This violin and the King of Portugal violin, dated 1873, are practically twins, but for the difference in wood choice for the back. They are a testament to the extraordinary consistency of Vuillaume’s work. The quality of materials and workmanship are beyond reproach, and matched only by the astonishing state of preservation of both violins. This example, with its stunning one-piece back, was christened The New by C.M. Sin, who owned it for 12 years. The crispness of the scroll, with the blackened chamfer entirely intact, is breathtaking, and the only sign of Vuillaume’s advancing years (he was 73 when the violin was made) is the slightly misplaced and unusually large upper locating pin, which has been sliced through by the perfectly inlaid purfling.
The violin is labelled Jean Baptiste Vuillaume à Paris, 3, rue Demours-Ternes,
JBV. Unusually for a violin of this date, there is no date inscribed on the label, but
Vuillaume’s serial number 2874 is crystal clear on the central back.