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jandepora
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Hello,

I want to know your opinion about this violin. Could it be E. L'Humbert? and who was this Georges Valot?

The label:

Lutherie d'Émile LHUMBERT
Format GUARNERIUS del JÉSU - PARIS 1914
Verni par Georges VALOT
St Leu-la-Foret (s.o.) 1934
 
 
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2 minutes ago, TJ Fuss said:

Google translate suggests that "Verni par Georges VALOT" is "Varnished by Goerges Valot".

 

Yes, thank you.

The label said that someone called Georges Valot take a violin from Emile L'Humbert and varnished it 20 years later... I don't know if the violin was made by L'humbert himself, in his workshop, if it was bought in blank and varnished 20 years later, or maybe revarnished , or it has nothing to do with L'Humbert.

I can not find information about this Georges Valot.

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7 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

The label or the fiddle?

No idea about the label but the fiddle is pretty interesting. 

 

That is my impresion too; the violin looks very decent. The inside work is neatly done, except the repairs in the ribs and some linnings. The blocks, and the linnings insert in the blocks looks prety done.

The label is very suspicious... what was the kind of man that make a mistake writing his own name!?

At least the violin looks french... ¿?

if it helps, the Lob is 354mm.

 

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Thanks for posting this. I would never have guessed from the external pictures of the corners that it was inside mould construction. It looks BOB from the outside. Why do you doubt the label? Does the violin not look like a nice Guarneri copy?

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2 minutes ago, Delabo said:

Thanks for posting this. I would never have guessed from the external pictures of the corners that it was inside mould construction. It looks BOB from the outside. Why do you doubt the label? Does the violin not look like a nice Guarneri copy?

Yes,it is a nice copy and it sounds great!

I read that some french makers could copy the BOB features but with the external mould technic.

My guess is if it could be an E. L'Humbert violín. Or if it is possible to know more about who was the maker. If it could be possible from 1914... Who was this Georges Valor.

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13 minutes ago, jandepora said:

Yes,it is a nice copy and it sounds great!

I read that some french makers could copy the BOB features but with the external mould technic.

My guess is if it could be an E. L'Humbert violín. Or if it is possible to know more about who was the maker. If it could be possible from 1914... Who was this Georges Valor.

Maybe the person who made it was named "Humbert" and he  went off to war before varnishing it and maybe never came back? It languished somewhere until 1934 when it was finished off and varnished by an unknown  luthier \ repairer named "Valot" who worked in st. Leu-La-Foret on the outskirts of Paris?

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21 minutes ago, jandepora said:

Who was this Georges Valor

I would read the story of the label to mean that if the violin had the kind of dry and slightly crackling varnish that we sometimes see on French violins (especially those from Mirecourt), the owner of the violin could have had the violin repainted in 1934. In such a case, Mr Georges Valot could have been anyone, perhaps a painter, a cabinetmaker or an amateur violin maker. In any case, I have not found any Valot in the lists of violin makers. By the way, Saint-Leu-la-Forêt is a northern suburb of Paris.

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If the violin looks like it could have been built by l'Humbert and then finished or refinished in 1934, it may be important that l'Humbert died in 1933.  (Leaving who-knows-what unfinished or abandoned projects.)

S. O. by the way is for Seine-et-Oise, the old department name dropped in 1968.  St. Leu is now in the new Val-d'Oise department.

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Emile L'humbert died in 1933 (one year before mine was varnished. Maybe Valot take a violin from L'Humbert workshop after his dead and varnished it.

His biographie talks about other luthiers using his violins; Dictionnaire Universel des Luthiers (René VANNES): "Unscrupulous merchants reaped not only profit but also success by branding his violins with their name."

Inside the top, parallel to the bass bar it seems it had a pencil inscription, totally illegible now.inscrip02.jpg.f3e633ff9851bc262bc22d83b7c2ffb3.jpginscrip06.thumb.jpg.5fc90697071a543d1197f9b11a1b1b02.jpg

The f-holes are cut with a bevel from inside

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and the pegbox inside walls are not parallel; narrower in the bottom than the top

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and it has this incision to mark the nut position

1003099089_pegbox03.jpg.e8849b6d55d87d00b40cacd9e95750f4.jpg

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11 hours ago, Hempel said:

If you completely disregard the label, what makes you think the fiddle is L'Humbert or even French?

I have no idea. that is why I asked in the forum.

The construction method of the violin looks french and the varnish craqueleur too. The model looks well with that of L'Humbert I have found in internet. And that's all.... if the violin would had no label, I would never though on L'Humbert and that is why I asked looking for help.

In any case the violin looks prety well made and I though that maybe someone could find something in it that could point to any maker, school or age.

here pictures of a 1906 L'Humbert from violindocs web

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And this one from 1926 in Bromptons

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This one from 1908

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Emile L'Humbert seems to have been an interesting if somewhat enigmatic maker. According to online sources he worked in Blanchard's shop in Lyon before setting up his own shop in Paris, and he seems to have made a small number of high quality instruments, many for other, bigger shops. Personally, I've only seen one that seems to be agreed was by him and it was a good Del Gesu model, closer to the "creative freedom" of a real late Del Gesu than the usual "normalized" French models. 

