Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

violin id?


Recommended Posts

Hi all!


Could you please id my violin? I have been playing it for more than 20 years and still do not know, what it really is. There is a label inside, that reads: “Nicolas rue Croix des petits Champs a Paris 1805”.

Here is the link to some pictures on photobucket:



Thanks a lot for your input!




Link to comment
Share on other sites


Thanks to robertdo.

Another bits of information concerning the label of this puzzling violin:

The label seems to be (a reproduction of ?) Nicolas's:

I do not remember where I read this (Luetgendorff perhaps), but there is actually a maker named Nicolas who used labels in that style and wording.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

there is also a Francois fourier Nicolas (from a family of luthiers) who was a french luthier for the royal school. He was born in Mirecourt in 1758 and died in Paris in 1816. He was a Luthier at the "rue Croix des Petits Champs around 1800. I read that some of his violins had the inscription "Nicolas a Paris" burnt on the lower bout rib near the button on the bass side.

In any case it's a very nice looking violin, with flowing curves, and although I am no expert it seems as old as many other violins shown here. 200 years is not that old all else considered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


there is no such brand on the lower bout In addition to that the year on the label does not seem to be handwritten (see below).

So I do not have much trust in this label.


I have taken some measurements of the violin:

Body Length (back): 359 mm
String Length:      330 mm
Diapason:           197 mm
Neck:               133 mm
Upper Bouts:        165 mm
Center Bouts:       114 mm
Lower Bouts:       
207 mm


I figured out how to include some  pictures here directly.

















Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still no ideas?
We need to ship this violin; my brother who owns and plays this fiddle lives abroad and always has to much luggage to take the violin case with him on the plane. (j15310 is actually two persons, me and my brother, the first posts being written at the Christmas-time family get-together.)
The worst case we can think of is that the violin gets lost or damaged; even if it were insured we would not be able to make a claim for an unknown violin of unknown origin and value.
But we have absolutely no idea whether the value warrants instrument or shipping insurance or not. If it is only worth a few hundered EUR it probably does not.
So that is why the sudden interest in the origin and value of this fiddle.

Some time ago, when I had a bow rehaired I tried to sneak in some questions about the violin; the only thing the local luthier said was that he does not think the violin is as old as the label says, and that it could be French.



we forgot to post the pis of the label:






Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is the label for Francois-Fourrier Nicolas (1758-1816), as presented in Henri Poidras' "Dictionary of Violin Makers, Old and Modern" (Volume 1).  Poidras says "Although not of the first order, his work has genuine qualities........specimens of it are scarce."  Althought the label looks right, that is not to say that it belongs in this violin.  Hope it does!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a bit baffled by this violin - I think that's mainly because the varnish has been heavily modified, and I'm not sure the pins are original. We can see remains of a darker brown varnish on the scroll, around the f-holes and part of the ribs - was this the original varnish?

I'm not sure that the scroll graft is genuine either - the grain in the maple looks rather continuous, though it's hard to tell in the photo of the side of the scroll.

On the other hand, the label looks rather good - but did it come out of another violin?

Given the date, clearing up whether the graft is real or not would be very illuminating. If it's fake, I think we can discount Fourrier-Nicolas.

But I want it to be genuine, and think it most likely is .....

In which case just wait until you can take it in hand baggage!

Link to comment
Share on other sites



thanks for your reply!


I took a closer look at the graft  and it does not look genuine to me(?). On the treble side of the neck there is much wear. (Perhaps a previous owner wore a ring on the index finger?)


Any other ideas what  else the violin could be ? Is it French?


I dont know if the photobucket gallery works for you; there are some more pictures: http://s847.photobuc...ichdd1/library/


 The best pics of the graft are already here:











Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I don't think one needs to be an expert to see that this is no real graft (on the first picture all the lines of the wood going down show no difference on the part below the "graft") and if you look inside the peg holes there is no cutting lines like one should see in case of a graft.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In case anyone is interested: I have new information about the label.


I sent an e-mail to Roland Terrier and  he really was a great help, so much thanks goes to him.

That is what he had to say about the label:


" [...] l’étiquette ne peut être originale, car François Fourier de Paris n’était pas à cette adresse en 1805, mais rue Nicaise!.

C’est la reproduction d’une étiquette qui sort de plusieurs ouvrages, mais de 1807 Jusqu’à son décès supposé, il est répertorié par les annuaires rue d’Argenteuil, et je pense que même cette étiquette connue de 1812 est un faux ! "


(Cited with kind permission of the author)





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...