PhilipKT

Who is the modern Vuilluame?

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Vuilluame may not have created the quality factory, But he seems to have been the most successful of the guys who used collaborative workmanship. He could certainly make a violin from start to finish by himself, and he often did,  but most of his stuff was done by the shop, and he was able to sell lots and lots of instruments all of which were made under his supervision but few of which were actually made by him. 

Lots of modern shops have adopted this particular approach, Resulting in generally better quality and generally lower prices. I was at a recital recently featuring a very famous cellist playing one such cello, and I was not really impressed by the cello, although I confess to a certain bias against the maker. My question for you guys is, of the shops who currently use this collaborative method, Which instruments will be the most desirable in, say 100 years?

I have owned one WH Lee instrument, played many,  and I’ve never seen one that was not beautiful and that did not sound amazing. That would be my vote, but I’m really interested in what everybody else says, and maybe the question itself is moot because the lone maker is disappearing.

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12 minutes ago, Dwight Brown said:

I had a Lee shop violin and I have one by an alumnus. I think he is the answer and he started a bunch of careers.

DLB

I owned a Kiernoziak, as did the colleague who inspired me to get my Caron. A student bought a Bednarski, another bought a wonderful Garavaglia, My former professor played a Bronek Sisson instead of his Ceruti(As a matter fact, in all the years I knew him, I never saw the Ceruti) And this area abounds in instruments from the Lee shop. 

But im very interested in investigating Machold. Never seen an example. Maybe they don’t make it to Texas.

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6 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

But im very interested in investigating Machold. Never seen an example. Maybe they don’t make it to Texas.

I don't believe that Machold was a maker or sold "Machold" shop violins for that matter. He was busy with other endeavors...

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3 minutes ago, scordatura said:

I don't believe that Machold was a maker or sold "Machold" shop violins for that matter. He was busy with other endeavors...

 Come to think of it, you’re exactly right. In that case Jacob, can you clarify, or were you just being witty? 

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Nominating Dietmar was of course a slight piss-take, although not only. I have always thought of Vuillaume as a businessman, busy with his stock broker rather than with his knife, and always have to think of Retford’s characterisation (Bows & Bowmakers pages 59 & 60):

 

We have to thank Vuillaume’s parsimony for the Vorin bow bearing the name of the actual maker, Vorin having left Vuillaume on account of the low wage. Vuillaume, obviously, suffered from an amplified egoism; he was not content to see his own name on the work of Vorin and others; he caused the insertion of a lens bearing his own portrait in their work.”

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24 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Nominating Dietmar was of course a slight piss-take, although not only. I have always thought of Vuillaume as a businessman, busy with his stock broker rather than with his knife, and always have to think of Retford’s characterisation (Bows & Bowmakers pages 59 & 60):

 

We have to thank Vuillaume’s parsimony for the Vorin bow bearing the name of the actual maker, Vorin having left Vuillaume on account of the low wage. Vuillaume, obviously, suffered from an amplified egoism; he was not content to see his own name on the work of Vorin and others; he caused the insertion of a lens bearing his own portrait in their work.”

I remember that quote and it always made me laugh. In the biography of Vuilluame, Mention is made that he was so cheap he refused to buy his wife a carriage in keeping with her station.

Someone needs to write a book about the most famous scoundrels in the music business I could certainly contribute a name or two.

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16 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Andreas, Jakob was comparing them as shady business men, rather than as Violin makers

Just read it after I posted my comment. 

But, no, no, no. 

Because Vuillaume knew how to make violins he didn't get caught. Seriously. 

But if we are looking for a clever businessman half-frauding colleagues and clients I would name someone else. 

From the standpoint of purely making instruments Giobatta Morassi might be a good choice in terms of production number and for the fact that he can claim to have created what might be called in future by experts 'Morassi school.'

In the end if you take all the Elements which made Vuillaume who he was, there is no one mostly because there is no descendant from a violin making family I know who would have created such a huge business. First with his own hard labour (years 1830 - 1840) then clever and shady businessmanship while employing a big number of violin AND bowmakers.And in the end what made him really rich was the clever move to get hold of the Tarisio collection for an apple and an egg. (Though it was allegedly a big sum paid). 

