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Vuillaume violin dating question


hungrycanine
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Can anyone help me figure out some rough dates for a Vuillaume violin, please? The name "Vuillaume" is in block letters (all upper case) on the back just below where the neck joins. So that much is pretty straightforward. A label inside gives the name and address: "Vuillaume a Paris Rue croix des petits champs 46."    If the label is authentic (??? a big "IF" perhaps???) the violin had to have been made before 1858, because that is when Vuillaume operations moved to the Rue Pierre Demours address. Perhaps the family simply continued to use the Rue croix des petits champs 46 address even after the move? Perhaps the name was used well in to the 20th C and associated with violins of no character whatsoever?   I'm thinking the presence of "Vuillaume" in block letters on the back suggests this is a much later "trade" instrument of no special value, although still possibly worth spending some money to fix up.    I'd appreciate any guidance your much greater familiarity with violins can provide.  Thanks.

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All the instruments I've seen with a "Vuillaume" brand on the back have been German trade instruments from around the turn of the century. I've seen several permutations of this brand - in a straight line and a sort of horseshoe, all upper case or upper and lower case, but none of these have been on a French violin. 

The Mirecourt trade used the Vuillaume label tirelessly - must have seen several hundred Mirecourt "Vuillaume" labeled violins from about 1880 to 1940. But no brands .....

Most non-authentic Vuillaume-labeled violins of French origin seem to favour the Rue Croix des Petits Champs address ... maybe Rue Demours Ternes is just too short to be interesting!

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Without seeing the violin, the Vuillaume stamp on the back is proof that the violin isn't a Vuillaume, and there are at least 50,000 violins with the same label, the majority of which were made in Germany. To determine if it's worth fixing up, you'll need to post some pictures, or better yet take it to a reputable violin shop and get an estimate.

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Thank you, gentleman. That's more or less what I expected (although I try to maintain eternal optimism.....). I already have a German trade fiddle from the 1960s and a rather beat-up French trade fiddle from the previous decade, and they both exceed my playing skills, so I doubt I need yet another one.

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If you're really lucky (?), you can find one where the stamp/brand and the label don't agree.  A while back one like that was was posted, the unforgettable "Strainer" http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/327799-stainer-by-strad-or-strad-by-stainer/?hl=strainer#entry574640  :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

This reminds me of a friend who bought a cheap German Vuillaume where even the address was misspelled.

I told him that it was a fake, but didn't believe me so he took it to Beares in London where they gave him the same valuation, but he thought that Bears were not telling the truth because they wanted to buy the fiddle for a song and then sell it on for a huge profit. (although they didin't offer to buy it). He still has it believeing it's the real thing, even after I showed him my genuine Vuillaume, he could not see the difference. He wants 30000 euros to part with it.

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This reminds me of a friend who bought a cheap German Vuillaume where even the address was misspelled.

I told him that it was a fake, but didn't believe me so he took it to Beares in London where they gave him the same valuation, but he thought that Bears were not telling the truth because they wanted to buy the fiddle for a song and then sell it on for a huge profit. (although they didin't offer to buy it). He still has it believeing it's the real thing, even after I showed him my genuine Vuillaume, he could not see the difference. He wants 30000 euros to part with it.

 

Would you be willing to show us your genuine Vuillaume?

 

Cheers.

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I wish I could upload pictures, but you can see it at Cozio. It was made in 1857 and numbered 2206 by Vuillaume. It's a Guarneri copy.

I also have to send Cozio some  new pictures, because the existing ones are B/W also information in order to revert ownership to myself instead of Hills who sold me the instrument in 1990.

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This reminds me of a friend who bought a cheap German Vuillaume where even the address was misspelled.

I told him that it was a fake, but didn't believe me so he took it to Beares in London where they gave him the same valuation, but he thought that Bears were not telling the truth because they wanted to buy the fiddle for a song and then sell it on for a huge profit. (although they didin't offer to buy it). He still has it believeing it's the real thing, even after I showed him my genuine Vuillaume, he could not see the difference. He wants 30000 euros to part with it.

As they say, "It takes all types."  Most of us have seen this form of behavior, not only with violins but with all sorts of situations:  A person will ask our opinion and if it doesn't fit with their template they will keep asking around until they find someone that agrees with them.  If you ask them how many people they had to ask before they found JUST ONE who agrees, they don't get the point that 100 to 1 probably means SOMETHING.

