Ifshin Violins
Rare & Fine Instruments

The Ifshin Collection of Fine Violins
We at Ifshin Violins have always been proud of our extensive collection of fine string instruments and bows. We currently are fortunate to have an unusually large selection of fine violins. If any of these fine violins are of interest to you, please give us a call. We will be delighted to give you more information.
Over $20,000

Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

<a name="vuillaume17290"> </a>Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

Paris, 1873

Jean Baptiste Vuillaume is widely recognized as one of the finest 19th century luthiers, leaving an indelible mark on the French tradition and influencing generations of violin makers and dealers throughout the musical world. His career is marked by a relentless drive to construct the perfect instrument, combining the classical Italian tradition with contemporary French style. He had access to one of the largest caches of old Italian instruments, which he studied assiduously to recreate the great masterpieces, at an affordable price. He was so successful in fact that he counted among his many prizes at World’s Fairs and International Exhibitions, the Cross of the Legion of Honor, the highest honor in France. Never satisfied to rest upon his laurels, Vuillaume unceasingly strove for superior quality throughout his career, constructing together with his talented staff of luthiers nearly 3,000 superb instruments.

Scroll frontWhen Vuillaume moved his shop to 3 rue de Ternes in 1858, at the age of 60, his intention was not to retire, but to focus his energies on constructing the finest instruments for concert musicians, collectors, and European nobility. After working in the heart of Paris for 30 years, Vuillaume had fashioned a flourishing business through careful attention to clients of all incomes, brilliant innovations in the craft, and a unique synthesis of contemporary French elegance inspired by the old Italian masterworks of Stradivarius and Guarneri del Gesu. His customers included great musicians like Piatti, Servais, and Paganini, great pedagogues like De Beriot, Savart, and Dancla, and nobility from Spain to Russia. He brought this international fame with him to his new workbench in the outskirts of Paris.

He set up his private studio in the attic of his atelier. It was here that he personally finished and varnished all the instruments that were to bear his flamboyant signature. Not satisfied with allowing an instrument of merely competent quality to go forth from his workshop, he guaranteed that the archings would facilitate the silky power desired by Europe’s best musicians, that the scrolls were masterfully conceived and sculpted, that the purfling was perfectly laid- in short that his instruments were up to his highest of standards both tonally and aesthetically. He took particular pains to ensure his unique varnish recipes and application techniques were not copied by competitors. He not only varnished each and every instrument produced in his atelier, legend has it he stuffed his apron with aromatic herbs to cover up the scent of individual ingredients.

Millant CertificationMade in 1873, this violin is one of the last instruments constructed in Vuillaume’s workshop, and the accompanying sales receipt and certificate show it was last sold by the important Parisian firm of Roger & Max Millant in the 1950’s. The scroll is well balanced, always elegant. The turns on the volutes are harmonious and easy, spiraling fluidly toward a softly rounded eye. The purfling is perfectly set with ebony, gracefully framing the instrument. The one-piece back is of a magnificently flamed piece of maple. The top is of a typically wide-grained piece of dense spruce, ideal for a glowing, soaring sonority. Ever the perfectionist, Vuillaume selected all the wood for its’ aesthetic as well as tonal properties. The instrument is modelled on the work of Guarneri Del Gesu and is dressed in a rich golden red varnish with a soft rose colored hue. Like many Vuillaume violins, this nimble instrument is possessed of a powerful response, giving the player total musical control. The tone is nuanced in color and rich in resonance, perfect for a concert violinist or chamber musician.

Article by Raphael Gold
All photographs by Richard Ward

Andrea Postacchini

Andrea Postacchini

Fermo, mid 19th Century. Postacchini spent his entire career in Fermo and was mostly self-taught. This wonderful violin was made in the maker’s best period. The tone is superb, powerful, resonant and responsive. This would be an excellent choice for a soloist and is tonally one of the best violins we have had in recent years.

