"Louis Moitessier a Paris 1812" copy. Why???

January 30, 2018, 11:19 AM · My favored violin has stamped in ink "Louis Moitessier a Paris 1812," with the date in larger "hand written" numerals below the name and place. It's a great sounding instrument built on a large-pattern Strad design with a golden varnish and no aging effects.

Here's the thing. Looking up old Louie, his instruments were not held in high regard. Mine is an obvious French copy from later in the 19th Century. Why would a maker attribute his work to a luthier whose reputation was as a good teacher but not much of a maker? I don't get that...

Replies (7)

January 30, 2018, 12:04 PM · The French loved to put labels of older makers in there violins to give them the aura of age, often the bought the rights to use someones name, I wouldn't get to worried about it, you like the violin, its French. Quality Mirecourt violins have good value today. I wouldn't call it a copy, though, Strad copy maybe, but not a copy of Moitessier, just a label. Unless of course you're wrong and it is genuine 1812, have you had it professionally appraised??
Edited: January 30, 2018, 12:08 PM · Thanks Lyndon. I purchased the instrument from a friend of more than 40 years who has a wonderful shop in NorCal. He gave me the scoop on it. Wish I could post some photos here. It's too good for me.
Edited: February 16, 2018, 6:20 PM · Some talented makers did that before they had their own reputation, methinks. Marketing, even then, was needed.
And, you must admit, "Louis Moitessier " is a cool name for a fiddle.

February 16, 2018, 6:10 PM · Maybe it was more believable to copy someone who was just "Decent" rather than someone who was exquisite (perhaps he was going for the local market, rather than worldwide).
February 16, 2018, 6:39 PM · Good point. Less stress. Plus attributing to a well known music teacher who may have supported his making and sold to his students, as his own violins. A bit fanciful a possible interpretation, but hey, why not? )
[ I don't suppose they are from the same province?]
February 17, 2018, 9:32 PM · Here pictures of a Louis Moitessier cello from Roland Terrier's website.
He is an expert in French instruments so this is not a late Mirecourt workshop cello:
February 18, 2018, 1:20 PM · There can be advantages to attributing a fiddle to a lesser known or less prolific maker, because hardly anyone has bothered to carefully study a low-value maker, and there are fewer genuine examples around to compare with. So there's a better chance of getting someone to go for it, than with better known makers.

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