Recent acquisitions and ‘coming soon’…

13 March 2017

Etienne Pajeot Violin Bow, Paris 1820-1825 Price band: £££

Nicolas Augustin Chappuy Small Viola, circa 1770 Price band: •££

Louis Piernot Violin Bow, Paris circa 1925 Price band: £££

Emile F Ouchard Violin Bow, Mirecourt circa 1920 Price band: •££

Charles JB Collin-Mézin 7/8 Violin, 1901 Price band: •££

A Mirecourt Violin labelled Serafin, circa 1920 Price band: ••£

Coming soon…

Eugène Sartory Violin Bow, Paris circa 1920 Price band: £££

Dominique Peccatte Violin Bow, Paris circa 1850 Price band: £££


Recent acquisitions: Cuypers viola, Perry violin, plus viola & violin bows

6 March 2017

Johannes Theodorus Cuypers Viola, Den Haag (The Hague) 1777 Price band: £££

Thomas Perry Violin, Dublin circa 1780 Price band: •££

François Peccatte Workshop Viola Bow, Paris circa 1845 Price band: £££

Arthur Bultitude Viola Bow circa 1970 Price band: £££

Gustav Prager Violin Bow, Schönlind circa 1930 Price band: •££

A Mirecourt Violin circa 1920 Price band: ••£

Half-Size Violin, JTL “Célèbre Vosgien” circa 1910 Price band: ••£


Nicolo Gagliano Violin, Naples 1761

Nicolo Gagliano Violin

SOLD More details


Recent acquisitions: violins £5,000 to £18,000, a small Betts workshop viola, and bows

27 Jan 2017

Walter Plain Violin, Glasgow circa 1850 Price band: •££

An Italian Violin, Rome circa 1910 Price band: •££

A Viennese Violin, Circle of Geissenhof, circa 1820 Price band: •££

A Fine German Violin circa 1900 Price band: •££

Betts Workshop Small Viola, circa 1803 Price band: •££

Nicolas Maline Viola Bow, Paris circa 1850 Price band: £££

Georges Léon Lamy Violin Bow, circa 1905 Price band: £££

A Viennese Violin, Circle of Geissenhof circa 1820


UK customers – would you like a free Martin Swan Violins mouse mat?

10 Jan 2017

We have some mouse mats to give away. Priority to UK customers because of postage costs – but if you are beyond the reach of the UK postal service it’s worth remembering that flattery can work wonders!

Email anna@martinswanviolins.com

Martin Swan Violins mouse mat


Recent acquisitions: Giovanni & Giuseppe Dollenz Violin and three violin bows

6 Jan 2017

Giovanni & Giuseppe Dollenz Violin, Trieste circa 1855 Price band: £££

Pierre Simon Violin Bow, Paris circa 1850 Price band: £££

Nicolas Maline Violin Bow, Paris circa 1865 Price band: £££

Louis Morizot Violin Bow for Collin-Mézin, Mirecourt circa 1930 Price band: •££


Merry Christmas to all our customers!

…and very best wishes for 2017…

Merry Christmas from Martin Swan Violins


Anna Ashmole writes about understanding violin customers around the world

anna-profile3-sm

Click here to read the article in the Guardian Weekly.


Helen Mason, Jahn Quartet

MSV 132 Guadagnini Simpson 1777 Cello

Nov 2016
I wanted the best cello I could get for my limited budget. I had been looking for about a year with no success & travelled many miles to try cellos that weren’t good enough. The “good enough” ones were too expensive though. Martin sent one of his new MSV cellos down to me on trial without me having to go up to Scotland to try different instruments. It has a really big sound and I’m playing more confidently as I was always scared of breaking my ancient cracked cello, as it broke in 2014 from over-work! My quartet colleagues keep commenting on “my stronger bottom” i.e. more resonant C string which really makes a difference in the quartet.
Helen Mason, UK


Facebook feedback about a violin given as a birthday present

11 Nov 2016
It’s lovely to get hear from customers who have bought instruments from us in the past. If you bought a violin from us some time ago do let us know how you are getting on with it. We just got this facebook post from Zia Roberts, whose musical life has clearly been flourishing since she was given a violin as a birthday present three years ago.

facebook feedback


Nathan O’Reilly, Abbotsford Youth Orchestra

image link Carl Gottlob Schuster Violin

buying a violin onlineNov 2016
I love the violin! your description was very accurate, especially about its volume! the conductor of my orchestra told me to play quieter because he could hear me above the entire orchestra!  The tone is amazing, I can’t pick up either of our other two rental violins in the house now without being disgusted. I simply love to practice with it, as it is so great to play! Thank you for all your free advice about buying a violin online and your great professionalism, you will definitely be on the list of places for me to look for an upgrade violin!
Nathan O’Reilly
The Abbotsford Youth Orchestra is based in Vancouver, Canada, and the conductor is Calvin Dyck


Our violins visiting the Savoy Hotel, London

28 Sept 2016
We dropped of some off our violins with a customer who was staying at the Savoy Hotel in London last week. It looks like they made themselves comfortable! The violins were all put through their paces in a private concert and the Joseph Calot was the clear winner. It’s now sold (though, contrary to rumour, not to George Clooney, who had already ‘left the building’).