 

I once asked a friend what his 'cello was.  He said, "It's an Amati."  Then, after a pause, he continued, "And sooner or later I'm going to find an expert who agrees with me."  (Of course he was being funny intentionally)

 

So, in your example, Beare's won't be good enough and the guy won't give up until "Zeke's Plumbing and Violin Appraisal" of Lumberton, NC says, "Hey, looks kinda like a Vewyawme to us."  But, then, he'll say, "See, I told you so."

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So, in your example, Beare's won't be good enough and the guy won't give up until "Zeke's Plumbing and Violin Appraisal" of Lumberton, NC says, "Hey, looks kinda like a Vewyawme to us."  But, then, he'll say, "See, I told you so."

While he's there, he can buy an "original Walker Colt" (with Italian proof marks) to protect his "investment" with  :lol: .  This sort of thing isn't entirely limited to violins alone  :rolleyes:

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While at it, on another occasion this friend calls me to his house to see an Albani labeled violin. It was the usual German trade with the single bottom rib with a little nick to center it, but with a label that said Albani. For him, since it had an Albani label, it was genuine. Fortunately his wife was there and convinced him not to buy it. Since then he accuses me that I identified it  as fake because I wanted to buy it and make a killing at the auctions. 

These situations are funny when money doesn't exchange hands. There are occasions though that make you want to cry. This other friend of mine bought a genuine Vullaume viola bow from  a dealer in Greece. What they did before the sale, was file the stick to bring it down to an acceptable violin weight and changed the frog for a German trade one. No doubt the original frog is going on a German trade stick and passed off as a genuine Vuillaume bow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just happened to re-read this thread and it reminded me of a true story.  We all love true stories;  RIGHT?   :)

 

I was reading the want ads one day and saw that a fellow was advertising a Nicolo Amati for sale.  I called him up and arranged to see it.  He didn't have people come to his home, hinting he was afraid of letting just anyone into such a treasure trove.  Fine with me, of course, because I have learned not to waste my own gas going cross town only to be disappointed for the umpteenth-million time.

 

So, at the arranged time, there was a knock on my door.  I opened it and there was no one there.  Well, actually there was, but the guy was so short that at first I didn't see him.  He had no violin case in hand.  He said he needed to make sure that I was worthy of seeing such a fine instrument.  Once he was convinced I was not just a member of the great unwashed, he went to get the violin out of the trunk of his car.  

 

He reappeared with the violin.  I took one look and saw that it was, 1. Not an Amati; 2. Not an Amati pattern; 3. a cheap commercial instrument; 4. it bore a label stating it to be Antonio Stradivari.  So, naturally, I pointed out that by his advertisement and by our earlier phone discussion the violin was supposed to be an Amati.

 

He coolly stated, "Yes.  I can explain.  I ran the ad stating the violin to be an Amati because certainly most people would not believe I actually own a genuine Stradivari."  Now there's logic for you!

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Right!

Mind boggling. I am of course laughing at this tale, although it's awful.

I've got one...sort of...

Someone once drove their family 200 miles to get their Stradivarius appraised at the shop where my husband was working. It was clearly real because the label was entirely in latin, and the guy was arguing with the shop owner. Apparently the label in Latin was what the shop owner just wasn't seeing correctly.

Midway through the dialogue my husband slammed the door to his part of the shop so he wouldnt have to hear the painful interaction--so unfortunately I don't know exactly how it all went in the half hour before those people drove back 4 hours away where they came from. But I don't lack either novelistic imagination or an understanding of how people think. There are so many people out there who just won't believe that their heirloom or most prized possession is worthless. I wouldn't want to be the one to tell them either. People get angry.

As the other poster mentioned...some people are practically delusional about their fiddles...

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As the other poster mentioned...some people are practically delusional about their fiddles...

That's it in a nutshell.  I figure that with humans HOPE can often make life tolerable.  Sad, actually.  If I have a violin in my attic which, if sold, could pay the bills, get the kid through college, and get me and the old lady an ocean cruise, hope becomes a powerful thing which takes on a life of its own and can cloud good sense.  What a let down when some hard working guy in a shop 200 miles away isn't as excited;  much easier to say to one's self, "Who the hell does THIS guy think he is? How can HE be so sure?  Maybe he wants to 'steal' my treasure."  The anger is common.  Been seeing it for decades. Never changes. 

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