The J.B. Vuillaume definitive Iconography is finally released.

January 19, 2007 at 09:42 PM · Finally, for all of those fascinated by the French School and especially J.B.Vuillaume, the definitive Iconography on one of the greatest makers of the 19th century is released.

In 2 volumes,

put in a luxurious case with guilding

(hand made),

Unpublished documents, important documentation and numerous instruments !

Text in French with important English summaries

Vuillaume Definitive Iconography

Replies (27)

January 19, 2007 at 07:49 AM · The book is written by Sylvette Milliot.

January 20, 2007 at 02:01 AM · Illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

January 20, 2007 at 06:43 AM · what do you mean by illustrated by.........

I hope you meant it as a light hearted joke since Maurice was an illustrator of children's books.

As we know, most of his books have a moon somewhere in the picture watching over the scene. The moon is his mother peaking out the window at him when he was a child to be sure that he was alright!

I don't see any moons in the Vuillaume publication,

Looking at the acknowledgements, I see no such name.

Some of the names that do appear in acknowledgements are:

Vatelot, Serge Boyer, Bernard Millant, Raffin, J.J. Rampal,Andre Levy,Charles Beare, Eric Blot, Paul Childs Philippe Kass, Moennig, Sidney Bowden Pascal Boyer, Gennady Filimonov, Jean-Frederick Schmitt, Bernard Sabatier and many more.

My J.B. Vuillaume and two bows of Voirin and Maline are featured in this publication, so I do have 1st hand info about it.

Anyway, nice try.

January 20, 2007 at 12:44 PM · gennady, the second son, is the correct spelling nicholas or nicolas on authentic labels? tx

January 20, 2007 at 03:41 PM · Very cool, Gennady! Congrats to you and your Vuillaume. (Wonder if I can persuade the library where I work to buy a copy...) I will always ADORE Vuillaumes.

January 20, 2007 at 06:34 PM · Al,

I think you are asking about J.B.'s younger brother Nicolas Francois.

January 20, 2007 at 11:54 PM · yes sensei gennady, i have seen nicholas or nicolas, i assume they are referring to the same person (or not). i wonder in the original language, was nicholas interchangeable with nicolas? tx

January 21, 2007 at 12:45 AM · for the most part, they (the French) spell it Nicolas.

J.B. apparently had two brothers: Nicolas and Nicolas Francois.

The latter being a fine maker in his own right, who decided to move away from Paris.

January 21, 2007 at 02:44 AM · thanks gennady.

"Noticing a growing trend among violinists to prefer older Italian instruments, he honed his deep knowledge of violin making technique into researching the secrets of the great Italian master Stradivari. Not overlooking the slightest detail with regards to its varnish, the type, age and thickness of the wood, and the arching and internal structure, he achieved exact replicas of the great instrument right down to staining the wood to appear aged. The masterly deception went so far as to replicate Stradivari’s label, thereby passing off these fakes as authentic Italian masters. Possessing a highly desirable tone and playability, they sold well, allowing the forgerer to finally collect a financial reward for his brilliance. As a result of the damaging effect that his acidic wood stains had on the instruments over time, these subterfuge violins eventually lost their high value." from

what is your take on the above not very flattering statement?

January 21, 2007 at 03:02 AM · wikipedia is not known for offering exact information.

Vuillaume, unlike the Voller Brothers, did not set out to deceive in his copies. In his best fiddles which are bench copies, he still signed his famous signature in the place where everyone expects it to be, and he branded the plates with the usual small brand which appears on all of his original instruments.

Even the best bench copies, have very much his character in the instrument. It is not so difficult to identify a J.B. Vuillaume.

Whoever put that in wikipedia will be corrected sooner than later.

That page also shows a warning:

This article may not be compliant with the content policies of Wikipedia.

To be compliant, it must be written from a neutral point of view and must not include unverifiable or unsuitable material, or original research.

Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page.

A more precise begining for his bio is:

Born to a Mirecourt family since both his grand-father and his father were engaged in the same trade, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume arrived in Paris in 1818 to work for François Chanot.

In 1821, he joined the workshop of Simon Lété, François-Louis Pique's son-in-law, rue Pavée St Sauveur. He became his partner and in 1825 settled in the rue Croix des Petits-Champs under the name of "Lété et Vuillaume". His first labels are dated 1823.

January 21, 2007 at 10:07 AM · Yes, the Sendak influence is obvious, and brings to mind the question, "Is the tune in the Vuillaume or is the Vuillaume in tune?" See "Is the milk in Mickey or is Mickey in the milk?" for a related Sendak discussion....

January 21, 2007 at 07:50 AM · so what drug of choice are you taking?

If you are not interested in this new publication on Vuillaume, buy something else. If you are interested in new info. regarding one of the greatest makers of the 19th century, then check it out.

January 21, 2007 at 09:03 AM · My mistake. No humor allowed. I'll read the guidelines for writers again.

January 21, 2007 at 09:06 AM · unfortunately I missed the humor part of your post.

January 21, 2007 at 09:34 AM · I'm not surprised....

January 21, 2007 at 09:48 AM · nevertheless, I am surprised you missed it too :)

January 21, 2007 at 10:00 AM · How many soloists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

January 21, 2007 at 01:00 PM · (pause)

January 21, 2007 at 01:00 PM · One, of course; he grasps the bulb and the world turns around him.

January 21, 2007 at 06:30 PM · now THAT was cute.........

January 22, 2007 at 02:32 PM · Kreisler often used his Vuillaume to play in concert, as stated in many references...Hilary Hahn plays on it and many others...They are great concert instruments, healthy and robust. Paul Kaul was also a great french luthier...But they do not favor oil varnish...

January 22, 2007 at 02:42 PM · >Yes, the Sendak influence is obvious, and brings to mind the question, "Is the tune in the Vuillaume or is the Vuillaume in tune?


I'm all for humor. It's just more fun when the reader gets it. (This goes for the initial Sendak reference, as well. If I'd posted a link to a newly published book in which I'd played a part, I guess I would be scratching my head over why someone would want to crack a joke about that. Guess there's humor and then there's humor...)

January 22, 2007 at 07:18 PM · ...Carl Flesh said that Vuillaume baked his violins in the oven to age the wood...Many stories to discredit the french lutherie...But we own it to the french if the italians were so well restored...

January 22, 2007 at 08:58 PM · Gennady, do you know a luthier named Alain Carbonare? I think he owns a few vuillaumes and he opened a Museum aboput Vuillaume (in Mirecourt) In vuillaume's place of birth (I think)

January 22, 2007 at 09:59 PM · Marc,

If you read the new book, it sheds lot's of light on many (false) stories that were spread (as rumors) by his competition across the English Channel.

In fact, I have a STRAD magazine from 1890's, you would be amazed as to how "low they could go", to bad mouth Vuillaume, out of sheer Jealousy.

Much of this information is now available in this publication.

Alain CARBONARE is a Master Luthier as well as a musician. I don't know him personally.

January 22, 2007 at 11:44 PM · but do you know about his vuillaume or his museum?

I think he plays the organ. Have you ever played one of his violins?

January 23, 2007 at 01:14 AM · No I have not.

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