splendid tone. Produced interesting copies of the Servais and Lübeck Strad ’cellos. Also made bows for artists.|
|135||NORRIS, JOHN||Born in London 1739. Pupil of Thomas Smith, went into partnership with Robert Barnes 1765-1780; worked at Bath 1805-1810; returned to London 1810; and died 1818. More of a trader than an actual maker. Generally assumed that all instruments bearing his name or that of his partner, were made by assistants in their employment. Stainer and Amati modelling which never errs against good taste though ordinarily conceived. Yellow-brown varnish of indifferent substance, and sometimes excessively cloudy, super-adding an utterly commonplace appearance. Tonal quality rather small, monotonous, and wearying.|
|136||NüRNBERGER, FRANZ ALBERT||Born 1826. Died 1895. Pupil of Bausch for bow making. Founder of the Bowmaking Guild at Markneukirchen of which he remained director for 25 years. Productions universally acknowledged to be without flaw. Of admirable length and balance. ￡25, 1960.|
|137||NüRNBERGER, FRANZ ALBERT||Born 1854. Established at Markneukirchen since 1880. Became famous throughout Europe for bows. Produced faithful representations of the Tourte. Voirin and Tubbs models. Each specimen possesses the greatest merit in point of sheer workmanship, but the maker also had sufficient discernment of the strength without over-weight, necessary for the vigorous playing of this modern age. Lineaments of the head especially outstanding. Stamped “Albert .Nurnberger”. Used extensively by virtuosi. Recipient of several medals at exhibitions. ￡25 to ￡30, 1960.|
|138||NüRNBERGER, KARL ALBERT||Son of Franz Albert. Established at Markneukirchen 1908. Died 1931. Followed his father’s footsteps in the making of high quality bows to fulfil the exacting needs of present-day violinists. Resistance, flexibility, balance, and weight all beautifully regulated so that the soloist can pleasurably control and mould the desired tonal varieties. Eyes also captivated by the superfine workmanship. Succeeded by son Karl Albert, Junr. ￡12, ￡15, 1960.|
|139||NüRNBERGER-SUESS, AUGUST||Born at Markneukrchen 1875. Studied bow making with his father Adolf and grandfather J. C. Suess the latter urging him to keep the name of Suess alive by adding it to his own as a son who would have done so was killed in America. Established at Novato (California) since 1912. Artist bows for all stringed instruments. Each production distinguished for gracefulness and strength. Heads most artistically shaped according to the various types copied. Every phase accurately attended to, consequently a delight to use. Finest well seasoned Pernambuco wood, and superbly mounted in silver or gold.|
|140||OUCHARD, EMILE A.||Born at Mirecourt, 1900. Son and pupil of E.F. Worked at Paris, 1940-1946. Awarded gold medals at several French Expositions. Went to the State of Illinois, 1946. Magnificent bows with beautifully carved heads, perfect balance, and superb sweep of stick, finely selected pernambuco wood, mounted in silver or gold. Lewis & Son (Chicago) chief distributors. Stamped “Emile Ouchard”.|
|141||OUCHARD, EMILE FRAN?OIS||Born 1872. Bow-maker. Established at Mirecourt, 1924. Successor to the business of Cuniot-Hury. Died 1934. Intimately and thoroughly understood the needs of a soloist. Delightfully balanced and beautifully finished bows, at the reasonable prices of two and three guineas (1928). Awarded several gold medals. Stamped “Emile Ouchard”. ￡10, 1960.|
|142||OWEN, JOHN WILLIAM||Born at Leeds, 1852. Apprenticed to the engineering trade, but health gave way under heavy manual labour. After convalescence he took up violin repairing as a hobby, and became thoroughly enthusiastic. Bought books, gleaned several theoretical principles, chatted with local fiddle makers, also went to France to gain further insight into the art. Produced first instrument 1884. Called his residence “Amati House”. Built about 200 violins, violas, and ’cellos; and repaired over 4,000. Died 1933. Modelling after Stradivarian and Guarneriun principles, also one combining the two. Splendid outline, body length 14-1/8 inches. Nice curvatures all round, width across upper bouts, 6-5/8; middle, 4-3/4; lower, 8-1/4. Arching finely conceived and graduated. Full and strong edges, slightly turned up and smoothly rounded. Artistically designed waist curves, three inches from corner to corner. Depth of ribs, 1.9/32.|
Sound-holes have no claim to novelty, but have the happiest effect in being of a fine long sweep, not too slanting, perfect graduation to centre of stem, and carefully finished wings. Solidity specialises the scroll, the fluting and broad curvature to the boss being very noteworthy. Inside work geometrically exact, all thicknesses properly and scientifically accomplished. Belly wood of strong reed, and backs of the usual figured material. Oil varnish of own formula, various shades from yellow to deep red, transparently brilliant. Tonal quality finely healthy, of bell-like clarity, completely even from bottom to top, and beautifully maturing with each successive year. Violas of similar characteristics. ’Cellos generally of fine proportions, and more arched than the violins, but there are a few specimens where the curve to the corners leaves something to be desired. Several double-basses of good orchestral tone. Excellently balanced bows bear his name. Label - artistically designed representation of a horizontal sound-hole, clefs and staves on the left, monogram on the right, and name along the middle:
Date not on the label, but written on the bare wood after his signature. Played the violin since childhood, also had many pupils on the instrument, and was in considerable demand as an orchestral player. Studied harmony and composition from an early age.
|143||PAESOLD, RODERICH||Bow maker at Bad-Brambach, 1925.|
|144||PAJEOT, ETIENNE||Son of Louis Simon. Born 1791. Died 1849. Obtained a “mention honourable” at Paris, 1834, for splendid finish of his work. Employed largely by Lafleur. He and his assistants operated successfully on a wholesale scale and turned out 8,000 various grades of bows varying in prices from a shilling to a guinea. Consequently many are of ordinary finish. Finest examples are of light weight, generally clear yellow wood with enlarged veins, gold mounted, perfectly balanced and remarkably strong. Sometimes worth five guineas. Branded “Pajeot”. ￡65, 1960.|
|145||PAJEOT, LOUIS SIMON||Worked at Mirecourt, 1780-1792. Did not revolutionise any previous methods but proved to be a thoroughly skilful workman. Nicely balanced bows, conscientiously well finished though not perfectly so. Generally medium colour sticks, occasionally of darkish red, octagonal and round. Catalogued at ￡5 (1930), 100 dollars in the U.S.A. Seldom stamped. Occasionally bows are seen with “Pajeot, Paris” affixed, but their genuineness as being the work of this man is extremely doubtful. Also made violins of slight consequence. Bows ￡30, 1960.|
|146||PANORMO, GEORGE||Brother of Joseph. Born 1777. Died 1845. Worked at the shop in High Street, Bloomsbury, and later in Oxford Street. Specialised as a guitar maker and no contemporary surpassed his beautiful designs. Produced over 2,000 of these popular instruments. Made many violins after the Stradivarian pattern, greatly varying in merit. Whatever defects may be in some of the inferior examples, the finer ones can boast of an elegant and gloriously built outline several being exact replicas of the prototype. Connoisseurs have assigned to these the praises of being the finest reproductions ever wrought in this country. Rather favoured the Amatese-Stradivarius outline. Particularly expert in scroll cutting and achieved truly handsome and noble poises. Marvellously imitated the age of the original in the reddish yellow varnish which, in texture and transparency, almost vies with the Cremonese. Always chose the finest and highly flamed material. So pronounced was his copying fidelity that a few specimens have passed for genuine Strads. Unfortunately, as concerns posterity fully appreciating his very estimable work, he seldom labelled or placed any other identification mark in his violins. Those assumed to belong to the period 1802-1808 are accounted his finest efforts. Tonal quality very sonorous and sympathetic with splendid carrying power. Catalogued at 600 dollars in the United States, 1925. ’Cellos, also, perfectly Stradivarian, equally uphold his cleverness and serve as models for what the present age is producing. On these he applied a rich orange brown varnish. His bows perhaps, give his name even greater prestige, nevertheless, they vary greatly in merit. Those having octagon sticks (usually chocolate colour) are the favourites and worthy of any artist’s use. Name generally stamped in the usual place. Patronage and honours from Royalty and other persons of high rank have often been conferred on individuals whose claims cannot be named in the same breath with those of Panormo, yet no such luck ever came his way. ￡125, 1960. Bows, ￡25.|
|147||PANORMO, LOUIS||Son of Vincenzo. Worked in London many years. Went to New Zealand late in life. Returned to England, 1837. Died 1845. Specialised in guitars, to which he gave much adornment and imparted an astonishingly sympathetic tone. Produced over 2,000. Became known as the Stradivarius of that instrument. Enjoyed patronage from the society world and prices went up extravagantly. Also made fine violin bows, which were stamped with his name. ￡20 (Bows), 1960.|
|148||PAQUOTTE, JEAN BAPTISTE||Born at Mirecourt, 1827. Nephew of Sebastien whom he assisted for eight years. Worked fourteen years for Lafleur. Succeeded to his Uncle’s business at Paris, 1863. Died 1900. Exclusively devoted his energies to bow making during several years of his youth. Ultimately drifted into violin-making and became rather celebrated for repairing as well as for expert knowledge of old instruments. These violins have the fault of certain unequal thicknesses, and are often found to be too strongly made for absolute responsiveness of tone, but their exterior beauties are so plentiful that an avowal of approbation cannot altogether be suppressed. Noble-looking scroll, handsome wood, and varnish of considerable suppleness.|
