Jean-Baptiste COLIN, 1903 Mirecourt Violin – SOLD 11/19/2019
Jean-Baptiste COLIN, annee 1903 JB-C
This 1903 J.B. COLIN violin was a trade instrument made at the height of French violin making in Mirecourt, France. Ours is nice copy of a real Collin-Mezin violin which was handmade in the Laberte workshop. Notice the second L is missing in the last name on the paper label. The height of the French trade instrument period lasted from the 1870’s to the 1930’s. A real Collin-Mezin handmade violin will sell for a much higher price. These trade instruments were replica instruments made with the name “Lutherie Artistique” and JBC added to the COLIN label. The violin is in very good condition and shows signs of natural wear and patina on the instruments edges, back plate and at the bridge. This is a good sign. Someone loved and really played on the violin. The bridge placement has changed over the years showing signs of varnish wear in and around the diapasons. The oil varnish, all hand drawn is a transparent light golden-orange brown color. The varnish is consistent throughout the instrument. We have done minimal varnish work to keep the instrument in its original condition by artistically touching up the varnish. The instrument has new fittings carved in ebony with pear wood accents for the pegs and tailpiece, a new twenty-year old piece of French maple for the bridge and a new sound post, which is all standard when restoring an instrument.
This French instrument stands out for its tone quality. The voicing is warm and inviting. It produces a balanced power on all four stings. The E string is sweet, not piercing and was a pleasure to dig into even in in 5th and 7th position. The violin speaks well with aggressive playing and the sound was crisp and clean, better than expected with off the string articulations. This violin also responded to a light touch. I choked up on the bow like a Baroque bow length and discovered the violin was also a pleasure to play. Perfect for the girl or guy who needs depth in sound to play in an orchestra and who also loves to get into chopped double stops while playing light jigs and reels. Mr. Judd calls this trade Frenchy instrument a sleeper. Not the real thing with a 10 to 12K price tag but a handmade Mirecourt trade instrument that holds its own and sounds very nice.