In the nineteenth century in Paris, the tendency of the cabinetmakers was for imitation and Vuillaume followed this trend with his instruments. He studied the solutions found by the great violin makers of Cremona and brought the same care in the choice of the wood.
Vuillaume already has an excellent reputation in 1855 when he purchases the stock of Luigi Tarisio who had died in the previous year. He now has in hand the 25 Stradivarius of Tarisio including the famous Messiah. He will gradually abandon trading to fully concentrate on production. His copies of the Messiah are the masterpieces of French lutherie.
On March 15 in London, Ingles & Hayday sells a quartet made in 1863 by Vuillaume, lot 177 estimated £ 600K. Here is the link to the press release.
The four instruments based on a model by Stradivari have been manufactured in a matching wood. They are nicknamed the Evangelists by reference to ebony figures below the bridge. Violins are St Jean and St Marc, St Mathieu is the viola and St Luc is the cello. It is remarkable that this set has not been separated. It is in excellent condition, including much of the original varnish.
SOLD for £ 960K including premium.
I invite you to watch the video shared by the auction house :