|149||PARISOT, A.||Good class violins produced at Mirecourt, 1920. Also bows.|
|150||PARMEGGIANI, ROMOLO||Born 1888. Worked at Modena, 1930. Also a good violinist who won diploma at Bologna Conservatorio. Stradivarian modelling. Bows stamped with his name.|
|151||PATOCKA, BENJAMIN||Born at Passek-on-the-Iser (Bohemia), 1864. Pupil of Josef Metelka in the same town, 1879. Worked at Glasersdorf, Prague, and Schumburg. Returned to birthplace, 1888. Established at Jicin (Bohemia), 1894. Produced finely modelled violins, ’cellos and double-basses, mostly after Stradivarius, Guarnerius and Stainer. Used own prepared spirit varnish which is of an unusually soft texture, yellow-brown shade. ￡30 (1928). Possessed several medals and diplomas. Good productivity in bows, many acquired by soloists. Also made bass guitars.|
|152||PECCATTE, CHARLES||Some writers only give one “t” in this name. Son of Fran?ois. Born at Mirecourt, 1850. Worked for Vuillaume, Voirin and Lenoble before opening own establishment at Paris, 1908. There meritorious bows have received consistent acknowledgement from soloists. Very pretty, though not having the splendid beauty of finish belonging to those of Dominique. They also greatly vary in many ways since he was forced to do (often assiduously) much inexpensive work for wholesale dealers. Specimens always branded with his name. ￡30, 1960.|
|153||PECCATTE, DOMINIQUE||Brother of Frani?ois. Born at Mirecourt, 1810. Apprenticed to Vuillaume, 1826-1837; succeeded to Lupot’s business in Paris; returned to Mirecourt, 1847, died there 1874. Bows having all the dignified uniformity of elegance which places them in a rank hardly less exalted than those of Tourte. Beautiful correctness in the superb balance of the stick, so instantaneously felt when the soloist wishes to exhibit his bowing virtuosity. Every specimen finished with the greatest care, an artist to his fingertips, patient and honest in everything he did. Owners of a Dominique Peccatte bow should indeed be proud of their possessions. Best bows with gold trimmings - name stamped in bold letters, on one side of the saddle and Paris on the other. Unfortunately he did not consistently stamp his work, thus rendering future identification very uncertain, as well as permitting certain other bow makers to place imitative examples which have subsequently deceived experts as well as the uninitiated. Some bear the name of Vuillaume. Had a marked preference for round sticks generally of dark chocolate colour. Very few with octagon sticks, and invariably light chocolate colour. Exceedingly rich in appearance, some of a material with a small snakewood like mottled figure, though less regular and distinct than usually associated with the latter wood. Heads somewhat vary, but always very strong - the outstanding characteristic being a rather original conception of sharpness towards the peak, and only noticeable when viewed from the back instead of sideways. Others slightly more square. Employed several assistants at Mirecourt, and did an enormous trade in various grades of bows from fifteen shillings upwards. Several of the cheaper examples are strongly and stoutly wooded, and are highly valued by orchestral players. Gold mounted specimens often realise high prices. Ole Bull (famous Norwegian virtuoso) had a favourite bow by this maker. Realised 350 dollars in the United States, 1926. ￡65, 1960.|
|154||PECCATTE, FRAN?OIS||Younger brother of Dominique. Known as “Peccatte jeune”. Born at Mirecourt 1820; apprenticed to Vuillaume, established himself at Paris. Died 1856. Had a comparatively short working life but accomplished much. Productions frequently confused with those of Dominique. Careful scrutiny of the heads reveal a difference, those of Fran?ois being less pointed. Also stamped in thinner lettering (though not always smaller), than is usually seen on the bows of Dominique. Altogether magnificent bows, perfectly balanced, strong, not heavy, and very supple sticks. The soloist here finds that he can, with equal facility, perform vigorous chordal passages as well as the lightest of spring bowing or the longer undulations of tremulously emotional strokes. ￡45, 1960.|
|155||PENZEL, GUSTAV||Bow-maker at Fleissen (Bohemia), 1882-1914.|
Artist bows, pernambuco wood carefully chosen, octagon sticks possessing all the essential qualities of correct graduation. Also reddish round sticks. Graceful heads, proper balance of strength and elasticity, catalogued at ￡3. Stamped “Penzel”. ￡10, 1960.
|156||PERSOIS||Worked for Vuillaume and made many of the bows bearing that famous man’s stamp, for the long period of 18 years, 1823-1841. Established own workshop at Paris, 1841. Died 1850. Owing to his identity being more or less hidden under the name of his employer, the specimens stamped with his initials are indeed very rare. Heads have the swan-throat peculiarity associated with the Tourte bows, and perhaps not inferior. Sticks generally round, of reddish shade, having a beautifully sweeping curve from the head. On every specimen we see the most minute exactness in every detail. Standard of true balance between strength and elasticity (the great desideratum in a bow) always maintained. Stamped “P.R.S.”. ￡30, 1960.|
|157||PFRETZSCHNER, G. A.||Worked at Markneukirchen, 1925. His bows, branded with three stars and insignia, are in constant demand by the leading artists because of their strength; possessing at the same time greater lightness, spring and elasticity, as well as elegance and perfect balance. An indefatigable investigator and fully sensible of the important action of the bow in the production of tone he has for many years been selecting and maturing choice Pernambuco wood that would alone yield the results he sought - that of combined stiffness and lightness. His diligence and perseverance have been rewarded for he commanded an enviable supply of Pernambuco, perfect and without defect or blemish, a rarity in this wood, insuring the continuity of his fame. ￡15 to ￡20, 1960.|
|158||PFRETZSCHNER, HERMANN RICHARD||Born 1857. Went to Paris to study with Vuillaume. Founded his bow making establishment at Markneukirchen, 1880. Died at Siebenbrunn, 1921. Received an appointment, 1901, from the King of Saxony, subsequently decorated by that exalted personage. Supplied bows to the Royal Court at Dresden, also to the symphony orchestras and Conservatorium in that city. He and his assistants manufactured all grades of bows from 5/- to ￡10. Pfretzschner himself specialised in bows for artists built on the principles of Vuillaume, Voirin and Tourte. Also bows of his own particular models named after celebrated virtuosi such as the “Professor Wilhelmj”, the “Prof. Henri Petri” and the “Staccato-Master”. ’Cello bows named after Oscar Bruckner and double bass bows after Laska. Attained a world-wide reputation, possibly second to none. Beautifully balanced affairs, strong yet full of elasticity, backed up by the neatest workmanship and best mounting in silver and gold, etc. All harmony in perfection and nothing wanting to complete the fascination of the whole. Nothing, however small, escaped his consideration. Sticks substantially wooded, yet, by his ingenuity, have an appearance of extreme litheness. Ornamentations, though sometimes elaborate, never descend into extravagant or gaudy prettiness. Sticks are neither polished or varnished. Stamped “H. R. Pfretzschner, Dresden”. Others bear the names of the particular virtuosi mentioned above. Succeeded by son Hermann. ￡25, 1960.|
|159||PIERNOT, MARIE LOUIS||Born at Neufchateau, 1880. Learned the art under Bazin at Mirecourt. Worked for Vigneron, 1900. Established own atelier at Parmain (near Paris), 1923. Bows of true felicity in the uniting of strength with elasticity, perfect balance, workmanship and mounting most artistic, many specimens equal to the best of the French school. ￡25, 1960.|
|160||PILLOT||Bow maker. Old French. Microscopical examination will bring no blemish to these light bows in the matter of workmanship. A few of the sticks made of a peculiarly brittle wood, and the heads have been known to snap from undue tightening of the hair. Catalogued at 50/- (1925). Stamped “Pilot à Paris” or “Pillot ainé Paris”. Good imitations of the original produced by J. Lavest at Montlucon (France).|
|161||POIRSON, JUSTIN||Born at Mirecourt 1851. Pupil of Maire: worked for J. B. Vuillaume, and for Gand and Bernardel. Established own workshop at Paris 1880. Assassinated 1925. Bows of marvellous elasticity and strength. Very artistic heads and superbly finished sticks. Stamped “Poirson à Paris”. ￡25, 1960.|
|162||PRAGA, EUGENIO||Born 1847. Pupil and successor of Bianchi, 1869. Established at Genoa. Died 1901. Instruments having all the perfections of external beauty. Beautifully designed outline, arching replete with artistry. Modelling principally after Guarnerius but also produced Stradivarian examples. Famous for remarkable replicas of the Paganini Guarnerius preserved at the Genoa Museum. Easily positioned, haughty looking but dignified scroll adds character and “point” to the whole. Infinite gracefulness of sound-holes. Neat and accurate purfling. Varnish, highly etherealized of various hues, yellow to russet tinge, affording constant pleasure to the picturesque appraising eyes. Some instruments varnished with a special spirit preparation. Fresh, strong and penetrating tone. Produced several interesting violins very Rocca-like. Name sometimes given as Pragua.|
Also branded. Clever bow maker who knew what the artist requires. Awarded several medals. ￡125 (bows ￡10 upwards).
