French Duiffoprugar Violin; Made for JTL, c. 1890’s.
Gasparo Duiffopruggar (1514 – c. 1570) is the name given to instrument maker Kaspar Tieffenbrucker. Duiffopruggar is believed to have been born near Füssen in Bavaria, Germany, and had moved to Lyon, France, where he did most of his work, by 1553. He was one of the first to produce the violin in its modern form.
Duiffopruggar instruments are rare and tend to be of the viol family. Most instruments bearing his labels are imagined reproductions of his instruments. The best examples come from the workshop of the Parisian violin-maker, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. They were made for Vuillaume by Honoré Derazey ((1794–1883)) and sold to the public to supply the demand for older instruments. These instruments can be distinguished from the originals, however, by discrepancies in the labels of the violin, and more importantly, the workmanship and type of the instrument.
Because no violin has ever been actually discovered to have been made by Tieffenbrucker, the current belief is that "Duiffopruggar" never actually made any violins, but rather that he made almost only lutes and sold different instruments of other makers, and his name was used to sell instruments made for Vuillaume, and to some extent, J.T.L. This violin is of the latter sort, representing the higher end trade production made for or by the atelier of Jerome Thibouville Lamy; ofreed largely in response to the wild success of Vuillaume’s models.
This violin represents the higher end of Mirecourt’s typical trade production, with characteristically French tonewoods, clean lines, and tasteful antiquing to the varnish. However, the large and yet somehow still delicate, idiosyncratic f holes and the inlay to the bottom of the back set this violin apart. Having said that, there are many other commercial instruments from France, Germany, and the Czech Republic which copy these stylings, although less successfully when considering the overall quality of those instruments in comparison.
This violin boasts a clear and powerful voice with both tremendous projection and sensitivity to the most subtle change in bow strokes, speed, and weight. It is an admirable instrument which performs well above its price and features a hollowed out ebony tailpiece, with titanium tail gut and tuner, and vision strings.