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Fine French soloist violin by Joseph Laurent Mast, 1823
Fine French soloist violin by Joseph Laurent Mast, 1823
Fine French soloist violin by Joseph Laurent Mast, 1823
Inventory No.: 5529
Provenance: Toulouse
Maker: Joseph Laurent Mast
Length of back: 35.8 cm
Year: 1823

Fine French soloist violin by Joseph Laurent Mast, 1823

This French master violin by Joseph Laurent Mast is the work of a mature master's experienced hand and communicates a unique balance of the finest musical and aesthetic properties. It shows that its maker was, in equal measure, faithful to the classic Mirecourt violin making tradition and independent of it. Trained by Didier Nicolas, one of the most successful masters and entrepreneurs of his day in Mirecourt, Joseph Laurent Mast sought his fortune ― for reasons unknown ― not in his hometown in the Vosges mountains but at the foot of the Pyrenees, where he settled in Toulouse in 1807. The instrument presented here was created around 15 years after Mast established his workshop and serves as a glance at the interim phase of its creator's development; Mast went on to spend another 17 years in the city he chose as his home. The violin’s top-quality tone woods with interesting grain illustrate both Mast's sensitivity in choosing his materials as well as the fact that he had a well-sorted selection of woods to draw upon, as should be the case at a well-run workshop. The one-piece back is a sophisticated and magnificently executed piece of attractively flamed maple which articulates Mast's refine stylistic sense just as much as the lovingly crafted scroll does. Received in perfect and undamaged condition, this violin shows many traces of use by good musicians who apparently played it often and performed challenging literature. Our luthiers carefully set up the hand-signed instrument and made it ready to play so that its truly beautiful sound with its rich overtones can present multi-facetted musical options with intense resonance, size and particular warmth in the lower registers.

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