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Celia Bridges Violin, 1997, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Item# F2 S3555

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A well-crafted Stradivari pattern violin by Ann Arbor maker Celia Bridges. Fine attention to detail in a classically executed style. Two piece maple back with narrow flaming, perpendicular to the center joint. Spruce top of straight, narrow grain, slightly widening at the flanks. The varnish is red brown over an orange ground.

Vuillaume, J.B. (c.1860, Paris) *later top*

Item# F1 S3843

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A beautiful and powerful violin from the hands of one of history’s greatest and most influential violinmakers, Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. Possessing perfect tonal balance, fine projection and a resonant tone, very well suited for a wide variety of ensembles and halls. Workmanship is exemplary, typical of this great master, with fine knife and detail work. Two-piece flamed maple back of varied grain width. The top is of well-defined medium grain spruce. Varnish is medium orange brown over a golden ground. This violin offers a great opportunity to a serious artist that seeks the qualities of a Vuillaume, but not the high price. There are two reasons: The top, although well matched to the violin, was made and installed at a later time. The back has an expertly repaired fissure along the soundpost axis, well-supported by means of an internal inlaid patch. Neither of these two deficiencies affect the violin’s tonal qualities, playability or longevity. However, the price is significantly lowered, and is a mere fraction of the price a similar violin by Vuillaume in perfect condition. Historical records indicate that such instruments, from the hands of great makers, have continued to increase in market value, albeit at a slower rate than similar instruments in perfect condition. Jean Baptiste Vuillaume
Standing alongside Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri as one of history’s greatest and most influential violinmakers, Jean Baptiste Vuillaume possessed an unusual array of qualities unique in the violinmaking world. Born in the famous French violinmaking center of Mirecourt in 1798, Jean Baptiste learned his craft well, first from his father, later from Fr. Chanot. Later settling in Paris, and with further training from George Chanot, Jean Baptiste opened his own workshop. He first started with Chanot’s patterns, as well as those of the great Lupot, but soon discovered that the works of Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesu were far more desired by the market. His superb copies were a near-instant success, providing a firm foundation for his workshop. With his unparalleled skills at making and copying, his imagination and his keen business acumen, Vuillaume’s workshop became the talk of Paris, and the world. As the undisputed 19th century master of the violin world, Vuillaume was also a great innovator and inventor, and was able to attract the finest workers and violin and bowmakers, many of them famous to this day: Peccatte, Voirin, Silvestre, Derazey, Simon, among many others. Also respected as a violin dealer, Vuillaume attracted famous artists from all over Europe and abroad. His purchase of Luigi Tarisio’s collection, which included some of the most famous old Italian violins, such as the Messiah Strad, firmly established his firm’s position of preeminence. With a long and fruitful career, Vuillaume’s output includes over 3,000 instruments, most of which are still being used by fortunate and grateful concert artists the world over.
Read more about: The French Violin Making Tradition

Hermann Macklett Violin, 1871, Chicago, IL, USA

Item# F2 S4246

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A distinctive violin by the American maker, Herman Macklett. Two-piece maple back with well-defined medium width grain, descending from the center joint. The top is of medium width straight grained spruce. Deep red varnish over a golden ground, with dramatic contrast due to constant use over the years, exposing layers. The violin is in a fine state of repair and preservation. Herman Macklett, an upholsterer and amateur violinmaker, was born in Germany, immigrating to the United States and settling in Chicago. There, he met and married Elizabeth Kahlert, whose brother also made violins. Together they opened their shop in downtown Chicago, making instruments and rehairing bows between the 1860s and 1880s. Their shop was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but they were fortunately able to save their best violins. It is thought that Hermann Macklett made around 150 violins.

Ashot Vartanian Violin, 2003, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Item# F2 S4558

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A powerful violin with fine projection and clarity, tonally balanced for a wide variety of situations, from solo work to quartet playing. Two-piece back of medium width flaming, descending from the center joint. Medium width straight grained spruce top. Italian-style varnish, delicately shaded, in orange-brown over a golden ground. Mr. Vartanian joined the SHAR restoration staff in 1996 after serving on the restoration staffs of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, the International School of Violin Making in Cremona, and working with such noted luthiers and restorers as Giobatta Morassi, Giorgio Scolari, and Vahakn Nigogosian. Mr. Vartanian is a respected and honored maker who has received international recognition for his mastery of the luthier's craft by being awarded Laureate and Diplomat prizes at competitions in Poland, Bulgaria, Moscow, and Cremona. Learn more about: Ashot Vartanian

Czech Workshop Violin, 3/4 size, ca. 1880, Bohemia

Item# F1 S3839A

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An unlabelled 3/4 size Czech (Bohemian) workshop violin from the late 19th century, in good condition. The back is of two pieces of lightly flamed, narrow to medium maple, descending from the center joint. The top is of straight medium grained maple. Golden brown varnish applied over an orange ground.

