I bought a Guarneri J.B.Vuillaume violin from Hills in 1990. At the time I paid a premium on it as it was better than other Vuillaumes I was told. It came with certificate and everything inside, is as it's supposed to be.(Label,stamp, signature, with the last two digits of the year it was made (1857),serial number (2206) K630 on the fingerboard). Andrew Hill told me that they had it in their vaults for something like the last 80 or 90 years, thus the good condition.
After I bought it and upon inspection the bass bar was found to be smaller than it should be and also at the wrong angle. This was observed by a reputable luthier. I had it changed to a normal size one and the sound improved on the spot. My question. Was it normal for Vuillaume violins to have a bass bar like this when they were first made? My luthier when he de-tabled the instrument told me that it had never been opened before, so I assume that was the original bass bar.
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