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Paul Bailly – fine French violin, c.1900

Paul Bailly (1844-1907) is not a distinctive luminary in the French violin making of the late 19th century merely because of the remarkable quality of his instruments; he is also esteemed because of the cosmopolitan character of his work, especially from around 1880 onward. The unlabeled c.1900 violin presented here is an outstanding example.

Paul Bailly was on his way...

Paul Bailly (1844-1907) is not a distinctive luminary in the French violin making of the late 19th century merely because of the remarkable quality of his instruments; he is also esteemed because of the cosmopolitan character of his work, especially from around 1880 onward. The unlabeled c.1900 violin presented here is an outstanding example.

Paul Bailly was on his way home after a long period of being a wandering journeyman when he crafted this violin in 1890. He had spent the previous decades travelling the violin-making world in a way that only few of the contemporaries in his guild could: after training under Jules Gaillard in his home town of Mirecourt, he perfected his art at a large number of top-tier French workshops and worked for Prosper Cabasse, Prosper Gérard Grandjon and the brothers François and Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. Furthermore, he became a luthier of the music academy of Douai and enjoyed successes in Great Britain and the USA before settling down in Paris in 1894. After these excursions into styles and acoustic profiles of different countries and traditions, he made this piece back in Paris, an instrument which not only reflects exquisite craftsmanship but also an extremely rare degree of musical maturity. An extensively played instrument, the violin has spent over 100 years in the hands of excellent violinists. Its darkened, red-brown varnish with retouch and charming shimmering hints of red merges beautifully with the striking grain of the moderate grain of the spruce top as well as the wide flames of the two-piece maple back, resulting in a breathtakingly lovely historic aesthetic. This Paul Bailly violin has been kept in very good condition with many traces from extensive playing. It has a magnificent acoustic profile and is now ready to play after being meticulously set up by the specialists at our workshop for restoration. A fine violin, whose large sound also inspires professional musicians in our day with its maturity, radiance and warmth.

Inventory no.
7056
Maker
Paul Bailly
Provenance
Paris
Year
circa 1900
Tone
mature, sweet, full of character, singing
Length of back
35.9 cm
Paul Bailly
Paul Bailly – fine French violin, c.1900
Paul Bailly – fine French violin, c.1900
Paul Bailly – fine French violin, c.1900
Paul Bailly – fine French violin, c.1900
Paul Bailly – fine French violin, c.1900
Paul Bailly – fine French violin, c.1900
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