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wagnmich

Do I own a genuine Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin?

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Hello everybody.

 

Since I am new to this forum, I think it is appropriate to introduce myself: My name is Michael, I am from Austria and I am 29 years of age.

 

Last week I visited my grandfather, who is fatally ill. He played something for me on his violin. Afterwards he showed me the instrument and told me that it is a genuine Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. At first, I did not understand the meaning of this, since I had no idea who Jean Baptiste Vuillaume was. Google fixed my lack of knowledge. He said that I should go and sell it.  There is a stamp on the inside of the back. I looked through the f-holes with a flashlight and was able to read Rue Demues-Ternes and TBV or something similar. How can I be certain if it is a true Jean Baptiste Vuillaume? I read that there is a high number of phonies around. If it is genuine, where would I go and sell an instrument like this? What would it be worth? It seems, sometime in the past it was repaired, because it is also a stamp of the violin maker present on the back. I think it is not in the best shape though. There is a tiny crack on the bottomside. It looks very old of course, but I think this is pretty normal, because it is in fact a pretty old instrument. It looks like it has been played a lot.

 

I will add photos later on. But at the moment I do not have any yet.

 

I would be very greatful for your help.

Thanks in advanced,

Michael

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If you get a few high quality photos up here, there are people here who specialize, in telling you, very accurately and with much experience, if your violin is a real violin of interest.

But nothing can be told from a written description - they need pictures, the better quality and the more of them, the better..  

 

Good luck with this, Michael.

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It would be nice to know what it is you have too...while your Grandfather is still here! Very exciting! I hope you both have fun in the search - whether the violin turns out to be genuine or not!

Looking forward seeing to photographs!

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Hello everybody.

 

Since I am new to this forum, I think it is appropriate to introduce myself: My name is Michael, I am from Austria and I am 29 years of age.

 

Last week I visited my grandfather, who is fatally ill. He played something for me on his violin. Afterwards he showed me the instrument and told me that it is a genuine Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. At first, I did not understand the meaning of this, since I had no idea who Jean Baptiste Vuillaume was. Google fixed my lack of knowledge. He said that I should go and sell it.  There is a stamp on the inside of the back. I looked through the f-holes with a flashlight and was able to read Rue Demues-Ternes and TBV or something similar. How can I be certain if it is a true Jean Baptiste Vuillaume? I read that there is a high number of phonies around. If it is genuine, where would I go and sell an instrument like this? What would it be worth? It seems, sometime in the past it was repaired, because it is also a stamp of the violin maker present on the back. I think it is not in the best shape though. There is a tiny crack on the bottomside. It looks very old of course, but I think this is pretty normal, because it is in fact a pretty old instrument. It looks like it has been played a lot.

 

I will add photos later on. But at the moment I do not have any yet.

 

I would be very greatful for your help.

Thanks in advanced,

Michael

Dear Michael

If one is to be realistic, the probability that you (or better, your grandfather) are owners of a “genuine Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin” is minimal, since this is one of the top ten apocryphal names stuck inside violins. Should you wish to make yourself absolutely sure of the fact, you will need to take the instrument to a knowledgeable appraiser. If you would like to say whereabouts you live in Austria, I would be perfectly happy to tell you which such person is geographically closest to your home address.

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Michael,

Jacob gave you the right advice. Take it to a professional shop for an opinion.

I believe new members are not allowed to post photos for some time. So take it to someone Jacob recommends.

Mike

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Dear Michael

If one is to be realistic, the probability that you (or better, your grandfather) are owners of a “genuine Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin” is minimal, since this is one of the top ten apocryphal names stuck inside violins. Should you wish to make yourself absolutely sure of the fact, you will need to take the instrument to a knowledgeable appraiser. If you would like to say whereabouts you live in Austria, I would be perfectly happy to tell you which such person is geographically closest to your home address.

Agreed. So far, I don't think your violin has much going for it, beyond what the typical Ebay scammer has to offer.

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Give the guy the benefit of the doubt; the violin: that would be a lot to ask.

 

Michael if your violin had a label "Stradivarius" inside would you honestly think you had a Strad? 

