Early Jean-Baptiste (J.B.) Vuillaume French Violin

Early Jean-Baptiste (J.B.) Vuillaume French Violin

Regular price $1,495,000.00 Sale


John-Baptiste (J.B.) Vuillaume - Paris, France.   A legendary luthier.  

This stunning violin is one of Vuillaume's earliest productions.  

Only 3 of the 1829-1930 models are known to exist.   

Exquisite Flamed Maple - Ebony fingerboard- Meticulously crafted by one of the worlds greatest luthiers.  This is one of Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume's first production instruments.  

Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (7 October 1798 – 19 March 1875) was a French luthier who produced over 3,000 instruments in his life.  Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume was widely respected in Europe as a noble businessman and inventor.  

Vuillaume moved to Paris in 1818 to work for François Chanot.  In 1821, he joined the workshop of Simon Lété, François-Louis Pique's son-in-law, at Rue Pavée St. Sauveur. He became his partner and in 1825 settled in the Rue Croix des Petits-Champs under the name of "Lété et Vuillaume".  His first labels are dated 1823.

In 1827, at the height of the Neo-Gothic Period, Jean-Baptiste started to make imitations of old instruments, some copies are said to be so well done, they were undetectable.

In 1827, he won a silver medal at the Paris Universal Exhibition, and in 1828, he started his own business at 46 Rue Croix des Petits-Champs.


Vuillaume's workshop became the most important in Paris and within twenty years, it led all of Europe.  A major factor in his success was his 1855 purchase of 144 instruments made by the Italian masters for 80,000 francs, from the heirs of Luigi Tarisio, an Italian tradesman. These 144 instruments included the Messiah Stradivarius and 24 other Stradivari instruments including the worlds (current) most valuable "Macdonald" Viola, currently listed on this site.    

In 1858, in order to avoid Paris customs duty on wood imports, he moved to Rue Pierre Demours near the Ternes, outside Paris. He was at the height of success, having won various gold medals in the competitions of the Paris Universal Exhibitions in 1839, 1844 and 1855; the Council Medal in London in 1851 and, in that same year, the Legion of Honour.