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Thinking about Buying a Chipot Vuillaume Violin

Instruments: Is this one fairly priced?

From Pratik Desai
Posted June 11, 2005 at 10:18 PM

well i've been looking for a new violin for over six months now, and i finally found one that i love and really want! it's labeled "chipot vuillaume, gendre de j.b. vuillaume a paris" and the date reads 1886. the shop we got it from doesn't have any papers for it because they bought found it and restored it- it's in great condition and has a gorgeous sound, but i was wondering how much violins by "chipot vuillaume" usually sell for. this one is priced at $7,500 and my parents want to know if this is a reasonable price. my teacher says it's a really awesome instrument, but she isn't sure if it's fairly priced either, and i can't get to a luthier to get an verbal appraisal until monday. do you think this is a fair price? I really hope so because i'm in love with this violin! any help would be greatly appreciated.



From Jim W. Miller
Posted on June 12, 2005 at 05:59 AM
Here's your fixed link. Here's three pages of auction results at Tarisio. Here's one in England. Yet another.

Tarisio is an auction, and they could be in any condition. Oliver Steiner lives in Atlanta so he might know the shop you're dealing with. They're saying "labeled as," for this one and at least one other, which is a discrete way of not guaranteeing authenticity while still using the maker's name to sell the violin. I don't like their photography or the way they spell "Vuilluame," for what that's worth.

From Clare Chu
Posted on June 12, 2005 at 05:42 AM
Pratik, you are presumably aware that when they say "labeled by", it is the weakest attribution. See


for vocabulary.

From Wilhelm Klingenberg
Posted on June 13, 2005 at 11:38 AM
Pratik, I would think that the price of 7.5 grand
for a Chipot-Vuillaume is steep. You may be better off looking around some more if that is your budget.
From Michael Darnton
Posted on June 13, 2005 at 11:52 PM
To say that, you must have some particular other actual retail sales in mind to establish value--how much were they for, then?

I only know of one, about 8 years ago, and that was for $7500.

From Brian Ward-Smith
Posted on January 5, 2009 at 07:12 PM

Hi Pratik, First the name, I am not quite sure why Jim Miller does not like the spelling of the name!

Chipot - Vuillaume is the correct spelling, he married the daughtert of a Parisian cobbler who's name just happened to be Jean Baptiste Vuillaume but was not related to the famous French violin maker J.B.Vuillaume, he just used the name to fool the public into thinking that he was related to J.B.Vuillaume. Perhaps Jim is getting confused with the spelling Villaume as in Gustave Villaume who was by the way a very good maker.

Chipot - Vuillaume died in 1892 so the date is ok but I should add that there are many Mircourt violins made around 1900 that are labelled Chipot - Vuillaume but are in fact just workshop fiddles (made by assistants). I also think it is expensive at $7,500 even if it is genuine. For that money you could buy a much finer instrument and with good provenance, perhaps take a look at: www.westcountryviolins.com/cat--fine-quality-violins--violins-3:15.html West Country Violins had a Chipot - Vuillaume recently priced at 2,200 pounds. (about $4,600) Hope this helps, although I think that has now been sold.



From robert hutcheson
Posted on July 25, 2009 at 02:52 AM

Hello, Pratik,

I play a Chipot-Vuillaume (dated 1920, Paris).  Charles Drouin had the rights to the Chipot-Vuillaume name from c. 1892 to his death in 1931.  If the label on mine is to be trusted, my violin comes from the Drouin period, and I assume the "Paris" designation is correct, though Drouin's assembly shop was in Mirecourt, I believe.  I'm fond of this violin, though I wish it were a bit more suave and sensitive in tone and responsiveness to the bow.

Although I've seen lists of these violins going for up to $8,500, most sell for much less (c. $2,000-4,000).  I'm sure the range of tone, workmanship, and playability is a wide one.  It's also true that the violin may be worth the amount asked to you, though it does seem on the outrageous side to me.

From Michael Darnton
Posted on July 25, 2009 at 07:46 PM

I remember selling one for $7500 about 10 years ago when I worked at another shop, so a current price of that doesn't bother me at all.

Gil Shaham

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