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František L. Duchon violin, 1928
František L. Duchon violin, 1928
Provenance: Náchod
Maker: František L. Duchon
Length of back: 35.9 cm
Year: 1928
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Czech master instrument by František L. Duchon

This violin, which was crafted by the Czech master František L. Duchon, is an outstanding instrument with a sound worthy of a soloist's performance. As the dated and numbered original label confirms, this instrument was made in the year 1928 in the northern Bohemian town of Náchod near Hradec Králové (Königgrätz); it was patterned after a model by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (1698-1744). The perfectly carved scroll and precise, broad purfling call attention to the quality of the craftsmanship demonstrated in the exceptionally accurate work on this instrument. The richly applied oil varnish is bright, transparent and golden in colour, and the tone woods beneath it are radiantly beautiful. Fine to moderately grained spruce was used for the top, and the back consists of maple with broad flames. A very minor repair to the top and a few traces of use at typical sites have absolutely no impact on the appealing aesthetic of this violin, which apparently was played often and has developed an especially full, dominant and mature sound. It is strong and resonant, well-balanced across all of the strings.

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