An Anonymous French Violin, Mirecourt Circa 1895-1900
At close approximation, this violin boasts some 125-130 years of age and demonstrates wear commensurate with lifetimes of professional use, but no damages, nor any repairs to speak of. All details considered, it presents in well preserved condition. This deep red varnish was very common to Mirecourt around the turn of the 20th century – one might even say almost traditional. Having said that, the transparency is superb, highlighting the figuration of the back, grain of the top, and tighter flame consistent to the ribs.
Although the violin adorns a facsimile Guarneri label in its belly, it is otherwise anonymous, instantly evoking a likeness to the era’s higher end production of Jerome Thibouville Lamy’s workshop, but also similarities to the output of Emile Mennesson; an instrument with clean but humble craftsmanship, with a sharp edge and widely sloped channel, concentric scroll, and well chosen materials. It’s voice too is well seasoned, balanced in definition, with a colorful body to the sound that at once delivers a bright edge and a more subtle woody quality, with ample flexibility and projection.