J. Lavest – French Violin, circa 1920-1930 Great Sound!
click picture to enlarge
Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis
Faciebat anno 1721
French violins are characterized by a beauty and elegance of appearance. Violins from France have great attributes and are made as well as Italian and German instruments. The violin guild in France set high standards of workmanship for makers to attain. This violin surpasses those expectations and has a beautiful darker oil varnish and slightly elongated corpus length typical of French violins. J. Lavest established a workshop in Montluçon and was active as a dealer in the violin market more than a violin maker. Many of his violins were made by journeymen in the Dieudonne workshop and lesser were fabricated in the Marc Laberte workshop or made in an unknown shop in Mirecourt. The choice of spruce and curly maple is outstanding. The arching is graceful and slightly higher than a standard Strad model lending to the strength of sound. The patina on the instrument is real and the varnish quality is deep in color and clarity. We decided to spend more time in our workshop on this instrument because of its high quality. We gave the instrument an entire new setup: bridge, soundpost, pegs, tailpiece, and end button. Everything has been completed here in our workshop and the instrument has no issues.
Corpus 359.0 mm., Major Width 206.0 mm., Minor Width 167.0 mm., Rib Height 31.0 mm.
The sound on this instrument, probably enhanced by the corpus length, is beautiful. It has a dark, mature, clear tone that sings. A vibrant sound that reminds me of when you’re singing opera in your shower in the morning. The instrument has a great ring, and the response off the strings are very encouraging. The bottom end reminds me of rich, thick, meaty sound, but very smooth. The treble side is brilliant and speaks well. The E string has a vibrant energy with a unique voice and a player will feel this instrument pump. The violin is beautiful to look at and has the sound to match. I wish this 100-year-old instrument were branded (on the inside of the back plate and above the end button on the outside rib) because I’m sure the instrument would fetch a higher price. This is a great find for the up-and-coming serious violinist.