|163||PRAGER, AUGUST EDWIN||Established at Sch?nlind (Saxony), 1925. Bow maker. Generally round sticks of chocolate colour. Some finely mounted in gold and tortoiseshell. Skilfully balanced and splendidly finished. Made by hand throughout. Elevated to a high position in the estimation of players and connoisseurs alike. Replicas of the Tubbs, Tourte and Bausch. Stamped “Aug. Edwin Prager”. ￡10-￡15-￡20, 1960.|
|164||PRELL, HERMANN WILHELM||Born 1875. Pupil of H. Hoyer, also worked for Sartory at Paris. Established at Markneukirchen, 1898-1925. Beauty of design and perfect balance gives to these bows a super eminent value. Fine pernambuco sticks usually round, others octagonal of a chocolate brown shade. Stamped “Herm. W. Prell”. Business carried on by son and pupil H. A. Wilhem (born 1899). ￡20, 1960.|
|165||PUPUNAT, FRAN?OIS MARIE||Worked at Lausanne (Switzerland), 1836. Died 1868. Cabinet maker belonging to a religious brotherhood. Embarked on violin making and expanded his views by comparing various types of violins and elucidating their varied principles. Modelling partakes of a reunion of several standard types, conceived with certain small digressions peculiar to himself. Sometimes medium arching and sometimes quite flat. Excellent scroll showing adroit cutting. Pretentiously small sound-holes which arrest the attention but do not create much admiration. Light brown and dark yellow shades of spirit varnish, not particularly dazzling in hue though seemingly of good texture. No timidity of manipulation about the purfling. Finest woods back and front. Made 300 violins, 25 ’cellos and 20 violas (generally of small size).|
Franciscus Maria Pupunatus
Lausannae Anno 1847
Branded “F.M.P.” Sometimes “Franziskus” instead of “Franciscus”. Also produced elegantly designed bows stamped “Pupunat”. ￡70, 1960.
|166||RAPOPORT, HAIM||Born in Russia, 1904. Pupil of Alexander A. Shvalm Wishnegorsky of Petrograd, also of André Chardon, Paris. Established in Tel Aviv (Israel, 1925). Fine maker of violins and bows. Modelling after the old Italians but mostly Stradivarian. Several of his violins, as well as ’cellos, are in the possession of members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. During the orchestra’s tour of the U.S.A. in 1951, his instruments were highly praised by world famous experts in America. Also specialises in repairs and restorations.|
|167||RAU, AUGUST||Born 1866. Worked for Weichold at Dresden. Established at Markneukirchen, 1890-1925. Bows noted for elegance of the head, exquisite sweep of stick and remarkable for strength with elasticity. Pernambuco wood exclusively used. ￡15.|
|168||REICHEL, AUGUST ANTON||Born 1841. Worked for Weichold at Dresden. Established at Markneukirchen, 1875. Died 1929. Specialist in bow making. Also made violins. Assisted and succeeded by son August Otto (born 1873). ￡8, ￡10, ￡15, 1960.|
|169||REITER, JOHANN||Born at Mittenwald (Bavaria), 1879. Son, pupil and successor to Johann Baptist. One of the few Mittenwalders to work independently of factories and exporters. Every instrument made entirely by hand and without the assistance of workmen. Violins so purely accurate in design should appeal to the educated lover of flawless workmanship. Modelling somewhat similar to that of father’s, also partaking of the Vauchel style. Perfect cutting of scroll and sound-holes also conduces to the very desirable and complete artistry of the entire. Devoted years of experimental thought on the subject of varnishing, and has splendidly exemplified his knowledge and adeptness. Unsurpassed as a draughtsman in purfling. Violas also should be attended with due appreciation and success. ’Cellos have a cyclopaedic of excellencies. Built lutes with fancy heads suggested by a gamba of Ruggerius. Also guitars with elliptical double resonance “decks”. Artist bows of paramount interest owing to their fidelity to the standard models and consequent full applicability to all the virtuoso varities of the bowist. Recipient of medals at the Nürnberg Exhibition, 1905. Specialist in re-toning and regulating the vibrations of old and faulty instruments. Also recognised as a capable performer on the violin, ’cello and guitar. Enjoying the fruits of honourable industry, 1926.|
|170||RIECHERS, AUGUST||Born at Hannover, 1836. Pupil of Bausch at Leipzig, travelled to various cities, gained all possible practical experience and returned to birthplace, 1862. Moved to Berlin, 1872, after much persuasion from Joachim who soon gave him the appointment of repairer, etc., to the Hochschule. Died 1893. Produced over 2,000 violins and 200 ’cellos. It would be an absurdity to suppose that he actually made them all, even presuming he had no repairing to do. It is more than probable that the far major part was designed and varnished by him, but the several separate pieces were put together by his assistants. Followed (what he considered to be the ideal body-length) the Stradivarius model, 14-1/8 inches. Also Guarnerius. Arching of the back varying from that of the belly. Constructively adopted the method of Bagatella, consequently many of his productions are too thin in wood. Did not believe in oil varnish of any kind. Used a finely prepared spirit with a small adding of turpentine. Achieved best result with a lovely tawny yellow shade. Exceptionally fine quality of woods, richly acoustical and of great beauty. Artistic formation of his conceptions irresistibly impress but tonal quality often “misty” rather than strong and freely responsive. There is no doubt that his persistent advocacy in favour of spirit varnish and his ideas concerning the thicknessing of the plates, no matter what amount of technical skill he expended, prevented him from breathing into his instruments that real “spiritual” tone which is the principal attribute of the old master violins. Also made magnificent bows, practically investing them with ideal balance. Stamped “A. Riechers”.|
|171||ROCKWELL, DAVID B.||Worked at Boston, 1886, Providence, 1901, Detroit, 1908, Philadelphia, 1915, Hartford (Connecticut), 1920; and New York, 1923. Though violinists find their happiest and most constant pleasures in handling the violins of old Italian makers, yet they frequently feel their curiosity powerfully excited and sometimes amply rewarded by specimens distinguished as more or less replicas of the older school. Rockwell violins have much of the elegance of the older Italian and French Schools. They have none of those minor faults which occasionally mark the modern violin when subjected to slight departures from traditional construction. Beautiful shades of orange and reddish varnish prepared from own experiments. Tonal quality rather persuasive and of considerable carrying power. ’Cellos also of rather superior construction. Name branded on many excellent bows.|
|172||ROTH, ERNST HEINRICH||Born at Markneukirchen, 1877. Son of Gustav Robert. Worked for many years with father, established own firm, 1920. Died 1948. Superb modelling whether Stradivarian, Guarneriun, Amati or Guadagnini. Those of the highest price are made from the beginning to the end entirely with his own hands, and his versatility cannot be spoken of too highly. Every instrument shows individuality, whether his own special model or the various prototypes imitated. Only the finest grades of wood, all judiciously chosen for tone production. Superb varnishing (generally golden brown of Cremonese elasticity), as are all the little details of construction which build up a fine instrument. Named “Violins for the Artist”. Marteau, Felix Berber and other virtuosi have given testimonials. Cheaper productions emanating from his workshops all supervised and tested by him before sent in circulation, and the varnishing always solely his doing. Catalogued from ￡20 upwards. Also perfectly graduated bows, mostly imitations of the Tourte, pernambuco sticks. Name “Ernst Heinrich Roth” stamped in the customary manner above the saddle.|
