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Jack Devereux

John Devereux Violins

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Leafing through a copy of Henley, I discovered I share a name with an English violin maker who later immigrated to Australia- John Devereux (although only my mother calls me John and only when I’m about to get an earful). Most people spell the surname with an A (Devereaux), so I was particularly interested that he has the same version, sans A.

 

Googling hasn't turned up much, was wondering if anybody had any information on him or has seen any of his instruments. Henley seems to think highly of him, but, you know, Henley...

 

Thanks,

Jack 

 

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There couple of pictures I took "just for fun"  here are of my John Devereaux (on the left) and a Bernhard Simon Fendt (on the right) both from about 1840/50 period, i.e. before Devereaux left for Australia. I'm not the person to ask, but as I understand it, when he returned to violin making after the gold rush, he changed his style considerably having been influenced by French makers/making ... The Devereaux is out for restoration at the moment (Dec 2017), but its a really lovely fiddle. It's simpler than the Fendt that I happened to have at the time but except for the soundholes which are clunky it screamed Fendt at me before I knew what the label said - it's a real shame he didn't keep this type of work up when he emigrated. More photos when it's back :) Very rare! 

Better to look at the back than the front to see how well the varnish matches in real life... 


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Ben, very cool! Thats a lovely looking fiddle. Thanks for the photos and information, would love to see more when you get it back. When you say it’s a shame he didn’t maintain the same style after immigrating, what did he transition to? Henley says they tend to be quite big? Would love to hear anything more you think on his making, or if you know anybody to consult, my interest has been piqued. 

 

Tim, I hadn’t seen that book, it looks quite good, I’ll have to put it on the list. 

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6 hours ago, Jack Devereux said:

Tim, I hadn’t seen that book, it looks quite good, I’ll have to put it on the list. 

It's more than quite good :-), even allowing for my bias having given minor assistance and lots of encouragement to Alan during its writing and production, I think it stands as a significant piece of historical writing (not to mention the superb photos).

Tim

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16 hours ago, Jack Devereux said:

Ben, very cool! Thats a lovely looking fiddle. Thanks for the photos and information, would love to see more when you get it back. When you say it’s a shame he didn’t maintain the same style after immigrating, what did he transition to? Henley says they tend to be quite big? Would love to hear anything more you think on his making, or if you know anybody to consult, my interest has been piqued. 

 

Tim, I hadn’t seen that book, it looks quite good, I’ll have to put it on the list. 

I'd prefer if one of the Australians spoke about him, as my knowledge is pretty third hand. So, if anyone wants to correct inaccuracies, please do - My understanding is that a few Mirecourt makers had come to Australia and he kind of followed in with their kind of style, but producing slightly eccentric models, often - as you say - oversized, which at their worst look like fantasies on the lines of some weirder Saxon Maggini copies and the likes, but to a much higher standard. So I think you take his instruments on a case-by-case basis. :) I don't see any meaningful relationship between my Fendtish Devereaux and the Australian ones I've vaguely come across. 

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