Martin Swan Violins at the Savoy Hotel, London


Jane Sinclair, BBC National Orchestra of Wales

image link Tarasconi Violin

Tarasconi violin for Jane Sinclair of the BBC National Orchestra of WalesSept 2016
I bought a Tarasconi violin from you earlier this year and absolutely love it. It has inspired me to venture into the world of chamber music – a cellist friend of mine and I performed a series of concerts during June and July and will do another series with a different programme in January. A lot of my professional friends are very complimentary. Buying the violin was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I’d like to thank you for coming to visit me at such short notice and for making the whole process of choosing a violin so easy and enjoyable.
Jane Sinclair BBC National Orchestra of Wales


MSV 131 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2016 (Artist Violin)

SOLD More details


Carl Gottlob Schuster Violin, Markneukirchen circa 1930

SOLD More details


Lewis Murray, UK

image link A Bohemian Violin

Violin playing techniqueAugust 2016
Hi there, just a note to say how much am enjoying playing the violin. Am still opening up new things, strangely enough, and learning how to adapt and make great sounds out of it. Been one hell of a journey!

I’m beginning to focus on the classical field, as it was always one of the ambitions here to be able to lead a quartet. It took some time for me to get the strength and balance in both arms/hands to make it respond in trad music, but blimey, it really really does respond now, and that is amazing. Loving it.

Thanks again for sourcing me such a wonderful instrument. It has brought a huge amount of joy and forced me to change my playing technique so much for the better.
Lewis Murray


MSV Hardanger Fiddle (standard model)

£2,500

Hardanger fiddle/ Hardanger violin Our Hardanger fiddle is a simplified version of a traditional Hardanger, made with a violin scroll and without ornamentation. The body is copied directly from an award-winning instrument by Sveinung Gyovland. This historic instrument had excellent tone and sustain, so we followed the outline, arching and thicknesses faithfully. The result is an affordable Hardanger with a completely authentic sound.

Our Hardanger has 4 sympathetic strings, tune-able with ease thanks to the incorporation of Wittner geared pegs. Principal strings are traditional gut (normally tuned CGCE).
We generally have one of these instruments in stock – we’re also happy to make them to order with 5 sympathetic strings, dragon’s head scrolls, and/or traditional inlaid tailpieces and fingerboards. More details


New Viola Bows by A. Reis

One in stock at present

£850

New Viola Bows by A. Reis
These new viola bows are made from excellent Brazilian pernambuco, assembled and finished by Alecio Luiz Dos Reis, a young Brazilian maker living in the UK. They represent exceptional value for money. More details


Marco Raposo Cello Bow, Brazil 2009

Recently sold

A Cello Bow by Marco Raposo, Brazil 2009
Marco Raposo cello bows are made with sustainably sourced or reclaimed pernambuco. This bow has a round stick of light orange wood with a broad irregular figure and is silver mounted with a solid silver adjuster. The bow has had very little use and is in perfect condition – a great bow at a bargain price.
More details


MSV55 Stradivarius Pattern Viola 40.5cm, Martin Swan Violins

Recently sold

Martin Swan Violins MSV55 ViolaThis is a Stradivarius pattern viola with a plain maple back made with locally sourced Scottish sycamore. A very responsive instrument with a beautifully mellow and well-balanced tone. More details


Dyre Vaa Hardanger, Ytre Vinje 1989

SOLD More details


MSV Guadagnini Simpson Model Cellos

Call for information

More details


Albin Hums Cello Bow, Markneukirchen circa 1930

£1,750

Albin Hums Cello Bow, Markneukirchen circa 1930This is a fine silver-mounted cello bow by Albin Hums – quite a superior model and in near mint condition. The stick is of round section orange pernambuco of medium stiffness. More details


A Scottish Viola by Alex Youngson, Glasgow 1974

£4,000

A Scottish Viola by Alex Youngson, Glasgow 1974Alex Youngson was a great maker from Clydebank, initially self-taught, but who then studied at Newark under Maurice Bouette. As far as I know he only made violas and viola d’amores (there’s one in the Kelvingrove Museum). This is a very nicely made large-pattern instrument, a far cry from his pre-Newark ‘Clyde built’ instruments. The condition is perfect. More details


