A French violoncello by Nicolas Vuillaume, Paris 1842 after the 1711 "Duport" Stradivari

Nicolas Vuillaume was the younger brother of Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, who worked in the Paris workshop from 1832 to 1842 before returning to Mirecourt in order to oversee production of Vuillaume’s “Stentor” and “St Cécile” models. His Paris instruments are very rare, and equivalent in quality to those of his more famous brother. This example is based upon the 1711 “Duport” Stradivari but slightly enlarged (763mm rather than 755mm)  in size. The “Duport” was the most famous Stradivari cello in France, and central to J.B. Vuillaume’s own work. It is  signed on the back and dated for Nicolas Vuillaume’s  last year in Paris, “N.Vuillaume a Paris 1842”.

It is perhaps significant of this cello that the original Stradivari was sold by Duport’s heirs sold to Franchomme the following year for a record 25,000 Francs and it was much celebrated as the greatest Stradivari cello in Paris. (It was later the cello played by Mstslav Rostropovich from 1974 to 2007.)

Length of back: 763mm.

Condition notes: The violoncello is in restored condition, the ribs having been made from unseasoned wood and have been strengthened to a good standard, but the back and the front are in a good state offering a good prospect to acquire a Vuillaume cello at a proportionately lower price. Sold with the letter of Vatelot-Rampal, 2012.

N.B. Nicolas should not be confused with his elder brother Nicolas-François who also worked with J.B.Vuillaume before establishing in Brussels.

Mstslav Rostropovich playing the 1711 “Duport” Stradivari in 1978, the violoncello on which Nicolas Vuillaume modelled this example.