|173||ROWINSKI, STANISLAV||Born at Bydgosz (Poland), 1858. Worked for Kotinski at that town, 1876. Came to England, 1882. Set up in Fitzroy Square, London. Moved to Chiswick, 1902. Many of his instruments not easily identified as he did much work for dealers. Usually reddish-brown varnish. Also made a large number of bows for the trade, and stamped according to the model. Owner of a string factory in Italy, produced some remarkably fine solo-strings known as the “Aliquot”. Ceased making instruments 1922, but carried on with dealing, etc.|
|174||SARTORY, EUGèNE||Born at Mirecourt, 1871. Pupil of his father; worked for Peccatte in Paris before 18th year; and for Lamy several years. Ultimately opened own workshop at Paris. Recipient of medals and diplomas at Brussels, 1887, Lyons, 1894, Liége, 1905, Milan, 1906 and London, 1908. Decorated “Officier d’Académie” Paris. Died 1946. Bows universally admired. Appearance brings up memories of a Voirin bow, though the head is less refined. Some have beautiful mother-o’pearl saddles. Often beautifully balanced sticks of pernambuco, but others occasionally too heavy for soloists. All orchestral players greatly admire his productions. Branded “Sartory” in usual place, also underneath. ￡25 to ￡50 GM, 1960.|
|175||SCH?FFNER, MAX||Born at Markneukirchen, 1870. Worked there until 1906, then at Hamburg. Enjoying all prosperity, 1925. Studied at Leipzig and Nürnberg. Produced impressively designed violins. Uniting many of the qualities one can desire in a modern instrument. Beautiful varnish specially prepared and treated by various “re-agents”. Also finely constructed bows stamped “Sch?ffner”. ￡80, 1960. Bows, ￡10.|
|176||SCHILBACH, O. A.||Born at Sch?neck (Saxony), 1862. Pupil of E. W. Neum?rker. Worked at birthplace, 1880; and at New York, 1887-1937. Died 1947. Not prolific, but good, 25 violins, 6 violas, and 2 ’cellos, Stradivarian modelling, brilliant red-brown varnish. Renowned for repairing, all eminent artists visited his shop.|
Also bows stamped with his name. ￡8 to ￡12 (1960).
|177||SCHMIDT, ERNST REINHOLD||Born at Markneukirchen, 1857. Apprenticed to Julius Kretzschman, 1871-1874. Worked for Bausch, and Hammig at Leipzig; also for Riechers at Berlin. Built several new instruments during this period and repaired hundreds. Returned to Markneukirchen 1880, established his own workshop, and subsequently built a factory, assisted by his sons and a large staff of workmen. Won gold medals at Vienna and Leipzig, 1892 and 1913. Died 1928. Funeral attended with great pomp.|
Various grades of “commercial” instruments known by the generic title of “Schmidt’s Standard”. Artistic modelling and workmanship together with reasonable prices caused the instrurhents to be universally distributed. Most careful selection of wood for its acoustical properties; accurately proportioned and capitally finished in every detail. Constructed violins to any specifications submitted by various dealers. Spirit and oil varnishes according to grade. “Artist-violins” and “solo-violins” made entirely by his own hands. Grand-Amati patterns, orange-brown varnish, and pretty wood. Fine copies of a Guarnerius, with orange-red varnish. Artistic replicas of a Stradivarius, with a soft golden-brown varnish. Cheaper grade violins generally of a glossy yellow spirit varnish. ￡25 to ￡65, 1960.
Monogram on back button. Number of instrument, 972, stamped at the top of the neck. Similar labels bearing other Cremonese names. Inventor of several little appliances connected with stringed instruments. Also bows of various grades and imitations. ￡6 to ￡12, 1960.
|178||SCHMITT, LUCIAN||Born at Julien-en-Genevois, 1892. Studied the violin at Geneva Conservatoire and carried off first prize for solo playing. Subsequently attacked with enthusiasm the constructive art and went to Mirecourt where he spent two years in the atelier of Mougenot-Jacquet-Gand, and was initiated in bow making by Bazin. Worked for Vidoudez at Geneva, and never ceased to express his gratitude for all he learnt in restoration from that very conscientious man. Employed by Lorange at Lyons, by Madame Bovis at Nice, and by Caressa and Fran?ais at Paris. Established at Grenoble, 1922. Resident at Meylan (near Grenoble), 1941. Conceived three designs of considerable originality. One maintaining the Amati outline, designated “modele normal” but of independent character in all other details. The second, inspired by the Guarnerius in outline and titled “modele de Soliste”, is not so long as the Amatese but of slightly larger proportions in every other way. This model has a remarkably puissant sonority of tone, further characterised by a peculiar penetrativeness, smoothness and clarity. Body length, 35.8 cm. Arching nicely elevated towards the centre, and the part between the waist curves given greater breadth than is customary with the Guarnerius. Ribs rather shallow, upper 27.5 mm.; lower 29. Backs always of one piece. Sound-holes of transcendental grace, uniquely personal, beautiful curvature, stem of artistic width, remarkable parallelism in the cutting of the upper and lower wings (the straight turn down of the upper and the nearly straight turn up of the lower, affording strong contrast to the superb roundness surrounding the top and bottom apertures). The third (baptised “Mieulx ne Scay”), is very individualistic, perfect workmanship and magnificent tone. ￡50 to ￡100, 1960.|
|179||SCHUBERT, PAUL||Bow-maker at Markneukirchen, 1926. Descendant of a family of bow makers working in the same town since 1848. Specialised in artist-bows. Stamped “Paul Schubert” on the stick. Also the trade-mark “an all conquering eagle with widespread wings over the letters P.S.M.” impressed on the saddle. None genuine without both these marks. Invented a bowed instrument with strengthened sound, 1921. ￡15, 1960.|
|180||SCHUSTER, ADOLPH CURT||Born 1890. Worked at Markneukirchen, 1920. Died 1947. Finely constructed bows of excellent strength and balance. Specially well seasoned sticks. Silver and gold mountings. Tubbs, Voirin, and Tourte successfully imitated. ￡12 to ￡20, 1960.|
|181||SCHUSTER, KURT MAX||Born 1886. Pupil of Pfretzschner. Established at Markneukirchen, 1918. Fine bows suitable for soloists. ￡15, 1960.|
|182||SIMON, P.||Born at Mirecourt, 1808. Worked for J. B. Vuillaume at Paris. Became successor of D. Peccatte in the rue d’Angivilliers, 1847; had one of the Henry’s for a partner, 1848-1851; then worked alone in the rue Saint-Denis until death, 1882. Produced many worthy specimens of bows which his genius deservedly rendered popular. Finely executed large heads closely identified with most of his work. Octagonal sticks generally, and every attention paid to smooth finish of the bevelling. Average weight, 2.1/16 ounces. Stamped “Simon. Paris”. Occasionally not stamped. Several French traders produce “commercial” bows stamped “Simon”. ￡20, 1960.|
|183||SIMPSON, THOMAS||Born at Burnley (Lancashire), 1864. Worked at Walsall as a piano-repairer, 1883. Went to Peterborough, 1898, where he commenced violin-making. Moved to Birmingham, 1900. Held the best reputation as a repairer in that city for twenty years. Took a house by the sea at Brixham (Devon), 1925. Died 1933. Produced 80 violins of different models, all well designed. To a casual observer the workmanship may appear lacking in absolute refinement, but critical scrutiny will at least approve of its accuracy and thoroughness. Scrolls and sound-holes have quite a personal touch. Varied varnishing of different shades, sometimes with slight deficiencies in colour and application, but though none ever approach a revelation in the art, they are all free from any imputation of real impurity or anything really undesirable. Specialised in tone production (and outside work was more or less subservient to it) and in some instances he imparted something on that sure and permanent basis which will assume its full sovereignty in future years.|
Also realised fine balance together with remarkably smart workmanship on a good number of soloist’s bows. Stamped “Simpson Birmingham”.
