French Violin, 1924$
Labels are a funny thing…..Sometimes they tell us what an instrument is, sometimes they tell us what an instrument is a tribute to. Rarely are they correct, but they are so often a tantalizing trail of breadcrumbs, helping us learn a little about the history of an instrument. In this case, there are not one, but two labels. The first says, “fait sous la Direction de Leon Bernadel, Luthier- Paris” (made under the direction of Leon Bernadel….) and the second says “Couesnon, Luthier- Paris, 94 Rue d’Angouleme, Paris.”
So, which do you believe? You believe the violin. You believe the curve of the f-holes…. the shape of the button…. The arc of the scroll. In this case, the violin tells us that it is approximately 100 years old and that it is beautifully, decidedly French. And those breadcrumbs? They either came from a croissant or baguette…. whichever you prefer.