French Violin

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Description (Brief)
This violin was made in Mirecourt, France around 1880. An oversized commercial Mirecourt violin (with 14 3/8 inch body length), this violin is listed in J. Howard Foote’s 1882 catalog under French copies of old masters. It is item #5935: “Copy of Stradivarius, extra fine quality, . . . Each $22.00.” Many violins like this were made in Mirecourt. While thousands of these violins were sold with reproduction labels of famous makers like Amati, Guarneri, Stainer and Stradivari, this instrument is clearly labeled to prevent misunderstanding of the Stradivari attribution. A second Smithsonian example is catalog #55682, described in the Foote catalog as the same quality of instrument. It is built with similar archings, outline and pearwood purfling, but bears a reproduction Guarneri label. This violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, two-piece back of maple with medium-fine ascending figure, ribs, neck, pegbox and scroll of similar maple, and a shaded orange-brown varnish.
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1878-1882
Place Made
France: Lorraine, Mirecourt
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
Measurements
overall: 23 3/4 in x 7 1/4 in x 3 1/2 in; 60.325 cm x 18.415 cm x 8.89 cm
ID Number
MI.072846
catalog number
072846
accession number
12809
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Violins
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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