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violin by Riviere & Hawkes
violin by Riviere & Hawkes
- back
- back
- side
- side
- scroll
- scroll
Provenance: Mirecourt
Maker: Unknown
Length of back: 35.9 cm
Year: approx. 1870
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"The Concert violin II" - French concert violin by Riviere & Hawkes

This high-quality French concert violin is an interesting souvenir of European musical history; it is the result of work performed jointly by excellent French violin makers and the English music publisher William Henry Hawkes. Together with his partner, luthier Jules Prudence Rivière, Hawkes had successfully sold orchestral scores since 1865. Like Boosey & Company, their most important competitors and later partners in establishing Boosey & Hawkes, Rivière & Hawkes also had instruments built, relying on French ateliers in particular. Exactly which violin makers worked for them is a question the research world wishes it could answer; it is also not known how great a role Rivière played and whether he set up certain instruments himself or perhaps even made any. One thing these violins have in common, however, is their clear roots in the French tradition, a style which they proudly and compellingly represented in the musical community of England. This is also true of the violin presented here, which belongs to the “The Concert Violin” series and is presumed to have been created in the year 1877. Its label features the handwritten comment “Villaume '77,” which may refer to a luthier who hailed from this great traditional family. The blackened edges of the expressively carved scroll are another clear indication of its French heritage. A luminous transparent dark orange-brown varnish coats the premium tone woods used to make this violin, emphasising the elegant and striking flames of the two-piece maple back. With only a few visible traces of time, this sophisticated and highly responsive violin has been kept in perfect condition, and we warmly recommend it for demanding musical standards. Its sound is clear and resonant, with warmth and power in the lower registers and rich in timbre in the higher range.

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