Flawless instruments by three master craftsmen were in Vichy alongside pieces by equally talented bow makers.
Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798-1875), cello made in Paris c. 1840-1845, 75.5 cm/29.72 in.
A cello by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume lived up to its reputation by fetching €248,000. Vuillaume ranked among France’s best-stringed instrument makers during the Romantic period, as the cello (75.5 cm/29.72 in), made in Paris c. 1840-1845, attests. He was not only an impeccable craftsman, sometimes using 18th-century wood, but carried out sound experiments with physicist Félix Savart.
A beautiful violin made in Mantua in 1905 by Stefano Scarampella, one of Italy’s finest 19th and 20th-century violin makers, triumphed at €150,040 (35.7 cm/14.05 in). A coveted object from his mature period, it comes with a certificate from Étienne Vatelot dated November 15, 1977. Renowned for their excellent sound quality, Scarampella’s instruments are still played today by the world’s greatest musicians, such as Tom Chiu and Jasper Wood. The 18th century is considered the golden age of Italian violinmaking. One bearing the label of Giovanni Baptista Gabrielli (35.3 cm/13.89 in) was made in Florence in 1760. Gabrielli is considered central Italy’s best adapter of Austrian Jacob Stainer's models, which were highly sought-after on the peninsula at the time. It sold for €47,120. A majestic silver-mounted violin bow made c. 1840 by Etienne Pajeot (62 g/2.18 oz), who lived in his hometown of Mirecourt all his life, fetched €66,960.