Ashot Vartanian Violin 4/4 Size Dated 2004

Item# F2 S4671

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SHAR's master restoration and repair expert, Vartanian worked at the Bolshoi in Moscow and the Scuola Internazionale di Liuteria in Cremone in the late 1970s. His wealth of experience informs his choices for models, archings, graduations, and varnishes.

Leon Bernardel Violin, 1901, Paris

Item# F1 S4667

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A powerful and brilliant violin with fine projection and balanced tonal colors, made by famous Parisian violinmaker Leon Bernardel at the turn of the last century. The back is of one piece of maple, with medium width flame descending from the bass to treble side. The top is of medium grained spruce. Varnish is deep red over a golden ground. Born in Paris in 1853, Leon Bernardel studied with his father, Ernest August Bernardel, with violinmaking lineage tracing to Nicolas Lupot. He then trained with Justin Derazey. Joining the firm Gand et Bernardel Frères, Leon finally opened his own establishment in 1899. His company became the primary supplier to the finest orchestras and music conservatories in France. He later joined the firm of Cousenon and Co., as artistic director, further enhancing his reputation, before retiring in 1923. Read more about: The French Violin Making Tradition

Todd Goldenberg Violin, 1984, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Item# F2 S4677A

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A violin maker based in New England, Todd Goldenberg makes extraordinary violins, violas and cellos that are highly sought after for their beauty and exquisite tone. Using the finest materials, including European woods seasoned in his workshop and his personally formulated varnishes, Todd lavishes the highest level of carftsmanship and art on each instrument. Creating one instrument at a time, Goldenberg begins with the finest materials, including hand-selected, seasoned wood from Germany. Todd Goldenberg violins are in the hands of musicians at every level - from professional orchestra members to teachers and students - across New England and the rest of the country.

Michael Darnton Violin, 2000, Chicago, IL, USA

Item# F2 S4568A

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Began making in 1988 In the William Harris Lee Shop under Will Whedbee And Tetsuo Matsuda.

Ashot Vartanian Violin, 2008, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Item# F2 S4784

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This violin has a lush, balanced and rich sound, and will be appreciated by the sensitive violinist or chamber music artist. The one piece back is from quarter sawn maple of medium width flame. The top is straight grained, medium width spruce. Italian-style varnish in orange-brown over a golden ground. Mr. Vartanian joined the SHAR restoration staff in 1996 after serving on the restoration staffs of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, the International School of Violin Making in Cremona, and working with such noted luthiers and restorers as Giobatta Morassi, Giorgio Scolari, and Vahakn Nigogosian. Mr. Vartanian is a respected and honored maker who has received international recognition for his mastery of the luthier's craft by being awarded Laureate and Diplomat prizes at competitions in Poland, Bulgaria, Moscow, and Cremona. Learn more about: Ashot Vartanian

J.B. CH Collin-Mezin Violin, 1893, Paris

Item# F1 S4833A

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An excellent example from the master's most fruitful period, this violin offers a balanced tonal approach that is suitable for both solo and chamber work. Brilliant and soaring sound, typical of Collin-Mezin, with a pure, clear and singing tone. The back is of two pieces of maple, with a wide grain, emanating downwards from the seam. Top is of clear straight grained spruce. Varnish is of light to medium brown-amber. Charles Jean-Baptiste Collin-Mezin
Born in Mirecourt in 1841, Charles Jean-Baptiste Collin-Mezin, first studied violin making with his father, and later with the great Vuillaume, in Brussels. Opening his shop in Paris in 1867, Collin-Mezin was a sought after restorer, but remained focused on making new instruments. Dedicated to the patterns of Stradivari, Amati and Guarneri, his work is careful and clean, with penetrating tonal qualities. His fame was further enhanced in violin competitions and adjudications, winning many top awards and medals in the most prestigious competitions.
Learn more about: Parisian Violin Making

Giorgio Grisales Violin, 2009, Cremona

Item# F1 S4850A

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A Stradivari pattern violin made with exquisite care by the Cremonese maker, Giorgio Grisales. The back is of one piece of maple of medium width flame, descending from the treble to bass side. The top is of narrow grained spruce. Varnish is in the modern Cremonese style, orange-brown over a golden ground. Colombian born Giorgio Grisales is a graduate of the illustrious "International School of Violinmaking" in Cremona, Italy. He furthered his training in Milan at the "Civic School of Violinmaking", where he focused on the art of instrument restoration. He established his Cremona workshop over 30 years ago, where he has since been joined by his two sons, Ricardo and Andrea.
Giorgio Grisales instruments reflect his training in traditional Cremonese violin making, his focus on the finest aged woods, his respect for the work of the great Cremonese masters, and his meticulous techniques, workmanship and varnishing. This much is obvious. But well beyond these important basics is the approach that Grisales takes with each instrument he makes: In his careful copying of history's greatest instruments, Grisales strives to understand the spirit of the master, which is the foundation of the instrument, long before gouge contacts wood. His instruments have been consistently sought after because he has been able to capture this essence in his work. That is the basis of his well-deserved international reputation.

Read more about: The Italian Violin Making Tradition

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