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Claude-François Vuillaume, violin approx. 1780
The great Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume is indubitably one of the most noteworthy luminaries of French violin-making history, yet the weight of his name should not obscure the fact that the many branches of his family tree featured numerous luthiers, many of whom were also outstanding masters. This violin is a striking tribute to the Vuillaume family name: it hails from the atelier of Jean-Baptiste's grandfather, Claude-François Vuillaume. Despite the lack of a label, the instrument's heritage is immediately apparent, and it unmistakably expresses the Mirecourt style of the late 18th century. The distinctive hallmarks of this tradition can be seen in the characteristic and exceptionally elegant lines of the sound holes, the high table and the blunt angles of the corners. The deep carving of the large scroll and the orange-brown varnish against a yellow background complement the appearance of this historic French violin with its sense of self-confidence and refined taste. In light of its advanced age, the instrument's condition is beyond reproach; a slightly uneven but well-executed repair was done on the top, and our restorers reviewed it meticulously. After being completely set up by the specialists at our atelier, this historic violin is now ready to play. It deserves a special recommendation because of its large, full sound which communicates a sophisticated, dark character with a clear response.