Derazey Violin

Description (Brief)
This violin was made by Honoré (Jean Joseph) Derazey in Mirecourt, France around 1880. Interest on the part of J.B. Vuillaume to make exact visual replicas of important Cremonese violins led to a commission for his copying an ornamented viola da gamba attributed to Gaspar Tieffenbrucker (Lyon, ca.1514-1571). The instrument, decorated on the back with marquetry inlay showing a scenic city landscape of Paris along with religious symbols and icons, led Vuillaume to make decorated copies of violins in similar ornamental style after 1827. By 1830, Honoré (Jean Joseph) Derazey (1794-1883), also from Mirecourt and working in Paris, joined the Vuillaume workshop and became the maker of many Gaspar da Salo decorated copies, known as the ornamental "Duiffopruggar" violins of J.B. Vuillaume.
Derazey later returned to Mirecourt to become an award-winning maker in his own right, with a fine reputation for copies of Stradivari, but continuing production of ornamental violins as well. His son
Justin Derazey (1850-1890) worked and continued the family business, being joined by Paul Mangenot and later by Laberte-Hubert Freres who by 1920 held title to Nicholas ainé, Derazey and other brands. Instruments like this violin branded “H. Derazey” are probably from the commercial collaboration of Honoré with his son in the Mirecourt workshops, ca. 1880.
This violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, one-piece back of maple cut on 45° with even, medium-fine figure descending to the right, ribs of similar maple, an original maple neck terminating in a pegbox and bearded male head with laurel wreath, and a semi-transparent yellow orange-brown varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Derazey, H.
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 24 1/2 in x 8 1/4 in x 4 in; 62.23 cm x 20.955 cm x 10.16 cm
Place Made
France: Lorraine, Mirecourt
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Sandra Ottenberg in memory of Matilda Marcus Newman
Related Publication
Millant, Roger. J. B. Vuillaume. His Life and Work
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

8/28/2013 3:05:55 PM
I am fortunate to have two of his instruments - carved heads, village on the back, Latin on the edges, etc. Very proud of them.
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