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Lyon and Healy Cremonatone Violin, 1918, France

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Features

A powerful and intense sounding violin that a soloist will appreciate for its clear and resonant tone. This is a carefully made violin in excellent condition, imported from France by the famed Chicago firm of Lyon and Healy in its heyday, branded “Cremonatone”. The back is of one piece of slab cut lightly burled maple. The top is of spruce with medium width grain. The varnish is amber over a golden ground.

Lyon and Healy’s Cremonatone model was billed as “preeminently superior to all other modern makers”. The company strived to duplicate the quality and tone of the great violins of Stradivari and Guarneri by using Italian wood seasoned for more than 100 years, reproducing the patterns of the old masters, and using softer, Italian style varnish, allowing it to dry naturally from two to five years.

Lyon and Healy has been in continuous operation since 1889, and remains to this day a preeminent harp manufacturer. In its earlier days, Lyon and Healy also sold violins in the American market, many of which are still being played today. Lyon and Healy imported these instruments from France and Germany.

Size: 4/4

Tonal Profile:

Country of Origin

French Violin Making

Mirecourt: The Center of Violin Making in France

Although the precise beginning of violin making in the northeastern French commune of Mirecourt has been lost to obscurity, there is no question that some of the greatest violin makers in history lived and worked in Mirecourt. In the 1600s, there were perhaps 50 luthiers, as the city was just beginning to forge its reputation. Precise recordkeeping was instituted during the 18th century, a necessity of the guild system that was helping transform Western Europe into an economic powerhouse.

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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.

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Parisian Violin Making

The heart and soul of French violin making is actually Mirecourt, which is around 100 miles from Paris. It was the birthplace of most of the great violin makers of France. There, the famous European guild system firmly took hold, providing the training, support and resources necessary to develop skilled luthiers and fine quality instruments.

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Workshops

Explore the workshops of Jerome Thibouville-Lamy and Laberte Humbert Frères.

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