Lot 42
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Estimation :
250000 - 300000 EUR
Exceptional bass viol with five strings. The bottom of the instrument is entirely inlaid with wood inlays of different species and colors representing Michelangelo's Moses in a frame of cut leather, it is surmounted by a concave shell supporting garlands of foliage and fruit. Head richly carved with a grotesque dragon head with inscribed eyes. Middle of the 16th century Printed label on the bottom of the case : " A la coste Saint Sebastien CASPAR DVIFFOPRVGCAR A Lyon ". Spruce top and ribs. 19th century. Measurement on the back : 64,5 cm. Length of the fingerboard : 54 cm Height of the head : 23 cm (probably restored by Claude Michallon, violin maker, in the 17th century and Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, violin maker, in the 19th century) PROVENANCE - Jean-Baptiste Bonaventure collection Roquefort (1777 - 1834) - Charles Enel collection (1880-1954) BIBLIOGRAPHY - Norbert Dufourcq, La Musique, les hommes, les instruments, les oeuvres..., 1965, reproduced pp. 144 and 145 described as : " Viola de gambe, work of the luthier from Lyon Caspar Duiffoprugar. Collection Enel." Choron and Fayolle tell us in their Dictionnaire historique des musiciens, artistes et amateurs, published between 1810 and 1811, that Duiffoprugcar was a famous violin maker born in the Italian Tyrol towards the end of the 15th century. After having traveled to Germany, he settled in Bologna in the early years of the 16th century. Francis I, passing through in 1515 to establish the concordat with Pope Leo X, heard about Leo X, heard of his legendary talents. By dint of advantageous offers, the King succeeded in determining him to come to establish himself in Paris. J. P. Henry Coutagne, in his book Les luthiers lyonnais au XVIe siècle (1893), states that Duiffoprugcar was born in the Bavarian city of Freising around 1514. Moreover, although Francis I brought Leonardo da Vinci to Bologna, nothing is less certain about our violin maker. Nevertheless, Henry II naturalized him by virtue of a letter issued in January 1558, stating "Musical instruments charm the ears and recreate the spirits more when they please the eyes and are worked by the hands of excellent masters. Saba da Castiglione, Ricordi, ca. 1545 : " Henri by the grace of God, king of France, to all present and future, greetings. Let us know that we have received the humble supplication of our dear and beloved Caspar Dieffenbruger, German, maker of lutz, native of Fressin, imperial city in Allemaigne, containing that it is a long time ago that he left the said place of his nativity to come to live in our city of Lyon where he is at present residing with firm and whole deliberation to live and finish his days there under our obedience and as our true and natural subjest if our good pleasure is to hold and receive it. The warm words of this letter of naturalization show a real esteem from the King towards Duiffoprugcar. Also, even if he had not been called by Francis I, a special treatment was reserved for him by the son of the latter. But what a commonplace to just mention Duiffoprugcar's notoriety when the legend is still elsewhere. And for good reason! Only three viols are associated with the master: the first is in the Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) in Brussels (FIG. P.30), the second is in The Hague, and the third is now in the museum of the same name. The second is in The Hague and the third is now offered for sale. The first known owner of these three viols was Jean-Baptiste Bonaventure Roquefort (1777 - 1834), who identified them as being in the hand of the master. A label stating "A la coste Saint Sebastien CASPAR DVIFFOPRVGCAR A Lyon" can be seen on the bottom of the case. The luthier Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume knew the instruments of Roquefort and undoubtedly worked for their good conservation. Thus in 1830 he annotated the viol on the "plan de Paris" specifying its consideration by Alexandre Choron and François Joseph Marie Fayolle according to their notice of the historical dictionary of 1810: it would be a viol of Duiffoprugcar.
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