A French Violin, Probably By Francois Salzard, Circa 1830-1835.
Delightfully, presenting in remarkably well preserved condition, less the subtle hint of patination to belie its age, this French violin was crafted by a skilled artisan in the second quarter of the 19th century and probably between1830-1835; whereas there is no label to speak of, nor an iron brand, several experts have wholeheartedly posited that the violin is clearly by the hand of Francois Salzard and I am emphatically inclined to agree that it is very characteristic of his work. It boasts well selected tone-woods which feature a moderately flamed one piece back of 360mm, more plain headstock, and tighter flamed maple for the ribs, with a deep translucent orange varnish typical to Mirecourt over a soft, golden yellow ground which teases influence from yet an earlier generation of craftsmen. A handsome instrument with sharp channeling that terminates into a thicker round bead for the edge work, with a well seasoned voice of ample texture and maturity - malleable, with enough resistance to deliver compelling articulations and nuanced changes in dynamics: powerful, clearly defined, with a rich tonal palate easily drawn from. Recommended heartily.
Francois Salzard (1808-1874) established an independent workshop in Mirecourt in 1836. Francois’ son, Ernst Andre Salzard was born in 1842 and emigrated to Russia in 1863 - first to Moscow, and then to St. Petersburg, where he worked as violin maker to the Imperial Court. Like many successful makers of the era, the burgeoning giants in the industry later used their names for lines of commercial instruments made for export. Francois Salzard was used as a trade name by Jerome Thibouville Lamy as early as 1867.