French 7/8 violin by Laberte Humbert freres Mirecourt c.1928. Labelled J Didelot
The two piece back of maple of medium curl descending across the back from the centre joint. The ribs, neck, peg box and scroll of similar although mixed curl. The front in two pieces of spruce of medium grain. the varnish of a warm orange-brown colour on a yellow ground.
Labelled ‘J Didelot, Lutherie Lorraine No.1’
- Length of back 351mm
- Width upper bout 164mm
- Width middle bout 110mm
- Width lower bout 203.5mm.
This violin bears the number 1. The transparent varnish is a rich oil varnish of a bright golden orange-brown color with minor wear from playing. The attractive scroll is wonderfully worked out in every detail. The violin is in perfect undamaged condition. The sound is bright, open, rich and well-balanced, not at all nasal, with a clear and sweet note in the higher registers.
Mirecourt firm founded in 1876 by the violin making brothers Maurice-Emile and Pierre Alexis Auguste Laberte. At first, it produced only factory instruments, some with fictitious labels such as ‘J. Didelot’. In the early 20th century Marc Laberte, the son of Pierre Alexis Auguste Laberte, added a range of higher-quality instruments by makers including Joseph Aubry, Charles Brugere, Camille Poirson and Georges Apparut.
In 1919 the violin maker Fourier Magnié joined the firm, which continued under the name “Laberte et Magnié” or “L.F.M.” By this time the company had grown to around 400 workers. In 1927 the company bought the brand “A La Ville de Cremonne” by Paul Mangeno.
The Mirecourt instrument making industry went into decline during the mid 20th century, and all three of its large firms ended production in the 1960s. Laberte closed in 1969 after the death of Philippe Laberte
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