|184||SMITH, BERT||Born at Sale (Cheshire). Resident at Bowness-on-Windermere, and at Coniston in 1938. First instrument dated 1930. Specialist in copying the “Messie” Strad, and the Vieuxtemps Guarnerius. Also violas of 16-1/2 inches body-length; upper bouts 8.1/16; lower, 10; ribs 1-5/8 to 1.9/16. Violin and viola bows form part of his industry.|
|185||SUZUKI, MASAKICHI||Largest manufacturer of stringed instruments in the Orient (1920). Early days chiefly occupied in making native instruments such as koto and samisen. In 1884 an ordinary violin was taken as a curiosity to his country, and from this he created the first violin actually made in Japan. Established three factories at Nagoya, 1890-1930, and produced very large numbers of violins, bows, and mandolines, employing about one thousand workmen to operate the various machines specially built and designed for this particular work. Maple wood used for backs and ribs, tables of red pine of Hokkaido. Outline somewhat Stradivarian; thickly wooded. Brown varnish with greenish touches. Exhibited at Chicago 1893, and won praise for his work. Also won gold medal at Philadelphia, 1927.|
|186||TAYLOR, ROBERT||Resident at Leicester 1917-1927. Wood carving propensities and aspiring mind first found their outlet in modified Stradivarian designs. Splendid outline with a slight divergency from the older model in waist-curves. Moderate arching, but sometimes the rise is carried further than customary in a longitudinal direction but not toward the sides. Other models have Guarneriun characteristics, though not absolute replication. Edging generally very substantial, but with a nice avoidance of heaviness. Finely broad scrolls kindling the true spirit of originality, and eloquently artistic. Excellently shaped sound-holes, faultlessly cut, of good length, especially arresting wings, but notches slightly too pronounced. Purfling of bold character and conducted accurately. Thicknessing of plates graduated in accordance with the old principles, a medium scientifically superior to the visionary schemes and projects of any moderns. All instruments have plenty of wood in essential parts, and none is over twenty years seasoning. Generally one-piece backs of very handsome material. Oil varnish of own preparation which has taken several years to perfect. Shades of orange yellow and reddish-brown. Tonal quality quite responsive, and not having the ephemeral mellowness caused by faking, it will travel all the quicker along the road leading to legitimate maturity. Made a special study of viola construction, and achieved marked success in a particularly bright yet deep tone. Body length 16-3/8 inches. Produced several fine-toned ’cellos designed from a Bergonzi. Also exercised his art on bow making, and received a number of testimonies regarding their excellence. Label - a very artistic design of his own, bearing (in red) the Leicester Coat-of-Arms. ￡75; Violas and ’cellos ￡90, 1960.|
|187||TECHLER||Bows made by C. A. Reichel at Markneukirchen. Brazilian wood imitated to have the appearance of Pernambuco. Rather heavy at saddle. Not refined work. Whale-bone lapping with leather finishes. Stamped “Techler”. ￡8, 1960.|
|188||TESTORE, CARLO GIUSEPPE||Born at Novara (Italy) 1660. Went to Milan about 1683. Worked with Grancino. Died 1738. The most conspicuous member of the family, but did not produce a very large number of instruments. Several of his Grancino-Amati models have been re-labelled, and sold as genuine Grancinos. Others have occasionally been attributed to Guarnerius. Modelling varies very considerably, but touches of Amati influence predominate. Generally of medium dimensions, body length 13-3/4 inches, moderate arching. The slight slant in waist-curves foreshadow what is now known as the Guamerian. Occasionally wrought an elegatit and picturesque design but never reached ideality. Without being over-enthusiastic concerning the workmanship, we much acknowledge that it is strong and conscientious though never immaculate in finish. He needed stirring up after certain lapses into a kind of careless go-as-you-please spate, yet seemingly sure-handed style, and should have been encouraged to bestow more critical revision on what was so plainly excellent, and he could have easily stepped into artistry of refinement. Wood always more carefully chosen for tonal resonance rather than appearance. Backs seldom favoured with material other than that of a very slight figure, or quite plain, and this applies also to the ribs. Bellies sometimes of a broad mottled grain. Scrolls generally flat and pinched, but also of pretty swing. Sound-holes somewhat pointed, again foreshadowing the well-known characteristic of a Guarnerius. Purfling generally inaccurate, some unpurfled. Plainness of wood not especially enhanced with its covering of brownish-yellow or yellow with red-brown shading varnish, generally applied thinly and verging on the coldly dull. Tonal quality remarkably powerful, very spontaneous under the bow of a stroke-freedom soloist, far carrying and round, though its sympathetic qualities are sometimes questionable. Violas of medium arching, body length 15-3/4 inches, light golden-brown varnish, and finely free tone. ’Cellos almost invariably of pear-tree wood for backs, bellies of splendid tonal pine (even though a knot here and there sometimes exhibits itself), and bold scrolls of beech wood. Body length 29-1/4 inches, upper bouts 13-7/8; lower 17. Brown varnish with a slight yellow tinge. Also produced several basses of small model, all having a magnificent tone. Favourite instruments of several Italian virtuosi.|
|189||THOMA, ADOLF||Born 1872. Pupil of Hermann. Worked at Hohendorf near Brambach (Saxony), 1890-1925. Bows modelled on the standard prototypes - pernambuco sticks. We find no difficulty in suscribing admiration to the ability and ingenuity in which every point is brought forward. Assisted by son Albert (born 1897); and by second son Arthur (born 1905) - splendid bows, stamped “Arthur Thoma”.|
|190||THOMASSIN, CLAUDE||Born at Mirecourt 1870. Studied bow making with Bazin. Several years as the head of the bow department at the Gand and Bernardel establishment, Paris. Opened own premises in the rue de Paradis, 1901. Died 1942. Bows which admirably realise that elasticity constitutes an inseparable part of strength. Beautifully designed heads. Chocolate coloured sticks thinly graduated, but so ingeniously as not to be incompatible with a certain amount of resisting power. Stamped “C. Thomassin à Paris”. ￡25, 1960.|
|191||THOMASSIN, LOUIS||Born at Mirecourt 1855. Initiated into bow making by Bazin. Worked for Voirin at Paris 1872, and succeeded to his business 1885. Died 1904. Bows not escaping from the style of his famous predecessor’s productions, consequently we are no longer to wonder at their almost unsurpassable fineness. Stamped “L. Thamassin”. ￡20, 1960.|
|192||TOURTE (LE PèRE)||Bow maker. Settled at Paris 1740. Worked until 1780. Bows that show a marked improvement on those of any predecessor. Used lighter wood and proportioned the stick more accurately, and gave it the backward bend indispensable to its elasticity. The first to discontinue the use of one or more notches on the stick to which the “frog” was moved to tighten or loosen the hair. Replaced this imperfect device by the use of a screw through a threaded pin inserted on the lower side of the frog, which was placed in a groove cut in the stick, gradually moved the frog, and thus increased or diminished the tension of the hair. Nut and head of screw generally of ivory. Rather quaint-looking bows, elegantly fluted for half or whole length with small but strong heads. Deep red or chocolate coloured sticks, round, and octagonal. Genuine examples very seldom stamped. ￡60 to ￡90, 1960.|
|193||TOURTE, FRAN?OIS (LE JEUNE)||Born at Paris 1747. Younger brother of Xaver. Destined by his father to be a clock maker. Had no general education, quite illiterate, knew not how to read or write. Worked from an early age for various watch and clock makers, scarcely made enough money for subsistence, and after eight years abandoned that trade in favour of bow making. Made his first bows from staves of old sugar casks from Brazil, as he could not afford to purchase expensive woods. These early attempts laid the groundwork of his genius, and encouraged him to pursue his course straight to the goal of his ambition. Enthusiasm turned his mind into perceiving the imperfections of existing bows and planning their improvement, amending the vagueness and uncertainty of balance, and supplying lightness with strength. Fascination to do superior work to that of contemporaries insensibly grew on him, and he had that patient stamina which enabled him to proceed slowly but very surely and he planted marvellous stocks for posterity to graft on. He seems to have had a very ingenious way of cutting (instead of resorting to heat) the necessary curve direct from the wood, yet preserving the same grain throughout, thus preventing any warping. Heads beautifully squarish. Many sticks are of dark Pernambuco, but a lighter coloured wood known as grey Pernambuco - which is rich looking - was occasionally used; and several of a chocolate colour are known. Also at one time in his career he made a few bows with grandly attractive heads like those of ’cello bows for which he used a reddish Carpathian wood. Round and octagonal sticks. Enlightened on many points by the great Viotti (who lived at Paris from 1782 for several years). Achieved all the rightful elasticity, balance and strength for a solo player’s vehicle, and standardised the length (including the head) to be 29-1/2 inches. Rich collectors have given ￡200 for gold-mounted specimens. Tried Various woods for his next essays, and was content to get a couple of shillings for any of them. Ultimately found that Brazilian wood (preferably Pernambuco) were the only ones to give elasticity and strength combined. Searched the warehouses that stored such material, and spent hours trying to find straight pieces without defects of knots and twists. For the bows made at this period he was able to demand thirty shillings, and this prosperity enabled him to take a fourth-floor atelier on the Quai de l’école. There he worked quietly for his art uninterruptedly until his 85th year when failing eyesight necessitated complete cessation. Died 1835.|
Business card in 1774 -
Seldom branded his name, but two bows are known to have a very diminutive engraved label glued into the slot with the inscription in French “This bow was made by Tourte in 1824, age 77 years”. Hundreds of bows bearing his name have emanated from Mirecourt, also many makers have closely imitated his style and branded his name on the sticks, so that a genuine Tourte is not easy to distinguish. ￡250, 1960.