MSV Stradivarius Pattern Cello

Recently sold, £4,750

Our standard cello is a Stradivarius pattern instrument of manageable proportions … length of back 75.5cm, stop length 281/402mm, and a rib height of 120mm. We use only exceptional timber for these cellos, and the plates are thicknessed for optimal resonance and tonal colour.
More details


Bohemian Small Viola, circa 1900

£5,000

Czech viola probably by a member of the Prokop familyProbably by a member of the Prokop family, this is a late 19th century Czech viola made on a Maggini model. It’s in great condition apart form a few dents and scuffs to the varnish. A very handy size, it has a dark and fruity sound, slightly melancholic, very musical. More details


Mittenwald Small Viola, circa 1850

£6,000

Mittenwald Viola, circa 1850An unusually attractive Mittenwald viola in near perfect condition. One piece front and back, no cracks or damages, the original varnish very well preserved though with heavy craquelure to the scroll. The tone is big, bright and smooth with great response – recently set up to a high standard by Stringers of London. More details


Claude Thomassin Cello Bow, Mirecourt circa 1920 (Gustave Bernardel Stamp)

£16,000

Claude Thomassin Cello Bow,  Mirecourt circa 1920Claude Thomassin has only recently been recognized as one of the best French makers of the early 20th century. He worked for Gand & Bernardel before setting up on his own, first in Paris then from 1904 in Mirecourt. He was a highly respected and very successful maker who supplied bows to numerous shops and instrument-makers in France and in the UK. J&A Beare in London bought bows from Thomassin, as did Withers and many others. His bows are very distinctive, mainly on account of the heavily swept back Tubbs-like ferrule– the work is of high quality and the bows generally play very well. More details


Bohemian Small Viola, circa 1830

Recently sold

Bohemian Small Viola circa 1830This is a very attractive early 19th century viola bearing an apocryphal Gagliano label. In style of construction it comes closest to Prague instruments of the period, but it seems destined to remain forever “anonymous”. The size is typical of Austro-Hungarian work – overall the workmanship is excellent, as are the materials and the varnish. There are a couple of invisible and highly professional crack repairs to the table, including a soundpost patch. More details


Alfred Joseph Lamy Cello Bow, Paris circa 1890

Price on application

Alfred Joseph Lamy Cello Bow, Paris circa 1890Alfred Joseph Lamy stands slightly in the shadow of his teacher and mentor FN Voirin, but I prefer his work. It’s not quite as clinical, and yet it retains the elegance and finesse which characterize these particular makers. Lamy’s cello bows are particularly fine, with the most beautiful elongated head shape. This is a lovely example in fantastic condition – deep red round section pernambuco stick, silver and ebony mounts with a plain eye and 3-part adjuster. More details


Mittenwald Small Viola, circa 1870

£7,000

Mittenwald small viola, circa 1870This is a very well made Mittenwald small viola from the mid-late 19th century – typically the front, back and ribs are all one-piece in construction. The tidy inner work reveals the use of an inside mould, and in all respects this is a finely executed instrument with dramatic varnish, elegant Guarneri-inspired f-holes, and discreet antiquing. More details


Alfred Knoll Viola Bow, circa 1970

£2,500

Alfred Knoll Viola Bow, circa 1970This is an excellent gold-mounted bow by Alfred Knoll – according to Hartmut Knoll it dates from the late 1960s or early 1970s, although it looks brand new. It’s a very attractive bow of octagonal section red pernambuco, and it plays like a dream, not too stiff, not too slappy – silky would be the best word to describe the action and the sound. I would recommend it for an aspiring soloist – it’s clean, lively and very responsive. And it’s in perfect condition. More details


Roger François Lotte Viola Bow, Mirecourt circa 1970

£3,000

Roger François Lotte Viola Bow, Mirecourt circa 1970This is a lovely bow by Roger Lotte carrying his own later brand. It’s a classic example of his work with a rounded heel, Parisian eye, and a Simon-like backwards curve to the head. The fine red pernambuco is also typical – round in section, with mounts of silver and ebony. The condition is excellent.
More details


Nicolas Augustin Chappuy Small Viola circa 1770

£12,000

Nicolas Augustin Chappuy Small ViolaThis is a fine 18th century French viola of the “Vieux Paris” school. It has a very credible Guersan label but in fact it’s the work of Nicolas Chappuy showing many of his trademark touches. More details


Michael Taylor Viola Bow, 1989

£5,000

Michael Taylor Viola BowI’m a big fan of Michael Taylor’s bows – I always like them, and this one is very typical. It bears the serial number 1704 under the frog, and according to Michael this dates it to around 1989. Under the leather it will be stamped Michael J Taylor on the player’s side and Ealing Strings on the audience side. It’s a very attractive bow, with fine red pernambuco in round section and gold and ebony mounts. The condition is near perfect, with one very careful owner who bought it new from Ealing Strings. More details