This violin could well be by him. The workmanship is serious, and the scroll of this fiddle seems to be inspired by the Alard Del Gesu. Who was this George Valot guy? Possibly a luthier, there were luthiers in Mirecourt named Valot through the years, even if this George doesn't show up. On the otherhand, that he's in St. Leu, a town out in the countryside around Paris in stead of in Paris, makes it possible he was an amateur, or possibly a retired luthier. Considering L'Humbert's reputation of supplying violins to the trade, it wouldn't be far-fetched that Valot got his hands on a violin in the white and varnished it. 

This is all conjecture, of course. If you haven't yet, do send photos to Rampal, and try to see if the inscriptions can be deciphered with uv light or some other method.

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@jandepora

The problem with grabbing random violin photos off the web is you can't be sure the pictured instruments are authentic.  Now I apologize for bringing the label back into the discussion since I asked you to disregard the label.  If someone did over-varnish the instrument later then all bets are off regarding craquelure. 

Mais voici la pièce de résistance:

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UnionArtistes2.png.e5efaab0f4c1c9e460ec8295bdca2f61.png

Both pictures above belong to the same article.  I'm not bothering to post the whole article because this site would render the text illegible.  Only the relevant excerpt is posted. 

 

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Great find! So, at least we know there was a Georges Valot who was a painter in St. Leu in 1933! As far as the pictures shown above, the first violin is certified by Boyer, and I think is pretty much a reference example. The others share many features, notably the squarish, narrow Alard style head and I think should be considered quite probable, as I think the OP violin is as well. Still, an opinion from Rampal or Boyer would be a good idea.  

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Interesting violin and label!

I would second Michael's observations, both with regard to the violin and with regard to the reliability of the Boyer site "violindocs".

The mistake in the label is most likely a typesetting mistake, rather than a mis-spelling by someone who doesn't know how to spell his own name.

The mystery for me is the notion that the violin was varnished after L'Humbert's death by an amateur artist. It's a pretty professional job, nicely shaded, with a darker "beard" around the f-holes and quite precise inking from what we can see.

I wonder why someone would bother with such an extavaganza of typefaces for a single label - it suggests that either there were quite a few violins which received this treatment (perhaps bought in the white from L'Humbert's estate) or that M. Valot's artistic contribution to this violin might have been no more than a one-off showy label!

 

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One should perhaps point out that violin attribution becomes infinity more difficult, once it concerns instruments that were made as copies from the outset. One separates the old masters into regions using building methods and small distinguishing traits, but as soon as a maker is suppressing his learnt school to more or less slavishly imitate a del Gesu (or whatever else), the more one will be put of the scent. I remember spending weeks wondering what an excellent del Gesu copy could be, only to discover an inscription from Feilenreiter, Vienna inside when I opened it.

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10 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

This violin could well be by him. The workmanship is serious, and the scroll of this fiddle seems to be inspired by the Alard Del Gesu

Thank you very much for your help.

I was looking for Guarneri scrolls and I think mine and the one of Boyer 1906 example are closer to the Leduc Guarneri.2022-04-10_19_58_36.thumb.jpg.d5a234de500ea8cf53a625e2c617fd54.jpg

10 hours ago, Hempel said:

Mais voici la pièce de résistance

Wow, thank you very much for this add. Is very possible that that painter named Georges Valor was the one. A very important history piece.

8 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

an opinion from Rampal or Boyer would be a good idea.  

That will be my next step. I will keep you all informed about any news.

7 hours ago, martin swan said:

The mystery for me is the notion that the violin was varnished after L'Humbert's death by an amateur artist. It's a pretty professional job, nicely shaded, with a darker "beard" around the f-holes and quite precise inking from what we can see.

I think that the problem with the varnish are the parts that were heated and the dirty are in all the parts. I hope i can make something to repair that parts and clean all.

7 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

One separates the old masters into regions using building methods and small distinguishing traits, but as soon as a maker is suppressing his learnt school to more or less slavishly imitate a del Gesu (or whatever else), the more one will be put of the scent

I am thinking if the construction method of this violin is clearly french trying to imitate Guarneri, or only an approach to guarneri technic.

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I am wondering if the top half of the label is original and was added to later in 1934 by Valot.?

The top half of the  label appears to be in an Art Nouveau type  font which was still in use in 1914, and the bottom half tries to copy it. But notice that the "4" is different on the bottom half numerals...........

art neuveau label 1.jpg

art neuveau label 2.jpg

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1 hour ago, Delabo said:

I am wondering if the top half of the label is original and was added to later in 1934 by Valot.?

The top half of the  label appears to be in an Art Nouveau type  font which was still in use in 1914, and the bottom half tries to copy it. But notice that the "4" is different on the bottom half numerals...........

art neuveau label 1.jpg

art neuveau label 2.jpg

I see what you say but I think the paper of the label is one piece, the same paper top and bottom. The ink is the same in all the label. With UV light I can not see differences.

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Maybe a painter could use different lettering style; I think I can see pencil marks like lines to make the letters correctly. Georges was trying his best with the label!

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the question is why make a label so exaggerated and complicated like @martin swansaid.

9 hours ago, martin swan said:

I wonder why someone would bother with such an extavaganza of typefaces for a single label - it suggests that either there were quite a few violins which received this treatment (perhaps bought in the white from L'Humbert's estate) or that M. Valot's artistic contribution to this violin might have been no more than a one-off showy label!

 

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I don't think this materially changes anything, but here's more info on Georges Valot.  No connection with the trade uncovered so far.

Georges Jean Valot was born in Paris 1865.  His wife Louise was born Charroux 1873.

It was already obvious that he was an amateur artist but the census listing confirms it.  He was alive as late as 1945, still a member of L'Union des Artistes.

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