Francois Louis Pique

 Francois Louis Pique

Paris, 1806. Before Pique set up his workshop in Paris, in 1777, French luthiers constructed instruments on homegrown, Stainer inspired models. Pique changed the course of French violin making by adopting the Stradivari model for his violins, giving them more projection than those of his predecessors. His workmanship was also more exacting, giving his instruments a more sophisticated aspect in addition to tonal superiority. Over the centuries, great violinists such as Louis Spohr, Ysaye, and Ole Bull owned and performed on a Pique.

This violin is a good example of his mature work, at once Stradivari inspired and highly individual. The instrument is full of tonal colors, giving the player expressive freedom. It would be ideal for a concert musician and is accompanied by a certificate from Vidoudez.

Carlo Oddone

<a name="Oddone19829"></a>Carlo Oddone

Turin, 1934. One of the best makers of his generation, Oddone signed 269 instruments over the course of his career. He began his apprenticeship at a very young age with Rinaldi before working closely for two years with Frederick William Chanot in London. The experience with the Chanot family proved to be the catalyst for his career, as he was influenced by their working techniques and models. After moving back to Turin, his hard work and exacting woodwork earned him a fine reputation as a restorer and luthier. Having already established himself as a preeminent luthier by the 1890s, Oddone established his own shop in 1900. After World War I, Oddone reached his most prolific and stylistically mature period- a period which lasted right up until his death in 1935. Characterized by a meticulous craftsmanship, bold character, and a thick golden-orange hued varnish, this violin exemplifies his most famous working period. This very fresh instrument which in fact still retains the original Oddone bridge, is in exquisite condition and has a clear, brilliant tone. The violin is pictured in Volume IV of "Italian & French Makers" by Jost Thoene.

Leandro Bisiach

Leandro Bisiach

Milan, 1900. Bisiach was probably the most important figure in Italian violin making of his era. His instruments dating from 1900 and before are considered by experts to be his best. This is an exceptional example of his work, in wonderful condition and a superb tone. It is one of the finest examples by this maker we have ever had.

Vincenzo Carcassi

Vincenzo Carcassi

Florence, c 1800. Vincenzo Carcassi was the son and pupil of the great Tomaso Carcassi, one of the best and most important of Florentine makers. He also worked with his uncle, Lorenzo. Vincenzo’s instruments, like those of his father and uncle, are well crafted on a full model. This violin has rich, dark tone and is accompanied by a D’Atilli certificate.

Carlo Antonio Testore

Carlo Antonio Testore

Milan, 1764 (7/8). Instruments of the 18th Century Milanese makers are always in demand because they represent excellent value in a fine old Italian violins. Their clients were not as wealthy as those from Cremona and Venice, so they had to use plainer wood and work more quickly, yet the tone quality of their instruments ranks with the best of the great old Italian masters. This violin has a wonderful "old Italian" sound. This is an excellent choice for the professional musician looking for a slightly smaller instrument of quality.

Orfeo Carletti

Orfeo Carletti

1929. The second son of violin maker Carlo Carletti, Orfeo worked closely with his older brother, Natale. Though the talented Orfeo died in 1940 at the age of 36, he left behind many instruments of bold character. This violin is a good example of his work, made when he was only 23 years old.

Charles Adolphe Gand

Charles Adolphe Gand

Paris, 1852. Like so many of the finest luthiers, Charles Adolph Gand grew up in a family with a long lineage of important makers. His pedigree can be traced back to Nicolas Lupot of Orleans, arguably France’s most influential maker. After studying with and working for Francois Pique, the first of the French makers working in the “modern” style, Lupot set up in Paris in 1798. His accolades include an appointment to the Imperial Chapel in 1813, luthier to King Louis XVIII in 1816, and a commission as luthier to the Paris Conservatory of Music in 1817, to whom he would make an instrument for the winner of the annual competition. In 1802 he hired Charles Francois Gand, known as Gand Pére, as apprentice.

