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Gustave Bernardel violin


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Interesting are also his instruments made for Africa. They have pins in all corners, usually in the fron and the back, so they could be used in tropical climates. A friend had a viola of that kind. This was a good sounding instrument.

 

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1 hour ago, Carl Stross said:

1. What can one say...  ?

2. Mein Song 2  - How much is the violin in the picture ?

Don't know what one can say. I just wanted to illustrate this type of sound which I like. I have no idea how much this violin now is, I had it for many years. As I posted earlier, they go for €10-12k in the auctions, sometimes even below. The one in my photos has a slightly untypical scroll and the label has the year handwritten - all others I had seen were numbered and the year added in ink. But it has a certificate.

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5 minutes ago, uguntde said:

 

On auctions they go for more like £10-14k.

I've only seen two great examples at auction recently ie. perfect condition and pleasant sound - they both went for more like £20k. Plenty of lesser examples went for less, but that's the problem with auction prices.

I never heard anyone say they couldn't use a decorated one in an orchestra. 

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5 minutes ago, martin swan said:

I've only seen two great examples at auction recently ie. perfect condition and pleasant sound - they both went for more like £20k. Plenty of lesser examples went for less, but that's the problem with auction prices.

I never heard anyone say they couldn't use a decorated one in an orchestra. 

I got mine cheaper :) but a long time ago. I remember one at Brompton's with a flat (i.e. not properly arched) back which was discussed here.

I can't follow that you find them very variable. The wood he used for the back was always the same, he must have bought a tree which gave him a lot of fiddles. His scrolls, f-holes etc show very little variation.

Another example here:

http://viaductviolins.fr/archive.php?action=inline_search&search=3203

If anything they are too predictable.

 

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6 minutes ago, uguntde said:

I got mine cheaper :) but a long time ago. I remember one at Brompton's with a flat (i.e. not properly arched) back which was discussed here.

I can't follow that you find them very variable. The wood he used for the back was always the same, he must have bought a tree which gave him a lot of fiddles. His scrolls, f-holes etc show very little variation.

Another example here:

http://viaductviolins.fr/archive.php?action=inline_search&search=3203

If anything they are too predictable.

 

How many have you played?

I don't think there was a "he" with Gand & Bernardel - they employed a number of makers over a significant period of time.

We collaborated for about 8 years with a maker in Reghin, he made about a hundred fiddles for us - all his fiddles were the exact same model, very similar choice of wood, same workmanship, all sounded different. Though he never managed to make a fiddle that sounded as bad as a bad Gand & Bernardel.

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I am fascinated by uguntde's comment that GB used an inside mould, because literally everyone else has said they used outside moulds which is why they all look so symmetrical and precise.

Agree about the sound, very radiant.

Mine has internal stamps, both Gand & Bernardel and Gustave Bernardel, but with a Gustave B label.

Gustave's partner, Charles Nicolas Eugene Gand died at the beginning of 1892 [2 February, aged 66] and Gustave B carried on as sole proprietor until he retired and sold the firm in 1901.

I see Ingles and Hayday have a 1894 Gustave B viola coming up for auction with an estimate of £15-20k.

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3 hours ago, Samuel Detached said:

I am fascinated by uguntde's comment that GB used an inside mould,

I don't think this is the case - and even less likely with Gustave Bernardel than Gand & Bernardel.

I'm sure many French makers (including Vuillaume) claimed to use an inside mold, but whether they really did is a different matter.

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  • 4 weeks later...

A postscript to ugundte's post of May 13, proving this Senior Member correct: Tarisio in June 2021 auctioned a G&B in good condition for £15k plus 20% premium and a Gustave in rather more varnish-worn condition for £14k plus premium...  Having lived with my 1892 GB for 9 months, my experience is that lower tension strings get the best out of the instrument, especially upper positions on the G string. Thank you all the various experts who have posted on this topic. It has been extremely helpful and I hope these finely crafted violins get the attention they deserve.

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7 hours ago, Samuel Detached said:

A postscript to ugundte's post of May 13, proving this Senior Member correct: Tarisio in June 2021 auctioned a G&B in good condition for £15k plus 20% premium and a Gustave in rather more varnish-worn condition for £14k plus premium...  Having lived with my 1892 GB for 9 months, my experience is that lower tension strings get the best out of the instrument, especially upper positions on the G string. Thank you all the various experts who have posted on this topic. It has been extremely helpful and I hope these finely crafted violins get the attention they deserve.

Which senior member ...?

Ulrich said they "go for €10-12 at auction, sometimes less", the Tarisio one just sold for £18k all in. It was a fantastic sounding instrument, I'm not surprised it did well - all the good ones I have come across sold for this sort of price or more.

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Retreading this topic it is interesting how members give quickly and freely their thoughts, off the cuff. I knew this violin, the date it was tabled, the date it was sold, to whom and how much and have it under my chin every morning, and had Bernard Millant’s written opinion before posting. I know what it is. My experience of maestronet is overall very positive, and am grateful for the experts to opine, show and share their experience quickly and freely. The tendency is at first to be dismissive (pace Brumcello) which given the amount of mediocre instruments around is completely understandable. But I still think G&B are, in a way, a pinnacle of engineering, if you like that kind of thing: powerful, radiant. Their lutherie, coming after Vuihhaume, their predominance over many decades,  explains for example the French orchestral sound of Berlioz, the sound of Faure, Debussy, Satie etc and I  hope they will be appreciated and played well for many years to come. Thanks all.

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