Violin by Chipot-Vuillaume, Mirecourt, 1891
This violin has now sold.
About Jean-Baptiste Chipot-VuillaumeWe have a bit of a soft spot for the Mirecourt maker Chipot-Vuillaume! Despite his labels implying that he was the son-in-law of the famous violin maker J.B. Vuillaume, his wife Stella was the daughter of a shoemaker of the same name! Somehow the fact that Vuillaume himself was not at all above such marketing ploys brings the younger man´s claims round in a pleasing full circle.
Spurious claims aside, we know that Chipot-Vuillaume was born in 1847 and studied with Derazey before being employed in the Collin-Mézin workshop. Chipot-Vuillaume then set up his own Mirecourt workshop, employing several other makers to produce instruments bearing his label. This was common practice in Mirecourt at that time. Following his death in 1892 the workshop was continued by Charles Drouin.
About Mirecourt violinsMirecourt is a small town in the Vosges area of north-eastern France which has a remarkable history as France´s most important centre of violin making. By the time this violin was made, around 80,000 instruments a year were being produced in the Mirecourt workshops. Instruments from this period generally display excellent, neat craftsmanship and tone wood of good quality.
About the violinMade in Mirecourt in 1891, this violin is modelled after Stradivari. The blackened chamfers of the scroll and the slightly exaggerated corners are typical features of the Mirecourt Stradivari model. It is not possible to state whether the violin was made completely by Chipot-Vuillaume himself or whether one of his employees was involved in the process.
The violin has a two piece back of fairly highly-figured maple, the flame descending gently from the centre joint. The ribs and scroll are of similar wood. The two piece front is of wide grained spruce and the varnish is a reddish brown colour laid over a lighter ground.
The violin has a length of back of 359 mm.
How does it sound?This violin has has a big, open sound with a degree of richness throughout the range. The richness doesn´t come at the cost of projection: there are no problems there! The violin is easy to play, speaks readily and will take a more aggressive bowing style in its stride.
ConditionThe violin is in good condition with one very small wing crack. There is a fair amount of wear to the varnish.