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Maker of Violins, Violas and Cellos


Arthur Chamberlaine Violin 1927

       Arthur Chamberlaine, in North Troy, Vermont, made this violin in 1927.  It was modeled after an instrument made by Antonio Stradivarius around 1710. Vermonters, Alcide and Hortense Forest, came into possession of the violin--they may have purchased it directly from Arthur.  Alcide played the violin in dance halls and kitchen junkets for many years before his son, Fred, inherited the instrument. 

       Fred and his wife Sharon have had the violin for many years, hoping that one day one of their grandchildren would want to play it.  When that was no longer a possibility, they decided to sell it, hoping to place it in the hands of a player who could appreciate the great qualities of this instrument.

       Arthur Chamberlaine and his brother Hermenegilde studied violin making with their father, Joseph, a skilled instrument maker in Armagh, Quebec.  Arthur and Hermenegilde moved to a dairy farm in North Troy where they remained for many years, making over 350 instruments between them.  Both men are listed in Thomas  Wenberg's The Violin Makers of the United States where color photos of their violins can be seen. 

       The violin is in very good condition.  The only damage found is a crack in the left lower bout of the top that runs parallel to the bass bar.  An excellent repair of the crack was done in 2012 in the Virginia shop of Wm. Mason II.  Mr. Mason also carved the present bridge and set up the instrument with modern fittings.  

       The sale price, including two bows and a case, is $2500.



       Arthur Chamberlaine and his brother Hermenegilde are the poet laureates of violin making in Vermont.  Their instruments are collectibles and much sought after, revered by Vermont fiddlers and violinists alike.  The brothers collectively and individually made over 350 violins at their farm in North Troy, and later in Newport, Vermont.  
     They studied violin making with their father, Joseph Chamberlaine, who was born in Armagh, Quebec on September 21, 1861.  Their mother, Florida Landry, was born July 10, 1862 in St. Elzear, Quebec..  Arthur was born in Armagh on October 15, 1888, and died on Dec. 2, 1966 in Newport, Vermont.  He was 78 and never married.  His grave can be found in the town cemetery of North Troy.  The family came to the U.S. in 1918-1919.  Arthur and Hermenegilde had four other brothers, Archille, Joseph, Alfred and Mazenod. [Their family history was supplied by Arthur's nephew, John J. Brown.]
     Thurmond has repaired/adjusted over two dozen, and totally restored 8 of the Chamberlaine violins since 1986.




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