Betts Workshop Small Viola, circa 1803

Recently sold

Small Betts violaSince we started specialising in small violas, we’ve been consistently surprised by the quality of London instruments, particularly Betts and Forster. Here’s another example, a lovely Betts Shop viola with a big and beautiful sound. More details


Morizot Frères Viola Bow, Mirecourt circa 1940

£5,500

Morizot Frères Viola Bow, Mirecourt circa 1940
The Morizot workshop in Mirecourt was formed in 1937 by the sons of Louis Morizot. It was a busy place full of talented and competitive people, and the quantity and quality of bows produced is staggering. This particular bow is a very fine example in perfect condition, made for Collin-Mézin, and with an ornamental “R” engraved on the ferrule. The stick is of octagonal section red-brown pernambuco of high quality, mounts are silver and ebony. More details


Arthur Bultitude Viola Bow circa 1970

£6,000

Arthur Bultitude Viola Bow
Arthur Bultitude is a highly respected English maker who spent much of his working life at Hills. On leaving the Hill shop he specialised in exquisite bows with ornamental frogs, and his work has influenced an entire generation of contemporary English makers. More details


Albert Nürnberger Viola Bow, Markneukirchen circa 1920

£6,500

Albert Nürnberger Viola Bow, Markneukirchen circa 1920This is a very fine Nürnberger family viola bow, probably an early work by Carl Albert Nürnberger. The brand with a * at each end came into use after 1910, yet some archaic aspects of this bow’s construction suggest that it can’t be much later than that. The bow has a silver face and a pinned underslide, and it oozes style. The stick is of beautifully flecked round section pernambuco – mounts are silver and ebony.
More details


François Peccatte Workshop Viola Bow, Paris circa 1845

£10,000

François Peccatte Workshop Viola Bow
Peccatte is one of the big names in French bow-making. François, brother to Dominique, had a very short life and his work is relatively unknown. He is thought to have worked alongside his brother before setting up on his own in 1843, and this bow dates from the early years of his independent production. More details


Caspar Strnad Viola, Prague 1819

£22,500

Caspar Strnad ViolaI have to admit to being completely obsessed by the Prague School, and in particular the instruments of Caspar Strnad and his contemporaries or co-workers. Consistently adventurous in model, with exquisite workmanship and great tone, these instruments are generally rather better than Italian violins of the period. More details


Claude Thomassin Viola Bow, Mirecourt circa 1915 (John & Arthur Beare Stamp)

Recently sold

Claude Thomassin Viola Bow, Mirecourt circa 1915Claude Thomassin worked for Gand & Bernardel before setting up on his own , first in Paris then from 1904 in Mirecourt. He was a highly respected and very successful maker who supplied bows to numerous shops and instrument-makers. J&A Beare in London bought bows from Thomassin, as did Withers and many others. His bows are very distinctive, mainly on account of the heavily swept back ferrule and rounded frog – the work is of high quality and the bows generally play very well. More details


Emile Auguste Ouchard Viola Bow, New York circa 1950

On trial, £16,500

Emile Auguste Ouchard Viola BowEmile Auguste Ouchard is one of the most highly valued bow makers of the 20th century. His style is individual and very precise, and the playing qualities of his bows are rarely surpassed. Many professionals use an EA Ouchard. This fine viola bow from his New York period is a very good example, powerful yet responsive and with a huge sound. More details


Nicolas Maline Viola Bow, Paris circa 1850

£18,000

Nicolas Maline Viola Bow
Nicolas Maline, also known confusingly as Guillaume Maline, is quite a maverick figure from the Golden period of French bow-making. Even his dates are disputed, as is the question of whether or not he worked for Vuillaume. However, his work is unique and distinctive, and of the highest quality. More details


François Nicolas Voirin Viola Bow, Paris circa 1880

On trial, £28,500

François Nicolas Voirin Viola Bow, Paris circa 1880FN Voirin is one of the greatest names in bow-making. Although his bows haven’t become a currency in the way that Sartory bows have, he is generally regarded as the better maker. While his bows are inevitably lighter, they have unparalleled elegance and are renowned for their quality of sound.

This viola bow is a lovely example of his work, typically refined and perfectly proportioned. The stick is of octagonal section orange-brown pernambuco with speckled figure, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is astounding.
More details


Johannes Theodorus Cuypers Viola, Den Haag (The Hague) 1777

£70,000

Johannes Theodorus Cuypers ViolaJohannes Theodorus Cuypers is perhaps the best known and most respected maker of the Dutch School, and there are few non-Italian makers who command such admiration amongst players and experts alike. This is a really fine example from his best period, before he had his rather less dedicated sons to help him! More details


Eugène Sartory Viola Bow, Paris circa 1935

£35,000

Eugène Sartory Viola Bow, Paris circa 1935This is a superb Sartory viola bow in near pristine condition, stamped E SARTORY A PARIS, and certified by Pierre Guillaume. Sartory bows represent a kind of gold standard for professional players – utterly reliable, with the brilliance of the greatest of French makers, but with a weight and balance that works for modern technique.