|194||TOURTE, SAVéRE (XAVER)||Known as l’Ainé. Worked with his father from 1770, and later succeeded to his business. Produced many truly excellent bows, generally octagon sticks of a deep reddish colour, sometimes round sticks of a light chocolate shade. Stamped “Tourte aine”. ￡90, 1960.|
|195||TUBBS, ALFRED||Bow-maker. Son of James Tubbs. Died 1911. Bows of the rarest excellence. Their durability, elasticity, and beauty give every satisfaction to the most exacting soloist. ￡25, 1960.|
|196||TUBBS, JAMES||Born in London, 1835. Son of William. Worked for father until 1860. Owned a small shop in Church Street, Soho, 1861. Moved to High Street, Marylebone, 1864. Employed by William Ebsworth Hill during these years, and specimens of his talent, bearing Hill’s name, are easily recognisable, and artists never have hesitated or showed the slightest reluctance to embark on the expenditure of several guineas for one. Greatly patronised by the renowned quartettists at the Monday Popular Concerts, London, from 1865. Extended his reputation by splendid productivity. Engaged finer premises in King Street, Soho. Settled in Wardour Street, 1872. Lived some years also at Staines. Returned to Wardour Street, 1911. Died 1921. Received the special appointment of bow maker to the Duke of Edinburgh. It is impossible for any person who appreciates a fine bow, not to hail with unalloyed delight any of the productions of James Tubbs - valuable accessions to the realms of famous French examples. Intimately acquainted with the minutiae of perfect balance, familiar with the diversified style of celebrated predecessors, trained by long study of all the laws, wisely assimilated suggestions from various violinists, brought a refined and matured tact in seizing all the bearings couched under strength and elasticity, imbued with a sincere love of artistry and a profound reverence for its dictates, and withal, endowed with a natural gift of manipulative skill. Possessed every qualification peculiarly fitting him to produce everything replete with perfection. This champion, completely disciplined, stepped forward to challenge the opinion that French bows were the only bows worthy of artists’ acceptance, and, he won the day on this field he had entered. To say that he was the equal of Tourte, Peccatte, and Voirin, is not a wild and extravagant hypothesis. Artists have rendered it a matter of imperious necessity to possess one or more of Tubb’s bows, and take pride in triumphantly proclaiming the fact. Take any specimen, subject it to minute examination, test it in strength and lightness, and you will soon be aware of owning a real treasure, something to stimulate fine playing. Turned out about ten bows a month. Best period 1875-1895. Contour of heads rather varied but always very beautiful. Magnificent sweep of stick, generally round and of dark pernambuco, but very occasionally of lighter colour. Wilhelmj owned a gold mounted presentation bow bearing the inscription “To Wilhelmj, from the Orchestra of the Wagner Festival, London, 1877”. The fame of Tubbs has led to the great multiplication of copies stamped with his name by the trade, particularly the German exporters. ￡30 to ￡45, 1960.|
|197||TUBBS, WILLIAM||Born in London, 1814. Father of James. Achieved first-class results whilst at Thomas Dodd’s. Set up for himself in Vauxhall Walk, and later in Coventry Street. Died 1878. Efficiently consummated his zeal for artistic productivity, and rose above several of contemporary continental rivals. Many of his excellent bows made for dealers and stamped accordingly. ￡20, 1960.|
|198||TUBBS, THOMAS||Father of William. Worked in London. Skilful imitator of the John Dodd bows. Completely splendid, an opinion generally entertained and justly grounded. ￡20, 1960.|
|199||VICTOR, T.||Bow maker at London 1900. Excellent bows which respond to the diversity of strokes necessary to first-class playing. ￡15, 1960.|
|200||VTDOUEZ, PIERRE||Born at Geneva 1907. Son of A. Worked for Boulangeot (Lyons), also for Caressa (Paris). Succeeded father 1949. Recipient of gold and other medals at various exhibitions. Magnificent copies of old Cremonese models. Yellow-orange varnish. Also fine bows inspired by Tourte and Peccatte. ￡80; bows ￡20, 1960.|
|201||VIGNERON, ANDRé||Born 1882. Son, pupil and successor of Joseph Arthur. Worked at 70 rue de Rome, Paris. Died 1924. Bow-maker. Similar in style and workmanship to that of father. Stamped “André Vigneron, à Paris”. Made many bows known as the “Lucien Capet Model” with a wider “heel” than customary, and round chocolate coloured sticks. Capet was a famous French quartet player. ￡20, 1960.|
|202||VIGNERON, JOSEPH ARTHUR||Born at Mirecourt 1851. First guided in the art of bow making by Charles Husson. Worked for Gand and Bernardel. Established at Paris 1880. Died 1905. Whenever we take up one of these bows an involuntary exclamation of pleasure rises to our lips. A maker who decided on selecting the finest wood and worked it with loving care. Bows made by a man upon whom nature had bestowed a mind deeply sensitive of the beautiful, and highly cultivated by experience. Very elegant sticks with a fine and strong sway, and splendid heads. Few of the past French makers surpassed him in refinement. Produced two kinds, one rather heavy (generally octagon sticks), the other lighter - both of unique resistance, equilibrium and elasticity. Stamped “A. Vigneron à Paris”. ￡30 to ￡45, 1960.|
|203||VOIGT, ARNOLD||Born at Markneukirchen, 1864. Pupil of Heberlein. Resident in London, 1885-1890. Established at Markneukirchen, 1890-1927. Very prolific productivity. Skilful copyist of the Cremonese, Stradivarian model in particular. Excellent adherence to true scientific rules. Had a clear and definite notion of what he was setting about, and produced instruments of all grades to meet the requirements of average players. Oil and spirit varnishes of own formula, the former thinly applied and generally of a yellow shade. Tonal quality rather hard but suits a violinist with a taste for almost unlimited volume. ￡60, 1960.|
Also an expert bow maker. Faithful representations of celebrated models worked with an artistic eye.
