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John Woodbury... William Conant Any Info Please ?


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Someone needs to write a book on New England violin makers. Chris Reuning is supposedly an expert on them, so why isn't he writing the definitive work????

Anyway, Conant was one of the really fine american violin makers. He started as a cabinet maker and switched to making violins, after beginning with cellos and basses in 1841. He began numbering his violins in 1876 and made 700 numbered pieces, for a total of over 1000 violins. Yours is a very very early example, and may not be as fne as his later violins.

I have owned three numbered Conants, and each sold for between 3000-4500)Each sounded wonderful and was very very well made, by a hand that knew it's business.

The varnish was a dull, boring brown, but the wood and workmanship were very fine. Conant was said to get his wood from old buildings and covered bridges.

I had a brief correspondence with a fellow who collects Conants, and he had some wonderful yellow examples, though he said the dull brown varnish was typical.

I think it's worth more than the prices quoted. If it's crack-free, I can't imagine it being worth less than a solid 4K, if it has the typical varnish. If it has the Yellow varnish, or any non-standard varnish, it should be worth more.

I look forward to pictures.


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