Violin by Paul Bailly, Paris, 1889
About Paul BaillyConsidered to be amongst the best of the pupils of J.B. Vuillaume, Paul Bailly was born in Mirecourt in 1844. He served his apprenticeship with Jules Gaillard before going on to Brussels to work for Nicolas François Vuillaume, brother of the more famous Jean-Baptiste. Bailly then went on to work for J.B. Vuillaume in Paris, gaining an enormous amount from the high standards of this workshop and the ready access to the finest Italian instruments.
Following his period in the Vuillaume workshop, Bailly travelled a fair amount, working in England and America before settling permanently in Paris from 1898. Upon his death in 1907 his workshop was inherited by his daughter, Jenny Bailly.
About the violinThe violin demonstrates the incredibly skilled workmanship for which Bailly is known. It has a one piece back of relatively wide flamed maple and a two piece front of straight-grained spruce which widens towards the flanks. The varnish is a luminescent orange-brown colour, laid over a much lighter ground. The varnish has the delightful quality of seeming to change colour in different lights and times of day.
Interestingly, this violin bears the stamp of the Berlin Opera House, identifying it as No. 16. It´s always so interesting to know a little more about the life that instruments have led!
The violin has a length of back of 355 mm.
How does it sound?This violin has a nutty depth to the sound that I don´t automatically ascribe to French instruments. It is a fantastically flexible violin which sounds with the lightest of bow touches, making it extremely easy to play Classical repertoire. The violin also has huge reserves of power and expression, making it an excellent partner for later repertoire too.
Its ability to change colour without effort makes this violin extremely satisfying to play: moods and expressions can be communicated almost without conscious thought.
ConditionThe violin is in very good condition. It bears its original label and is signed internally on the back treble side.
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