The stick is of round section red brown pernambuco with silver and ebony mounts. The condition is superb – there are no issues to report aside from a minor repaired pin crack to the stick at the adjuster. More details


Paolo Castello Small Viola, Genoa circa 1770

Price on application

A Small Viola by Paolo Castello, Genoa circa 1770This is an outstanding 18th century Italian viola by Paolo Castello. Castello attracts quite a varied response from connoisseurs and antiquarians, mainly on account of his idiosyncratic scrolls, but I’m a big fan. Every instrument of his that I’ve played has sounded good, and most are outstanding. This viola is a fine example of his work, very similar to the one featured in Alberto Giordano’s seminal article in the Strad. More details


A Markneukirchen Violin circa 1890

£1,500

Markneukirchen Violin circa 1890This is a rather attractive unlabelled Markneukirchen/Schönbach violin from the late 1800s. It’s well proportioned and nicely finished, showing some attention to detail. It’s in excellent condition overall with no significant damage, and only a few chips to the varnish. More details


MSV 102 Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2014

£1,700 (Standard Violin)

Cremonese pattern violinThis is one of a number of prototypes we made from Cremonese patterns when looking for a successful model with a short back length. This particular violin is 35.2cm but with a conventional stop length, and is designed with the smaller player in mind. Like all of our MSV violins, it’s made entirely with hand tools in Reghin, Transylvania, and is finished with an Italian Balsamic varnish. More details


A Mirecourt Violin labelled Serafin, circa 1920

£1,850

A Mirecourt Violin labelled SerafinA lovely and very typical early 20th century Mirecourt violin in perfect condition, bearing a label for Santo Serafin 1720. More details


MSV 108 Stradivarius Pattern Violin with Antique Finish, Martin Swan Violins 2014

£1,900

MSV 108 Stradivarius Pattern Violin with Antique Finish This is a good Stradivarius pattern violin made entirely with hand tools by one of our Hungarian makers in Reghin. The varnish is an “antiqued” finish which we have developed in collaboration with a specialist restorer in Budapest – we continue to refine this process and welcome any feedback. The sound is charming and refined, not the loudest violin we’ve produced but smooth and silky in character, unusually responsive, even with a light technique. More details


Half Size Violin, Médio Fino, JTL Mirecourt circa 1910

£600

Half-Size Violin, Médio Fino, JTL Mirecourt circa 1910This is a rather cute half size violin from the JTL (Jérome Thibouville-Lamy) workshops in Mirecourt. The Médio Fino was and still is a very popular student model, basic in construction but always reliable in tone. More details


Half-Size Violin, JTL “Célèbre Vosgien” circa 1920

£650

An old French half-size size violin Another lovely JTL half-size size violin from the Mirecourt firm of Jerome Thibouville-Lamy, and bearing their “Célèbre Vosgien” label. It’s in perfect condition – normally half-size instruments bear a lot of scars, but this one has been carefully looked after, and even the original varnish is looking good after nearly a century. A nice sounding instrument too, warm and rounded throughout the register. More details


Half-Size Violin, JTL “Célèbre Vosgien” circa 1900

£900

Half-Size Violin, JTLThis is an unusually fine-sounding half-size violin, over 100 years old but in excellent condition. If you have a budding Yehudi in the house, this would be a great choice. It has a strong clear sound with a firm core to it – very responsive and encouraging to play! More details


MSV135 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2016

SOLD More details


MSV 81 Ornati Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2013

SOLD More details


MSV 136 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2016

SOLD More details


MSV 137 Stradivarius Pattern Violin Martin Swan Violins 2016

£2,700 (Artist Violin)

hand made Stradivarius violinThis is a Stradivarius pattern violin made entirely with hand tools by one of our Hungarian makers in Reghin, and varnished in our shop in Budapest. It has a two-piece back of closely flamed maple and a rich gold/brown Italian balsamic varnish. The sound of this instrument is sweet and clean, articulate yet friendly. As with all our Artist violins, it has great balance and quick response, and is a delight to play. More details


A Mirecourt Violin circa 1920

£3,000

Mirecourt ViolinA lovely Mirecourt violin with a stunning one-piece birds-eye maple back – in excellent condition and with a great sound. More details


Mirecourt Violin, Charles Brugère Workshop, 1907

£5,000

Charles Brugère Workshop violinAn excellent Mirecourt violin with a fine tone, rather better than your average Collin-Mézin! Lovely size and in near perfect condition. More details


