Didier Nicolas, Fine Pre-WWII French Violin approx. 1932 – Gorgeous SOUND!


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Branded and signed
Contains Grand Prix Paris Exposition label of 1931

We have a slightly larger Stradivari model. This violin is stamped inside on the back “A La Ville De Cremonne, D. Nicolas Anine. The violin is a beautiful tinged red/orange/brown on a golden ground. Didier (1757-1833) was born and died in Mirecourt, the hub of French violin making. The town is situated on the banks of the river Madon in the Lorraine, Vosges area of Northeast France. It is not far from the French borders with Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Germany. It grew as a making area because of the business trade routes, rail, and good road system. Mirecourt came into its violin making heyday at the beginning of the 19th century. Didier Nicolas was already an established maker and developed a large workshop with many apprentices and pupils to meet the steady demand for violins. Apprentices who learned their craft in Mirecourt were much sought after and often went on to found their own workshops in other major cities, especially Paris. Didier’s well known triangular trademark brand was later bought by Derazey, and even later by Laberte.

Didier Nicolas was a clever workman and made gorgeous instruments, slightly arched with the sound holes, his model (slightly wider in the middle at the diapason). This violin is branded where the label is usually placed in a violin, in a triangle pattern with the above inscription and then signed closer to the sound post area. In 1806 he was awarded a silver medal in Paris which helped launch his career. This violin was made in the identical modeling of a Nicolas, but in the LAMBERTE workshop using the original Nicholas brands that he purchased. This is a fine violin from the 1930s. The spruce top is choice one-piece, indicative of Dider Nicolas, and the one-piece back of curly maple is magnificent, along with the ribs, neck, and scroll. We have meticulously gone over the violin and cut new fittings in rosewood and new bridge and soundpost. Beyond that, there are some normal signs of playing wear in the varnish from a well-used violin that came from a professional. The violin is in very good condition. It is a Wow! The back is right on Strad corpus number, and the violin holds true to a slightly wider Strad model in the upper and lower bouts, and yes the f holes are slightly larger above and below the diapason.

Corpus 356.0 mm., Major Width 210.0 mm., Minor Width 169.0 mm., Rib Height 31.0 mm.

Sonically, this violin is fantastic. What a sound; powerful, responsive, warm, and wonderfully creamy. A player will not want to put this violin down. The violin is very easy to play and does not sacrifice edginess and articulation. This is not like a typical French violin found in the Parisian/Mirecourt trade. This violin’s construction and varnish work is impeccable and the tone even better. This sound is over the top – awesome! It strikes me as fairly dark with many overtones and color. The sound is well balanced and will definitely suit a serious player. This instrument is of great value and guaranteed to improve any large group, soloist, or large performing ensemble it finds itself in.