Violin by François-Jacques Barbé, Dijon, circa 1840

Violin by François-Jacques Barbé, Dijon, circa 1840

About François Jacques Barbé

François-Jacques Barbé, also known as Barbé père, was born in Mirecourt in 1798 and almost certainly learnt his craft in that town. Fascinatingly, he served as a cook in the Napoleonic army before setting up as a luthier in Dijon. He is known for his very fine workmanship and his work is relatively rare.

Interestingly, his son Télesphore-Amable Barbé was also a luthier but did not take over his father's workshop after the latter's death in 1871. The younger Barbé served his apprenticeship in Mirecourt with Honoré Derazey before working his way up to head worker in the Vuillaume workshop.

About this violin

This violin was made in Dijon circa 1840 and is built on a personal model which shows the influences of Stradivari and Guarneri 'del Gesù'.

The violin has a one piece back of lightly-figured maple with ribs and scroll to match. The front is two pieces of fine to medium grained spruce and the varnish is a rich golden-brown colour.

The violin has a length of back of 358 mm.

How does it sound?

This violin has both boldness, and a warm, velvety tone: a rare combination in the same violin. There are great reserves of power with an intoxicating willingness to be played. The whole instrument is marked with a sumptuous velvet quality to the tone. Though easy to play loud, spoiling the sound doesn't happen often or easily!


The violin is in very good condition with some areas of retouch to the varnish on the front.

Further information

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