Charles Francois Gand, the father of Charles Adolph Gand, was himself a first rate luthier. Having learned the “modern” style from his master, Gand Pére constructed instruments on the Stradivarius model rather than the Stainer or Amati models. In other words, he preferred instruments with a flatter arching which achieved a powerful sound fit for contemporary concert halls. In 1820 he acquired the shop of another influential Parisian maker, Koliker, building a large atelier of international importance. Though he was considered a rival to the thriving businesss of Vuillaume and Lupot, he maintained a good relationship with Lupot. When Lupot retired in 1824, he passed all his official appointments to Gand Pére.

Charles Adolph Gand, also known as Gand Frére, took over his father’s shop in 1845. Steeped in a rich tradition of France’s best luthiers, Gand flourished as one of the finest makers of his generation. Working with his brother Eugene, he won 1st prize at the Paris Exhibition in 1855, receiving the prize directly from Napoleon III, the emperor of France. In 1862 he was made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, the highest honor in France. A source of national pride, he was also the official luthier to the Paris opera and to the Emperor. Because he was an acclaimed expert of old instruments he had limited time to make instruments. Yet his entire production is of the highest quality, and is sought after by collectors and professional musicians alike.

This violin is exemplary of his production. All the woodwork is exquisite and elegant, the varnish a rich red with a touch of antiquing. The tone is clear and fresh with plenty of power. It is in exceptional condition and would be fit for a collector or professional musician.

Leandro Bisiach

Leandro Bisiach

Milan, 1926. Musicians from all over the world flocked to Bisiach’s shop. At the time it was one of the most important shops anywhere. The quality of the instruments produced there were the very best. This is an outstanding example with a responsive tone with depth and character.

Joseph Hel

Joseph Hel

Lille, 1902. Joseph Hel trained with Sebastien Vuillaume, Salzard and Darche before setting up on his own in Lille at the age of 23. He was appointed official luthier to the Lille Conservatory, a post he passed on to his son. He also won several prizes in international exhibitions, including in the United States. He was surprisingly prolific, making by some accounts, over 800 instruments of superior quality. This is one of the last instruments he made and is characteristically attractive, clear and sonorous.

Giuseppe Pedrazzini

Giuseppe Pedrazzini

Milan, 1928. Born into a woodworking family in 1879, it was not until Pedrazzini was in his mid-twenties, that he moved to Milan and began violin making. Originally self-taught, he worked with Romeo Antoniazzi before setting up his own workshop. A maker of exceptional skill, Pedrazzini won several prizes, including gold in The National Violin Making Competition in Rome, 1920. Among his posts, he was the luthier to the prestigious Milan Conservatory and supplier to the Toscanini Orchestra. He also taught Ferdinando Garimberti, among others. This violin is a Guadagnini copy, but rather than a slavish copy, is inspired by Guadagnini. The varnish has been generously applied and, typical of his early instruments, has a beautiful craquelure. The tone is crisp, clear, and sweet.

Giuseppe Pedrazzini

Giuseppe Pedrazzini

Milan, 1949. Born into a woodworking family in 1879, it was not until Pedrazzini was in his mid-twenties, when he moved to Milan, that he began violin making. Originally self taught, he worked with Romeo Antoniazzi before setting up his own workshop. A maker of exceptional skill, Pedrazzini won several prizes, including gold in The National Violin Making Competition in Rome, 1920. Among his posts, he was the luthier to the prestigious Milan Conservatory and supplier to the Toscanini Orchestra. He also taught Ferdinando Garimberti, among others. This violin is branded internally, and is a characteristic example of his later work. It is easy to play and has a typical 20th century Italian sound.

Lapo Casini

Lapo Casini

Florence, 1921. A student of his younger brother Serafino Casini, Lapo was mostly known as an expert restorer in his native Florence. He built instruments on his own model. He was particularly interested in classical varnish recipes, later publishing a book on the subject. This violin, made in 1921, is a fine example of his unique style. This violin is accompanied by a Dmitry Gindin certificate.