An English Violin of the Withers School, circa 1900

£5,000

Withers School violinThis is a fine English violin from the turn of the century – although it’s not up to the standard of an Edward Withers, it shows many similar points of style, and was probably made in the Withers shop. The wood is of excellent quality and the work is very precise. The condition is unusually good – there are no cracks or repairs of any kind. More details


Andrea Pontedoro Violin, Edinburgh 2007

£6,000

Andrea Pontedoro ViolinThis is a very attractive modern Italian violin by Andrea Pontedoro, made during his period of residence in Edinburgh. Andrea is a fine maker who draws influence from the De Bonis family of his native Calabria. You can read more about him here. The model is individual, the wood is superb, the varnish rich and subtly shaded. More details


A Fine Mirecourt Violin circa 1890

£6,000

Fine Mirecourt ViolinThis is a lovely Mirecourt violin of some quality, broadly equivalent to a late 19th century Collin-Mézin. It has well conceived arching, finely worked edges and corners, and delicately fluted f-holes. It’s in excellent condition – just two repaired wing cracks to report, otherwise no cracks or repairs. The varnish is oil, very well preserved, with an attractive hint of craquelure. More details


Johann Schult Violin, Lübeck 1939

£6,500

Johann Schult Violin, Lübeck 1939 for sale This is an excellent violin by Johann Schult, one of the best early 20th century German makers – he was appointed court violin maker to the Duke of Mecklenburg in 1907. The wood is superb, the varnish is rich and lustrous, and the work is artistic and highly skilled. The sound is top class, bright, sugary and strong with great sustain. It has a clear and unique cantabile voice – an unusually smooth and responsive violin suitable for a professional player. More details


A Fine German Violin circa 1900

£7,000

Fine German ViolinThis is a very nice example of a “Großstadtgeige”, literally “big city violin” of the sort produced in Berlin towards the end of the 19th century. The workmanship is excellent and the sound is first class. More details


Andrew Smillie Violin, Glasgow 1947

£7,000

Andrew Smillie ViolinThis is a fine Scottish violin by Andrew Smillie, one of the most respected of Scottish makers. According to David Rattray, “with his passing in 1948, shortly followed by that of Harry Briggs, Professional violin making in Scotland more or less came to an end”. The Smillies (father Alex and son Andrew) are surely the best known makers of the Glasgow school, and their violins are consistently good tonally, even when the work is not as artistic as that of Briggs. More details


Abele Naldi Violin, Milan 1968

Recently sold

Abele Naldi Violin, Milan 1968This is a lovely violin by 20th century Milanese maker Abele Naldi. It’s unmistakably Italian in conception, just on the artistic side of brash, very individual in model and execution. The spruce used for the front is exceptional – very regular closely spaced grain, probably the same wood that Naldi used for guitars – and the back and ribs are made from wood with a spectacular quilted figure, possibly pearwood. More details


A Good Mittenwald Violin circa 1780

£7,500

good mittenwald violinThis is a very tidy late 18th century violin, probably Mittenwald by a follower of Bartholomaus Karner, showing all the typical features of South German construction. It has very rounded “Dutch Barn” shoulders, a one-piece bottom rib with inset saddle, inside mould construction with classic Mittenwald inner blocks, and a lovely soft red varnish. More details


Walter Plain Violin, Glasgow circa 1850

£8,000

Scottish violin by Walter PlainWalter Plain is a well-known name in Scotland, and his violins are highly respected. Spanning the Edinburgh and Glasgow schools, he produced violins that were both artistic and functional. More details


Domingos F Capela Violin, Espinho (Portugal) 1967

£8,000

Domingos F Capela violinDomingos F Capela was the first member of the Capela dynasty which dominated Portuguese making in the 20th century. He worked very much in the Italian style, with crisp execution and without antiquing, and his violins and those of his sons have always been very popular. This particular violin is quite late, and is modeled on the Paganini “Cannone” by del Gesu. It bears its original certificate from the maker. More details


Charles JB Collin-Mézin 7/8 Violin, 1901

£8,500

7/8 ViolinHere’s a very fine 7/8 Collin-Mézin with a 4/4 sound! It’s in spectacular condition for its age, and it plays beautifully. More details


Jerome Thibouville-Lamy Violin, Mirecourt 1905

£9,000

Jerome Thibouville-Lamy Violin, Mirecourt 1905Jerome Thibouville-Lamy, or JTL, is one of the best-known names in the violin trade. The JTL mega-workshops in the Vosges produced hundreds of thousands of violins from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. Mostly these were student violins which have remained popular on account of their excellent sound. But they also produced beautiful handmade “violons de maitre”, most likely the work of Alfred Acoulon More details


