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Charles Jean-Baptiste Collin-Mezin Pere Violin, Paris, France, 1884

A beautiful Charles Jean-Baptiste Collin-Mezin violin in a Guarneri model, made in Paris, 1884.

Length of back 357mm

Powerful and deep tone, with a colorfully focused backbone to the core fundamental.


Born in Mirecourt, Collin-Mezin apprenticed with his father. Some sources say he worked for a period in the Brussels workshop of Nicolas-François Vuillaume. In 1868 he moved to Paris where he established himself as one of the premier French luthiers of his day. His instruments were considered superior over other new violins.

Collin-Mezin was friends with influential people who helped popularize his instruments. He was also connected to musical luminaries of his day, whose opinions he sought out.

A number of famous violinists played on his instruments, and praised their quality and playability, including Joseph Joachim, Sivori, Scott Tixier, Léonard, Marie Tayau, and Jules Armingaud, who considered a Collin-Mezin equal to a Stradivari for flexibility of sound. The famous cellists Franchomme and Jacquard played on Collin-Mezins.

Like the best French luthiers, his designs followed in the tradition of the famous Italian schools Stradivarius, Guarnerius, and Amati, although he developed his own unique varnish. Collin-Mezin instruments tends to be thick and dull, ranging in colour from yellow to brownish yellow. They typically have a black outline along the edges of the body and scroll, and no artificial process of heating or chemically treating the wood is done. His instruments were constructed of old wood that was dried naturally.

Charles Jean-Baptiste Collin-Mezin Pere Violin, Paris, France, 1884

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