Paul Blanchard

Paul Blanchard

Lyon, 1899. We are pleased to offer this superb violin by Paul Blanchard of Lyon, one of the great 19th century violin makers. Born in Mirecourt, the cradle of French violin making, he began his studies at the age of 15. He subsequently trained with and worked for some of France’s most prominent luthiers, including Darte and Silvestre. At the fresh age of 19 he established his own shop in Lyon, where he had a long and storied career. The most prominent instrument maker in Lyon during his lifetime, he was appointed official luthier to the Lyon Conservatory, the Lyon theaters, and the Lyon orchestra. Made at the height of his ability, this violin is of luminous tonewood dressed in a rich red varnish. It has a vibrant tone and is in excellent condition. It is accompanied by a Moennig certificate.

Fine old French labeled J.B.Vuillaume

Fine old French labeled J.B.Vuillaume

Caressa & Français

Caressa & Français

Paris, 1920. For many decades, the firm of Caressa & Français was perhaps the most important and respected violin dealers in Paris. Many of the most important makers worked there. Musicians and collectors from all over the world came there. This beautiful violin is in wonderful condition and is one of the finest examples from these makers we have ever seen.

Paul Bailly

Paul Bailly

Paris 1881. After studying with Galliard, Paul Bailly worked with the great J.B.Vuillaume in Paris. He then worked in other major cities in France, Belgium, England and even in the U.S. He won numerous medals at important competitions. After his travels, he settled in Paris where he had a successful career. His work is esteemed and highly sought after. This beautiful violin would be a great choice for the musician looking for an instrument with a full, warm tone with great richness.

George Gemunder

George Gemunder

c. 1850. This beautiful violin bears the label of J.F.Pressenda of Turin and was actually certified as a Pressenda by several well-known experts in the early 20th century. It is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity dated from the 1980s from the highly respected expert Dario d’Attilli as the work of George Gemunder, New York circa 1850. Gemunder was born and trained in Germany, worked for J.B.Vuillaume in Paris before coming to America to work with his brother August. He established his own shop in 1852, when he was producing his best work.

Emile Germain

Emile Germain

Paris, 1888. This is one of the finest violins by this maker both in terms of workmanship and tone that we have ever seen. Trained in Mirecourt, Emile German took over his Paris shop in 1870 and continued into the early 1930’s. This beautiful violin has a powerful, responsive tone of exceptional quality.

Andrea Cortese

Andrea Cortese

Genoa, 1922. In his early years, Cortese was strongly influenced by the great Cesare Candi. He worked in both Milan and Genoa, winning medals at exhibitions in Rome (1952) and Cremona (1949). His primary focus was on tonality.

Iginio Siega

Iginio Siega

Venice, 1938. Despite passing away at the young age of 38, Iginio Siega was an important maker of the modern Venetian school. He studied with his father, Ettore Siega, who was a student of the great Eugenio Degani. Even before Iginio took over his father’s workshop he won several prizes in competitions including Rome in 1920 and 1923. He also won the prestigious Vermeil medal in Padua, 1932. This violin is characteristic of his work; spontaneous in craftsmanship and silky in tone

Charles Résuche

Charles Résuche

Bordeaux, 1900, no. 99. Resuche worked for famous shops both in Paris (Gand & Bernardel) and Lyon (Diter) before establishing his own shop in Bordeaux. This beautifully made violin has a full, rich tone.

Gennaro De Luccia

Gennaro De Luccia

Miami, 1976. Gennaro De Luccia came from a large family of violin makers that spanned three generations. He came to America in 1951 and worked at the famous Rembert Wurlitzer shop along with his brother Vincenzo plus some of the best makers of the mid 20th. century. This violin was dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, according to the maker’s internal inscription.

