N.8047c - A fine violin by Hilaire Darche, Bruxelles Belgium 1908.
A fine violin by Hilaire Darche, Bruxelles Belgium 1908.
N.8047c - A violin by Hilaire Darche, Bruxelles Belgium 1908. Labeled Hilaire Darche. Luthier / du Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles / l'An 1908. Branded above the label H. DARCHE A BRUXELLES and signed to the inside upper treble bout. Also labeled to the center bout ….Blumberg…..Conservatory….1907. The back is two pieces of highly figured maple with the ribs and scroll of similar maple. The top is two pieces of spruce with medium grain. The varnish is exceptional and a beautiful, transparent red color shaded over a golden ground. This violin is the best example of Darche's work we have seen, and with good reason as it was commissioned by the Royal Conservatory for a very talented young musician described below. Hilaire Darche was born in Brussels Belgium in 1862 and passed in 1929. He worked for the famous N.F. Vuillaume while in Brussels and opened his own shop there in 1886 at 62 Boulevard de Waterloo. He was known for his antique style copies of Cremonese makers and also renowned as an expert dealer and connoisseur. LOB 354 Decorated 'Chevalier of the Order of King Leopold' and appointed maker to the Brussels Conservatoire. This violin was commissioned by the Conservatoire Royal De Musique in Bruxelles in 1907 for Jacob Blumberg. The original paperwork accompany this exceptional example of Darche's skilled work. The violin is signed to the inside top, branded above the label, and also labelled to the center back confirmation the associated paper from 1907. Mr. Blumberg was assistant conductor to Karl Krueger, the Philharmonic conductor. Many years ago, before Kansas City could boast of its musical organization, he was one of the pioneers who helped organize the short-lived Cooperative Symphony Orchestra. It paved the way for the Philharmonic which he joined when it was formed in 1933. His fellow musicians knew him for what he was -- a skilled violinist who preferred to be an orchestra man and keep in the background rather than step into the solo limelight. He would not permit that for others, however. He recognized talent quickly and did everything he could to push it. For a time here Mr. Blumberg headed the musical department of the Jewish Community Center, adding its duties to his private violin instruction. Conversant with the classical taditions of music by training, he detoured into batonning in theatre pits. When he came to Kansas City in 1919, he became concert master with Leo Forbstein at the Newman Theatre. Mr. Forbstein had been a pupil of his in St. Louis. He took up the violin in early boyhood and, at the age of 16, occupied first chair in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Three years later he went to the Royal Conservatory in Brussels where he studied for nine years. There he received first place in a student recital, the first American in seven years to win that honor. He returned to the St. Louis Symphony to play first violin for six years.