Alexander Hume Violin, London 1925

£10,000

Alex Hume violinAlex Hume was born in Dumfries, Scotland, and started out as a professional violinist before turning to making. He had a successful business in the 1920s and 1930s selling a range of instruments under his own label. Some of these were bought in and modified, like the Luigi Salsedo violins marketed north of the border by Jim Tait, others were made by Hume himself. More details


Gustav Methfessel Violin, Bern circa 1905

SOLD More details


A Fine Hungarian Violin by Jozsef Mirth, Budapest 1933

£10,000

A Fine Hungarian Violin by Jozsef Mirth, BudapestJozsef Mirth worked for Miska Frirsz and Janos Spiegel before stepping out on his own – he was a prolific maker, but remains pretty much unknown outside Hungary. This violin is a superb example of the Budapest style that reached perfection in the work of Paulus Pilat. The varnish is gorgeous, the wood is superb, and the execution of the scroll, f-holes and edges is precise and artistic. More details


Mathias Heinicke, Wildstein bei Eger 1931

Recently sold

Mathias Heinicke violinThis is a tremendous violin by the Hungarian-born maker Mathias Heinicke. Heinicke always claimed to have trained under Eugenio Degani, though this hasn’t been verified as far as I know. But whatever the truth of it, his violins show an unusual refinement and individuality, and are generally very successful tonally. It’s important to point out that there are a lot of fake Heinickes out there … fortunately authentic examples are easy to spot More details


Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1898

£12,000

Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1898Collin-Mézin is probably one of the best known names in the violin trade. Although the firm went rather downhill in the 20th century, pre-1900 violins by Collin-Mézin Senior are very sought after, partly because they represent the best in Mirecourt workmanship, partly because they are always successful tonally. More details


Thomas Perry Violin, Dublin circa 1780

£12,500

Thomas Perry ViolinThomas Perry is the best known name in Irish violin-making. He lived a long life and ran various busy workshops, employing amongst others John Delaney, Richard Tobin, Vincenzo Panormo (briefly), and of course William Wilkinson of Perry & Wilkinson. Here we have a beautifully preserved example with an outstanding sound from around 1870. More details


An Italian Violin, Rome circa 1910

£12,500

An Italian Violin from RomeIf you’re looking for an Italian violin with a great sound at a great price, look no further. Unfortunately this violin developed a very small incipient post crack in the back, which has now been patched. The repair is invisible, but the price is half what it was. More details


Alessandro Di Matteo Violin, Cremona 2009

£12,500

Contemporary Italian violinAlessandro Di Matteo started out life as a professional violinist, but soon switched his attention to making. Perhaps that explains the unusual tonal refinement of this violin. I’m no big fan of contemporary making, particularly the New Cremonese school, but this violin really stands apart from that trend. It’s lightly built, individual in model, modest in appearance, and very mature and sophisticated in tone. The materials used are first class and the work is superb. More details


Michael Dötsch Violin, Berlin 1928

On trial, £15,000

Michael Dötsch ViolinMichael Dötsch is the most revered German luthier of the 20th century. He is renowned (or rather infamous) for his frighteningly accurate fakes of the old masters, but the violins he made under his own label are equally exemplary in tone and workmanship. More details


A Viennese Violin, Circle of Geissenhof circa 1820

£18,000

Viennese ViolinWhen it comes to getting “more sound for your pound”, the makers of the closely related Prague and Vienna schools have to be at the top of anyone’s list. This violin is a perfect illustration, a beautiful early 19th century Strad copy with excellent tone and great playability which would run rings around many an Italian violin of the period. More details


François Hippolyte Caussin, Neufchateau circa 1870

SOLD More details


Bela Szepessy Violin, London 1914

£18,500

Bela Szepessy ViolinAlthough Szepessy spent most of his working life in London, his violin-making remained entirely in the Hungarian tradition. Szepessy apprenticed with Samuel Nemessanyi and Thomas Zach – in this particular violin you could say that the sublime workmanship derives from Nemessanyi, the spectacular varnish from Zach. Szepessy made great violins, and this one is absolutely typical – it’s a Strad model, quite late for Szepessy, with a deep red varnish, beautifully preserved. More details


Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1890

£18,500

Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1890We have four Paul Bailly violins right now – perhaps that’s some indication of how I rate him as a maker. This is the least expensive due to the back length, but it has a fantastic sound. More details


Small ¾ Mirecourt Stradivarius Pattern Violin circa 1900

Recently sold

Small ¾ Mirecourt Stradivarius Pattern circa 1900A particularly attractive Mirecourt ¾ violin with a Stradivarius 1723 label, this instrument has the refinements of better Mirecourt work such as an inked scroll and rib corners, slightly fluted f-holes and a rich amber-brown oil varnish. The sound is bright, sweet and musical, surprisingly good for the size of the violin. More details


Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1875

£22,000

Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1875Paul Bailly is definitely the most interesting maker to have come out of the Vuillaume shop, and this is the first of 3 violins of his which we will be offering. Bailly was a tireless experimenter – he also moved house a lot, working in Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Reims, Leeds, and finally Paris again! Very few makers worked to so many different models, and yet his style is always distinctive, with a softness around the edges quite uncharacteristic of French making in this period, More details


Paul Bailly Violin, London 1890

£25,000

Paul Bailly Violin, London 1890Paul Bailly is definitely the most interesting maker to have come out of the Vuillaume shop, and this is the second of three violins of his which we will be offering. Bailly was a tireless experimenter – he also moved house a lot, working in Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Reims, Leeds, and finally Paris again! More details


Silvio Vezio Paoletti Violin, Florence circa 1930

Recently sold

Silvio Vezio Paoletti ViolinThis is a fine early 20th century Italian violin by Silvio Paoletti, one of a number of good makers who trained under Valentino de Zorzi. It has that quality of style which is so hard to capture in words, but which is the hallmark of the Italian violin. More details


Gabriel Lemböck Violin, Vienna 1862

£35,000

Gabriel Lemböck Violin, Vienna 1862For me, Gabriel Lemböck is the stand-out maker of the Viennese school. Although his later instruments were rather commercial, his best work is outstanding, both in tone and in execution. For much of his working life he copied the Paganini “Cannone” which he had studied while working for Anton Fischer, and this violin is a beautifully stylised interpretation (though clearly Lemböck wasn’t prepared to embrace the brutality of del Gesu’s original scroll)! More details


Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre Violin, Paris 1892

£37,500

Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre ViolinThe Silvestre family are at the heart of French violin-making in the 19th century. Pierre Silvestre worked with Lupot and Gand, and subsequently trained most of the great Lyon makers. Hippolyte worked for Vuillaume before joining his brother in Lyon. Their nephew Hippolyte Chrétien brought all this vast experience together and produced beautiful instruments which are unrivalled both for sound and for quality of workmanship. More details


Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844

£50,000

Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844The Silvestres were exceptional makers, and their success owes much to their training with Nicolas Lupot and JB Vuillaume. The two brothers worked together from 1829 until 1848, and this violin is a very fine example of their collaborative work. It’s in an exceptional state of preservation, free from repairs or damages, and with very little wear to the original varnish. More details


Giovanni &  Giuseppe Dollenz Violin, Trieste circa 1855

£55,000

Giovanni &  Giuseppe Dollenz ViolinFor a long time Giovanni Dollenz’s rare ability as a maker has been attributed to some connection with Storioni – such stories sell violins! Whatever his influences, he was a maker with a dashing and individual style. The violins in the 1850s were made in collaboration with his son Giuseppe, who is regarded as in every way the equal of his father. More details


Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1862

£57,500

Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1862Pierre and Hippolyte Silvestre were exceptional makers, and their success owes much to their training with Nicolas Lupot and JB Vuillaume respectively. The two brothers worked together from 1829 until 1848, and then worked independently – Hippolyte survived his brother by 20 years and produced the greater number of instruments, but both makers are accorded equal status within the trade. This Guarneri model violin is a superb example of Hippolyte’s later work, and it’s in great condition. More details


Joseph Calot Violin, Paris circa 1815

Recently sold

Joseph Calot ViolinA fine violin made by Joseph Calot in the workshop of Nicolas Lupot, in near perfect condition. More details


Constantino Celani Violin, Ascoli Piceno 1900

Price on application

Constantino Celani Violin, Ascoli Piceno 1900Constantino and Emidio or Emilio Celani (Il Turco) were brothers making a wide range of musical instruments in the Marche region of West Central Italy. Although their work is not particularly refined, they used excellent and successful models, and the materials are always good. This violin has a beautifully flamed back and scroll made from local maple, and a rich oil varnish over a golden ground. The purfling is hand made, the blacks being dyed hardwood rather than ebony. More details


Martin Fendt Violin, London circa 1840

Recently sold

Martin Fendt ViolinThis is a superb Strad copy by Martin Fendt, and one of the finest English violins I have seen. Tonally it’s also a complete knockout. It was the favourite instrument of Howard Davis, much loved British violinist and leader of the Alberni Quartet. The violin can be heard on many of Davis’ recordings. More details


Giuseppe Baldantoni Violin, Ancona circa 1840

£120,000

Giuseppe Baldantoni Violin, Ancona  circa 1840This is an outstanding example of Baldantoni’s work in near perfect condition. It also has a powerful and sophisticated sound suitable for a demanding soloist. A leading maker of the Central Italian school, Baldantoni followed a broadly Stradivari model with slightly flattened arches. His instruments tend to be very successful tonally with great projection. More details


Bisiach Workshop Violin, Milan circa 1930

Bisiach Workshop Violin, Milan circa 1930
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