Mon 25 Sep, 2017 12:22 am
I hope there are a few violinists out there who can help...
I have an old violin, made in (approximately) 1693. In 1970 I was told by my violin repairman (long deceased) that it was a Jean Baptiste-Voboam, who died in 1699. I searched Google and almost all the results I can find to Voboam are in reference to his guitars. He (and his family) was famous for guitars which are treasures today. But my repairman showed me a book of famous violins and their makers in which there was a biography of Jean Voboam and a bit about his violins. He made perhaps a dozen or so violins, favoring the Amati pattern (while his rival Stradavari in Italy was becoming famous for his lighter and smaller-bout violins).
I was told there were only a few of these violins left today, and mine was one of them.
This past weekend, I brought the old violin to a repairman here on Okinawa, who swears it is actually an Amati despite the name stamped inside that begins with J.VO--- (the rest is obscured and faded with the centuries).
He has never heard that Voboam made any violins, only guitars. And so he doesn't believe the name inside is the name of the genuine maker.
Does anyone have a book that gives the bio of Jean Voboam to include his violin making, and the reference to his use of the Amati pattern? Sadly, I do not recall the name of the book, only that it is in English and I guess it would be out-of-print now. I can find no mention of Voboam as a violin maker on the Net, other than his name in a list of violin makers (plus his birth/death years).
If you have a book of violins and makers that give his bio, may I ask for a scan of the cover, and the pertinent page/s...?
No book, but does help authentic the guy as a violin maker?
Thanks, but the Wiki entry refers to Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, not Voboam. I once held a Vuillaume in my hands, it was a beautiful instrument. Much more valuable than mine. I was too nervous to play it, and handed it back to its owner with much reverence.
You say that Voboam died in 1699. The difficulty here is that the only references to his life, indicate he lived from 1658 to some time after 1731.
(you may have to manually enter the link, since the front and back parentheses seem to make linking impossible)
Additional searching located a luthier by the name of Nicholas Alexandre Voboam who was apparently from an entire family of instrument makers. (was found on wikipedia)
Have you contacted people in original instrument orchestras like Tafelmusik? their librarians - Charlotte Nediger, in Tafelmusik's case - might be able to assist you with your research.
it suggests he produced violins in Paris between 1676 and 1699
One of the times I was in Italy, I went to Cremona, and, while there, to the Stradavarius museum, where I was lucky enough to show up when the staff was giving the old violins a tuning, one at a time. That was a lucky day for me. I understand that a Voboam violin isn't a Strad, but wonder if a museum like that one, or actually that one, would have people who could advise you where best to inquire. I know close to nothing about violins, but figure there are experts out there who are interested in old and good violins and may care to help (without taking advantage of you)... including re a book or books.
Yes -- this is the one entry I found and copied for the repairman. I mistook the dates to be birth/death dates. Thanks!
I can try. Main problem is, many would help if they could see and handle the instrument, not look over photos and descriptions. But a museum may have some information. I'll try that, thanks!
I didn't even know there was a Stradivari Museum anywhere. Shows how out-of-touch I've been for the last 40 years (since I stopped playing)...
Meanwhile, I hope that someone who actually has a book on "Violins and Their Makers" (I think that may have been the title of the book) can find the entry on Voboam and share it with me. The repairman is really curious since he never heard that Voboam made violins.
My old violin has been in the repair shop for the past few months, and may be finished by February. Total cost of repairs $3,000...!
I've been saving for this for about 2 years.
Meanwhile, I bought for my granddaughter Saki a 1/8 size plastic violin that can be tuned and played. She is actually playing it (sort of), and her Mom (who is also my violin student) is guiding her. Saki is really careful with it, holds it well, and places it carefully back in its cloth bag when she's done "practicing music" with Mom.
Saki is just now 2 years old...
I also have a real wooden 1/8 size violin for Saki, maybe when she's 4 or 5 years old, and if she stays interested in playing. At that time I will begin teaching her some basic fun technique...
That's starting young, all right. Get back with us in a few years and tell us how it's working.
Thanks. Yes, it is young, but we have no preconceived notions about her being a child prodigy, etc. We just want to let her try any art form she takes a fancy to until she decides what she likes... As long as she shows interest, we'll provide opportunity.
I started playing violin when I was 7, but I didn't have a teacher until I was 9. And I wasn't a very good student...