This 4/4 René Aerts violin has a sound that is focused, responsive, clear, and even.
It has no interior label, but bears a maker’s brand in two locations: on the bottom of the instrument below the end button, and at the top of the back, below the neck button. The brand reads:
Collectors will certainly be interested in this violin’s most unique feature: The collection of signatures on its back, each belonging to a violin luminary of the early 20th century. René Aerts obtained the signatures of Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Kreisler, Mischa Elman, Jacques Thibaud, and Efrem Zimbalist, when this violin was “in the white” (the pre-varnish stage.) These signatures were then sealed beneath the varnish, securing them very safely from fading away with use.
This violin is accompanied by an original maker’s catalogue from the 1920s, which contains this instrument’s photograph, and a handwritten note (likely by the maker) indicating that this violin originally belonged to Edmond Bastin. We estimate this violin's year to be 1928 based on this catalog, and when the maker met Ysaÿe.
The back of this violin is formed from a single piece of quarter-cut maple, marked by medium-narrow width flame, which slants slightly downward from the treble side. The wood on the ribs and scroll is similar to that of the back. The grain of the two-piece spruce top is mostly straight, narrow, and even, widening slightly towards the flanks. There is some wood figuring on the bottom of the treble side.
The instrument is covered with a dark, warm brown varnish, over a golden-brown ground. The varnish is shaded by the maker. This instrument is in pristine condition, with no cracks and only very minor wear.
Length – 35.7 cm
Upper Bouts – 16.8 cm
Middle Bouts – 11.3 cm
Lower Bouts – 20.7 cm