Ada Quaranta

Ada Quaranta

Turin, 2006. Ada Quaranta’s instrument are in great demand because of their great quality. She studied at the Cremona school beginning in 1990 after receiving her diploma in violin performance. After graduation, she worked in some of the most important shops in Germany and France. She has won numerous awards for her work. We are pleased to be able to offer this fine example of her work.

Antonino Cavalazzi

Antonino Cavalazzi

Ravenna, 1976. Cavalazzi was a student of Domenico Veggi and established his workshop in the late 1920’s. A highly respected maker, he also did extensive research in varnish chemistry. This violin has a full, warm tone of great quality.

Genuzio Carletti

Genuzio Carletti

1951. Orphaned at an early age, Genuzio was the nephew of Carlo Carletti, and worked alongside his cousins, Nullo, Orfeo and Natale in the family workshop. Unlike his cousins, Genuzio focused almost entirely on making instruments, building hundreds over his long working life. Genuzio won a gold medal for a viola in the 1949 Cremona exhibition-competition, cementing his reputation as a master luthier. The Carletti family's instruments, and his instruments in particular, have been quite popular in this country because of the close business relationship with Settin, a major New York dealer. This violin is a particularly attractive example of Genuzio's work, with its beautiful wood selection and craquelure varnish. The sound is rich and sonorous, typical of the "Carletti sound."

Cesare Magrini

Cesare Magrini

Bologna. 1984. Magrini has become one of the most important makers of the Bologna school and this violin displays the best of the elegance and craftsmanship of the Bologna makers. This violin is a reproduction of a violin by Ansaldo Poggi.

Silvio Levaggi

Silvio Levaggi

Cremona, 2011. Levaggi has won numerous awards for his instruments which exhibit superb workmanship and beauty. For this exceptional violin, Levaggi used very striking birds-eye maple for the back and ribs, The tone is full and warm.

Labeled Vuillaume

Labeled Vuillaume

Possibly by George Gemunder

Louis Joseph Germain

Louis Joseph Germain

Paris, 1869. After his apprenticeship in Mirecourt, Louis Germain was the head of the C.F.Gand workshop. He then became a maker in the J.B.Vuillaume workshop which employed the very best makers of the time. This violin was made after opening his own Parisian workshop in 1862. This violin would be a great choice for the accomplished musician looking for a powerful, responsive tone.

Mario Frosali

Mario Frosali

Los Angeles, 1964. A violin prodigy in youth, Frosali graduated from the Florence Conservatory in 1908. He learned violin making from Giuseppe Scarampella, and proved to be an excellent student. He moved to New York where he was employed at the important Emil Herman shop, working with Simone Sacconi. He moved to Los Angeles in 1939 where he worked for Wurlitzer. He also managed the Brown violin shop before establishing his own workshop in 1954. Frosali is undoubtedly one of the finest luthiers in California’s history.

Michel Eggimann

Michel Eggimann

Lucca, 2003. Michel Eggimann has become noted for his exquisite copies of the work of Giuseppe Guarneri. Born in Switzerland in 1963, Michel made his first violin in 1982 and graduated from the Cremona violin making school in 1986. He worked with Bissolotti and Curtin & Alf before opening his own workshop in the Tuscan town of Lucca in 1991. This beautiful violin has a rich, warm tone.

Stefano Conia

Stefano Conia

Cremona, 1998. Conia studied with Pietro Sgarabotto, G.B. Morassi and Francesco Bissolotti in Cremona. Since his graduation in 1972, he has worked not only as a master luthier, but also as a professor at the International Violin Making School in Cremona, specializing in varnish and restoration techniques. He has also served as a judge in several prestigious violin making competitions. This violin is characterized by a rich, translucent red-brown varnish and a tone to match. With great playability and projection, this instrument would be ideal for a fine violinist.

Luigi Rovatti

Luigi Rovatti

Buenos Aires, early 20th century. Rovatti studied with Enrico Ceruti before emigrating to Buenos Aires in 1885 where he joined many other fine Italian makers who were encouraged to move to Argentina. This violin has a brilliant, responsive tone.