Medio Fino Violin

June 3, 2004 at 06:51 AM · I was just hoping I could get some information on this type of violin. Is it any good? When were these kinds of violins made? Thanks for your help.

Replies (9)

June 3, 2004 at 01:52 PM · Medio Fino model violins were made in Mirecourt, France around the turn of the century by the firm of Jerome Thibouville-Lamy, or JTL. (much easier to remember!)

If I remember correctly, a good number of them are made with pressed wood,meaning that the arch of the top is not carved. Instead, the wood is heated and pressed into shape with a mold. This was a far easier and less expensive way to create the arching.

They're generally a good quality student instrument -- the last time I saw one they were selling for anywhere from $1500-3000, depending on the quality of varnish and sound.

June 5, 2004 at 01:02 AM · thanks for the info, i appreciate it

June 8, 2004 at 11:09 AM · Wide variety of quality to begin with. I've only seen carved ones. Produced for decades. Promoted by pointing to the thin red "Oriental" varnish. Which doesn't really look like Oriental varnish, but there you go, 19th C hype! I've sold them from $150 for really junky ones with painted on purfling up to perhaps $500 for pretty nice ones with some flame. The broader range of JTL violins includes some quite nice models. I've not seen the Medio Fino boxes sell for over $1000. I suppose some might pay that, but there are usually better buys at that price point.

The violins do sound French and are usually OK. I've generally done neck and fingerboard work, replaced pegs, and so on to get them in shape.

March 3, 2009 at 12:31 AM ·

I know this is a really old thread, but my violin is also Medio Fino and this is the one of the first links in the list for anyone who is doing some Google research on these instruments.

There were actually many grades of instruments made in Mirecourt, France around that time, and the Medio Fino with the pressed wood top wasn't considered the top of the pack.  From what I've heard, the violins with carved tops were generally considered better at the time.  However, the vast majority of the carved ones were made very thick, and the end result had such a poor tone that they aren't worth much today.

I own one of the pressed-wood variety which has been through the proverbial wringer.  It has several serious cracks which have been repaired with varying levels of skill.  At one point, someone actually disassembled the thing, sanded (!?!) and re-varnished it.  This wore the scribed purfling almost completely off in places.  There is sloppy glue around the edges from the reassembling process.  Even after all that it still has a very big, bright tone and I like it equally well for classical music and fiddle tunes.  I had a couple of appraisers here in the Philadelphia area look at it, and one of them researched it pretty thoroughly for me.  Because of its poor condition it's only worth $600 - $800, but I understand that instruments in better shape sell for $1,000 to $3,000.  More importantly, I've spent several hours playing other instruments for sale, and I had to pick up violins in the $3,000 to $5,000 range before I found some that I liked as well as my fiddle.

I've posted a picture of her on Flikr:

I hope this is helpful to anyone wanting to know more about these instruments.

October 3, 2012 at 10:41 PM · I just acquired a medio fino, it has medio fino on the left F hole and JTL on the right side. I can't tell if its pressed or carved. Sorry I haven't played in forever and i dont know much about violin construction. Anyone care to exchange some emails so i could send some pictures? I would really like to know what this is worth and if its worth repairing. It needs a neck reset, new fingerboard and two top cracks repaired.

October 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM ·

October 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM ·

October 3, 2012 at 11:03 PM ·

October 3, 2012 at 11:12 PM · i actually love the way this one looks, its definitely been played, but the top cracks have to be repaired. I took it to a luthier and he was going to restore it for 300 (175 in labor, 125 in parts) but he flat out lied to me about the progress and i just repoed it today and it hasnt been touched since i left it with him (six months ago). I'm just chomping at the bit to get back to playing. I played from the age of 8 all the way until high school. Sat first chair for a bit, but after high school i focused on guitar and what not and eventually quit playing. Now approaching 30 I can further appreciate the instrument and the kind of music it can produce and an ecstatic to get back to playing. I'm thinking of just buying a decent advanced model from shar or southwest. Not very many violin shops here in the louisiville, ky area.

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