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9 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Vuilluame may not have created the quality factory, But he seems to have been the most successful of the guys who used collaborative workmanship. He could certainly make a violin from start to finish by himself, and he often did,  but most of his stuff was done by the shop, and he was able to sell lots and lots of instruments all of which were made under his supervision but few of which were actually made by him. 

Lots of modern shops have adopted this particular approach, Resulting in generally better quality and generally lower prices. I was at a recital recently featuring a very famous cellist playing one such cello, and I was not really impressed by the cello, although I confess to a certain bias against the maker. My question for you guys is, of the shops who currently use this collaborative method, Which instruments will be the most desirable in, say 100 years?

I have owned one WH Lee instrument, played many,  and I’ve never seen one that was not beautiful and that did not sound amazing. That would be my vote, but I’m really interested in what everybody else says, and maybe the question itself is moot because the lone maker is disappearing.

IIRC, Shar in its heyday reputedly had a lot in common with Vuillaume.  :)

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5 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

But im very interested in investigating Machold.

No point, so were bigger fish than any of us, and that ship sailed years ago.  :lol:

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

IIRC, Shar in its heyday reputedly had a lot in common with Vuillaume.  :)

I have played multiple cellos from Shar, and they were all OK student instruments, but I can’t imagine any of them making hearts go pitter-pat five years From now, much less 100.

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42 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

”Der schlechter Mann bleibt im Knast.”

( Der Knast/Kittchen?)

"Der schlechte Mann" (if you mean a specific one) or "ein schlechter Mann" (if you mean evil men generally) but I think I would use "böser" instead. And it's "der Knast", and "das Kittchen".

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Scouring this forum, it appears there are at least a handful of members that deserve historic comparisons.  I am making my own mental chart (let “=“ mean “similarities to”):

Sounders= Morel

Noon= modern Italian maker using intellect, intuition, history to pave a new form through tradition. Aerospace engineer! Seriously? Can you back off a bit to give some of us a chance?

 Burgess= Vuillaume?

Swan= Hill (and Sons) dealer

Blank Face= mysterious and knowledgeable enthusiast/professional that must have a successful practice

I know there are more. :) 

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1 hour ago, Michael H said:

Scouring this forum, it appears there are at least a handful of members that deserve historic comparisons.  I am making my own mental chart (let “=“ mean “similarities to”):

Sounders= Morel

Noon= modern Italian maker using intellect, intuition, history to pave a new form through tradition. Aerospace engineer! Seriously? Can you back off a bit to give some of us a chance?

 Burgess= Vuillaume?

Swan= Hill (and Sons) dealer

Blank Face= mysterious and knowledgeable enthusiast/professional that must have a successful practice

I know there are more. :)

????????   Maybe we should refocus the thread or just scrap it.

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I would say the Hill workshop took on the mantle of Vuillaume for a while. They produced very fine violins using a number of makers whose names we know (mainly the Langonets), and they produced bows of high quality. They were situated at the heart of the violin trade, and constantly had their hands on great classical Cremonese instruments which they used as models.

Unlike Vuillaume, they kept a tight rein on their bow makers, and were it not for the marks on the faceplates we would find it almost impossible to distinguish between them.

But the idea of a large workshop producing high quality "trade" instruments from a classical viewpoint, and using the reputation for expertise to help market these modern products - that's a leaf taken from Vuillaume's book.

In London right now we have J&A Beare who have bought the WE Hill & Sons brand in order to start producing instruments and bows which they will call "Hill". I'm sure they see themselves as latter day Vuillaumes, and perhaps they will follow in his footsteps in other ways too.

 

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My lack of knowledge with Vuillaume led me to not realize it was more of a firm than a maker.  I did not realize. I suppose here in the US, a bow version might be Salchow.  He is capable of making nice bows while dealing high quality bows.  Maybe Bein & Fushi?

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