|204||VOIGT, CARL HERMANN||Born at Markneukirchen, 1850. Began industrial life as a bow maker, and turned out many excellent specimens before 17th year. Went to Budapest, 1867, apprenticed to S. F. Nemessanyi for violin making. Worked for Kemb?ck at Vienna. Established own workshop in the Nussdorferstrasse, Vienna, 1876. Appointed maker and repairer to the Viennese Court. Principal of the Austrian Guild of violin makers. Recipient of many exhibition medals. Consulted by the best connoisseurs, friendly with artists, scrupulous in dealing and magnificently expert in appraising old instruments. Died 1925. Built many copies of the Dolphin Strad, design and workmanship not outstripping his excellent powers of inner construction. No violation of artistry in the application of golden red varnish. Produced violas, ’cellos and double basses. Also bows of various degrees of excellence, generally dark sticks.|
|205||VOIGT, JOHANN GEORG||Son of Simon. Born 1752. Died 1842. Worked at Markneukirchen. Made Stainer-like instruments, with medium arching, in young days. Later developed into a bow maker.|
|206||VOIRIN, FRANCOIS NICOLAS||Born at Mirecourt, 1833. Trained in workshops there. Went to Paris, 1855 and worked fifteen years for Vuillaume, and during that period, made all the fine bows bearing the violin maker’s name. Won silver and gold medals at the Paris and Antwerp Exhibitions. Established own workshop in the Rue-du-Bouloi, 1870. Worked indefatigably until stricken down with apoplexy whilst taking a bow to a patron, 1885. He had the elevated and inspired theme of emulating Tourte, in refined workmanship and elegance, but made a new departure by making the heads less square and reducing the weight. These delicately worked heads have a marked thinning of the two faces, and to preserve balance, he reduced the diameter of the lower end of stick, which is sometimes actually smaller than the accompanying tip. Sometimes he exaggerated this head tenuity, arrived at too light a weight, which brought weakness after a few months’ playing. However, his finest specimens (just the thing for virtuosi) though refreshingly light, have wondrous heads affording equal wondrous elasticity of sticks. Works of art, decoratively and technically. Stamped: “F. N. Voirin à Paris”, sometimes “F. N. Voirin”, and to this (on bows made for the Paris Exhibition), was added “Exposition, 1878”. Hundreds of imitations stamped “Voirin” have come from French and German factories. ￡30, 1960.|
|207||VOIRIN, JOSEPH||Brother of F.N. Born at Mirecourt, 1830. Worked for Gautrot at Chateau-Thierry near Paris; and at Paris, 1855-1867. Fine bows for bringing down the strongholds of fanciful bowings such as sautillé and staccato, etc. Majority of specimens do not bear his stamp, consequently remains comparatively unknown. ￡25 to ￡30, 1960.|
|208||VUILLAU ME, JEAN BAPTISTE||Eldest son of Claude Francois. Born in Mirecourt, 1798. Worked with father until 19th year then, finding his genius somewhat hampered in the small town in the Vosges mountains, he turned his attention to reaching Paris. Worked two years with Francois Chanot, who led him into the more scientific atmosphere of violin making: Engaged by Lété, an organ builder who had a violin repairing establishment, 1821. Went into partnership with him, 1825, and opened premises in the Rue Croix-des-Petits Champs (a favourite quarter for fiddle makers), under the name of Lété and Vuillaume. Had frequent association with Pique (father-in-law of Lété) which had considerable influence upon the investigating mind of Jean Baptiste. Also established friendly relations with the renowned acoustician Savart, who helped to refine his talent by divulging many of the newly-found discoveries relating to so-called secrets of Cremona varnish. Severed partnership, 1828, and moved to No. 40 in the same street. Remained there over thirty years. First instruments built on normal lines, made carefully and solid looking, much in the style of contemporaries but they sold too slowly and for too small a price to suit this enterprising maker. He soon realised that amateurs and professionals eschewed modern instruments in favour of old Italian. He made a further close study of any Cremonese that lay to hand, and ultimately produced a wondrous facsimile of Stradivari violin (with its worn appearance, etc.) plus a label, for ￡12, and a ’cello for ￡20. Perfect imitations in modelling and varnish, also in liquid quality of tone to a lesser degree which he obtained by thinning the wood and impregnating it with violent acids and other artificialities. The fact that this would eventually destroy the fibres and weaken the resistance of tone did not penetrate the faculties of eager violinists. The flute-like, pleasant tone, easily responsive under the bow, gratified their sensibilities. Thus did Vuillaume set off on his road of masterly deception, and orders came thick and fast. Recipient of silver medals at the Paris Expositions of 1829 and 1834. Imitative work did not prevent continued research into the secrets of straight-forward construction based on Stradivarian perfection. No detailed analysis of master works went past his enthusiasm for critical investigation; quality and thickness of wood, arching, depth of ribs, various intricacies of inside work and peculiarities of varnish. Travelled throughout Switzerland, Tyrol and Silesia in search of old wood and old furniture of any kind. Produced many instruments constructively magnificent and plentifully wooded in all sections, awaiting time and usage to give mature tonal quality. Won two gold medals in Paris, 1839 and 1844. Made two quartets and gigantic octo-bass for the World’s Fair in London, 1851, and received the grand “Council Medal”. Moved to larger premises in the Rue Demours-Ternes, 1860, and engaged an extensive staff of workmen. Success further signalised by the French Government awarding him the Legion of Honour ribbon, also decorated by Royal insignias of other countries.|
Died at the zenith of universal admiration in 1875. Acknowledged to be the greatest technical genius of his time, though some of his dodges and subterfuges may be unpardonable. No Frenchman surpassed him except Lupot. Made many solidly built copies of the Tuscan and Messie Strads, one in particular numbered 1391. Produced so perfect a replica of Paganini’s Guarnerius that the famous virtuoso could not distinguish one from the other until he played on them; twins, now resting beside each other in the Museum at Genoa. Made many other fine Guarneriun examples which differentiatc a good deal (except in outline), particularly in the sound-holes, scrolls and varnish. One, with a handsome one-piece back, magnificent scroll and red brown varnish, with the appearance of old age and wear wondrously produced, realised 2,500 dollars in Chicago, 1929. Also made some fine Lupot replicas when he worked for Lété. One made in 1820 belonged to Joachim in his youth (1846-1860), who sold it to his pupil Theodor Thomas, who took it to America when he became leader of the New York Symphony Orchestra. This was acquired by an amateur collector named Rosenbecker, 1870. Offered for sale at 1,000 dollars in 1925. Exquisite workmanship, very striking inlay and a rich tone of considerable volume. Made a Stradivarian model (No. 2599) for Reményi (famous Hungarian virtuoso who lived a year or two at Paris before going on his world tour). Hungarian Arms emblazoned on back. Bought by David Laurie (Glasgow). Owned by a Mr. Hilton at Matlock Bridge, 1895. Also produced several Maggini models some with inlay designs on back. Highly appreciated in the United States. Many fine copies of the Brescian School have fanciful heads, inscriptions on the ribs and a painted design of St. Cecilia on the back. See under “Duiffoprugcar” for another remarkable demonstration of ingenious versatility. Some early instruments are delightful transcripts of a famous Amati violin inlaid with floral designs. In later years he built several violins of individualistic modelling based on combined attributes of Stradivarius, Guarnerius and Amati; varnished as new instruments. One hundred years hence they will rank as his finest productions. Several violas known, usually red brown varnish. General body length 16-1/4 inches, upper bouts, 7-3/8, lower, 8-1/2.
Introduced in 1855, a new model Viola (named contralto), broader and deeper in size; tried at the Brussels Conservatoire. This had a kind of violin tone, but twice as powerful as the ordinary viola. Players found it too difficult to play, consequently gained no favour. Specimen preserved at Paris Conservatoire. Also made five-stringed violas, which are now only regarded as curiosities. Some early ’cellos of Stradivarian design much sought for today, body length usually 29-1/8, inches, golden red varnish, frequently one-piece backs of picturesque flame. His varnish and the method he had of applying it was rather unique. Many subsequent Frenchmen (such as Derazey) copied it, but in a less effective style. Made a String Quartet (No. 2602-3-4-5) for Count Basil de Cheremetor, decorated (on the back) with the family crest, 1865. Beautiful reddish varnish. Also another quartet the same year, for Prince Caraman de Chimay, with the family Coat-of-Arms emblazoned. Chestnut brown varnish.
All instruments numbered - for example No. 2594, and 2689 in 1867. Kept a record of every instrument made by himself or his workmen. Pencilled his paraph on the inside of back, near right-hand upper corner.
“Trade” violins are numerous and did not come from his workshop, but manufactured since by Mirecourt firms.
Always undated, but good-class merchandise. Sometimes branded “Vuillaume à Paris” at top of back. In early days he made many splendid bows, results of the frequent opportunities he had of seeing Tourte at work, but after he became famous as a maker and dealer of violins, he engaged a fine staff of bow makers (including Voirin and Peccatte) who produced all subsequent bows for him. These were all stamped “Vuillaume”. Of course, there are hundreds of bows similarly stamped which have been produced in Mirecourt but these are easily recognised by the less refined workmanship, very light chocolate coloured sticks, and often under the weight to adequately satisfy first-class players. He also invented a steel tubular bow which had considerable popularity for several years - stamped?
Another invention was a chin-mute, a contrivance by which the players pressed their chins on the tailpiece, instead of placing a mute on the bridge.
In addition to numbering his instruments Vuillaume stamped them inside on the back, generally on the right-hand upper bouts with his name, similar to the one found on his bows. It is difficult to state with certainty all those luthiers who at one time or the other worked for Vuillaume, but we give the following list of those known:
Paul Bailly, Télesphore-Amable Barbé, Charles Buthod, Auguste Darte, Alexandre Delanoy, Jean Joseph Honoré Derazey, George Gemünder Senr., Joseph Louis Germain, Charles Adolphe Maucotel, Maurice Mermillot, Ludwig Neuner, Hippolyte Silvestre, Charles Simonin, Nicolas Vuillaume, Nicolas Fran?ois Vuillaume, etc.
