William Paul Muller Cowboy Boot Violin An American Masterpiece 1997 New York
click picture to enlarge
MADE IN THE YEAR 1997
William Paul Muller (1943 -2023). Bill had a deep appreciation of fine craftsmanship and attention to detail. His background was many faceted. He was an award-winning sculptor, violin maker (luthier), and a professional violist. His carvings varied from chainsaw carvings to delicate opera scenes which I have personally seen and can attest that they excellent. Muller was a serious violin maker trained in the historic traditions of the Cremonese makers. His teacher, Louis Lionel Grand of New Paltz, New York was his mentor and instructor in the art of violin making. But Muller was not opposed to venturing into the unconventional. The Cowboy Boot Violin garnered much praise and attention at the 1998 “Celebration of American Excellence” violin making exhibit in New York City. The horsehead scroll on the instrument is of fine work. The craftsmanship on this instrument is outstanding and the engineering and spatial intelligence to design and build this violin is above the curve. I can’t imagine the many extra hours to create and make this violin. It has a handmade tailpiece that is slightly shorter than the normal 110 mm tail. It is shorter to account for the indentation from the heel of the boot. The Colt .45 sound holes are also very creative. I think a fine player from Nashville, Tennessee who is playing or will one day be on the Grand Old Opry stage will own this one-of-a-kind violin. Or possibly a great fiddler from our western states will fall in love with the sound and look of the violin. This is certainly a singular carving gem. The violin will also be sold with the violin pattern/form Muller used in making this violin. The woods on this violin are uniquely American, with a one-piece back and knockout highly flamed ribs, neck, and scroll. The violin is comfortable to play, yes even lightweight. The violin will be the centerpiece of your playing work.
Corpus 360.0 mm, Major Width 196.0 mm., Minor Width 165.0 mm., Rib Height 29.5 mm.
As for the tone, it is a beautiful sounding instrument, not just a looker. It has a tremendous response off the strings and is refreshing and clear. The tone is almost woody in its color and the edginess is a total wow in my book. The sound is powerful, while retaining depth and maturity. The instrument leans to the brighter side of the spectrum and I can feel the instrument pump as I play. I used various bows to get a sense of what the violin could do. I used a Marquise GS carbon fiber bow, a higher end carbon fiber bow on this violin and the sound jumped off the strings. The strength is noticeable as soon as you lay a bow on it. It will make you smile. The G and D strings popped with the slightest touch of the bow. The pernambuco wood bows toned the instrument down one notch, still giving great response off the strings. The violin has good balance and has a consistent volume throughout the register. The treble strings sing with power with the bass side made me take notice of this instrument. It plays and lays super easy in the hand, has a fantastic look, a take notice sound, and has no issues to boot. An American violin totally ready for an American fiddler.