Alex 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. His labeling system is slightly confusing, but this particular example is a special Strad model “Artist Violin”, and is a very fine piece of classic London making. The varnish is very similar to that used by Alfred Vincent, and the crispness of execution is also very close to Vincent.
This violin is in near mint condition, and even bears its original bridge stamped by the maker. There’s a small area of retouch to the varnish just left of the fingerboard, and a slight check in the pegbox above the D peg on the bass side, probably original.
This is great sounding violin – woody, zingy, smooth but articulate. It’s interesting to note that Hume was an advanced player before he got into making, and clearly he had a concept of sound and an ability to judge it. This violin sounds great at all levels of dynamics, it responds easily and positively, it doesn’t break up under pressure, and it has just the right amount of character. The voice is unique, but it doesn’t overwhelm the instrument or dictate how you express the music.
A great sounding violin at a great price – highly recommended.
Length of back 35.7cm, stop 131/195mm, total length 58.8cm
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