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Let's have a little potential excitement at least... <_<
 
Finding a 'real' Strad might be impossible...but maybe not a 'real' Vuillaume?  If it's the OPs Grandfather's, it's been around for little while...and maybe his Grandfather was a bona fide violinist who actually had one...why not? :)

 

Every now and then someone does actually win a lottery...

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Give the guy the benefit of the doubt; the violin: that would be a lot to ask.

 

Michael if your violin had a label "Stradivarius" inside would you honestly think you had a Strad? 

Million-to-ones do happen occasionally.  Someone could log on here whose great-great-grandfather robbed stagecoaches or some damned thing and God alone knows what's stashed in their attic.  I wouldn't want to be the one who dismissed a real Strad as "the usual" sight unseen even if that's the way to bet.  Would you?.

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I would certainly dismiss an attic found  "Strad" labeled violin  sight unseen as not a Strad.

 

That would be a less than one in a million chance. 

 

But I might have a look at it out of curiosity as to what it might be .

Most of the time I wish I hadn't. Have seen enough 

VSOs to last me a while.

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...like the guy (friend of a friend) who found a 17th c harpsichord at an antique mall...owners thought it might make a lovely planter. Cost:125...restored, I think $70,000. So it does happen

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In the meantime, ask your grandpa how he knows it's real and get the history of the violin from your grandpa. Then post or link to clear highres pics showing many angles and views. Good luck.

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lots of surprises happen. Someone I knew bid on a violin at an auction, she lost the bid but as the winning bidder left, she noticed he had left the old case behind. She hailed the bidder but he dismissed her, saying he was getting rid of the case and she could have it if she wanted it. His winning bid was $300 for the fiddle, the case contained a lovely silver mounted bow worth over $600.

 

Oded

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Firstly, we're still waiting to hear about Jeff's bow!

Secondly, it didn't come with any extraneous narrative detail, but with helpful pictures and modest expectations.

I hope the OP will forgive me and others for being suspicious, but one gets a feel for the literary form in the same way as one learns (or tries to learn) about violin identification ie. by assessing countless examples.

"Embellishmentology" is as indispensable a branch of semiotics in the latter as "cornerblockology" is in the former ....

 

I would just wish to discourage any budding Tarisios from making an offer on this violin!

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Thank you very much for this many responses. First, I do not really think it is a genuine Vuillaume. But my grandfahter insists on it. And where else would I turn to follow this up? I guess this forum is my best bet. A member pointed me to Jacob Saunders, a luthier living in my region. I will make an appointment there soon. Problem is, the violin is not in the best shape at the moment. I had to order strings, a bridge and fine tuners for my grampa. He want it to be in the best condition possible. He inherited the instrument himself from his uncle in the late 1930s. His aunt playd a lot on the instrument, and it shows. But even if it is not genuine, it was worth every second we invested. As i mentioned, he is fatally ill. The last few weeks weren't easy on him. Physically and Psychically. Have him at least distracted from his disease eases my mind a lot. I had not seen him smiling for month now, and he usually smiles and laughs a lot. And now, he starts smiling and dreaming again when we talk about the violin. And who knows, maybe it is genuine...  :)

 

I will upload the photos next monday at the latest. I am very intrigued what you will say about it.

 

So, thanks again, I keep you posted.

Mike

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Dear Michael

If one is to be realistic, the probability that you (or better, your grandfather) are owners of a “genuine Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin” is minimal, since this is one of the top ten apocryphal names stuck inside violins. Should you wish to make yourself absolutely sure of the fact, you will need to take the instrument to a knowledgeable appraiser. If you would like to say whereabouts you live in Austria, I would be perfectly happy to tell you which such person is geographically closest to your home address.

 

Hi there. I did not realise you already saw this thread. I live in St. Pölten. We (my grampa and me) would be happy to meet with you, if this is possible. I'll send you my contact details. I think it would be great to speak in person. I understand you live and work in Klosterneuburg. Not much of a road trip. :)

Mike

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Thanks for the photos! I hope you will get more information regarding the violin.

Question: is that an uncut bridge?

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