STAFF PICK: Shawn C. recommends this violin within its price range!
This 4/4 Paul Blanchard violin has a tone that is sweet, rich, and complex. It has a carrying sound that is deceptively gentle and refined beneath the player’s ear, but carries powerfully across a performance hall.
It bears a printed interior label that reads:
Fait par Paul Blanchard
à Lyon en 1896 no. 399
The label also bears the maker’s mark, PB, and a border decorated with a Latin proverb:
“Viva fui in silvis sum dura occisa securi dum vixi tacui mortua dulce cano”
which translates as:
“I was alive in the woods; I was cut down by the cruel axe. While I lived I was silent; In death I sweetly sing.”
The back of this violin is formed from two pieces of beautiful, quarter-cut maple, marked by medium-width flame, which slants downward from the center joint. The wood on the ribs and scroll is similar to that of the back. The grain of the two-piece spruce top is straight, narrow, and even, widening slightly towards the flanks.
The instrument is covered with a reddish-brown varnish, over a warm golden-brown ground. It is lightly antiqued and heavily shaded by the maker. The chamfers of the scroll and the joints of the ribs at the corners have been highlighted with black paint, and the maker’s brand can be found at the bottom of the violin below the button. This instrument is in excellent condition.
Length – 35.7 cm
Upper Bouts – 17 cm
Middle Bouts – 11.6 cm
Lower Bouts – 20.8 cm