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Stamp on the back of violin

Instruments: As violins are always so "clean" on the outside, am wondering about the stamp on a violin my son is trying out.

From parmeeta bhogal
Posted February 16, 2007 at 06:12 AM

My son is trying out a new violin as a possibility to buy.
One "odd" thing: and that is because I have not yet seen it in my limited experience of violins is that it has a stamp in black on the back which reads

LeMarauisdelair
doiseax anno

and the inside label (not very meaningful, I know) a similar Le Marquis de L'air/ D'oiseaux anno. No year given.

Just curious if any one knows anything about this. Its nothing very high flown or valuable from an expert point of view, but would just like to have some background if possible.

Thanks in advance.

From parmeeta bhogal
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 09:59 AM
Or if anyone knows where these instruments originate from? I cannot find even a faint reference to any on the internet.

Really grateful for any help at all.

From Mischa S.
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 01:01 PM
Hi Parmeeta,

you can find some informations about them here. Not much, but better than nothing:
"Mirecourt, 1800. Violins and violoncelli of Stradivari pattern, work poor, the wood not good, varnish ugly brown, tone bad"
and
"violon 4/4, de facture francaise, XIXeme siècle, avec une étiquette "le Marquis", et une marque au ferd sur le fond "le marquis de l'air d'oiseau anno".". Very often sold at eBay and other places.

From Michael Richwine
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 01:19 PM
Possibly Chales Claudot, brother of Augustin, early 1800's. Fair (indifferent) maker, said to have used artificially dried wood.
From Sue Bechler
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 02:47 PM
You see stamps on the back from time to time, but I think they are usually more like brand names than makers. There are early 1900's Stainers, acceptable or better student violins, with same. Sue
From parmeeta bhogal
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 03:09 PM
OK, thanks, I am not too impressed myself, but as a (mere) parent and listener, it is hard to judge.

Any other modern or older makes that I could look at for around 3000 euros or so?

From Martin Mcclean
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 04:36 PM
There are two types of violins which often appear with the stamp you've described. One is much better than the other but they're french trade instruments made in Mirecourt in the early 20th century. A really good one in perfect condition might be worth £1000 but not a penny more.
From parmeeta bhogal
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 04:58 PM
Martin,
Thanks; every bit of information helps, esp. the price indication. I have just been talking to the teacher and he is not too convinced either. It has volume and is balanced across the four strings but seems to sound rather flat to my ears (teacher said it appeared to lack harmonics and depth). Initial SP is at around 1350 pounds, but that does include a nice pernambuco bow and a good quality case.

Th 3/4 violin he has been playing is an excellent violin and I wouldn't want to downgrade in playing quality just when he is moving up to a full-size size violin, especially after reading Laurie's blog today!

From Martin Mcclean
Posted on February 17, 2007 at 01:44 PM
You're welcome Parmeeta. You should be able to buy a good quality JTL/Lowendall/Breton Brevette for that sort of money. These are all widely available French and German violins made towards the end of the nineteenth century. £1350 will also buy you a very nice new chinese violin.
From Erick Stasijonaitis
Posted on February 17, 2007 at 10:00 PM
To know for sure, you should take it to a violin repair place (reputable). However, do not take them for the final world. Take it to a second professional for his / her evaluation. Often, the stamp is deceiving. Many makers purposely placed stamps or labels within the body of the violin just within visual site of the "F" hole or in some cases even on the exterior on the back where the neck meets the body as is true for the violin made by Huff.

Erick Stasijonaitis

From Brian Ward-Smith
Posted on March 5, 2007 at 03:37 PM
Hi Parmeeta,
The Marquis de'Lair violins were made in Mirecourt from around 1910 to 1930, they are reasonable student instruments but not particularly nice to look at, the varnish is always rather muddy looking and usually with "antiqueing". For 3000 euros you should be able to buy a much better quality instrument such as a Bertholini, a Marc Laberte, Breton, Laberte Humberte or even perhaps a Deblaye. There are many places you will find violins of this quality, I have a web site with several of these instruments which you would be welcome to look at in order to have an idea of prices before you look around in general.

West Country Violins

www.westcountryviolins.com

Regards,

Maggini.

Ilya Gringolts

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