The "Messiah" Replica Vuillaume Carved Tailpiece
With its intricate depiction of the Nativity of Christ, the tailpiece on Antonio Stradivari’s “Messiah” violin is one of the most iconic and well-preserved musical fittings in the world. Handcrafted in the mid-1800’s by Parisian luthier and violin dealer, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, the tailpiece features detailed carvings of Mary kneeling in front of a baby Jesus, as well as two angels reveling in the sky above, evoking simultaneous feelings of joy, serenity, and wonder to perfectly compliment the majesty of one of Stradivari’s finest works.
A luthier in his own regard, Vuillaume is known to have replaced many of the original pegs and tailpieces on the instruments he collected. However, despite having bought more than 250 fine instruments directly from the estate of famed violin dealer Luigi Tarisio, the “Messiah” was his clear favorite, which he encased behind a glass chamber displayed in his workshop throughout the end of his days.
Now featured in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK, the “Messiah” violin and its corresponding Vuillaume fittings remain celebrated as timeless pieces of musical history, nearly untouched since their conception and elusive to all but the eyes of onlooking admirers.
With this in mind, through our precise reconstruction of Vuillaume’s “Messiah” tailpiece, we are excited to offer the opportunity to bolster the magnificence of a stringed instrument, emblazing its design with a work of art.