It is also stated on good authority that Barbe made many of his instruments. Instruments branded “St. Cecilia” or back ￡250, personal work violins ￡400 to ￡500, ’cellos up to ￡500, 1960. Bows ￡15 to ￡25.
|209||VUILLAUME, NICOLAS FRAN?OIS||Third son and pupil of Claude Fran?ois (2). Born at Mirecourt 1802; and apprenticed in father’s workshop. Worked with brother J.B. at Paris until 1828; then settled at Brussels. Died 1876. Received silver medals for conscientious workmanship of instruments, at Brussels Exhibitions of 1835 and 1841. Appointed maker and repairer to Conservatoire. Exhibited instruments in London 1831, Paris 1855 and Dublin 1867, for which medals of the first class were awarded. Sent a quartet of instruments to the Vienna Exhibition 1873, and secured highest honours from the council. Success further rewarded by the Belgian Government when made a “Chevalier de l’Ordre de Léopold”. Frequently travelled through Savoy and the Tyrol, also visited Italy in search of woods, and any valuable violins lying in obscure places. Intimate acquaintance of David Laurie (Scottish connoisseur) who described him as “a man of middle height, broad and wellmade, having more the appearance of a Lowland Scot than a Frenchman”. Produced many instruments of superb workmanship, creating much envy among Belgian makers. Stradivarian, Guarneriun, and Maggini modelling. Workmanship and style rather faithful to the influence of brother’s precepts. Good edges, well margined. Excellent curvatures with graceful approach to corners. Some sound-holes pronouncedly Gothic, often quite long, and of a style difficult to determine. Varying scrolls, sometimes of classical proportions, and as frequently rather stiffish. Beautifully transparent reddish varnish on best specimens, rubbed down to represent wear and age. As yet the general public deny him his rightful place, but his fame is gradually speeding up, and he will eventually occupy a place beside Jean Baptiste. Unfortunately, this has been retarded by his occasional descent into the production of cheaper and a kind of “commercial” instrument for which he received ￡10. Purplish-mahogany shade of varnish doctored up etc., to look like genuine old age. Made several facsimiles of the Servais Strad ‘cello which have received all possible commendation.|
N. F. Vuillaume, No 175
Luthier du Conservatoire Royal de Musique
Rue de l’Eveque No 30
N.F.V. Bruxelles. L’an 1884
175 is the number of the instrument. Also produced many artistic bows. Generally round sticks of chocolate colour. Branded “N.F. Vuillaume”. Violins ￡125, Bows ￡12, 1960.
|210||VUILLAUME, SéBASTIEN||Born 1835. Worked at Paris. Died 1875. Last maker of this family. Awarded bronze and silver medals at Paris Exhibitions of 1867 and 1868. Generally wide proportioned patterns. Deep red varnish. Workmanship very diverse. The maker seems to have fallen into the meshes of contradictions, and never had the patience (or perhaps it was ill-health), to systematically adhere to the thoroughness and uniformity so necessary to retain a conspicuous position. He has not flagrantly abused any particular part, inside or out, but in general, was too invariable, consequently his instruments have never been greatly desired, though an occasional first-class specimen has been appreciated.|
Initials and a cross double-circled. Bows bring his name into better recognition. Similar to those of Jean Baptiste. Used the machine invented by his uncle. Violins ￡90, Bows ￡15.
|211||WALTON, WILLIAM||Born at Longton, near Preston (Lancashire), 1860. Retired stationmaster. Selftaught in violin making by study of all obtainable literature on construction and tone. First instrument dated 1887. Ultimately became a professional maker. Original modelling, outline favouring the Stradivarius, Guarnerius brought in for the arching, and Amati signalised in the scroll. Workmanship details all carefully attended to; sound-holes slightly wider than usual at lower part of stem just previous to the turn. Purfling accurately executed. Vigorous looking scrolls masterly carved. Well seasoned wood and an excellent amber oil varnish of own composition, red or brown shades with yellow ground. Tonal quality thoroughly reliable in strength, clarity, equality and quick responsiveness.|
Also made bows but never stamped them with his name. ￡45, 1960.
|212||WEICHOLD, RICHARD||Born 1823. Pupil of Pfretzschner at Markneukirchen. Worked at Hamburg. Settled at Dresden. Died 1902. Produced all classes of instruments, but specialised in making artist bows, contributed many magnificent specimens for the comfort and skill of the principal virtuosi, and richly decorated ones for the aristocratic amateurs in that populous neighbourhood. Bows ￡10 to ￡15, 1960.|
Formulated a new process for making “tested perfect fifth” strings, 1860
|213||WEIDHAAS, PAUL||Born 1897. Worked at Markneukirchen, 1935. Accurate reproductions of the old master bows. Carefully selected pernambuco, hexagonal and round sticks, light and dark shades. Best specimens five guineas, 1934. ￡10 to ￡12, 1960.|
|214||WINKLER, FRANZ||Bow maker. Products much recognised, 1921. Original model (known as the Winkler), also imitations of the Tourte and Voirin. Impressive and artistic, perfect balance, round and octagonal sticks; those of dark chocolate colour generally gold mounted. ￡20,1960,|
|215||WITHERS, GEORGE||Son of Edward Withers. Worked with father for number of years, then established own place in St. Martin’s Lane, London, subsequently moved to larger premises in Leicester Square. Business carried on by two sons since 1900, Guarnerius (excellent violinist) and Walter George; both trained in constructive and repairing art at Mirecourt. This famous firm ceased to exist, 1933. Stradivarian and Guarneriun modelled violins; four grades. ￡10 to ￡21. Splendid type of orchestral instruments, plenty of power, brilliant and equal on the four strings, nothing harsh or woolly. Oil varnish generally of reddish colour. Two grades of violas, and three grades of ’cellos. Violas made by “old George” when working at St. Martin’s Lane have the attributes of Cremona work, body length, 16-1/4 inches|
(bearing design of a violin, lyre, music, etc., with sun in background)
Also an excellent productivity in bows. Stamped “G. W. & S.” or “George Withers & Sons”.
|216||WUNDERLICH, FRIEDRICH||Born at Zwota, 1876. Studied bow making with Nürnberger. Established at Markneukirchen up to 1898. Subsequently went to Leipzig. Working there 1925. Magnificent bows, all parts done personally and by hand - usually follow the Tourte model but other celebrated types likewise successfully imitated. Sticks polished without shellac resin, so that they can be cleaned with alcohol without losing their polish. Strongly constructed saddles with an improved ferrule. Particularly robust heads, fine wood and faultless workmanship. ￡15 to ￡20, 1960.|
|217||WUNDERLICH, GUSTAV||Born 1872. Pupil of Karl K?hler at Sch?nbach. Worked at Berlin. Settled at Leipzig, 1897. Instruments which emulate the Cremonese in design, workmanship and varnish. Patented a new bow, 1926. Made “the smallest quartet of instruments in the world”.|
|218||ZIMMERMANN, JULIUS HEINRICH||Born at Sternberg (Mecklenburg), 1851. Established at St. Petersburg as a music publisher, 1876. Ultimately opened branches at Moscow, Riga, London, Berlin and Leipzig. Set up a factory at St. Petersburg, 1895, for the manufacture of all instruments and accessories. Employed the best workmen from Saxony. Transferred the business to Markneukirchen, 1908. Violins and ’cellos named “Solo” and “Concert” of the highest grade of machinery produced instruments. Beautifully finished and nicely varnished. Prices ranging from ￡5 to ￡20.|
Similar labels for each city; name changed to Moscow, Leipzig, etc. Also bearing the registered trade mark “H.J.Z” encircled by a heart design. Various models of bows, 10s. to ￡10. Best specimens of pernambuco wood round sticks and thin silver plate instead of ivory at top. Stamped “Jul. Heinr. Zimmermann, Leipzig”. Bows ￡15, 1960.
|219||Z?PHEL, ERNST WILLY||Bow maker at Rohrbach (Saxony), 1925.|
|220||ZüST, J. EMIL||Born 1864. Pupil of Marks at Munich. Worked at Zurich since 1886. Head of the Swiss Violin Makers’ Society, 1927. Died 1946. Violins, violas and ’cellos all exclusively clinging to the Guarnerius. Critical abilities, skill and industry, fully fitted him to produce the best possible. Each detail in precise conformity with the other. Quality and transparency of varnish equally praiseworthy. ￡125. ’Cellos, ￡175. Bows, ￡30.|
Also bows of significant workmanship, easily taking the lead in Swiss productivity.
Ref: Universal dictionary of violin & bow makers by william henley.
Some modifications are made.