A Real H. Derazey?
I am looking for advice. (This was posted in the wrong spot on this board, so reposting here)
Is this a real Honore Derazy? The label seems correct. The violin exhibits similar characteristics to other archived photos of recent auctions of Derazy's. It is available at a local, reputable shop, but the price is about 30-70% less expensive than other recent Derazy auctions online. This instrument does not come with a certificate of origin/authenticity.
My son has trialled over 45 violins across 7 shops and 350 miles. This instrument he considers top 2 of all the instruments so far. He is an accomplished player, 4th in competition state-wide, first regionally, playing at an RCM level 9.
 After a lot of research on Derazey, I feel confident that this violin is probably not an original handcrafted instrument by H.D. himself as we cannot see his personal (H.D. stylized) stamp. It is in the same varnish style as his pieces generally in the latter part of his career, whereas his son Justin and later owners of his trade mark did not produce the same varnish style from what I can tell. I am hoping it 'may' be a workshop violin from 1855-1865, during the period before he officially retired. Any confirmation or input would be appreciated.
Advice from Luthiers or violin brokers would be appreciated.
I have no idea if this is a real H. Derazy, but I believe that prices have been all over the map for this maker and most have been low enough that purchase of this violin should be based on its quality and condition in comparison with other violins in the same price range.
It looks pretty legit to me. You’re right that a lot of them have a stamp on the inside back. What is the measurement of the back? The Derazays I’ve looked at are on the large side (around 360mm). Between the years 1839 - 1849, he produced around 600 instruments, some were sold by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume as his own work.
Thanks Victor. It's quality of sound is in the top echelon of what we have tried in the past month in our price range, over 40+ violins all told. It's condition could be better, it is a bit beat up, but I know some just consider that character. It has been set up properly by the current shop.
Thanks Nate. The stamp is included in the Imagur link, it's the standard 1855 stamp that all Derazey workshop violins had after that date. It's measurement is 361 mm, so it is in range for his work as well. We could not see other markings on the inside top board, although I am not sure besides taking it apart, how we would see those markings without specialized tools. Most describe an H.D. stamp on the inside top board, but that would not typically be visible correct?
No idea - but I suggest you go over to Maestronet where there are umpteen experts willing to give you an opinion. Go to 'Discussion boards' and then 'Peg box'. They love this sort of thing!!
Thank you Elise and Scott for your replies.
From the pictures I would think it is a Mirecourt trade violin from the early 20st century. Of a reasonable quality. But I don't know much and could easily be wrong.
If neither of these violins is ideal, consider extending your search. 40 violins isn't that many; it can take a lot more to find something that suits. (Remember that many of the violins that are in shops available for purchase are mostly the ones that someone gave up in order to purchase something better, or the ones that have been sitting in inventory because the great ones are getting snatched up quickly.)
As with most big name French makers, after they died their brand was sold and continued to be mass produced for years to come, presumably it is in this category that your violin would fall, so comparing prices of genuine Derazeys is a bit ridiculous.
How does one person make 500 violins a year?
That would be consistent with a 10 or more employee workshop, hardly any of these French makers were one man shops.
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