This illustration of a violin by J.B. Vuillaume was published in The Strad, June 1968. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, apart from being possibly the most commercially successful violin maker of all time, was also one of the leading violin dealers of his day. This brought him into contact with many of the foremost violinists of the period: Paganini, Viotti, Alard – who married Vuillaume’s daughter – Ferdinand David and many others.
The latter’s favourite Guarneri ‘del Gesù’ from the maker’s 1742 period, now in the possession of Jascha Heifetz, provided the inspiration for one of a number of celebrated Vuillaume copies. This copy differs from the original in one major detail. The body length is 14 instead of 13 7/8 inches.
The instrument is well preserved, the back in one piece, the wood of rather broad figure. The wood of the sides is similar, that of the head plainer. The varnish is orange-brown, darker in the middle of the belly.
An interesting feature of this violin is the lightly scratched names of four early owners at the top of the back: ‘Fecit for Herr David, Leipsic’, ‘W. Noward 1859’, ‘A. Inglis 1864’ and ‘H. Pringle 1876. Its owners from 1876 to 1911 are not known.